Walnut Valley Festival Announces Performer Lineup for 2024

Winfield, Kansas ˗ Organizers have released the list of artists performing at the 52nd Walnut Valley Festival (WVF), Sept. 18-22. Over 30 acts, either solo artists or bands, have been hired to perform on the four official stages at Winfield over the third weekend in September.

Artists performing for the first time include AJ Lee & Blue Summit, Common Chords (Robert Jones and Matt Watroba), Crying Uncle Bluegrass Band, Scott Cook & Pamela Mae, Nathan McEuen, Rick Faris Band, Front Porch, Little Big Twang, and Sally & the Hurts.

Several performers in the 2024 lineup are artists who made many fans in their debut last year at Walnut Valley Festival, including The Barefoot Movement, Becky Buller Band, Tina Bergmann & Bryan Thomas, Haymakers, Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Pixie & the Partygrass Boys, and RUNA.

Perennial favorites returning to Winfield include Socks in the Frying Pan, The Steel Wheels, Bing Futch, Beppe Gambetta, Shane Hennessy, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, John McCutcheon, Special Consensus, Roz Brown & Jim Ratts, Andy May, Karen Mueller, Old Sound, Barry Patton, Dave Stamey, Linda Tilton, and Weda Skirts.

Chris Jones returns to curate the festival’s songwriting exhibition, NewSong Showcase. Andy May also returns to host his Acoustic Kids Showcase, giving young musicians an opportunity to appear on stage and gain experience in front of a live, supportive audience.

WVF Executive Director Bart Redford: “Our hiring committee did a great job lining up a wonderful mix of performers for this year’s festival. Rising stars AJ Lee & Blue Summit are bringing their California bluegrass sound to Winfield. Another young California quartet, Crying Uncle Bluegrass Band, was recognized as the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum band of 2023. Kansas native Rick Faris is one of a vanguard of younger musicians carrying bluegrass forward. Front Porch, Haymakers, Old Sound, Sally & the Hurts, and Weda Skirts, bands that folks have long enjoyed hearing in the campgrounds at Winfield, will play on the official stages this year. They are joined by veteran powerhouse artists that we know Walnut Valley Festival attendees enjoy.”

51st Annual Walnut Valley Festival – Winfield, Kansas

2023 National Bluegrass Banjo Championship

Date: September 17, 2023                       Time: 11:45 a.m.

Pictured L-R: Owen Brockman, Dayton, OH (2nd Place), Anthony Howell, Kosiusko, MS (1st Place), and Steven Moore, Saint Clairesville, OH (3rd Place)

Champion:  Anthony HowellCity/State:  Kosiusko, MSPrize Instrument Selected: OME Megatone IKON Bluegrass Banjo – OME Banjos, 5680 Valmont Road, Boulder CO 80301 (303) 449-0041  omebanjos.com 2nd Place:         Owen BrockmanCity/State: Dayton, OH Prize Instrument Selected: Deering Calico 5-string Banjo – Deering Banjo Company, 3733 Kenora Drive, Spring Valley, CA 91977-1829  800-845-7791 deeringbanjos.com 3rd Place:            Steven Moore City/State: Saint Clairesville, OHPrize Instrument Selected: Deering White Lotus 5-string Banjo— Deering Banjo Company, 3733 Kenora Drive, Spring Valley, CA 91977-1829  800-845-7791 deeringbanjos.com Runners up: Evan Reed, Fairview, MO, and Gregg Welty, Durham, NC11 contestants from 9 states                                                                             

51st Annual Walnut Valley Festival – Winfield, Kansas

Pictured L-R: Gage Milton, Lewisville, TX (2nd Place), Mickey Sweeney, Lake St. Louis, MO (1st Place), and Tim Simek, Maryville, TN (3rd Place)

Date: September 16, 2023                         Time: 5:53 p.m.

