Wintergrass 2018 Performers-Front Country

An acoustic band born in the land of tech innovation, Front Country was never going to be accepted as an authentic American roots band out of the gate. Cutting their teeth in progressive bluegrass jams in San Francisco’s Mission District and rehearsing in the East Bay, they learned to play roots music their own way, with the tools they had on hand. A mandolinist with a degree in composition and classical guitar. A guitarist trained in rock and world music. A bassist equally versed in jazz and bluegrass. A violinist with technique that could seamlessly hop between honky tonk and electropop. A female lead singer with grit and souOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAl that was also a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. In a wood-paneled country dive bar in the shadow of the San Francisco skyline, Front Country forged a sound hell bent on merging the musical past with the future.

This West Coast outfit was a loose collection of musical misfits until 2012 and 2013 when Front Country gathered around a single microphone at the RockyGrass and Telluride festivals, and won first prize in those prestigious band contests that once launched the careers of the Dixie Chicks, Greensky Bluegrass and the Steep Canyon Rangers. The contest wins bolstered their confidence in their unique mix of original songwriting, vocal harmonies and instrumental virtuosity, steeling their resolve to take a leap of faith and become a full time touring band.

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With the release of their debut full-length album Sake of the Sound in 2014, Front Country began the nose-grinding work of making their name as a national touring act. Still based in the San Francisco Bay Area, they would trek the 6,000+ mile circle around the U.S. for months at a time, introducing themselves for the first time to every room that would have them. Thanks to the glow of their contest wins, festivals around the U.S. caught wind and invited them to play for their large audiences, giving Front Country a crucial first break. Old Settlers in Austin, MerleFest in North Carolina, Wintergrass in Seattle, Strawberry in California and Grey Fox in New York, all took a chance on the promising new band and solidified Front Country’s hold on the imagination of progressive-leaning acoustic music fans.

ADAM ROSZKIEWICZ mandolin, banjo, vocals

JACOB GROOPMAN guitar, rezo guitar, mandolin, vocals

JEREMY DARROW bass

LEIF KARLSTROM five string violin

MELODY WALKER vocals, guitar, percussion

 

 

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Wintergrass 2017 Performers-Joe Craven and The Sometimers

Joe Craven has found a couple of hot young pickers worthy of his chops: wild man bassist Jonathan Stoyanoff and Bruce MacMillan dazzling with crafty dobro, acoustic guitar pickin’ and angelic voice. With Joe’s wildly eclectic musicality, the sonic possibilities are unlimited. I just saw this new trio and… WoW!

                                                  – PBS television producer Peter Berkow

J“Joe Craven and The Sometimers” featuring Bruce MacMillan and Jonathan Stoyanoff, adhere to a “no genre left behind” policy of music making while leaping from a springboard of Americana. They perform impressively credentialed and possess enough poetic license to operate heavy machinery. Their analog/power tool box includes both upright and electric bass, various guitars, Dobro, lap steel, mandolin, octave mandolin, fiddle, more cowbell and who knows what else. This new NorCal roots music trio is celebration for a new framework of POP music, as in “Pursuit of Possibility” music. Give ’em a listen and you just might do a little dance while you’re at it!

Multi-instrumentalist Joe Craven is an award-winning creativity educator, former museum curator, actor, music festival emcee, Director of RiverTunes Music Camp, a Co-Director for the Wintergrass Youth Academy. Joe Craven’s love of performing music has put him in many musical genres and alongside many musicians, from Jerry Garcia, David Lindley, Howard Levy and Jason Marsalis, to fusion banjoist Alison Brown and groups such as Psychograss and The Horseflies. For 17 years, he was percussionist and violinist for mandolinist David Grisman. Joe’s unique education programs have inspired; communities in Costa Rica, corporate heads in Contra Costa, CA, a dozen different music camps, thousands of school kids from Stockton to Scotland and college students from Alaska to Alabama. Whether jamming with musicians from Morocco or Mendocino, performing solo, with his daughter Hattie, The Joe Craven Trio, Mamajowali, The Sometimers or playing Carnegie Hall to busking on Cannery Row – Joe’s at home and loving every minute!

