Folk Festival 2023 - Rancho La Puerta

Rancho La Puerta Folk Festival

June 17-24, 2023

Embrace the power of music in an unforgettable week featuring top folk artists from across the nation at The Ranch for our inaugural Rancho La Puerta Folk Fest!  This week is curated for you to experience the healing power of music through daily concerts, artist talks and workshops, live recording sessions, and random acts of music. The serenity of The Ranch provides a perfect stage for some of today’s top folk touring artists to fully transform you.  Join us and delight in a retreat for all the senses.

Featured Musicians: Mary Gauthier, Chris Pierce, Kyshona, Steve Poltz, Phoebe Hunt, Jaimee Harris, Alex Wong,
& Amber Rubarth
(RLP Folk Festival Co-producer, Co-Host and Artist)
+ Matt Andrews(Grammy-winning recording engineer),
+ Carissa Stolting (Co-Producer, Co-Host and Commentator)

Listen to the artists!

Mary Gauthier

“Writing helps me sort out confusion, untangle powerful emotions, and ward off desperation. It helps me navigate the powerful emotional weather systems of life.”
– Mary Gauthier, Saved by a Song: The Art and Healing Power of Songwriting

As she has so eloquently accomplished over the past 25 years, acclaimed singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier has used her art once again to traverse the uncharted waters of the past few years. “I’m the kind of songwriter who writes what I see in the world right now,” she affirms. Thankfully, amid dark storms of pandemic loss, she found and followed the beacon of new love: Her gift to us, the powerful Dark Enough to See the Stars, collects ten sparkling jewels of Gauthier songcraft reflecting both love and loss.

Her eleventh album, Dark Enough to See the Stars, follows the profound antidote to trauma, Rifles & Rosary Beads, her 2018 collaborative work with wounded Iraq war veterans. It garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album, as well as a nomination for Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association. Publication of her first book, the illuminating Saved by a Song: The Art and Healing Power ofSongwriting, in 2021, brought her more praise. Brandi Carlile has said, “Mary’s songwriting speaks to the tender aspects of our humanness. We need her voice in times like these more than we ever have.” The Associated Presscalled Gauthier “one of the best songwriters of her generation.”

Chris Pierce

Chris Pierce gained national prominence with “We Can Always Come Back To This”. His hit co-write aired on 3 episodes of the #1 NBC primetime series ‘THIS IS US’, then went on to peak at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart, and #12 on iTunes Top 100. Pierce has done worldwide headlining tours and has performed on stage with: B.B. King, Seal, Al Green, Rodrigo y Gabriella, Cold War Kids, Colbie Caillat, Keb’Mo’, Blind Boys of Alabama, Aaron Neville and others. 2022 highlights include a solo/acoustic concert at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a duet with Sara Bareilles, a commercial with Miley Cyrus & Dolly Parton and a performance / interview segment on NPR’s WORLD CAFE which aired on 200+ AAA / NonComm stations in February. Pierce also recently performed at NPR’s Mountain Stage which broadcast on 300 NPR Stations. His 2021 album, ‘AMERICAN SILENCE’ has garnered massive critical acclaim from NPR, SiriusXM, The Bluegrass Situation, NoDepression, Rolling Stone, AmericanaUK and more, and Pierce is slated to release a new full band studio album in 2022.

Amber Rubarth

In her unassuming yet beguiling way, Amber Rubarth draws you into a world where wonder and high-minded concepts weave into a poetic tapestry, a world where space and time come screeching to a halt with “songs so strong they sound like classics from another era” (Acoustic Guitar).  She has toured extensively from South Africa to Japan and throughout Europe and North America, including appearances at Carnegie Hall and Glastonbury, and has shared stages with Emmylou Harris, Richie Havens, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Kenny Loggins and Jason Mraz.  Grand Prize Winner of NPR Mountain Stage contest, songwriting has always been at the heart of how Rubarth navigates the world, both inner and outer. 

In 2019, she made her acting debut starring in the feature film “American Folk” (now on Amazon) which won various festivals followed by a theater release, with a soundtrack featuring John Prine, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman.  Rubarth also enjoys scoring and composing for films, including Sundance Festival winner ‘Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work’ (with Paul Brill) and the award-winning documentary ‘Desert Runners.’ She recently co-produced a double album featuring 24 artists for the documentary ‘Fantastic Fungi,’ called ‘Reimagine.’
(RLP Folk Festival Co-producer, Co-Host and Artist)


Kyshona has always lent her voice and music to those that feel they have been silenced or forgotten. She began her career as a music therapist, writing her first songs with her patients — the students and inmates under her care. She soon found the need to write independently and find her own voice, and endeavor which led her to the fertile ground of the Nashville creative community and songwriting culture.

Since then, she has learned how to balance her music career with her passion to heal and foster community through her non-profit organization Your Song.

