A trend-setting singer and songwriter is among the performers scheduled for the sixth annual Northern Appalachian Folk Festival over the weekend after Labor Day in downtown Indiana.
“I have so many styles and I write all the songs myself,” said Sophie B. Hawkins, who won a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 1992 with her “Tongues and Tails” debut album. “You can’t easily pigeonhole me.”
That album included her biggest hit, “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover,” which reached the No. 5 slot on the Billboard Hot 100. She’s had five albums since then and is releasing a seventh.
“Whaler,” her second album in 1995, produced an American Society of Composers, Artists and Performers award for longest-running single, “As I Lay Me Down,” which reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Hawkins, 53, a New York native, can play a variety of instruments — including one that triggered a controversy with her then-label Sony.
“I was one of the first people to put a banjo on a pop song,” Hawkins recalled. “It caused a huge fight in the industry and I didn’t back down.”
That song wound up on her 1999 album “Timbre.” Her more recent works have been on the Trumpet Swan label.
Her activism has come to the fore on many occasions, over issues ranging from animal rights to clean water, and from child abuse to various political causes.
“I am always fighting for the artist, and for the environment, and for the children,” Hawkins said. “It is all in my songs. I sacrifice success for the creativity of individuals and the life of the underdog.”
“The children” include two of her own: Dashiell, born in 2008, and Esther, born in 2015.
Her trip to Indiana will cap her summer on the road, which opened early this month with concerts in Framingham, Mass., and Ogunquit, Maine.
As she posted on Facebook, Hawkins is “looking forward to sharing my new material with everyone and of course all the favorites also.”
Others scheduled for the Northern Appalachian Folk Festival include the New York-based rock band Wheatus, whose 2000 single “Teenage Dirtbag” has turned up on numerous film and television soundtracks, with covers by such acts such as One Direction, Weezer and Dashboard Confessional.
Also, there’s Lucy Kaplansky, who has been accompanied over the years by such performers as Suzanne Vega, The Roches, Steve Forbert, John Gorka and Shawn Colvin, as well as a “locally made” lineup of Dan Stonerook, Dead Lazarus, Post Traumatik and The Shivers, and such acts as The Cropdusters, Left Lane Cruiser, Hamell On Trial and The Urban Pioneers.
There also is a place for the spoken word, a “Storytellers and Liars Contest,” putting in front of three expert judges anyone willing to make a five-minute presentation that focus on humor, the dramatic, or the supernatural. They can be based upon local and regional legends, folklore, historical events, or personal experiences.
More details can be found at www.northernappfolkfest.orgor by calling (724) 463-6110.