top of page
Band_HGF18.jpg
WELCOME TO THE HIGHER GROUND MUSIC STAGES

The Higher Ground Fair features two music stages for a weekend filled with songs, artists, and music of the Rocky Mountains. The Higher Ground Concert Stage is jam-packed with performances throughout the weekend and the Higher Ground Sunrise Stage features local and emerging artists at the fair's entrance during the early morning hours.

Don’t miss them this year - some of our top favorites returning,
and some extraordinary debut bands on both Higher Ground Fair Stages in 2023.
Scroll down and keep scrolling until you've seen each stage on each day!

The 2023 Higher Ground Fair
Concert Stage Lineup!

Saturday, September 16, 2023

HGF 22_ windriver dancers 26.jpeg

Wind River Dancers - Saturday, September 16 - 12:00 Noon

A Higher Ground Fair Staple, and a fair-goer favorite, both Saturday and Sunday's noon concert stage highlights Wyoming's Wind River Dancers. With a theme of “A Cultural Heritage Shared Through Dance and Songs,” the Wind River Dancers perform a variety of American Indian dance styles, which includes men’s traditional, grass and fancy feather and women’s fancy shawl, jingle dress and traditional. All of these dance styles are described and explained to the audience in order to share Native American culture and heritage. Included with performances are drummers and singers. The music is also explained to the audience so everyone who has an opportunity to see these performances will have a better understanding of Native American culture as presented to you by Northern Arapaho tribal members.

TGU Band Pic.jpg

The Ghost Upstairs - Saturday, September 16 - 2:00 p.m.

Performing last year at the Higher Ground Fair's Sunrise Stage, the rising popularity of this band here in Laramie, made it irresistible for us to have them on our concert stage this year. The Ghost Upstairs is an Americana project started in Laramie just one year ago. The Ghost Upstairs combines elements of Indie and Psychedelic Rock with the Folk style music and lyrics popular across the Rocky Mountains. The band features Mike Morgan on vocals, keys, and guitar, Brian ‘Goose’ Giesinger on lead guitar and vocals, Paul Proco on Drums, and Frankie Thorne on bass.

Nan's Pack Goats.JPG

Goat-o-Rama - Saturday, September 16 - 3:00 p.m. on Church Stage

IMPORTANT NOTE! This special concert will be performed on stage in the church building at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday in order to showcase the video component to its best advantage!
Phil is an amateur violinist who enjoys performing in a weekly livestream showcasing videos of his goats.
He enjoys playing a variety of fiddle and other violin tunes, but you don't want to miss this rollicking, joyful, exchange of live music and video play between Phil and the goats he and his wife share their lives with.

HarmonyRose.jpeg

The Milk Blossoms - Saturday, September 16 - 4:00 p.m.

Coming to the Higher Ground Fair Concert Stage for the first time, the Milk Blossoms are an experimental pop band consisting of Harmony Rose (vocals, ukulele), Tyler Lindgren (drums), William Overton (keys) and David Samuleson (bass). They have been called "soul-gutting" (Westword), "one of Denver's most innovative bands" (303 Magazine) and "an amalgam of outsider pop with songs that deftly and thoughtfully navigate the vagaries of one's own mind, illuminate nuanced perspectives on relationships with others and society in general and explore evolving concepts of identity" (Queen City Sounds). They are currently working on their third album and will be releasing new music this Fall.

rexpeoples.webp

REX Peoples & X Factr - Saturday, September 16 - 5:00 p.m.

How lucky we are to have the amazing Rex Peoples and X Factr return to the Higher Ground Concert Stage! X Factr was created by singer, songwriter, vocal coach, and Blues in Schools educator Rex Peoples in 2007, and is intentionally spelled without the “o” to represent the intangibles that make the religious shout, the partiers dance, and remind us of the emotions that make us say, “That’s my song!” Their album, Fried Food / Hard Liquor, was the 2nd most played single on Kai Turners "Strictly Blues station in 2016.  The band was also a semifinalist in the 2016 International Blues Challenge on Beale Street in Memphis. Their title cut song was also covered on Chris Daniels and the Kings CD...Blues with Horns, which climbed the charts to #4 in the Contemporary top fifty chart in 2017.

Don't miss Rex's interactive, musical lessons on the Origin and Meaning of the Blues! Attend Enhance your own world and the experience of listening. Held on the Higher Ground Fair Presenter Stage Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

REX Peoples & X Factr - Saturday, September 16 - 5:00 p.m.

