Downhill Strugglers coming to Champaign

Downhill Strugglers coming to Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign-Urbana Folk & Roots Festival will present the New York-based Downhill Strugglers on Friday evening at Techline Studio, 307 S. Locust St., C.

The show will open at 7 p.m. with local string band Flatville Ditch, which plays tunes unique to Illinois. The suggested cover fee is $12.

The Strugglers, based in Brooklyn, were formerly known as the Dust Busters; they performed in Urbana two years ago in a show with the Foghorn Stringband.

The Strugglers have released an album on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and are extending the legacy of the New Lost City Ramblers by presenting old-time music to a new generation. They integrate into their performances old-time songs, ballads, fiddle tunes and banjo breakdowns.

"By carrying the music of the old rural America forward with verve and creativity, the band makes it thoroughly contemporary and challenges audiences to accept the old as new," reads a release from the festival.

The Strugglers play with John Cohen, a founding member of the Ramblers. In 2010, they released with Cohen the album "Prohibition is a Failure."

"They have found resonance with the intensity of rural music, while delighting in the nuances that preserve the individual uniqueness of the genre," Cohen said of the Strugglers. "This is music that will keep your mind dancing."

Friday's concert at Techline is an opportunity for Champaign-Urbana folks to hear some of the music that inspired the folk revival of the late 1950s and the '60s, according to Ed Hawkes of the C-U Folk & Roots Fesitval.

The CU Folk and Roots Festival will take place Nov. 1-2 in downtown Urbana. For more information, visit

Topics (1):Music