Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons with Phil Wiggins -Album Release



The Seattle folklorists & legendary bluesman release their album this Friday, July 28th.

As we gear up for the official release of A Black & Tan Ball we are excited to have the full album streaming over on The Bluegrass Situation today! American Songwriter premiered “Longin’ For My Sugar” calling it “a soulful, melancholy tune originally recorded by Leroy Carr that meditates on the pain of a failed romance” while Glide Magazine featured the track “Shanghai Rooster” saying “played in the “greasy” style, “Shanghai Rooster” is the kind of tune you can picture being played at a rowdy gathering in the deep South at the turn of the century.” American Blues Scene premiered “Do You Call That A Buddy” lauding it as “just one of the outstanding performances on A Black & Tan Ball.”

You can stream and download the album below and if you need anything else from me please do let me know!

Private Stream of A Black & Tan Ball / Private Download

There’s a duality to the music of Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons; the same duality that lies at the heart of the blues. It’s the dichotomy between the weight of history that hangs over black America and the lightness of these old folk songs, which are meant to uplift and charm, to trick away danger, to fool authority, to squeeze a person out of harm’s way, but also to assert a subtle sense of worth and dignity. These songs brought black Americans through the darkest years of our country’s history, and they have an unsettling amount of currency in today’s world, where saying that the blues is black music or even saying that the life of a black person matters are both controversial statements.

The music that renowned Seattle roots duo Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons are making on their new album, A Black & Tan Ball, is not just blues music. The better term is a new and important one: Black Americana. To make this music, they’ve recruited good friend and touring partner Phil Wiggins, an eclectic legend of American blues harmonica (who received an NEA National Heritage Fellowship this year). By pulling together the many threads of black American roots music, and demonstrating the underlying meanings behind the black experience in folk music, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons are showing another side to Americana that can help expand the genre’s boundaries.


Wintergrass Benefit 2017-5th Annual Brewgrass @ Hales Palladium

5th annnualIt is time again for the Fifth Annual Brewgrass Festival  this year at Hales Brewery during Seattle Beer Week, featuring a mix of local and out-of-state breweries bringing limited edition beers and collaboration releases to you. The event also includes four local bluegrass bands, including The Warren G Hardings, Tinkham Road and The Mighty Dreadful. Proceeds from the event benefit the Oskar Blues CAN’d Aid Foundation and the Wintergrass Youth Music Education Programs. Tickets are  $25 and include a cup and 6 drink tickets.


Pariticipating breweries include:


Oskar Blues Brewery (CO)
Hale’s Ales (WA)
Farmstrong Brewing (WA)
New Belgium Brewing (CO)
21st Amendment Brewery (CA)
Airways Brewing/Rainy Daze Brewing Collaboration (WA)
Victory Brewing (PA)
Ecliptic Brewing (OR)
Ninkasi Brewing (OR)
Modern Times Beer (CA)
Elysian Brewing (WA)
The Pike Brewing Co (WA)
Diamond Knot Craft Brewing (WA)
Merchant du Vin (EUR)
Radeberger Gruppe (EUR)
Finnriver Cidery (WA)
Schilling Hard Cider (WA)
Meriwether Cider Co (ID)


Wintergrass and Give Big

Wintergrass.  Something magical happens every year in the heart of downtown Bellevue.  Thousands of people gather to learn how to access joy, anytime, anywhere. They learn that a creative spirit smiles inside each and everyone, ready to break into song and dance at the slightest provocation. They learn that music is for everyone and music for a lifetime means always having a friend.  From the youngest to the eldest, beginner to virtuoso, all of these people are infused with an open-hearted spirit of joy and curiosity stoked by a stellar team of music educators.

Oh, and they also attend a 4-day, 5-stage bluegrass and acoustic music festival called Wintergrass. 

The Seattle Foundation is hosting its annual GiveBIG fundraising campaign.  Each year the Foundation supports 1,200 individuals and organizations through this campaign, distributing more than $350,000 in King County. Wintergrass is honored to participate in this campaign.  It’s simple to give.

Click on this link: Wintergrass, to go to the Wintergrass GiveBIG donation page.

Your donation supports ALL Wintergrass education programs including; Pintgrass, The Youth Academy, The Youth Orchestra, Rhapsody Songsters, The Youth Academy Teacher Training program, Adult Intensives workshops, and festival workshops.

Whew!  That’s a lot.  It’s a lot of hours and love given by a large cadre of dedicated teachers.

Your donation is a message to these very teachers that their efforts matter.

Thank you!

GiveBIG makes it easy to donate.  In addition to supporting Wintergrass:

You may also find our friends at KBCS, Folklife, The Bellevue Youth Symphony, Music Works Northwest and a host of other great organizations via a simple search on the GiveBIG site.

Thank you for keeping the smiles coming.