Jonathan Stoyanoff is a much in demand bassist who is a fan of, trained in and very proficient at, a wide variety of vernacular music. He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA on a performance scholarship and, since then, Jonathan has helped form and perform in a variety of musical projects. He has played and/or shared bills with Larry Coryell, B.B. King, Robert Cray, Huey Lewis, Dave Mason, Jackie Greene, Ozomatli, Spearhead, Maceo Parker and many more. Jonathan has also played at some of the nation’s most prestigious festivals including the Monterey Jazz Festival, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and the High Sierra Music Festival. He brings a high level of skill and enthusiasm to Joe Craven & The Sometimers.

Bruce MacMillan is a wonderfully intuitive musician dedicated to the holy temple of American Roots Music. His passion for the history and variety of America’s musical heritage has resulted in a versatility across many musical genres. From Blues to Bluegrass, Country to Jazz and Rock & Roll, Bruce plays with wonderful energy and artistry. He has performed upon many stages and at many music festivals, including the Strawberry Music Festival, High Sierra, and California Worldfest. With his wife Sally, they have two fine music stores in Chico and Redding, CA, known as The Music Connection where Bruce displays his chops as an educator, repairman and salesman. Bruce’s impressive skills on vocals plus all manner of guitars, Dobro and lap steel, bring a broad palette of sound to Joe Craven & The Sometimers.

Joe Craven and the Sometimers kicked off our Peacetown Summer Concert Series with a big bang. Folks danced, sang, and cheered the music of these incredible musicians.

-Jim Corbett,  Promoter / Educator

 

 

Wintergrass 2017 Performers-The Talbott Brothers

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The Talbott Brothers are an Alternative Folk/Rock band based in Portland, Oregon. Nick and Tyler form an alternative sound that balances sibling-blood-harmonies with their instrumental ensemble of guitars, mandolin, harmonicas and percussion. Their entertaining effect on stage is embraced by multiple generations, as they are known for charming and energetic performances that blend singer-songwriter styles with folk, rock and pop.

In a cold, snow-covered winter back in 2012, The Talbott Brothers found themselves half a country away from home with nothing but a couple guitars, an old beat-up kick drum and an electric piano with some broken keys. Playing to rooms of 5 people and living out of a 4-door Chevy Impala hadn’t been their idea of a successful first tour. But hearing the inspiring stories of those they met each night and watching the sunrise over the vehicle dashboard each morning was just what the small town Nebraska boys needed to press on and be reminded of a bigger purpose. Amidst the Leaving Home tour, a 27 show run from Omaha to New York City, The Talbott Brothers found inspiration for what would become their debut album the following year; The Road.

After a successful crowd-funded Kickstarter campaign funded their studio time to create The Road, Nick and Tyler took their new music across America both as the duo and with their band, spending over 150 days per year traveling city to city. Only this time, they’d graduated from an Impala to a van they found on Craigslist in St. Louis named Goldie. With over 400 shows under their belts and enough songs for a new record, The Talbott Brothers headed to Omaha, NE in 2015 to record their sophomore album, Places.

2017 marks the release of The Talbott Brothers’ third full-length studio album – Gray (February 10, 2017). Honest, organic and vulnerable, the album is driven by warm, melodic vocals, diverse instrumentation and authentic storytelling. With the album’s release, the brothers experienced more deeply what it means to submerse themselves in their songwriting, spending four months off the road in their new home base of Portland, Oregon.

“We weren’t just road dogs anymore,” Tyler said. “For the last 3 years we’ve been out playing music for new friends and listeners across the country. But, while we were writing Gray, we were learning how to take it slow again. Maybe we just needed a lesson in being human.”

“I think most times we wish our circumstances were more black and white, or that the answers seemed easy and clear. It’s often in the gray area where we face the greatest trials, and come out refined on the other side. There’s so much you can miss out on when you get caught up in the grind and routine of things.” Nick stated.

