Sunday, April 10, 2011

Roslyn Blues Festival Recap

By Tim Dooley

The Roslyn Winter Blues Festival happened on February 18th & 19th 2011 in Roslyn, Washington. A grass roots effort, the festival would not have been possible without help and support from Roslyn’s residents, neighbors, and friends. A huge thank you goes out to security, sound, video, and the rest of the crew who along with the support of the Venues, The Cle Elem/Roslyn Police Department, and City Hall enabled us to
present a great weekend of Blues that musically rivaled any festivals.

Friday started out slow but by the end of the first sets the houses were full. Junkyard Jane performed their “Swampabilly Blues” at the Brick, while Blues Attitude totally smoked The Pastime. At Marko’s Place, Reggie Miles felt right at home mesmerizing the crowd with his homemade guitar and saw strumming. Friday night’s headliners Nick Vigarino & Larry Dennis in Back Porch Stomp rocked the house. Nick wowed the crowd playing slide on his guitar with every thing anyone would hand him, from a plastic pitcher, cell phone or the cowboy boot he pulled off the leg of a guy. The Pastime finished the night with Ravin’ Wolf, bringing a howling set of their psychedelic sagebrush blues. Later on, Open Country Joy’s country inspired “roots, rock, reggae” kept the crowd at Marko’s Place dancing until the plug was pulled.

Saturday started early at the Brick with two local teenage bands Luminous Decibel and The Odds, whose youth and talent both entertained and astonished. It was still daylight when the youthful elegance of Vince Mira shined through, with his big baritone voice and tantalizing guitar. As the sun set, the incredible one man band of Baby Gramps hit the stage with his foot stomping, throat singing, and national guitar “scribbling”. Then there was The Legend That Is Alice Stuart, wow, an amazing set from an amazing woman, (almost as good as listening to her at the afterhour’s party)! Rounding out the night at the Brick was the Rod Giles Band, adding a modern, groovin blues, which kept the crowd dancing till the end.

At the Pastime, last minute addition Aaron Daniel brought a different, energizing sound that caught a few people off guard. Then the country inspired sounds of Howlin’Houndog brought in a set of “Porch Music”that was fit for a king. Next up was the beautiful and multi-talented Stacy Jones. Whether singing, playing guitar, or on the keys, this 2010 Washington. Blues Society best female vocalist, with her dad in the band, is a must see! For me the Festival would not have been complete without Seattle native Daddy Treetops & his Howlin’ Tomcats. A little country, a bit of folk and one rockin set of blues. Fascination Nation had a little accident with their keyboardist but managed to put on one heck of a show bringing their own mix of Jazz, Rock and, of course, the blues to close the night. Marko’s Place started the day with a more folk sound provided by the opening band Harvey Swanson & the Coyotes, whose acoustic mix of melodies soothed the heart and eased the mind. Millie, the caretaker of the Roslyn Inns, and Roy, one of our soundmen, were nice enough to fill in a gap with a folk guitar and a trombone, which made for a nice treat. Then the party really started with Seattle’s Ayron Jones & the Way who are a Roslyn favorite. The night ended with the local favorite, Sidestreet Reny, who never disappoints.

With a passion for great music, producers Leah & Becca Knight of Ro-Town Sound and Tim Dooley of Dooley Productions put together a line up that satisfied everyone. The next step for Leah, Becca and Tim is the Second Annual Roslyn Crawl, coming up September 30th – October 2nd 2011. The Crawl is a music and arts street festival spanning the main business block of Roslyn. It will include 6-8 stages including a children’s stage, a performing arts stage, an art exhibit, and locally produced arts & crafts. The food vendors and beer gardens will provide awesome regional micro-beers, craft wines, and fantastic food. Featuring an exciting mix of genres, The Crawl will certainly provide a variety of entertainment for everyone.

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