Hartwood Acres

August 16
4 – 10 p.m.

Rock out for a worthy cause at the inaugural MuSic for MS Roots Music Festival, setting up shop at scenic Hartwood Acres on Saturday, August 16th.

Pittsburgh’s newest music festival, which is expected to become an annual event, will feature performances by local and national bands, as well as special guest emcee, Michelle Michaels of Pittsburgh’s own 102.5 WDVE. Featured Pittsburgh-based acts Bill Deasy, The Weedrags, City Dwelling Nature Seekers and Maddie Arnold will join national bands The Town Pants and Humming House, all teaming up to raise awareness and support for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Western PA.

Nashville-based band Humming House draws from diverse musical influences, including Americana, classical composition, bluegrass, soul, traditional Irish music, pop sensibilities and lyrical narratives. The group’s debut record attracted attention from NPR, Nashville’s Lightning 100, American Songwriter Magazine and Daytrotter. Humming House recorded its second album with Grammy Award-winning producers Vance Powell (The White Stripes, Chris Thile, Buddy Guy) and Mitch Dane (Jars of Clay). Currently touring nationwide, the band has appeared at Bristol Rhythm and Roots, the Americana Music Festival, Cayamo Cruise, SXSW and Old Settlers Fest. Their music can also be heard on FX’s Justified and The CW’s Hart of Dixie.

Singer-songwriter and novelist Bill Deasy has toured nationally in support of 11 critically-acclaimed albums, including four with the Gathering Field, and seven as a solo artist. Deasy has also written for artists such Martina McBride and Billy Ray Cyrus, and has collaborated on songs with Howard Jones, the Clarks, Maia Sharp, Bijou Phillips, One Flew South, Kim Carnes and Odie Blackmon. Deasy’s recording of “Good Things are Happening,” which he co-wrote on a trip to Nashville, became the long-running theme song for ABC’s Good Morning America, and he is credited with the Emmy-Award Winning “Your Home” Campaign for Pittsburgh’s KDKA TV.

Canada’s The Town Pants are bringing their high energy blend of Celtic rock, folk-punk and roots rock to Hartwood all the way from Vancouver, BC. Garnering fans from NYC to Norway, the band has released five albums, and has performed for decades, headlining Roots and Celtic festivals and selling out rock venues. Their latest CD, Connections, is a collection of rowdy Irish kitchen party sing-alongs, performed live and recorded over two days during the spring of 2014.

Fans of all things Americana—from 1960s country rock pioneers The Band to 1990s No Depression bands The Jayhawks and current indie-country rockers Lambchop—won’t want to miss City Dwelling Nature Seekers. The Pittsburgh-based quartet has been busy breathing fresh air into the local music scene, with a sound that will have you pining for open spaces, lazy rivers and woodsy cabins. At the band’s songwriting helm is vocalist-guitarist Michael McCormick, who assembled the band with his Duquesne University mates in 2008, which also features Lee Hintenlang on mandolin and vocals, Matt Booth on bass, Chris Parker on drums and vocals, Dan Barrett on keyboard and Pete Freeman on pedal steel guitar. In 2012, the distinctive six-piece band released their latest 12-song album, The Winter Year.

Formed in 2010, The Weedrags are an impassioned string band featuring Gary Antol on guitar and vocals, and Libby Eddy on fiddle and vocals. Inspired by their Southwestern Pennsylvania roots, The Weedrags combine bluegrass, Appalachian, honky tonk and country influences—taking inspiration from legends such as Ricky Skaggs, Hank Williams and John Prine—to create an original sound that evokes everyday life and work in small towns.

Also on the bill is emerging singer-songwriter Maddie Arnold, a Hampton native and a recent graduate of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

All proceeds from the festival will benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Western Pennsylvania, which works to provide support for some 7,500 families in the region affected by MS.

View a complete festival schedule. Purchase tickets.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...