 

Wintergrass 2017 Performers-The Paperboys

 

 

paperboysWrapping up their 20th anniversary year, Vancouver Canadian musician Tom Landa, is looking back on the legacy of his much-loved folk rock band The Paperboys. For two decades, The Paperboys have been touring the world and lighting up stages with their free-wheeling blend of influences from Celtic and bluegrass, to Mexican son jarocho, brass bands, and Canadian roots. They’ve been called everything from Cajun slamgrass to worldbeat, they’ve received a Juno award (Canadian Grammy), plus two Juno nominations, released nine albums, and regularly play two-night bills in the Pacific Northwest. But that’s not what matters to Landa now. “What means more to me than anything else is to receive letters, emails, or hear stories from people who tell me that our songs helped them through a tough time, or that they used one of our songs for their wedding, or that an album of ours was the soundtrack of their summer. At the end of the day, accolades are nice, but they are nothing compared to connecting with people.” It’s a remarkably grounded perspective from a bandleader who’s been through it all, but Landa’s an open-book kind of songwriter, a Canadian grassroots poet who loves to infuse his songs with dance hooks. Even the title of their new album, At Peace With One’s Ghosts – the first new Paperboys album in six years – speaks to Landa’s approach. It’s full of The Paperboys’ signature sounds: Spanish-language songs that reflect Landa’s Mexican heritage, explosive brass lines from their extended 8-piece ensemble, Celtic fiddle and pennywhistle blazing through an old reel, English rock songs with strong pop influences, and a kind of melting pot sound that reflects not only the diversity of the band’s home city, Vancouver, BC, but also a larger vision of what modern Canadian roots music should sound like.

 

The Paperboys were formed in 1995 when Landa first moved to Vancouver. “As a teen living in Ontario,” he explains, “I was really influenced by the music coming out of Vancouver in the late eighties/early nineties. Seminal Celtic rock band Spirit of the West was by far my biggest influence. I packed my bags and came to Vancouver solely based on the music scene.” Over time, The Paperboys were a key part of multiple waves of popular Canadian folk rock bands that included The Duhks, Ashley MacIsaac, The Bills, and Great Big Sea.  “One big difference between Canadian Celtic artists and Celtic bands in other parts of the world,” says Landa, ‘is that records made here are being produced by producers who come from a rock and pop world, and bring something very unique to the table.” For At Peace With One’s Ghosts, Landa tapped Canadian pop music producer Bill Buckingham, who brought a cohesiveness to the project by helping the band seamlessly blend their many influences.

 

At Peace With One’s Ghosts features the current lineup of The Paperboys: Tom Landa on vocals, guitar and multiple instruments, original member Geoffrey Kelly on flute/whistles, Tom’s wife Kalissa Landa on fiddle/vocals, Brad Gillard on bass/banjo, drummer Sam Esecson, and saxophonist Kareem Kandi. The songs on the album draw from Landa’s journeys over the past six years, like “Back To You,” a love song for Landa’s son written while on tour, or “Mismo Latido,” that speaks to the truth that as you travel, you find out there are more things that unite us than divide us. “City of Chains” speaks to Landa’s disillusionment with his home city of Vancouver, where artists struggled for years under Harper’s government. With a new prime minister, the arts in Canada have a new lease on life, and there’s great change over the horizon. Once again, The Paperboys are poised to bring their adventurous vision of Canadian roots music to dancehalls everywhere, spreading good cheer and great music.

The Paperboys

Mexican Son Jarocho mixed in with Irish Jigs and Reels and a good dose of Country and Bluegrass. It has healthy servings of Ska, Soca and African Highlife and we’ve been known to throw in a little White Boy Reggae. Of course it also has strains of Soul, Pop and Funk although we are by no means a funk band. It is mostly Acoustic although we also like Electric guitars. It is Singer-Songwriter based but not the coffee house variety. It is definitely FOLK music, but not in the Kumbaya style. It has a deep respect and appreciation for tradition (Bluegrass, Old Time, Celtic, Son) but it’s by no means Traditional. It Rocks incredibly hard and is extremely danceable, but that is not to say it can’t be mellow and slow and beautiful. It can be heart breaking, but also joyous. It is never dark or angst ridden, and always full of hope – but not in the ‘Up With People’ kind of way. It’s not Jazz, although we like Jazz a lot. It’s not heavy metal or punk or grunge, although we love Rush and AC/DC. It is World Roots Music. It’s POP music. It is GOOD music. It has a tendency to connect people and means a lot to many folks the world over, and for that we are very grateful. It is the only multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-generational, multi-lingual, multi-instrumental, genre bending, co-ed band you will hear today!!