Her song Listen became an anthem for many in 2020.  Of her album, one fan reviewer wrote: “Amidst these hard, divisive times this set of songs is a salve for the grief many of us are feeling about resulting loss of family, friends, and community.”  Within the grooves of its 10 tracks, Kyshona blends roots, rock, R&B, and folk with lyrical prowess to uplift the marginalized and bring awareness to the masses. It’s for every silent scream, every heavy load, fearful thought, and a simmering sense of anger that the repressed, the lost, and the forgotten try to hide from the world.

Phoebe Hunt

In her 2017 release, Shanti’s Shadow, Phoebe Hunt intimately revealed her inner journey through meditation and musical exploration and “reignited her solo career” according to Rolling Stone, hinting at “otherworldly music within.”  Along with her band, The Gatherers, Hunt has found the musical wings upon which to soar within her unique world of artistic expression. From American Songwriter to NPR’s Heavy Rotation, her music is reaching an audience that listens beyond the status quo. Her upcoming release, Neither One of Us Is Wrong, has deep story lines focused on the outer journey of our society and the times in which we live. Connected by the thin thread of reconciliation, Hunt offers a discourse that must be facilitated delicately through the lens of the artist’s perspective. “With so much division in our society, even inner familiarly, people can feel lost, like they don’t even know how to begin the conversation… so they stop talking.” Neither One of Us Was Wrong explores the myriad of emotions that encompass that disconnection.

Steve Poltz

Some people start life with a plan. Not Steve. He opens himself up to the universe in a way most of us will never be loose enough to achieve, and the universe responds with a wink, a seemingly bottomless well of inspiration, and the talent to truly connect with an audience. While 2021 could have found him adrift, faced with a tour moratorium the likes of which he hadn’t experienced in decades, it opened a door — literally, his friend Oliver Wood of The Wood Brother’s door  — to creating an exuberant, thoughtful batch of songs that celebrate life in all of its stages.  The resulting album is called Stardust & Satellites. With a cult following that includes fellow musicians, regular folks and festival goers who stumble onto his performances, there’s no common denominator to Steve’s fans.

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and raised in San Diego, CA Steve toured and recorded with San Diego cult favorites The Rugburns (they still play annual sold-out reunion shows). But it was through his creative partnership with Jewel that he vaulted into the national spotlight; co-writing her multiplatinum Billboard Hot 100-busting smash, “You Were Meant For Me,” and continues to work with her to this day. Over the years, the Nashville-based troubadour has built a fascinating solo catalog. The Associated Press dubbed him “part busker, part Iggy Pop and part Robin Williams, a freewheeling folkie with a quick wit and big heart.”

Jaimee Harris

On the heels of her debut album Red Rescue, hailed by many as one of the top Americana albums of 2018, Jaimee Harris does not disappoint with the release of The Congress House Sessions, a thoughtful, intimate EP with stripped-down recordings of some of her most requested songs. These new recordings, recorded at the storied Congress House Studio by Mark Hallman (Carole King, Ani DiFranco, Eliza Gilkyson) and Andre Moran (Sarah Borges, Rickie Lee Jones), feature some of Austin’s favorite players, including Jane Ellen Bryant and Kris Nelson on backing vocals, Ray Bonneville on harmonica, Brian Patterson on electric guitar, and Sammy Powell on piano. Don’t let the healthy list of players mislead you; this is no large, speaker-rattling production. Longtime friends add color and texture, but what you’ll hear is Harris and her guitar, delivering her songs in a setting closer both to what they were at their inception, alone in her room with a guitar, and how they have developed after a few years acclimating to performing without a band.

Jaimee Harris loves fronting a band, and it shows. During the years she built a devoted critical and popular following in Austin, Texas, she fronted a slate of seasoned musicians with admirable swagger. When she alighted upon the scene, this jaded music city, replete with (and weary of) singer-songwriters, woke up and took notice. Here, finally, was a new voice—yes, her singing voice is noteworthy: rich, sonorous, full, delivering a uniquely stylized, throaty tone—but equally important, here was the new voice of a noteworthy writer and performer. When you watch her sing, she’ll break your heart, cradle your heart, win your heart, then break it all over again.


Alex Wong

Alex Wong is a Latin GRAMMY-nominated artist and producer known for his work with Delta Rae, Vienna Teng, Melissa Ferrick and Ari Hest, among others. He creates music to help people remember who they are and show themselves to the world, and has been featured in movies The Last Song and The Lincoln Lawyer, TV shows True Blood, Ray Donovan, and One Tree Hill, and commercials for Google and Aquafina.  Alex has toured all over the world, performing at festivals like Coachella, Outside Lands, and Corona Capital, in arenas in Mexico City, theaters in Europe and Japan, and on NPR’s Mountain Stage.  During the lockdown, Alex curated and performed two virtual benefit tours featuring AAPI artists MILCK, Ruby Ibarra, Vienna Teng, Amulets, and Tom Prasada-Rao as well as Ben Sollee, Ruthie Collins, Garrison Starr, and others. The tours raised $10,000 to help organizations fighting anti-Asian hate via

Matthew P. Andrews

Nashville-based Matthew P. Andrews is a highly sought after GRAMMY award-winning engineer and producer who has been an integral part to many of the world’s greatest folk records.  For years he has collaborated with legendary artists including Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings (winning Best Folk Album at last year’s GRAMMY’S), as well as T Bone Burnett on the award-winning “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack.

