Harp Guitars at Winfield!

Joe Morgan

September 13, The Year of the Harp Guitar (2006):

For the past few years, the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas has kicked off with a Wednesday night, pre-festival concert for the folks who purchased full weekend tickets. This year, they asked Stephen Bennett it he could put together a harp guitar concert for the Wednesday night show and he was happy to do so. Stephen was the emcee for the evening and, in order, Dan LaVoie, Brian Henke, Tom Shinness, Andy McKee and Stephen played a few tunes for the crowd. In addition, Andy asked Dan out to play a duet with him and Stephen had Tom bring his cello out to accompany him on a few Beatles tunes. We were also treated to a look at a rare double-bodied Harmony harp guitar prototype. The owner, Dave Usher, said only three of the prototypes were ever made. The concert closed the same way the concerts at the gatherings close, with all of the players taking the stage to play "The Water is Wide".  The crowd responded with a standing ovation.

The concert was a big success. The attendance was excellent. I estimate the crowd in the 700-800 range (though it could easily have been more) and the guys received favorable comments throughout the weekend. Let's hope the Walnut Valley folks (and festival organizers everywhere) keep this in mind for future festivals.

Dan LaVoie

Brian Henke

Tom Shinness

Andy McKee

Host Stephen Bennett

Dan and Andy

Tom and Stephen

Dave Usher with his amazing Harmony

 Walnut Valley Festival

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