Wind River Dancers - Sunday, September 17 - 12:00 Noon

HGF 22_ windriver dancers 37.jpeg

A Higher Ground Fair staple, and a fair-goer favorite, both Saturday and Sunday's noon concert stage highlights Wyoming's Wind River Dancers. With a theme of “A Cultural Heritage Shared Through Dance and Songs,” the Wind River Dancers perform a variety of American Indian dance styles, which includes men’s traditional, grass and fancy feather and women’s fancy shawl, jingle dress and traditional. All of these dance styles are described and explained to the audience in order to share Native American culture and heritage. Included with performances are drummers and singers. The music is also explained to the audience so everyone who has an opportunity to see these performances will have a better understanding of Native American culture as presented to you by Northern Arapaho tribal members.

REX Peoples & X Factr - Saturday, September 16 - 5:00 p.m.

Williams Brothers Band - Sunday, September 17 - 1:00 p.m.

Papa_Phil_closer_LV_2019.jpg

After 10 years as an essential member of the music scene in northern California, James "Papa Bear" Williams and his younger brother Phil & moved to Colorado in 2000. Since then THE WILLIAMS BROTHERS BAND has become the musical anchor of Western Colorado. TWBB is the longest-running & most successful band in the area. They headline the region's top venues & festivals, tour all over the western United States, and are the most requested direct support act to play with national touring acts playing the area. The hit single, "CIRCLES" was peer nominated for a I.A.I.A Golden Kayak Award for best Rock Song, and is still in regular rotation on 1000s of radio stations across the nation. TWBB hit #1 on the mp3.com Blues charts twice, #5 on the Soundclick Americana Charts, placed 3 songs simultaneously on Soundclick's top 20 Blues Rock Charts, and had the #2 song on podcasts world-wide in 2014. An ep was released in the late 2019. The first single immediately hit #1 on the Indie Music People Country Charts, and placed 2 songs in the top 25 on the U.K. Country Music Charts.

REX Peoples & X Factr - Saturday, September 16 - 5:00 p.m.

Amy Biondo Quintet - Sunday, September 17 - 2:00 p.m.

Amy Biondo.jpeg

The Amy Biondo Ensemble features Amy’s original compositions, which are rhythmically complex with evocative lyrics and innovative arrangements, jazz at the heart but heavily peppered with pop, R&B, and world influences. Repertoire also includes songs written by ensemble members, jazz standards interpreted in unusual ways, and tunes from a wide variety of musical genres, reimagined with a jazz sensibility. Members of the ensemble are committed to making music that arises from deep, genuine communication, in the spirit of friendship and mutual encouragement, with each other and, in turn, with the audience. The group supports each other in taking risks, using music as personal expression and self-exploration in the present moment, creating a lively, unique and exhilarating musical experience for listeners.

Don’t miss Amy’s extraordinary interactive musical instruction and support workshop “The World Needs Your VoiceI” at this year’s Higher Ground Fair in the Workshop Room from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. Sunday! (See more workshop details in the Higher Ground Fair Presenters schedule.)

 

REX Peoples & X Factr - Saturday, September 16 - 5:00 p.m.

Jacob Larson Band - Sunday, September 17 - 3:00 p.m.

Jacob Larson 2023.jpg

     After being thrilled by the performances of Jacob Larson and his band in the early Higher Ground Fair years, we collectively worried and conjured visions of hope as he struggled deeply with an intense battle against COVID-19. We couldn't be happier to be welcoming him and his band back to our Sunday headlining spot on our Concert Stage this year!
    The Jacob Larson Band is a 10 piece funk and soul ensemble combining powerhouse vocals, classic instrumentation and an old-school approach to music. Digging inspiration from the roots of soul religion, the band shares their own take on notable influences such as Tower of Power, Stevie Wonder, and Earth, Wind, and Fire. 