Contest Name: 2023 National Hammer Dulcimer Championship

Champion:  Mickey Sweeney

City/State: Lake St. Louis, MO

Prize Instrument Selected: Rick Thum 17/17 Professional Chromatic Hammer Dulcimer – Rick Thum Dulcimers, 6710 Twin River Rd, Eureka, MO 63025, 314-406-0690 rthum.com

2nd Place:         Gage Milton

City/State: Lewisville, TX

Prize Instrument Selected: Master Works 16/15 CBWXR7 Bantam Weight Chromatic Extended Range Hammer Dulcimer CBWXR7 – Master Works, PO Box 167, 36613 US Hwy 70, Bennington, OK 74723 580-847-2273 masterworksok.com

3rd Place:            Tim Simek

City/State: Maryville, TN

Prize Instrument Selected: Songbird Finch Chromatic – Hammer Dulcimer – Songbird Hammer Dulcimers, 803 Whicher Street, Muscatine, IA 52761 563-571-5296 songbirdhd.com

51st Annual Walnut Valley Festival – Winfield, Kansas

Pictured L-R: Mike Cramer, Minneapolis, MN (2nd Place), Ian Ly, San Francisco, CA (1st Place), and Hayden Reidling, Dawsonville, GA (3rd Place)

Contest Name: 2023 National Guitar Flat Pick Championship

Date: September 16, 2023                      Time: 11:46 a.m.

Champion:  Ian Ly

City/State/Zip:  San Francisco, CA

Prize Instrument Selected: Collings Winfield Model Mahogany/Adirondack Spruce Guitar Collings Guitar, Inc., 11210 W. Highway 290, Austin, TX 78737 (512) 288-7776 collingsguitars.com

2nd Place:         Mike Cramer

City/State/Zip: Minneapolis, MN

Prize Instrument Selected: PK Thompson D-MA Guitar – PK Thompson Guitars 352 East Main Avenue, Sisters, OR 97759  (541)-588-6211 pktguitars.com

3rd Place:            Hayden Reidling

City/State/Zip: Dawsonville, GA

Prize Instrument Selected: Martin D-28 Guitar – C.F. Martin & Co., 510 Sycamore St., Nazareth, PA 18064 (610) 759-2837 martinguitar.com

Runners up: Danny Spires, Wilmington, OH, and Chapman Welch, Pearland, TX

19 contestants from 15 states.

51st Annual Walnut Valley Festival – Winfield, Kansas

Date: September 15, 2023                         Time: 9:24 p.m.

Pictured L-R: Pictured L-R: Edith Sigler, Wichita, KS (2nd Place), Monte Gaylord, Nowata, OK (1st Place), and Nathan Pedneault, Canyon, TX (3rd Place)

Contest Name: 2023 Walnut Valley Old Time Fiddle Championship

Champion:  Monte Gaylord

City/State/Zip:  Nowata, OK

Prize Instrument Selected: Gilga model Vasile Master Fiddle made in Romania – Represented by Beautiful Music Violin Shop, 925 Iowa St., Ste I, Lawrence, KS 66044 (785) 856-8755 beautifulmusicviolinshop.com

2nd Place:      Edith Sigler

City/State/Zip: Wichita, KS

Prize Instrument Selected: Glasser Carbon Composite 5-String Fiddle; – Represented by Beautiful Music Violin Shop, 925 Iowa St., Ste I, Lawrence, KS 66044 (785) 856-8755 beautifulmusicviolinshop.com

3rd Place:         Nathan Pedneault
City/State/Zip: Canyon, TX

Prize Instrument Selected: Andrzei Glodek Fiddle made in Nowy Targ, Poland – Represented by Beautiful Music Violin Shop, 925 Iowa St., Ste I, Lawrence, KS 66044 (785) 856-8755 beautifulmusicviolinshop.com

Runners up: Mary Parker, Mountain View, AR, Nathan Pedneault, Canyon, TX,  Tricia Spencer, Lawrence, KS

15 contestants from 9 states

51st Annual Walnut Valley Festival – Winfield, Kansas

Date: September 15, 2023                         Time: 4:08 p.m.

Pictured L-R: Pictured L-R: Gordon Parker, Mountain View, AR (2nd Place), Ethan Batan, Spencer, IN (1st Place), and Luke Lovejoy, Spencer, IN (3rd Place)

Contest Name: 2023 National Mandolin Championship

Champion:  Ethan Batan

City/State/Zip:  Spencer, IN

Prize Instrument Selected: Bourgeois M5-F Mandolin – Bourgeois Guitars, Inc. 2 Cedar Street, Lewiston, ME 04240 (207) 786-0385 bourgeoisguitars.com
PLUS $350 cash in memory of Johnny & Louise Logsdon by WVA and trophy

2nd Place: Gordon Parker

City/State/Zip: Mountain View, AR

Prize Instrument Selected: N/A ($1,500 cash)

3rd Place:  Luke Lovejoy

City/State/Zip: Spencer, IN

Prize Instrument Selected: N/A ($750 cash)