(RLP Folk Festival guest Recording Engineer)

Carissa Stolting

Carissa Stolting is an artist & event manager and the founder of Left Bank Artists, a music management company supporting the careers of several internationally-celebrated musicians. She is also the co-founder of Unmanageable Arts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission of supporting large-scale creative works that are rooted in anti-racist, feminist ideology, and that connect across culture and community. She was the Managing Director of the beloved Big Ears Festival (2018 & 2019), and began her work in music supporting live concerts and festivals at AC Entertainment. She currently lives in Nashville, TN.  //

(RLP Folk Festival Co-producer, Co-Host and Commentator)

The Week

The highlights of the Folk Festival are performances that combine “Americana” artistry with relaxed discourse. Whether held at La Cocina Que Canta, Oaktree, Bazar del Sol or the Dining Hall, you will leave feeling invigorated, inspired and possibly transformed. In addition to scheduled events below, festival musicians are dedicated to enhancing the serenity of the Ranch in their own delightful ways with unannounced “random acts of music” woven into the week’s programming.

  • Sunday, 8 PM: “Opening Night” Festival Concert Kick-Off @ Oak Tree Pavilion
  • Monday, 2 PM: Artist Talk: Healing Power of Music @ Library Lounge
  • Monday, 8 PM: “Nashville-style Songwriters In the Round” Concert @ Oak Tree Pavilion
  • Tuesday 4 PM: Live Audience Recording Session @ Oak Tree Pavilion
  • Wednesday 2 PM: Folk Music Interactive Workshop @ Library Lounge
  • Wednesday 4 PM: Live Audience Recording Session @ Oak Tree Pavilion
  • Wednesday 8 PM: Showcase Concert @ Oak Tree Pavilion
  • Thursday, 5 PM: Showcase Concert @ Bazar Del Sol
  • Friday, 2 PM: Artist Workshop @ Library Lounge
  • Friday, 5 PM: Family Jam Final Concert @ Oak Tree Pavilion

Schedule activities and times are subject to change.  

Musicical Talks

Every artist featured at the festival is also actively engaged in many wonderful things in the world.  Join us for special artist talks on the healing power of music, interactive workshops around the elements of folk, and have a chance to interact with artists for a special Q&A.

Live Audience Recording Sessions

La la la la la!  Warm up those vocal chords and join us for two live audience recording sessions throughout the week  with Grammy-award winning engineer Matt Andrews in the Oak Tree Pavilion!  In addition to getting a (quiet!) peak behind the scenes as artists record a song, you will also be invited to lend your voice on the chorus or call and response of an old folk tune!

Summer Evening Concerts

  • Sunday, 8 PM: Opening Night Festival Concert kick off @ Oak Tree Pavilion
  • Monday, 8 PM: Nashville-style Songwriters-In-The-Round Concert @ Oak Tree Pavilion
  • Wednesday 8 PM: Showcase Concert @ Oak Tree Pavilion
  • Thursday, 5 PM: Showcase Concert @ Bazar Del Sol
  • Friday, 5 PM: Family Jam Finale @ Oak Tree Pavilion

Random Acts Of Music

This week, it’s likely that you will be disarmed by the beauty of music when you least expect it, perhaps on a hike, during yoga, or at the labyrinth.  Festival musicians are dedicated to enhancing the serenity of the Ranch in their own delightful ways.

Spend a week at Rancho La Puerta, one of the world’s top destination wellness resorts, set on thousands of acres of wildlands and landscaped gardens. Customize an ideal routine to energize your body, calm your mind and lift your spirits. In addition to extraordinary musical experiences throughout your week, we offer:

  • Guided hikes on 40-miles of mountain trails each morning.
  • More than 50 daily fitness classes, including Pilates, Pickleball, Barre, TRX, Hydro-Fit, yoga, and Zumba.
  • Three farm-to-table meals, sourced from our organic garden and other local farms.
  • Eleven gyms, four pools, a running track, as well as tennis, Pickleball, basketball and volleyball courts.
  • Three full-service spas offering massage, facials, wraps, scrubs and other holistic therapies.
  • Art classes, including painting and sculpting.
  • Presentations on music-making, nutrition and brain health.
  • Mind-body classes such as mindfulness, meditation, Feldenkrais and sound healing.
  • Live evening concerts and entertainment with world-class performers.



To find out more or make a reservation during Folk Music Festival Week please fill out the form below.


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