by The Blues Boss
A few years back, the Sunbanks Music Festival used a “take off” of the famous Las Vegas sign in their logo, obviously tagging on to the “What happens in … stays in…” idea. Well, it’s very appropriate! These semiannual events (May and September) are decidedly not typical “festivals”. They are more like a big private party; many regulars always referred to as “Billy Stoop’s Private Party”. There is way too much fun going on!
Musically, the Sunbanks Festivals aren’t typical either. Not 100% locked into blues, blues, blues, Sunbanks throws in a smidgeon of other musical genres just to keep you guessing. But, it’s all good, toe-tappin’ music, enjoyed every year by the “regulars”. Yes, regulars! Your typical attendees at Sunbanks are there every time – up to say 90% return year after year. That’s why it has such a “private party” feel.
This year, the Stacy Jones Band kicked off the musical festivities, exposing the eastern Washington music lovers to some musical fare from west of the mountains. MC, promoter, performer Billy Stoops and his
gang grabbed the stage next. Billy Roy Danger and The Rectifiers, “swampa-billy” at it’s best… Filling in, the Pat Coast Band out of Spokane kept the audience grooving despite the weather, which was a tad brisk! After sundown, the wind blew a steady 30 mph and the mercury dropped down into the 30’s, and if you figured wind chill, we’re talking chilly! Hambone Wilson out of Bellingham had his hands full warming up the crowd, and Hambone did admirably.
Saturday’s line up started with a bunch of “has-beens” (I can say that, they are good friends of mine) putting themselves out there as Snake Oil-Blues Elixir. Guitar driven mayhem ensued, a high-octane start to the day. The C.D. Woodbury Band followed, showing the audience why they recently grabbed a couple “BB Awards” presented by Washington Blues Society. Next up, giving the audience a different musical path to stroll down was the Trevalyan Triangle, and it was a nice change of pace. Then, Sunbanks turned into “Ladies Day” for awhile. The rockin ‘n roll Neil Rush Band featuring Bruce Robertson and Kathi McDonald were next, and Kathi still brings it home every time. Not slowing down, up came the Strange Tones with the Volcano Vixens. The Vixens add a great “visual touch” to the Strangetones “crime-a-billy” rollicking’ good time music.