Runners up: David Mayfield, Akron, OH and Scott Schmidt, Claremore, OK

14 contestants from 9 states

51st Annual Walnut Valley Festival – Winfield, Kansas

Pictured L-R: Pictured L-R: Dana Hamilton, Arlington, TX (2nd Place), David Wilson, Springfield, MO (1st Place), and Allison O’Shea, Nashville, IN (3rd Place)

Champion:  David Wilson

City/State/Zip:  Springfield, MO

Prize Instrument Selected: 4FHKK-E Custom – Koa Mountain Dulcimer, provided by The Dulcimer Shoppe/McSpadden Mountain Dulcimers,  P. O. Box 1230 Mountain View, AR 72560 (870) 269-4313 mcspaddendulcimers.com

2nd Place:      Dana Hamilton

City/State/Zip: Arlington, TX

Prize Instrument Selected: 6FTWWB-E Baritone – Baritone Mountain Dulcimer provided by The Dulcimer Shoppe/McSpadden Mountain Dulcimers, P. O. Box 1230 Mountain View, AR 72560 (870) 269-4313 mcspaddendulcimers.com

3rd Place:      Allison O’Shea

City/State/Zip: Nashville, IN

Prize Instrument Selected: 4FSGCC-E – 3/4 size Scroll Head Mountain Dulcimer provided by The Dulcimer Shoppe/McSpadden Mountain Dulcimers, P. O. Box 1230 Mountain View, AR 72560 (870) 269-4313 mcspaddendulcimers.com

Runners up: Sarah Miner, Post, TX, and Keith Reynolds, Arkansas City, KS

11 contestants from 6 states and 1 country (USA).

2023 International Finger Style Guitar Championship

Pictured L-R: Pictured L-R: Adam Cantor, Houston, TX (2nd Place), Momo Kimura, Amagasaki, Hyogo, Japan (1st Place), and Mikey Bilello, Bend, OR (3rd Place)

51st Annual Walnut Valley Festival – Winfield, Kansas

Date: September 14, 2023                         Time: 8:08 p.m.

Contest Name: 2023 International Finger Style Guitar Championship

Champion:  Momo Kimura

City/State/Zip:  Amagasaki, Hyogo, Japan

Prize Instrument Selected: Bourgeois Finger Style Custom Guitar – Bourgeois Guitars, Inc. 2 Cedar Street, Lewiston, ME 04240 (207) 786-0385  bourgeoisguitars.com

2nd Place: Adam Cantor           

City/State/Zip: Houston, TX

Prize Instrument Selected: Taylor 814-ce Grand Concert – Taylor Guitars, Inc. 1980 Gillespie Way, El Cajon, CA 92020 (619) 258-1207 taylorguitars.com

3rd Place:            Mikey Bilello

City/State/Zip: Bend, OR

Prize Instrument Selected: Huss & Dalton Winfield Competition Model FS Guitar Huss & Dalton Guitar Co., Inc. 420 Bridge St, Staunton, VA 24401-4508 (540) 887-2313 hussanddalton.com

Runners up: Jimmy Dehenau, East China, MI, Roger Hudson, Jacksonville, FL, and Patrick Woods, Warsaw, IN.

31 contestants from 18 states and 2 countries (Japan and USA).

51st Annual Walnut Valley Festival – Winfield, Kansas  

Photo Left to Right: 

:     2nd Steve Luper, Champ. Cindy Harris, 3rd George Haig

2nd Steve Luper, Champion, Cindy Harris, 3rd George Haig 

51st Annual Walnut Valley Festival – Winfield, Kansas  

Date: September 14, 2023                         Time: 12:05 p.m.  

Contest Name: 2023 International Autoharp Championship  

Champion:  Cindy Harris  

City/State/Zip:  Pittsburgh, PA  

Prize Instrument Selected:  Schreiber Autoharp Diatonic Autoharp – Greg Schreiber 354 Owl Hollow Rd, Millerstown, PA 17062 (717) 418-2775 schreiberautoharps.com  

2nd Place:     Steve Luper  

City/State/Zip: Andover, KS  

Prize Instrument Selected:  Whippoorwill Acoustics Luthier’s Choice Autoharp – Whippoorwill Acoustics, 111 N. Miller St, Paw Paw, MI 49079 260-249-5561 whippoorwillacoustics.com  

3rd Place:         George Haig  

City/State/Zip: Dunfermline, Scotland  

Prize Instrument Selected: N/A  

Runners up: Loriann Clayton-Bethard, Kansas City, MO, and Michael Poole, Chapel Hill, NC  

9 contestants from 7 states 2 countries (Scotland, USA) 

Walnut Valley Announces Winners and Alternates for 2023 NewSong Showcase

Winfield, Kansas–Organizers of the 51st Walnut Valley Festival have announced the winners and alternates of the 2023 NewSong Showcase. The NewSong Showcase gives aspiring songwriters a chance to submit their work for review by professional musicians, and features ten categories, including Songs about Winfield, Children, Religion/Spirit, Feelin’ Blue, Instrumental, Sweet Memories, Love Songs, Better World, Humor and None of the Above. The writers of the top songs in each category are given the opportunity to play their songs onstage at the Walnut Valley Festival.