Wintergrass 2017 Sponsors-Ted Brown Music

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Every year Ted Brown Music donates a ‘petting zoo’ of instruments to the Youth Academy. This makes it possible for any student to attend the Youth Academy regardless of whether or not they own an instrument. It also makes it possible for students to explore instruments they may not be familiar with. We’re very grateful for this extraordinary act of trust and generosity.

Ted Brown was passionate about helping people make music. When he opened the doors to his first music store in 1931, he worked with a small team of people who shared that passion. Today, Ted Brown Music has grown to become a leader in the Northwest music community, serving the diverse needs of six cities across Washington State. From instrument rentals and repairs to pro audio, music lessons, and live events, Ted Brown Music is Washington’s premier provider of all things music.

A lot has changed, but after all these years, we’re still passionate about helping others make music. Whether a couch-bound strummer or a first-chair virtuoso, Ted Brown Music gives musicians the tools they need to pursue their passion. Our educational services representatives work with local school districts to help support and grow their music programs, offering free instrument pickup and delivery from school and providing complimentary services at school music events. Our nonprofit, Ted Brown Music Outreach, helps ensure everyone gets to experience the joy of music by putting instruments in the hands of young musicians.

Come visit us in Tacoma, Seattle, Richland, Yakima, Silverdale or Puyallup. Our message is simple: Your music is our passion! outreach-logo500px-e1351872067392

Welcome to Ted Brown Music Outreach

We believe music enhances the quality of life by improving learning abilities, relieving stress, and providing a chance to change lives.

Our purpose is to put instruments in the hands of young musicians while supporting their musical activities and programs.

With all the proven benefits that music involvement has to offer, it’s amazing to still see school districts cutting out the arts from their schools.  We see this as only hurting our children.  This organization is taking on the task of raising awareness to these problems and implementing some programs to keep kids involved with making music.  We realize that there are a lot of programs going on in our community to give kids this opportunity.  We don’t want to replace these programs but assist them and continue to bring out more opportunities.  We ask that you please look through our website and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Wintergrass 2017 Parking Information

There are 5 levels of parking below Bellevue Place, which is the complex where the Hyatt is located. There are over 1000 parking spots there. Those lots are connected directly to additional lots below Lincoln Place, right across the street.  If you are attending Wintergrass and you  park at any time during the day on Thursday and Friday  and leave after 8pm, parking is also FREE. The gate goes up at 8pm. If you leave BEFORE 8PM, there are parking charges, but there are a bunch of ways to get parking  validation – at any number of restaurants or shops. In addition to all that parking, there is a huge amount of space available across the street at Bellevue Square.  All of that parking is free but alittle bit of a walk but not that far.Parking is FREE on both Saturday and Sunday. You can see where all of the parking lots are by taking a look at the complex map.

Wintergrass 2017 Performers-Petunia and The Vipers

 

Petunia & The Vipers thrive on the challenge of adding Latin rhythms to a country blues tune, or gypsy flavouring to a rockabilly standard. Petunia defies convention and yet there is some conservancy to his music. His honest, cut to the heart songwriting and multi-syllabic narratives would leave a lesser singer tongue-tied and breathless. I know, I’ve tried it. One of the many themes running through Petunia’s lyrics relates to living life on one’s own terms – fearlessly and without regret.

 

Petunia – ACOUSTIC guitar, VOCALS, sometimes Yodeler, occasional Trumpeter.

Spending the early part of his career playing on every major street corner, subway station and park bench in Canada (and NY city), picking, grinning and singing for his living, Petunia has been a regular on the Canadian touring circuit for many years now…he has a unique, surreal style all of his own…his live performances have been likened to an Avant-Country night club scene from a David Lynch movie.

Growing up in rural Ste.-Dorothee, Laval, (Quebec) seems like an obvious connection for a sometimes country blue yodeler. Picture shady creeks with fallen tree bridges, and secret hiding spots. Part wanderer, part musician he’s been on the road for full years at a stretch at times…sometimes propelled by nothing more than his outstretched thumb alongside of the trans-canada highway. Maybe you’ve passed him by yourself? He has laid his hat and made his home in many, many spots along the way as befits a wandering troubadour…his traveling libido has led him to secure bands of musicians spanning across three continents. He has played with literally hundreds, and maybe thousands of musicians (personal highlights from recent west coast tours include Phil Alvin, Exene Cervenka, Wanda Jackson). Imagine that David Lynch and Nick Cave had a hillbilly baby. A hillbilly baby that yodeled…or Tom Waits meets Elvis at Woody Guthrie’s hobo junction.

Petunia’s music grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go. His singing ranges from the most delicate you’ve ever heard to the most powerful, often within a single song. With a piercing gaze, he will look into the collective soul of the audience, and launch into some high and lonesome vocals that conjure up the ghost of Jimmie Rodgers. Not content with mesmerizing the crowd, his tapping boot will propel the band into a snarling fire and brimstone rave-up as a wave of frantic jitterbuggers compete for space on the hardwood dance floor…hillbilly-flavoured-swing inflected-ragtime-goodtime-thunderously rolling-one-of-a-kind-you-don’t-want-to-miss-this-sort-of-a-show. Though he has a huge repertoire of music to draw from, fans continue to cry out for the Petunia originals. He is a Canadian treasure that will soon join the pantheon of legendary performers from north of the 49th.

Members of The Vipers:Petunia

Stephen Nikleva – Electric GUITAR. Stephen Nikleva is a musician’s musician who’s lifted any band he’s been involved to the next musical level with his superb playing and arranging. Stephen has graced an eclectic mix of bands from the hardcore hillbilly rockabilly of Ray Condo to the real deal Romanian Gypsy music of Vancouver’s Lache Cercel, to pop folk star Sarah Mclachlan.

Teaming up with Petunia gains Stephen the opportunity to blend all these styles into Petunia’s unique blend of traditional and original music. Stephen and Jimmy were well described in the Vancouver Western Swing newsletter as the ‘Twin guitar heart of the late Ray Condo’s band’ and are carrying that spirit on with Petunia and the Vipers.

Jimmy Roy – a veteran LAPSTEEL GUITAR player, with years of playing professionally behind him. Formerly with Ray Condo & The Ricochets, he then put in years of touring and recording with Big Sandy. Prior to all that he led the much-loved Jimmy Roy’s 5 Star Hillbillies, which had a heavy influence on the European rockabilly and country scenes in the late 1980s, particularly with respect to a revival of interest in the steel guitar. With a unique and beautiful voice on the lap steel, his playing, instantly recognizable, is admired around the world. Ray Condo used to refer to JR as ‘the scholar of the hillbilly sound’, referring to JR’s lifelong interest in country, rockabilly and western swing music. He goes far enough back that he would spend his allowance buying 78s of Johnny Horton.

Marc L’Esperance – DRUMS & backing HARMONY VOCALS. From Jazz to Rockabilly to Folk to Blues, he’s the fella with the groovy sticks and brushes that makes this band really swing. His Great Grandfather was a fiddling champion back in New Brunswick, and Marc’s been known to bring out the violin now and then himself. His playing began with a Hohner harmonica at age 5, teaching himself old-time classics like Turkey In The Straw and Oh Susannah. Marc is well known for producing and engineering, and is proud of his award winning work in the recording studio with Ray Condo, Nomeansno, The Twisters, Veda Hille, Paul Pigat, Linda McRae, Headwater and many others.

Patrick Metzger – Upright BASS. Patrick is an outstanding musician who tours and records with several groups, most notably the popular Vancouver bands Headwater and The Leah Abramson Singers. He brings a solid swinging sound to his playing that instantly propels people onto the dance floor.

Sam Shoichet – Upright BASS. Sam is the consummate professional who is at home with many styles of music, and indeed, thrives on diversity. From Romanian swing to rockabilly, blues, jazz and Afro-beat, Sam can be found gigging around Vancouver most of the week, and occasionally on tour with The Vipers. Sam can be heard on most of the tracks of the new Petunia & The Vipers self-titled album.

James Lillico – Upright BASS. Young James has made quite a name for himself in just a short few years of playing around Vancouver. He grew up in a family steeped in musical tradition with bluegrass and old time country music infused in his blood. Bass player of choice with numerous outfits in town, he had his bass signed in appreciation by Sleepy LaBeef after backing him in his appearance at The Yale on a last minute call. He plays with an honesty and mature ease that belie his youth.