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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Host's band leader to headline festival

  • Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 15.
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  • — Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 15.
    It's the 8th annual Honesdale Roots & Rhythm Music & Arts Festival, and Jimmy Vivino and the Barn Burners is the headline act.
    Vivino is "way more than Conan O'Brien's late-night music director," says Randy Kohrs, the Festival's music coordinator, "but TV brings him home to a lot of people, so we thought we should tell you Conan's music director is coming to Honesdale!"
    Vivino has been with the comic talk-show host Conan O'Brien since 1993, but his history spans multiple generations.
    "Jimmy Vivino is a veteran musician who has recorded and played live with many legends, including Johnnie Johnson, Al Kooper and Levon Helm from The Band," adds Kohrs. "In fact, some of the Barn Burners members are from The Band's 80s-90s reorganization group —Randy Ciarlante and Jim Weider. The third member, Byron Isaacs, played with the Levon Helm Band. So, if you like The Band's music—'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,' 'It Makes No Difference,' 'The Weight (Take a load off Annie/Fanny)'– you'll definitely enjoy this show."
    Kohrs points out that Vivino is also a musician of many styles. He has several other bands, including a Beatles Tribute band called the Fab Faux. Vivino and the Barn Burners take the stage at the height of the Festival, preceded by three other music acts: Pat O'Shea (a guitarist for six years with Levon Helm) and the Honest Men, a band with "big energy and musician-ship"; The Badlees, a Central Pennsylvania rock band who has been playing this year with Bob Seger on his "Rock and Roll Never Forgets Tour"; and Emish, a high-powered rock group with an Irish heart.
    Roots & Rhythm, which is free to the public, is a unique event that embraces all of Honesdale from morning till past sunset. Local bands entertain on street corners until the main stage kicks off around 1 p.m. in Central Park.
    The park is ringed by food vendors and artisans offering juried artwork, jewelry, pottery and crafts for sale. Attendees can spread a picnic blanket on the Park's lawn or set up chairs — it's very informal. The event is put on entirely by volunteers and funded by donations.
    Page 2 of 2 - "I have been a member of the business community of Honesdale for more than 50 years and there is no single event that brings more people into Honesdale than Roots & Rhythm," says Paul Meagher, Re/Max Wayne. "The festival has something for all age groups, from preschoolers to senior citizens."
    In addition to food and crafts, Honesdale Roots & Rhythm also has story —telling for youngsters, games and arts and crafts. Historically, the event draws approximately 5,000 people each year.
    Roots & Rhythm is co-presented by the Greater Honesdale Partnership and the Wayne County Arts Alliance.
    Platinum sponsors this year include WNEP-TV, Bold Gold Media, the Pocono Mountains Vacation Bureau, the Wayne County Commissioners, Connections Magazine, Jeff George Designs and Main Street Jewelers.
    Gold sponsors are The Weekender, The Wayne Independent, The River Reporter, The Honesdale National Bank, The Himalayan Institute, The Dime Bank and Top Notch Distributors, Inc.
    No tickets are necessary.

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