Middle Fork River Expeditions
Middle Fork River Expeditions

Salmon River Music Adventures

In 2015 we began offering Salmon River music adventures by inviting  professional musicians to  perform during the rafting trip.  The result has been amazing.  The guests, musicians and MFRE guides all agree that these trips are the best, as there is a way music can connect the group to nature and the canyon itself, not to mention the “tribe” that is formed through music.

Video: Middle Fork Salmon music adventure –  Aug 2017, featuring Johnsmith

2024 Salmon River Guest Musician Lineup

  • Johnsmith: Middle Fork Salmon (July 31-Aug 5)
  • Moors and McCumber: Middle Fork Salmon (Aug 8-13) 2025
  • Keith Greeninger: Middle Fork Salmon (Aug 24-29)
  • Joe Craven and Matt Hartle: Main Salmon (Aug 30-Sept 4)
  • Darrell Scott: Middle Fork Salmon (Sept 10-15)

John Smith – Middle Fork July 31- Aug 5, 2024

Johnsmith is one of those artists so often under-recognized – he possesses a genius that cannot be denied, ignored, or overlooked. For the past thirty-plus years, Johnsmith has been sharing his music all across America and abroad. He has become a favorite at festivals, clubs, and house concerts alike. In addition to being a Kerrville New Folk Winner, Johnsmith has released eight solo CDs to rave reviews, leads musical tours to Ireland, teaches songwriting, and has served as a staff songwriter in Nashville.

With his faded jeans, his twinkly blue eyes, and his infectious smile, John immediately connects with audiences. You get the sense of a man who loves his life, his family and friends, and who loves nothing more than sharing that love in song and stories all across this land.


Moors and McCumber Middle Fork Aug 8-13, 2025

Moors and McCumber

James Moors and Kort McCumber grew up in different places and listening to different kinds of music – classical, rock, bluegrass, you name it. But when they met ten years ago they knew they’d found something golden. Since then, they’ve been cultivating their wide-ranging musical influences in songs that delve into love and life through haunting lyrics, soaring harmonies, and dazzling instrumental proficiency. As Grammy award-winning producer Lloyd Maines puts it, “These guys should be playing every major festival in the country. They bring it all to the stage and deliver it in a big way.”

Keith Greeninger Middle Fork Aug 24-29, 2024

A fourth generation Northern Californian, Keith grew up at the edge of a rich agricultural region, fondly known as the ‘Valley of Hearts Delight.’ The Santa Clara Valley was quilted with fruit tree orchards and vast open fields – perfect inspiration for a budding vagabond singer-songwriter.

As a singer-songwriter, Keith paints intricate portraits of the human condition with powerful melodic images, deep engaging guitar rhythms and husky, heart-wrenching vocals. His masterfully crafted tunes and powerful presence have earned him the top songwriting awards at the prestigious Telluride Blue Grass Festival, The Kerrville Folk Festival and The Napa Valley Folk Festival. Keith has toured the national Folk and Americana circuit extensively for over two decades. He’s performed at festivals and legendary venues, appeared on countless national radio shows, and shared stages with dozens of the country’s best-known artists. Keith’s records and personal appearances have garnered him a legion of devoted fans, and the respect, admiration and appreciation of music critics far and wide.

Keith Greeninger

Joe Craven and Matt Hartle Main Salmon Aug 30-Sept 4 2024

Painted Mandolin - Joe Craven

“JAMMIN’ ON THE SALMON” – This trip invites you to bring an instrument – even if it’s just your voice – and jam music in the spirit of the Grateful Dead every evening with Joe Craven and Matt Hartle. We’ll have song books and any ability is welcome!  Joe & Matt are on this trip to play music – for you and with you! Joining Joe & Matt is optional, of course. Instruments (in their hard cases) are placed in dry bags. Call the office for more info.

Creativity educator, record producer, former museum curator, actor/storyteller, event emcee, weekend poet, and fashion insultant, Joe has played and recorded with many notable musicians, including jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli, Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, multi-whirled stringster David Lindley, harmonica wizard Howard Levy as well as 17 years with mandolinist David Grisman and seven years with banjo fusionist Alison Brown.

San Francisco Bay Area. 

Darrell Scott Middle Fork Sept 10-15, 2024

Darrell and his wife Angela joined us in 2017 and 2019 to celebrate Darrell’s 60th Birthday.  Darrell is an incredible musician and songwriter who also travels with the Zach Brown band.  Please take a look at his site for more information and his Bio!

Darrell Scott has written several mainstream country hits, and he has also established himself as one of Nashville’s premier session instrumentalists. He won the 2007 Song of the Year award from the Americana Music Association for his song “Hank William’s Ghost” which appears on his album The Invisible Man.

Darrell Scott

How do they work?

All musicians have their different style and personality, of course.  Musicians play each evening around the campfire, but also at scenic grottos, waterfalls along the way, and even while soaking in a hot spring.  It is up to the musician when and where they want to play but it is always coordinated with the MFRE Trip Leaders.

Many novice guest musicians ask whether they can play with the musicians as well and in many cases this is allowed and encouraged.  If you want to bring an instrument please do and we will bring an extra dry bag for you.  Just be sure it is in a hard case.

RainSong Guitars Sponsorship

Middle Fork River Expeditions have partnered with RainSong guitars and they allow our musicians to play in the wilderness and not worry about damaging their own super pricey guitars.  Plus these guitars sound amazing!  Most woods show increasing damping with frequency, making the highest notes sound muddy. Carbon fiber’s damping is almost constant across the acoustic spectrum resulting in a full range of sound — from a treble that rings with crystalline clarity to a bass that is warm without being muddy. And, because of Projection Tuned Layering’s uniform stiffness, the RainSong acoustic sound is impeccably balanced and very, VERY loud. Once you have heard the classic carbon sound you’ll recognize it anywhere, as distinctive as anything on earth.

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