Author: BerksCountryFest_WP


The SHEL sisters’ sound is filled with infectious rhythms and hypnotic vocals that meld together their classical training and diverse influences. The result is mesmerizing.

The billowing curtains of sound on Just Crazy Enough, the second full-length album from virtuoso indie-folk band SHEL, will be both familiar and far-out to fans of the exciting sister quartet. The classically inspired mandolin, violin and piano are there, along with the band’s glowing vocal harmonies. But we also hear dense, ethereal textures that hover between the digital and the analog. Grooves are deeper, emboldened with electronic ambience and beat-boxing. The overall effect sheds light on their broad collection of influences, from the daring rock bands of the ’60s to the contemplative composers of the 18th century, and even the waves of modern electronica. Because or in spite of this effervescent mashup, Just Crazy Enough is a masterful move for SHEL. It’s the integral, front-to-back album statement the band has been preparing to make since they began making music.

Whether playing folk festivals or with orchestras, SHEL captivates audiences with their distinctive arrangements and energized show.


Credit: Taylor Ballantyne

SHEL is an acronym for their names; Sarah on violin, Hannah on keyboard, Eva on mandolin, Liza on drums, djembe and beatboxing.

The sisters also receive rave reviews for their quirky style and creating all their music videos with Sarah as the videographer and editor.

In addition, SHEL’s songs have been featured in numerous television shows, films, and commercials.

Tickets: $15

Alex Meixner

Alex Meixner, a 2007 Grammy nominee, is a musical chameleon. He has performed traditional ethnic music since he was 4 years old and has extensive experience in a wide variety of musical genres (everything from classical to jazz to pop to world music from around the world!) His true passion lies in entertaining audiences…. he does this primarily with an international party mix of polka music. See a live show. Become a believer.

Gaye Adegbalola & The Wild Rutz

Gaye Adegbalola, Blues Music Award winner (formerly called the W. C. Handy Award) and a founding member of Saffire – The Uppity Blues Women, plays guitar, harmonica and is a composer. She has recorded 10 CDs on Alligator Records and has toured widely throughout
the U.S. and internationally.
Gaye has also released five CDs on her own Hot Toddy Music label: “Neo-Classic Blues” with Roddy Barnes, “Blues Gone Black” by Blue Mama Black Son (Gaye & her son Juno), “Gaye Without Shame,” her Parents’ Choice Gold Award winning Children’s Blues CD “Blues in All Flavors” and “Is It Still Good to Ya?” by Gaye & The Wild Rutz.
A former Virginia State Teacher of the Year, Gaye is also in demand for workshops, lectures and motivational public speaking. A longtime activist, she is presently involved with issues of diversity and is committed to the struggle for LGBT rights.

Gaye Adegbalola & the Wild Rutz perform a cappella blues with percussion and occasional guitar. The Rutz consist of Tanyah Dadze Cotton, Gloria Jackson and Marta Fuentes. From time to time, these seasoned activists musicians would break out in song when hanging out.
In 2013, they decided to formally work together to create this unique sound focusing on the primary i n s t r u m e n t of the blues – THE VOICE.
They now present a humorous, informative, uplifting and entertaining show of roots music – primarily blues, plus R&B, work songs, field hollers, and spirituals – in support of empowerment and equality for all.
These women are longtime historians, healers, visionaries and activists. They have used their voices to promote the causes of racial, LGBT, economic and women’s civil rights in events such as voter registration fundraisers and in rallies to stop domestic violence of all kinds. The group’s repertoire is mainly drawn from Gaye’s original songs.

Tickets: $25

Storytelling, featuring Gary Reid, Roger Mallon and Charles J. Adams III

This Berks Country Fest Storytellers event features Gary Reid presenting a one-man play titled “A Life of Sorrow – the Life and Times of Carter Stanley”; Roger Mallon as Mark Twain; and Charles J. Adams III telling ghost stories.

Storytelling is a highly venerated art form in many cultures around the world.  It is a way to convey knowledge, feelings, traditions and pass along moral or life-shaping lessons, and it’s a much-beloved form of entertainment.

This storytelling session features the talents of:


Gary Reid

Gary Reid, who brings one of the founding fathers of traditional Americana, rural, country and bluegrass music to life through words and song as he channels Carter Stanley in his show, Short Life of Sorrow.
Get a sneak peek at Reid’s show here:



Roger Mallon

Roger Mallon, who portrays the legendary Mark Twain as he brings Twain’s work to life in this one-man show.



Charles J. Adams III

Charles J. Adams III, noted author and public speaker speaking on the topic of ghost lore and legends

Tickets: $12



G.E. Smith: History of the Electric Guitar

One of the most in demand blues/rock guitarists in the world is a mysterious character who goes by the name of G.E. Smith. Millions of TV viewers know his face — and the unruly blond ponytail that was always falling across it — from his stint of fronting the Saturday Night Live Band.

After spending six years as lead guitarist for Hall & Oates, Smith became musical director of the popular weekly sketch comedy show. He led the band for 10 years, and won an Emmy Award for his work.

He’s also toured with Bob Dylan and played with a long list of notable artists.

After his tenure at Saturday Night Live ended, he and his wife, singer/songwriter Taylor Barton, created a critically acclaimed boutique label called Green Mirror Music. They are in their ninth year, releasing rootsy blues and neo-pop.

Tickets: $20

Seldom Scene

More than 40 years since Seldom Scene began playing together at weekly jam sessions in Ben Eldridge’s Bethesda, Md., basement, Seldom Scene has become one of the single greatest contributors to the progression of bluegrass while setting a new standard and attracting new audiences to the genre.

Seldom Scene continues to excel in the bluegrass scene and recently received critical acclaim for their work. Their latest CD, “Scenechronized,” was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Tickets: $25