Third Annual Cabin Fever Festival

Elliot Nicolson

Updated Thu, Mar 15, 2012 10:10 pm

Stuart’s Opera House will host the Third Annual Cabin Fever Festival on Saturday, Jan. 21, featuring six musical acts and a music swap meet.

In previous years, the fest hosted such bands as the renowned Chicago-based indie quartet Maps and Atlases. This year, Stuart’s has chosen music that's a little closer to home.

"We're really excited that this year's Cabin Fever Festival is all-Ohio," said Brian Koscho, marketing and promotions director for Stuart's Opera House. "It's a chance to see some of the amazing talent right here in our own state, and you get to see six bands at Stuart's, which is pretty unique."

Local legend J.D. Hutchison kicks off the evening at 6 p.m. in the lobby. Sometimes referred to as "the last of the iron-ass folk singers," his unique blend of folk, country, blues and wry humor has entertained club and festival audiences throughout the U.S. for decades. Hutchison's songs have been recorded by artists such as K.T. Oslin, Robert Earl Keen and Tim O'Brien.

The Yellow Springs-based folk-rock group Sport Fishing USA follows Hutchison at 7 p.m. Featuring retro-style organs, jangly guitars and all-together-now choruses, the band has steadily built a following in the Athens area.

Columbus-based singer/songwriter Lydia Loveless follows at 8 p.m. with her twangy, country-punk sound. Check out Mark Hellenberg's review of Loveless' latest release, Indestructible, for a detailed description of her energetic, sometimes-bawdy songs.

Cincinnati trio The Sundresses take the stage at 9 p.m. The band's unique sound is best described by the members themselves, at "If there were a punk band in the Swing era of American music, the Sundresses would be that band."

Speaking of unique bands, the Columbus-based garage/soul group Nick Tolford and Company will make its Stuart's Opera House debut at 10 p.m. Imagine if Little Richard, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and the early Black Keys got together to make a record. In addition to stealing the spotlight at last year's Nelsonville Music Festival, the band has shared the stage with soul legend Booker T. Jones.

Cincinnati's Buffalo Killers take the stage 11 p.m., and it’s sure to be a powerful finale. The band's sound is based in vocal harmonies and straightforward guitar riffs, bringing to mind classic rock and roll bands such as The Rolling Stones and The James Gang. Since forming in 2006, The Buffalo Killers have been steadily growing in fame. They opened a string of dates for The Black Crows in 2007, and recruited Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys to produce their second record, Let It Ride. However, they’re best known for their live performances, showcasing their raw power-trio sound.

In addition to the musical acts, Stuart's is hosting a music swap meet in the lobby at 1 p.m. According to Koscho, the event migrated north from Athens.

"Aquabear Legion started doing a music swap meet in at ARTS/West about three or four years back," he said. "We started doing them at Stuart's Opera House to expand a bit, and eventually it just made sense to have the swap meet be another aspect of the Cabin Fever Festival. There will be records, tapes, CDs, 45's and musical instruments, along with Stuart's and Aquabear merchandise."

Admission is $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Visit for information or phone (740) 753-1924.

Nick Tolford and Company
The Sundresses
Lydia Loveless
Sport Fishing USA
J.D. Hutchison
Buffalo Killers