     Jacob, an experienced entertainer with a strong and soulful voice, leads the band with true dynamic flair and presence, delivering the goods with a performance that moves and excites concert-goers of all ages.
     In March of 2020, Jacob Larson was hospitalized for COVID-19. After a trying time in the ICU on and off of a ventilator, it was unclear whether Jacob's vocal cords would ever be the same. However, after months of rest and retraining, his voice came back to its full form and he was able to perform for the doctors that saved his life at UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital in August of 2021. Jacob’s bandmates, friends, and family “‘helped [him] see that light at the end of the tunnel… getting back to singing live was [his] absolute goal’” (UCHealth Today).
     The band has in fact been hard at work since Jacob's recovery. They've followed up their debut EP Aftershock with a full length album consisting of ten original songs. Totally Legal is proof that funk is still alive and thriving in 2023.

The 2023 Higher Ground Fair
Sunrise Stage Lineup!

Saturday, September 16, 2023

9:00 – 9:30 a.m - Jaxon Cox (Cellist)

I am a music performance major at the University of Wyoming studying with Dr. Beth Vanderborgh to become a professional cellist. I started in 2021 and plan to earn a bachelor's degree at the university and then a masters and doctorate in music. I play with the university’s Chamber orchestra and Symphony orchestra. During my free time I teach cello lessons and can be found arranging and recording music for my cello-focused YouTube channel called Big Awkward Guitar.

9:30 – 10:00 a.m – Thomas Saffel

Thomas Saffel grew up in Wyoming and started to obsess over music in his early teen years. He fell in love with Punk-Rock (a love that persists to this day) and later developed a deep appreciation of Jazz and R&B. As his tastes expanded, he sought out ways to celebrate all of the music he loved, resulting in an approach to songwriting that combines the chords and melodies of R&B with the energy and honesty of Punk music. Has he succeeded in melding these different sensibilities? The best way to answer that is to listen to his music, maybe attend a live show, and decide for yourself.
After 15 years of playing guitar and drums, Saffel has had the privilege of recording albums with Laramie, Wyoming rock bands “Harpoon, The Whale” and “Old Haunts.” He’s even had the honor of recording drums at the legendary Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado, where many of his favorite albums were recorded.

10:00 – 10:30 a.m – Madison Graulty

10:30 – 11:00 a.m – Hannah Twitchell

Hannah Lucille Twitchell is a Laramie-based novelist, poet and singer songwriter. She relocated from Cheyenne a little over two years ago to be closer to her younger brothers—both musicians and songwriters themselves—and fell in love with the town’s live music scene. And since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery mediocrity can pay to greatness, she seeks to flatter her musical friends and family members with meditative and melancholy lyric-oriented love songs.

11:00 – 11:30 a.m – Christian Wallowing Bull

Indigenous singer-songwriter, Christian Wallowing Bull resides in Wyoming, just outside the Wind River Reservation. With familial relations to the Wind River, as an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, his heart as a storyteller is to represent his own indigenous roots, and to bridge perspective and healing to the lives of those indigenous, as well as non-indigenous.  

He is a powerful voice in today's industry. Ever since the humble beginnings of his first album release, "Warrior" in (2020), he has been leaving his growing audience and following in complete awe. With a voice like thunder, he carries an ancestral power in all of his writings.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

9:00 AM – 9:30 a.m – Bella Pope

9:30 – 10:00 a.m – Caleb Bristol aka wAHb

wAHb is a Post-Americana project based in Laramie, Wyoming. Started by Caleb Bristol back in 2019, he wanted to explore a noise centered project using samples heard in everyday life. As the years went by, he changed his focus from noise, to combining harsh elements from noise music to folk and country.

10:00 – 10:30 a.m – Birgit Burke

Birgit Burke has been writing songs, singing, and playing various musical instruments most of her life. She has been performing in Laramie since the late 70’s at the old Ivinson Street Fair, the Buckhorn, UW, Centennial… and outside of Wyoming, from the West Coast to the Gulf Coast, New York to New Berlin. Her voice ranges from a broken alcoholic snarl to ethereal plea, while her songwriting, guitar, dulcimer and mandolin playing lift elements from 1920’s blues, old-time and Irish traditional fiddle tunes, Appalachian folk, and country western. She also publishes poetry, short stories and essays, and loves murder ballads.

10:30 – 11:00 a.m – Hillery Lynn

Hillery Lynn is a singer/songwriter and a Wyoming native. She has been strumming and humming singer her dreamy teenage years, both solo and alongside fellow musicians/bandmates. Her dog and cat are her biggest critics, but also her number one fans.

11:00 – 11:30 a.m – Prairie Smoke

A trio bringing us folk/Americana songs from the depths of the Wyoming Prairies

bottom of page