Holiday Hoedown

with The Wilders / The Midday Ramblers / Drakkar Sauna / MAW / Santa Smeltzer / MC Dancin' Dale Frazier / DJ St. Nick

Event details

Check out our full preview of the event.

Doors at 6 p.m. Show at 7 p.m. Kids under 12 get in free.

This is not just another show, it's a bit like a Grand Ole Opry show for the holidays! In what's quickly become an annual tradition, several of Lawrence's premier string bands skewer holiday musics past and present. If you like bluegrass, you already know about local phenoms The Wilders. If you're pretty sure you don't like bluegrass, this is truly one band that could make you a quick convert. These Walnut Valley Festival favorites have the ability to set a stage aflame in a jiffy with fiddle numbers and hot doses of formative-years country (Hank Williams, Jimmy Rogers, Carter Family). They also write some mean tunes of their own on their latest disc "Someone's Got to Pay."

The Midday Ramblers favor the golden-era bluegrass songbook (Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, Ralph Stanley) but are no less capable of getting a crowd hootin' and hollerin' and slappin' a little ass. The Ramblers serve it up in the old Opry format: one mic, nice suits, smooth harmonies and zero cussin.' Besides their unique interpretations of traditional faves like "John Hardy" and "Katy Cline," the band plays a number of originals and some instrumentals that walk the line between oldgrass and newgrass. Check out our podcast preview of their new album.

On the heels of their Louvin Brothers tribute record "Wars and Tornadoes," Drakkar Sauna presents "20009" — a return to established Sauna subplots like spears, space, and old people. The music is less old-timey and more present-timey, rife with blaring trumpets, barroom piano tinkling, regal harmonies, and sing-along melodies. The band introduces the album themselves with this podcast preview.

Judging by their song content, you wouldn’t want to let the women of MAW anywhere near your kids, husbands, or liquor cabinet. The local old-timey quintet sings about drug abuse, adultery, murder, hoboing, opium-smoking, Sterno-drinking, sticking their fingers in babies’ eyes, and other unsavory things on their long-in-the-works debut album “Advice for the Young and Foolish.” Check out our podcast preview of the album here. In addition to writing their own songs, MAW mines the vaults of traditional music for fan favorites like "Cluck Old Hen." Some of the members hardly knew more than three chords when they started the band three years ago, but they’ve developed into a slick-pickin’ quintet in the tradition of the Carter Family.


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