Chris Jones, writer, broadcaster, and front man for Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, serves as curator for the Showcase, coordinating with a team of reviewers in making the difficult call as to who gets top honors. Reviewers also provide feedback for the authors of all songs submitted, although that response takes a bit of time to get out to all the songwriters.

Chris Jones: “We had a near record-breaking number of song submissions this year, 296 entries, and the quality was exceptional. While our judges and I devote a considerable amount of time to this, it really is a labor of love, and I appreciate the chance to curate NewSong Showcase on behalf of Walnut Valley Festival. I am grateful to the outstanding judges who lend their ears and their hearts to the difficult task of determining winners, and provide valuable feedback to these songwriters.

NewSong Showcase 2023 Winners and Alternates  

Songs about Winfield:


“Walnut Valley Festival” — NetaJane Doris, Jay Lankford, Glen Robertson            Thursday

“That Stage at Winfield” — Jeff Daugherty                                                                Saturday


“We’re Winfield Friends” — David Parker                                                                Thursday

“Winfield” — Heath Rochester                                                                                   Saturday

Songs For a Better World:


“Name On a List” — Siena Christie                                                                            Thursday

 “Happy Anyway” — Heath Rochester                                                                       Saturday


 “One Day Sober” — Dave Sommers                                                                          Thursday

“The Boat” — Aaron Fowler                                                                                       Saturday

Sweet Memories:


“Choctaw Road” — John Hutchison                                                                           Thursday

“Love Don’t Live Here No More” — Jeff Daugherty                                                 Saturday


“Siblings” — Ann Wright                                                                                            Thursday

“I Hope You Love This Song” — Heath Rochester                                                    Saturday



“Same Old Sinner” — Fred Baue                                                                                Thursday

“Combiners Prayer” — Marilyn Rogers                                                                      Saturday


“Pick Up Your Cross” — Jeff Daugherty, Mo Pitney                                                 Saturday

“God Knows” — Krishna Feeney                                                                               Saturday

Suitable For Children:


“I Spy” — Aaron Fowler                                                                                             Thursday

“Little Zebra” — Aaron Gordon                                                                                 Saturday


“Who Am I” — Mark Heinrich                                                                                   Thursday        

“Jumping Rope” — David Hakan                                                                               Saturday

Humorous Songs:


“How Hot’s Your Hot?” — Marilyn Rogers                                                               Thursday

“If You Ever Saw Louis Blue” — Ellis Ralph                                                            Saturday


“Keep Your Shoes On Babe” — Jack Bowden                                                           Saturday         

“Google My Disease” — Daniel Elixir                                                                        Saturday



“The Brown-Eyed Yorkshireman” — Gary Mortensen                                              Thursday

“Augie’s Lullaby” — Ralph Wesley Carr                                                                   Saturday


“Camano” — Lance Anderson                                                                                    Thursday

“Roaring Brook” — Stan Sullivan                                                                              Saturday

Love Songs


“Shooting Star” — Ernie Welch                                                                                  Thursday

“Old Potato” — Sally Vee                                                                                           Saturday


“Ten Miles Long, Five Miles Wide” — Jimmy DeHeno                                            Thursday

“Tennessee Nights” — Jeff Daugherty                                                                        Saturday

Feelin’ Blue


“Little One” — Bud Bierhaus                                                                                      Thursday

“A Change is Coming On” — Warren Jurgens                                                           Saturday


“If I Had Known” — Deann Kinsch                                                                             Thursday

“Cowgirl” — Jolleen Thorpe, Joe McElroy                                                                 Saturday

None of The Above:


“Switchboard Operator” — Annie Wilson                                                                  Thursday

“A Little Longer” — Kenny Cornell                                                                           Saturday


“Dyin’ to Live” — Jim Herrmann                                                                               Thursday

“The Kitchen Band Song” — Fred Baue                                                                     Saturday

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