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June 21-23, 2013 at the Lake County Fairgrounds, Grayslake, IL

we believe... that a Fair should ignite all your senses and inspire all your passion, so we have music, too. In fact, we have folk and world music to go with our folk art.

we are proud to present our 2013 performers, complete with contact information and bios. Who knows? You may find you are in need of musical entertainment!

our music is presented by Off Square Music, who work tirelessly both before and during the Fair to share with you the talents of our delightful lineup of musicians. We thank them for their sponsorship and with their dedication to preserving our folk music heritage.

Off Square Music Board of Directors working the sound board at the 2009
Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair. From left: Roger Benson,
Keith Johnson, Kent Fishburn, Don Humbertson, and
Andy Andrick

performance schedule

          friday, june 21

on the veranda
The Beaumonts
10:00–11:00 J.W. Rice / Tim Merkel
11:00–12:00 J.W. Rice / Gloria Burchfield
11:00–12:00 TRILLIUM—FEATURE Main Stage Outdoor
12:00 – 2:00 LOU AND PETER BERRYMAN—FEATURE Main Stage Outdoor
  1:00 – 2:00 Tim Merkel / Olivia Kaspryk
  2:00 – 3:00 Mark Hobbs / Mim Eichman
  3:00 – 4:00 Mim Eichman / The Dreadnaughts
  4:00 – 5:00 Mark Hobbs / The Dreadnaughts


         saturday, june 22

on the veranda
Kent Rose
10:00–11:00 Courtney Sullivan
11:00–12:00 Merv Collins / Tim Merkel
11:00–12:00 COMPASS—FEATURE Main Stage Outdoor
12:00 – 2:00 SMALL POTATOES—FEATURE Main Stage Outdoor
  2:00 – 3:00 Mary Lai / Bear Creek
  3:00 – 4:00 Mary Lai / Merv Collins
  4:00 – 5:00 Bear Creek / Courtney Sullivan


         sunday, june 23

on the veranda
Big Fish
10:00–11:00 Guyz with Bad Eyez / Lillian Reasor
11:00–12:00 Lillian Reasor
11:00– 3:00 OPEN MIC—FEATURE Main Stage Outdoor
        11:00 Cheryl Niemo
        11:30 Guyz with Bad Eyez
        12:00 Alex Fayer
          1:30 Tim Merkel
  1:00 – 2:00 Cheryl Niemo with J.W. Rice
  2:00 –3:00 Dean Milano / Cheryl Niemo with J.W. Rice

featured performers

Lou and Peter BerrymanLOU AND PETER BERRYMAN

"...the musical chemistry only gets better with time. The Berrymans offer refreshing observations on the human condition in a style blending folk music with musical comedy. And they manage to translate it all into hilarious songs that have become folk classics, including "Double Yodel," "A Chat with your Mother," "Your State's Name Here," and "Cow Imagination." The humor draws on Lou's gifts as a melody writer, accordion player, and vocal comedienne, as well as Peter's guitar and vocal skills and extraordinary lyric writing... Few can resist laughing out loud by the middle of the second song; this stuff grows on you... These two delightfully twisted imaginations continue in full bloom..." Art Wojtowicz, musicHound Folk; The Essential Album Guide. PS. Lou is a fiber artist, too! 


“Jacquie Manning and Rich Prezioso combine cleverly witty with powerfully poignant songs, along with well chosen covers to present an unusually entertaining and involving repertoire engagingly delivered. Prezioso's song "1000 Candles, 1000 Cranes" is one of the most outstanding songs of the past 50 years." Rich Warren The Midnight Special - WFMT Radio, Chicago, IL.



Trilliam's eclectic repertoire ranges in style from Celtic, to folk, to ragtime, to swing, to bluegrass, and appeals to all ages and most musical tastes. "...the new CD is one of the best recordings I have heard in a's really top shelf!" Lilli Kuzma, WDCB Folk Festival



Compass is composed of five men in search of a direction. It is commonly known that men never ask for directions. Members of The Lake County Folk Club formed this quintet from a mutual desire to unleash their passion for acoustic adventure music. "(Compass) presents a veritable folk festival…" Dave Humphreys – Two Way Street Coffee House


performers in 2013

Bear Creek
Bear Creek is Gary Plazyk and Rob Middleton.  They perform music and songs from the 1800s, plus sea shanties and children’s songs.  The instruments they use include: guitar, fiddle, penny whistle, hammered dulcimer, concertina, hurdy gurdy, and didgeridoo, plus a grab bag of musical toys including jaw harp, clackamore, limberjack, spoons, and kazoo. Audience participation is enthusiastically encouraged! 
The Beaumonts
Local acoustic trio, Andy Andrick, Gloria Burchfield, and Len Gilard, combine a wide range of music including 50’s, 60’s, Beatles, Elvis, Country, and original music by Len, topping it off with 3-part harmonies. Over 100 years combined experience entertaining audiences with a variety of music and comedy. See them at Johnny Appleseed Festival, Farmers Markets, Stage Left Café, Senior functions, and the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair.
Big Fish
With Kent Fishburn and Debbie Firak on guitars and Marty Brunkalla on Mandolin and Fiddle, Big Fish offers up a smooth blend of music from Swing, Blues and Folk, to classic old Jazz standards.