Wintergrass February 23-26, 2018, Hyatt Regency, Bellevue WA


Tacoma Guitar Festival 2017


APRIL 29th 2017 (9:30 AM – 5:00PM)
APRIL 30th 2017 (10:00 AM – 4:00PM)

The Tacoma Guitar Festival will feature over 150 exhibit style booths, guitar workshops led by industry experts, live performance music played by well-known guitarists, guitar personalities meet n’ greets and a festival atmosphere. Come to buy, trade or sell vintage, used and new guitars, amps, pedals, mandos, banjos, ukes, vinyl records, guitar accessories and more!

Doors open from 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
10:15 AM – 11:00 AM // Adrian Galysh
11:20 AM – 12:05 PM // Larry Mitchell
12:25 PM – 1:35 PM // Kaki King
1:55 PM – 3:05 PM // Andy Timmons
3:10 PM – 3:40 PM // Fender Guitar/JHS Pedals Demonstration
3:55 PM – 4:30 PM // Bryan Ewald/PRS
Doors open from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
10:30 AM – 11:05 AM // Larry Mitchell
11:20 AM – 11:55 AM // Adrian Galysh
12:15 PM – 1:25 PM // Bruce Kulick
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM // Ethan Tucker
3:00 PM – 3:35 PM // Carl Tosten

$15.00 /per day
$25.00 /2-day pass

KIDS: 12 & under are FREE w/ a guardian.

Wintergrass 2017 Sponsor-WAMA

WAMA-The Washington Acoustic Music Association is one of the fastest growing associations in the Pacific Northwest. They provide numerous workshops, concerts, slow jams, and an annual music festival. They even loan musical instruments to members in need. Their mission is “to promote and educate the community about acoustic music.” They are fulfilling this mission as they continue to grow by leaps and bounds. wama

Our Mission:

To promote the development, performance, and preservation of American acoustic music.”

Who We Are

  • Nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization
  • Among the fastest growing music associations in the Northwest
  • Highly contagious enthusiasm where members mentor and encourage one another in a musical, family friendly atmosphere
  • Top priority is involving youth and helping people of all ages find their inner musician and creative spark

What We Do

  • Conduct a Slow Jam on the 2nd Saturday of the month (Oct – May) at the Hope Grange in Winlock, WA and host a jam at the Oakview Grange in Centralia, WA on the 3rd Friday of the month (Oct – May)
  • Sponsor concerts & multi level workshops
  • Musicians of all levels and visitors are always welcome
  • Email bulletins and newsletters: exclusive articles about some of the greatest musicians worldwide; musical arrangements; reviews; instruments for sale; upcoming concert events; and important notifications
  • WAMA members have enjoyed ticket discounts for concerts/workshops from musical greats such as Dan Crary, Steve Spurgin, David Grier, Kate Long, Robin Kessinger, Steve Kaufman, Emory Lester, Stephen Bennett, Jim Hurst, and many others
  • WAMA Family Membership fees are only $20.00 per year


Our annual 3 day music festival is held on the first weekend of August in beautiful Winolequa Park, Winlock, WA. This festival features slow jams, live bands on stage, workshops, open mic, beer/wine garden, food, camping, children’s activities, and much more. Check out our next Pickersfest at

~ Your WAMA membership saves you 30% on Pickersfest ticket prices! Join today!!!

Visit us at or email us at

WAMA ~ PO Box 845 ~ Winlock, WA ~ 98596


Wintergrass 2017 Sponsors-Oregon Bluegrass Association

The Oregon Bluegrass Association is a great resource for bluegrass music.


Our purpose is to promote, encourage, foster and cultivate the preservation, appreciation, understanding, enjoyment, support and performance of bluegrass and other closely related music. The Association publishes the Bluegrass Express Newsletter and sponsors a variety of events in the Oregon area. Stop in at Wintergrass to the OBA Suite in Room 347 at the Hyatt for info,jam sessions and band showcases.


