Montani Semper Liberi returns to Oak Glen complex

Peaceful Riot

NEW CUMBERLAND — Montani Semper Liberi — Music & Art at Oak Glen, a three-day celebration of music, the arts and our cultural heritage, will return to The Oak Glen complex for the fifth consecutive year, March 22-24.

Once again, the event will feature a roster of nationally and internationally renowned bluegrass, blues, jazz, folk, Celtic and Americana touring artists, as well as a wide array of local and regional performing artists.

There will be 19 Little Theatre/Main Stage performances spread out over four sessions during the three days. In keeping with the family-friendly intentions of the festival, all students (age 18 and under) will receive free admission to all Main Stage performances. Those age 12 and under, however, must be accompanied by an adult.

In addition to the Little Theatre offerings, the expansive Commons Area will be set up to showcase the talents of area crafters, vendors, authors and artisans. Plus, a Hall Visual Arts Gallery will be displaying the works of outstanding regional visual artists and photographers. There will also be an alternate stage, The Porch, with a complete roster of entertainment for all ages to enjoy.

Admission to all Commons Area, Hall Gallery and Porch activities, events and displays will be free to all ages throughout the weekend.

Touring headliners among this year’s Main Stage concert performers include:

The Tim O’Brien Band — On tour to promote his latest album release, his new five piece acoustic lineup is “classic bluegrass, but these folks play in any style you want, so we can reach pretty deep in my song bag when called for.” A native of Wheeling, WV, and multiple Grammy winner, Tim O’Brien has walked many musical paths in his career — from singer songwriter and honky-tonk crooner to Celtic troubadour and old time cultivator.

Steve Forbert — Forty plus years since the release of his critically acclaimed debut album, “Alive on Arrival,” followed by the hit single, “Romeo’s Tune” and being hailed as “the next Dylan,” Forbert recently released both a deeply personal memoir, “Big City Cat: My Life In Folk Rock,” and an 18th studio album, “The Magic Tree,” to further secure his niche as a true American folk legend.

May Erlewine Trio — She’s been called “Michigan’s Songbird,” but her songs have traveled far beyond her home state. One of the most prolific and passionate songwriters of her generation, May Erlewine’s music has touched the hearts of people all over the world. As a member of the Sweet Water Warblers, she performed at Music & Art at Oak Glen III.

Mean Mary with Frank James — Mary James and brother Frank have acquired a large international following largely due to their virtuosic abilities, notably banjo (Mary) and 12-string guitar (Frank). Mary has mastered eleven different musical instruments, is a talented vocalist and songwriter and also an accomplished novelist.

Bill Toms and Hard Rain, featuring the Soulville Horns — Toms launched his musical career in 1987 as lead guitarist of Pittsburgh’s legendary band, Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers. He’s been described as “a poet, a soul-shouter and guitar slinger with one foot in the gutter and an eye on the heavens above.”

The Rad Trads — This Brooklyn-based five piece band’s singular take on rock and roll mixes punk rock energy, horn drenched soul, and jazz precision, all with a lighthearted but sincere delivery. In ten tours of Europe, The Rad Trads have performed on four continents and in fifteen countries.

Cave Twins (David Mayfield and Abby Rose) — Mayfield, a Grammy and Emmy nominated artist, is returning as a fan favorite for this third Oak Glen festival appearance. He’ll be joined by Abby Rose, formerly of The Speedbumps, to offer up “a nice mix of short, cute little songs and shorter, cuter, littler songs.”

Lipbone Redding — Lipbone enjoys a lifestyle of solo travel, far and wide, 200 plus shows per year. An uncanny vocal range, a nylon string guitar, a wooden spoon duct-taped to his foot and a lifetime of stories is all he needs. He’s also an amazing trombone player, (more amazingly) without a trombone.

Nick and Luke — This duo has a musical kinship unlike any other. They’ve put their individual pursuits on hold to travel the country from top to bottom, where their love of traditional music and their unique ability to combine Americana-rooted original music, jazz standards and bluegrass/old-time liturgy to create a playful blend is always on display.

Buffalo Rose — Formed in Pittsburgh in 2016, the six member group blends folk, soul and bluegrass into something amorphously Americana, but decidedly their own … “soulgrass.”

Across the Pond — With a repertoire ranging from hauntingly slow airs and songs to high-energy jigs and reels, Across the Pond has been named as one of the “Top 20 Celtic Folk Bands in the World.” They will be accompanied by world-class step dancer, Emily Warren.

Fred Ludovici and Steve Poole — They have long been recognized, throughout their solo and collective careers, as two of our local area’s most respected musical artists. Both will play a role in the upcoming P.B.S. documentary, “Legends of Rock.” They’ve performed with, and/or in support of, such notables as Kansas, The Outlaws, the Charlie Daniels Band, and others.

Gypsy Cowboys — With a new age take on ol’time stringband, country blues, rock and Celtic music, the Gypsy Cowboys (all hail from the Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania borders) represent an energetic, eclectic take on Americana music…“Thrashin’ Appalachian Americana.”

Other bands/artists to be featured on the Little Theatre Main Stage include: the WVU Bluegrass Band, under the direction of Travis D. Stimeling; the Wheeling Park High School Bluegrass Band, under the direction of Robert Turbanic; the John Marshall High School Steel Band, under the direction of Tracey Filben, an Oak Glen High School graduate; the Warwood Middle School Strings, under the direction of Katherine O’Connell; Peaceful Riot, an emerging young band from NE Ohio, all students at Beaver Local High School; Sam Stucky, a young Pittsburgh-based indie artist; Doug Smith, to perform a solo rendition of Thirsty Boots; plus a roster students from area schools.

Adult passes, both single session and full event, are available online at They can also be purchased by mailing a check payable to: M.S.L. — Music & Art / 39 Golden Bear Drive, New Cumberland, WV 26047. A stamped, self-addressed envelope must be included. Passes are ($20) for single sessions and $60 for the full event (all four sessions).

For information, call 304-374-7474 or message

Montani Semper Liberi — Music & Art at Oak Glen is a collaborative, nonprofit event for all to share and enjoy, sustained only through charitable support from within our tri-state community.