Merv Collins
Merv Collins, a Fingerstyle and Lead Guitarist, has been playing music for over 4 decades. Merv’s instrumental style is influenced by celtic, classical, bluegrass, country, folk, medieval and even some good old rock and roll music.

Mim Eichmann
The artistic director and choreographer of Midwest Ballet Theatre, while rehearsing for a Celtic-themed program, Mim stood next to a musician playing the hammered dulcimer and fell in love with the instrument on the spot!
Alex Fayer Alex Fayer
Alex is a singer and actor who has appearred in numerous productions throughout the area. Highlights include Matthew in "Born British, Died American", Frederick in "Pirates of Penzance", John Jasper in "Drood", Oberon/Thesius in "A Midsummer Night's Dream", the Baker in "Into the Woods", Harry MacAfee in "Bye, Bye Birdie", The Cowardly Lion in "The Wizard of Oz", and Pirelli in "Sweeney Todd".
Guyz with Bad Eyez
... are Merv Collins and Don Humbertson. The Guyz enjoy playing a wide range of popular (and some lesser-known) tunes with energy and gusto. Merv Collins, a Fingerstyle and Lead Guitarist, has been playing music for over 4 decades. Merv’s instrumental style is influenced by celtic, classical, bluegrass, country, folk, medieval and even some good old rock and roll music. Don Humbertson, a Woodstock resident, handles lead singing duties for the Guyz along with playing his 12-string guitar. Gordon Lightfoot, John Prine, Leo Kottke and John Fahey are some of the performers Don has admired and been influenced by. Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Don was the advertising director of the Chicago Reader.
Mark Hobbs
Mark’s songs will leave imprints on your heart, and it’s likely that you’ll experience the full gamut of emotions, from heartache to laughter, during his intimate performances.
Olivia Kaspryk
Olivia has been playing harp for 7 years and piano for 8. This will be
her fourth year at the Midwest Fiber Festival. She is happy to return
to play the harp and meet some more wonderful people! Olivia has
recently taken up playing the guitar and the bandura, the national
Ukrainian instrument. She very much enjoys playing classical harp and
any other desired music at weddings and other social events.

Mary Lai
delivers fresh renditions of familiar tunes and memorable originals with passionate vocals and guitar. Her music has been called "magical," "deeply moving," reminiscent of Judy Collins and Eva Cassidy but with a voice all her own.
Tim Merkel Tim Merkel
A singer/songwriter acoustic guitarist since 1970, Tim's original and cover songs seek to bring a resonance with the heart of the listener. After years of part time playing, this guy's about to break out into his true musicanship!!

Dean Millano
Dean’s music ranges from folk, country, rock, ballads, latin, bluegrass, pop to novelty songs. He has opened for such greats as Paul Butterfield, Jan & Dean, Cab Calloway, the Spencer Davis Group, Bo Diddley, The Kingston Trio and many more.
Courtney Sullivan
Courtney O'Sullivan is a singer/songwriter from Woodstock, Illinois. She has been playing guitar for 16 years and has been singing since she was a little girl. She gets inspiration for her songs from her life experiences. 
Lillian Reasor
19 year old Lillian Reasor is an internationally award winning Irish Folk Harper. Currently in her freshman year studying Classical Harp Performance at Northwestern University; Lillian also teaches, composes and performs both Classical and Irish music in the Chicagoland area.
JW Rice
JW Rice 
JW Rice, born and raised in Woodstock, Illinois, is a self-taught guitarist. He founded the JW Rice Band, fashioned after Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, in 1972. The band opened for many acts including Asleep at the Wheel, Vassar Clements, John Hammond, Jr., and Pinetop Perkins. When the original JW Rice Band dispersed in 1981, JW started a love affair with the blues. Meeting and talking to the great Muddy Waters was a turning point in his musical life. He began learning Muddy’s style of blues music that covered the traditional Delta blues with country blues thrown in. 
Kent Rose
Kent Rose was described by T.J. Simon of as, “dressing like Buck Owens, singing like Dwight Yoakam, and writing songs like Buddy Holly.” Kent performs hillbilly and rockabilly songs that are familiar and comforting, as well as originals inspired by these classics. In 2010 Kent was featured as U.S. Cellular customer Kent in a national commercial promoting free incoming calls.

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What did you enjoy most about the Fair? "...the music"..."the music was good"..."good music and time to relax"
   comments on survey

Thank you to our music partner:

And our media sponsor:

Celebrating the Work (and Music) of Your Hands
for 7 Years:








"I love the fair. The music was especially appreciated..."
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Music at the Fair: