Letting the dogs out

Music worth seeing at the Dogwood Festival

It could be that some folks actually go to the Dogwood Festival to see the dogwoods — or for the Disc Dog U.S. Southern Nationals, or to climb the 24-foot rock wall, or for the “festival food.” But most of us go to mingle with like-minded city residents in the friendly environs of Piedmont Park, and to hear the music. This year’s 65th annual fest brings together a crowd-pleasing assortment of local, national and even international sounds for your (mostly) outdoor listening pleasure. While it tends toward roots and rock at the expense of a truly diverse bill, there’s a lot to keep your ears busy as you’re downing your third funnel cake. Here’s a sampling:

Daniel Barnes — A cute 6-year-old prodigy fiddler who has already played with the devil himself — Charlie Daniels. Sat., 4:30 p.m., Children’s Stage

The Border Collies — Traditional Celtic acoustic quintet from Atlanta spins the usual assortment of high-steppin’ jigs and reels with finesse, class, style and a refreshingly self-deprecating wit. Sat., 4 p.m., Family/Cultural Stage

Col. Bruce Hampton and the Code Talkers — Elder statesman and unofficial grand poobah of the Atlanta jam scene closes out the weekend with his typically quirky mix of blues, jazz and boogie. Look for special guests and lots of jamming. Sun., 6 p.m., Main Stage

Count M’Butu — Local percussion legend and longtime Col. Bruce Hampton sideman M’Butu is set to release his debut CD on Terminus Records, and it’s brimming with Latin and tropical sounds, and lots of congas. Joyful, funky, playful and jazzy — perfect sounds for a sunshiny day. Sun., 12 p.m. (drum troupe) and 2 p.m. (orchestra), Family/Cultural Stage

Cowboy Envy — This old-timey all-female country & western trio are fixtures of Atlanta’s festival season, but their charming harmonies are always a pleasure to behold. Sat., 1 p.m., Acoustic Stage

Dr. Dan — Watch the sparks fly from ex-Col. Bruce Hampton sidekick Dan Matrazzo’s hands as he kicks into infectiously funky Crusaders-style ’70s jazz-rock with his tight band and enough talent to put him in a class with keyboard whizzes of the Corea-Hancock strata. Sun., 3 p.m., Main Stage

Freak The Jones — An established funk-rock trio (with an emphasis on the latter), offering complex, often spacey arrangements and fine playing. Sat., 3 p.m., Main Stage’’

Geoff Achison and the Soul Diggers — All the way from Australia, this swampy bluesman’s gruff vocals sound disarmingly like Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes, and he sure can dig into those meaty guitar shuffles. Certain to be a crowd pleaser. Sat., 5 p.m., Main Stage

Georgia Satellites — The Dan Baird-less Atlanta bad boys still churn out the same rugged brand of Stonesy roots rock with attitude and sloppy precision. There aren’t many new tunes, but the old ones still sound great, and the band plays ‘em like they have something to prove. Good, loose fun. Sat., 11 p.m., Park Tavern

Groovelily — Check out the Flying V violin that allows comely frontwoman Valerie Vigoda to sing as she saws at the six-stringed instrument. Her group churns out peppy world-beat pop-rock of the Dave Matthews/Sarah McLachlan variety, creating an impressive amount of sound for a trio without a guitar. Sat., 6 p.m., Acoustic Stage

Kodac Harrison — The Blue Plate Special man works poetry and spoken word in with his folk-soul to produce music of rare intelligence and passion. An unforgettable performer and a local hero of sorts, Harrison’s husky voice and bear-like presence can captivate even in the midst of the crowds. His band is joined Saturday by Kathy Carlille and Sunday by Queenie Mullinix. Sat., 12:50 p.m., Acoustic Stage (spoken word); Sat., 7 p.m., Acoustic Stage (music); Sun., 6 p.m., Acoustic Stage (music)

Jennifer Nettles Band — She’s the little local lady with the monstrous voice and dramatic stage presence that could stop the art-show meanderers in their tracks. The ex-Soul Miners Daughter singer Nettles has been an established headliner for years and is tapped for next-big-thingdom. It won’t take long to figure out why. Sat., 1 p.m., Main Stage

Joyce & Jacque — Atlanta-based soul-stirring folk duo with lots of Joan Armatrading/Indigo Girls influence and beautiful harmonies. Sun., 11 a.m., Acoustic Stage

Kevn Kinney — By now, you either love him or hate him. He’s a scraggly fixture on the Atlanta scene — with or without drivin n cryin-- and has written a handful of truly great songs. Sun., 2 p.m., Acoustic Stage

Peter Lawson — A one-man music festival, this Cali-based singer/songwriter switches effortlessly from folk to blues, Caribbean, swing, jazz and ’30s/’40s-styled standards. He may be too eclectic for his own good, but he makes it all flow and you’re bound to hear something you’ll like. Sat., 11 a.m., Acoustic Stage

Modern Hero — Ex-Shock Lobo frontman Jeffrey Butts’ three piece pumps out earnest soul-rock with requisite drama and a refreshing lack of pretense. Good songs, good singing, good energy. Sat., 6 p.m., Main Stage

Jim Page — This Seattle singer/songwriter has toured internationally and probably has a few well-worn comebacks for those smart-alecks shouting out “Stairway!” during his folksy tunes, so don’t bother. Just enjoy the low-key craftsmanship, delightful strumming and complex, flowing melodies. Sun., 3 p.m., Acoustic Stage

Sea Island Singers — A terrific family act, this a cappella group brings with it the fascinating and beautiful Gullah music from the Georgia coast. Sun., 4 p.m., Cultural Stage

Seed & Feed Marching Abominables — With a membership that stretches over a hundred strong, it’s unlikely this eccentric marching band of trained and semi-trained musical lunatics could fit on the stage even if they wanted to. But as it is, they’re a parade band, so that’s what they’re gonna do. Sat., 5 p.m., Cultural Stage

Stereo Popsicle — Far more substantial than their fluffy name would indicate, this is biting rock with a message, led by Trina Meade’s muscular vocals. Sat., 7 p.m., Main Stage

Sloan Wainwright — Loudon’s younger sister has a remarkable Laura Nyro-style voice and mixes jazz into her piano-driven material with often stirring results. Sat., 5 p.m., Acoustic Stage

Bill Wharton — The only known musician who whips up a fresh batch of gumbo while he’s thrashing out sizzling blues is far more talented than this longtime schtick (which nabs him tons of press) would indicate. His grin-worthy tunes and guitar solos are as tasty as his cooking. And you might leave with a few bottles of the signature hot sauce he hawks. Sun., 2 p.m., Main Stage??