Wintergrass 2017 Performers-Molly O’Brien & Rich Moore


Sometimes the story is just about the ordinary. No big bang, no big gig, no big
promoter or writer hearing the band and telling the rest of the world.
Sometimes the story is just about doing what you do and keeping at it. In the
case of Mollie O’Brien and Rich Moore it means 30 years of marriage, two kids,
numerous day jobs, and making music together and apart.
They met in 1981 at the Denver Folklore Center on April Fool’s Day and
married a few years later. At the time they were involved in their own bands
and working solidly all over Colorado – Mollie was singing with Prosperity Jazz
Band, a vintage swing band which featured local luminary Washboard Chaz among others; Rich was playing bass with the rock-steady blues band, The Late Show. Within a year Mollie joined The Late Show, and they attracted notice outside the bar band scene and began playing Colorado blues festivals and concerts. A few years of marriage and two daughters later, things began to change. O’Brien quit the blues band and Moore got a day job that he held until both of their daughters graduated from college. Now,
here’s how things turned out. Grammy Award winner Mollie O’Brien became known to the rest of the world as a singer’s singer when, in 1988, she and her brother Tim released the first of three critically-acclaimed albums for Sugar Hill Records (Take Me Back,Remember Me and Away Out On The Mountain ). Eventually, Mollie recorded five equally well-received solo albums (Tell It True, Big Red Sun and Things I Gave Away for Sugar Hill Records, and I Never Move Too Soon and Everynight In The Week for Resounding Records). Additionally,she was a regular on the nationally-syndicated radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion” from 2001 through 2005. She’s long been known as a singer who doesn’t recognize a lot of musical boundaries, and audiences love her fluid ability to make herself at home in any genre while never sacrificing the essence of the song she tackles. O’Brien has primarily focused her efforts on the fading art of interpretation and the end result is a singer at the very top of her game who is not afraid to take risks both vocally and in the
material she chooses. Husband Rich Moore has busied himself in the Colorado music scene for many years. While staying home with the kids when Mollie & Tim toured, he held a day job and continued to perform locally with a variety of Colorado favorites, including Pete Wernick and Celeste Krenz. Not only is Moore known to produce some of the funniest onstage running commentary, he’s also a powerhouse guitar player who
can keep up with O’Brien’s twists and turns from blues to traditional folk to jazz to rock and roll. He creates a band with just his guitar and, as a result, theirs is an equal partnership. O’Brien and Moore’s first duet CD, a live recording titled 900 Baseline
(Remington Road Records) wasreleased in 2006. Their first studio project,
Saints & Sinners (Remington Road Records), was released to
nationwide acclaim in 2010. In January 2014 they’ll release their followup,
Love Runner (Remington Road Records). Both studio projects were produced by Lyons, CO ace arranger and bassist, Eric Thorin, who often joins them onstage for their live shows. All three CDs showcase their talent for unlocking the secrets to a diverse array of songs in authoritative yet very fun and unusual arrangements.For their latest release,
Love Runner , they again enlisted their talented friends, Glenn Taylor (pedal steel),
John Magnie (piano and accordion), Eric Moon (piano and organ) and Marc Dalio (drums). When one song called out for a musical saw, they were lucky enough to discover the wondrous Lesley Kernochan. Irish fiddler Jessie Burns put her lyrical stamp on a few folk songs. And, happily for O’Brien and Moore, their daughters Brigid and Lucy were able to make the date for the background vocal session.Love Runner features three songs written by Mollie and Rich – the rocking title track, the autobiographical 40’s swing-like “Went Back Home,” and a powerhouse turn at the traditional gospel song, “Don’t Let The
Devil Ride.” Once again, they have unearthed some hidden gems: Tom Paxton’s newly-written “Central Square” is about first love; Robin and Linda Williams’s and Jerome Clark’s “Green Summertime” is a gorgeous paean to a small town world called home; Hal Cannon’s “Just Go” places the listener squarely in the front seat next to a woman leaving a ruinous relationship in the dust. O’Brien and Moore also put their stamp on the inimitable Dave Van Ronk’s “Sunday Street” and on Randy Newman’s eerie “Suzanne”
– both songs normally sung from a male point of view but, when given Mollie’s gimlet-eyed take, become even more unique for their devil-may-care breeziness and swagger.
The band assembled for these sessions (all old friends), are listeners and never let their parts overshadow the lyrics and guitar sounds. Minimal preproduction rehearsals made for fewerpreconceptions and once they were all together playing live in the studio the band made bold leaps to create the mood Mollie, Rich and Eric wanted. There’s definitely a locked-in feeling you get with each track – something that can only happen live and only with such intuitive and responsive musicians. And as
for Eric, sitting in the producer’s chair, he found that sometimes departing from the master plan can create unique outcomes for every take. Says Thorin, “Every time Mollie sings you’d better be recording. There are no scratch tracks. Rich is a favorite co-conspirator and sublime orchestrator on the guitar. They don’t take themselves or anyone elsetoo seriously or let anyone else ride that train. The studio banter is cutting, joyful and in the moment and they carry that to the stage with astonishing ease.”
Most of the tracks on Love Runner have to do with the universal theme of home: leaving it and family behind; missing it; never wanting to go back; finding it in surprising places all over the world; wondering what kind of “home” awaits us in the life after this one. O’Brien and Moore let us know via their choice of material that they are not afraid to take risks. It’s almost as if they’re telling us that at this stage in their lives, they are at home with their musical selves – they can do whatever they want and they don’t care if
the rest of the world agrees with them. To quote the one and only Cher, “In this business, it takes time to be really good.” Mollie O’Brien and Rich Moore are proof that age is no obstacle to making timeless, original and inventive music!