Wintergrass 2016 Performers-Solas

Wintergrass 2016 will have Solas performing both on the Thursday and Friday of the Fesitval. solas2016 marks the 20th Anniversary of the quintessential Irish-American band, Solas. Formed in 1996, in a manner befitting their name (Gaelic for “light”), Solas burst onto the Irish music scene and instantly became a beacon – an incandescent ensemble that found contemporary relevance in timeless traditions.

11 albums later, with numerous awards to their credit, and more miles traveled touring the world to count, Solas will mark this milestone with a exciting new recording project and tour, ALL THESE YEARS.  It is a celebration of a band that, from its inception, captured the musical world’s attention and went on to become one of the most influential groups in the history of Irish music. ALL THESE YEARS sees Solas reuniting with all the members of the band, past and present, to record new material and embark on a year long world tour.

Anchored by founding members Seamus Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistles, guitars, bodhran) and Winifred Horan (violins, vocals), who form the backbone of the uniquely definable Solas sound, long time members Eamon McElholm (guitars, keyboards, vocals), and Mick McAuley (button accordion, vocals) and newest member, the dynamic Moira Smiley (vocals, banjo), Solas is musically at the top of their game and continues to be the standard bearer not only for great Irish music, but great music in any genre.

Indeed, it can be convincingly argued that no band has done more than Solas to prove that Celtic music today is a truly universal musical language, like jazz,  classical, rock, or bluegrass. The band’s sound is explosive yet seductively personal; timelessly melodic yet rippling with modern muscle. It can bring edgy urban hipness to ancient reels, and make songs by Tom Waits and Bob Dylan feel like they’ve been aging for centuries in the sweet old casks of Celtic tradition. Through fresh and unexpected arrangements of age-old tunes, compelling and topical originals and covers, and unparalleled musicianship, Solas continues to define the path for the Celtic music world and drive the genre forward.

From their early days with singer Karan Casey, to the present lineup featuring Moira Smiley on vocals, Solas’ ALL THESE YEARS demonstrates the evolution of a band the New York Times hailed for their “…..unbridled vitality”, and the Boston Globe declared to be “the finest celtic ensemble this country has ever produced”.  Solas’ 20th Anniversary Project celebrates their remarkable past while demonstrating why they continue to be one of the most popular, influential, and exciting bands ever to emerge over the past two decades.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see founding members and Solas stalwarts Seamus Egan and Winifred Horan bring the past, present, and future of the band to the stage, with a program sure to delight audiences with old favorites and with new material that lights the way forward.

Wintergrass 2015 Dining Recommendations

Preferred Dining Guide

Support those who support Wintergrass!!

Every year a dedicated core of volunteers feeds and waters Wintergrass artists, volunteers and sponsors in the Hospitality room. It’s an impressive number of people to feed no matter what the circumstances are, but this group works miracles year after year. Those miracles could not be accomplished without the efforts of Peggy Aguilar and the generosity of local restaurants. The restaurants on this list have all jumped in to help the Hospitality room truly be a success. All of these folks are being great neighbors. We encourage you to return the favor by choosing to feed and water yourself at these establishments during your Wintergrass stay.

McCormick & Schmicks Seafood Restaurant
Hailed as finest seafood restaurant and best happy hour
Across the street from the Hyatt valet, street level (use skybridge)

Tully’s Coffee
Custom-roasted whole bean coffees, teas and breakfast breads
Hyatt first floor foyer, hours: Thurs 5AM-11PM, Fri 5AM-1AM, Sat 6AM-1AM

Paddy Coyne’s Irish Pub
Authentic and traditional Irish food and beverage in casual setting
Across the street from the Hyatt valet, street level (use skybridge)

Suite Restaurant and Lounge – Located right in the Hyatt. Delicious social small plates and amazing cocktails!

P F Chang’s China Bistro
Casual Asian, Chinese, Mandarin dining, gluten-free dishes
street level on Bellevue Way, street level (use skybridge)

Top Pot Doughnuts
Nostalgic 1920’s ambiance, hand-roasted coffee, and gourmet doughnuts
Street level behind the Hyatt ½ block, left at Hyatt valet door, 106th Ave,. & 9th St.

Panera Bread
Lunch hot spot with freshly baked bagels and bread, signature sandwiches and soups
Street level behind the Hyatt one block, 106th Avenue and 11th Street

Fast food, sub sandwiches, voted best Subway in Bellevue
Street level behind the Hyatt one block, 106th Avenue and 11th Street

Rock Bottom Restaurant Brewery
Original burgers, sandwiches, steaks, seafood, on-site brewery
Street level on 106th Avenue near 6th (past Hyatt valet 1 ½ blocks on left)

Pepsi Beverages Company – Bottlers of Pepsi, Sierra Mist, Mountain Dew, and other fine beverages.

EcoTeas – Organic, Free Trade Teas

Wintergrass 2015 Performers-Blueberry Hill


The Blueberry Hill band is a family band from the Stanwood, WA area. They have been playing bluegrass for quite awhile now with performances at many of the the regions bluegrass festivals including the Darrington Bluegrass Festival and Shelton’s Bluegrass from The Forest. This is their first formal Wintergrass performance as yoOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAu could always find them jamming in the halls at Wintergrass. The band members are Dad -Kevin Miller on guitar, Mom-Sarah Miller on bass, Daughter- Aida Miller on mandolin, Son-Forrest Miller on banjo and “Uncle”-Loren Postma on Dobro

Kevin learned to sing and play guitar from his two uncles when he was a kid.  Family summer campouts on the river gave rise to huge campfires and bluegrass jams.  It really gets in your blood when you’re young.  Kevin plays guitar, mandolin, harOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmonica, upright bass, and sings songs from past and present.  He grew up on a farm in Darrington, Washington — an area rich with bluegrass music, but dirt poor in radio reception.  With all those towering peaks, the t.v. would barely work.  So, he wrote his own songs.  He composes lyrics and music for the band, and gives a few music lessons to the kids.


Aida- was interested in a variety of musical genres at an early age.  She learned to play flute in a school band, but the structured play wasn’t her cup of tea.  Since then Aida has become an accomplished guitarist and mandolinist.

She earned her first guitar by makiOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAng jewelry, which is worn by the likes of Rhonda Vincent and the Cherryholmes girls!   Aida’s finest gift, however, is her voice.  She began singing with her guitar at the age of 9, and her smooth, earthy style turns heads.





Forrest was eight years old during the 2003 Darrington Bluegrass Festival, when he heard the OHOP Valley Boys rehearsing for their performance.  When we lOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAeft the jam he asked, “Dad, what’s that round thing?  I want to get me one of those!”   He dug ditches and saved up enough cash for a starter banjo, which only kept him happy for a little while.  In his quest for tone, he now plays an autographed Rich & Taylor, Sonny Osborne Deluxe banjo.    His work ethic is something to admire.

Sarah has been a roots music enthusiast for years, but just recently emerged as a right-fine upright bass player.   Since she took up bass in 2009, the  Blueberry Hill family band has rapidly improved.  She started out on an old beater bass ” Wilbur”.  Wilbur wasOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA a workhorse they found cheap, but he didn’t have the tone.  They finally put Wilbur out to pasture in 2011, and got Sarah a nice hybrid upright called Sal, who is easy to play, with a monster voice.  Sarah works hard, never missing a beat.




“Uncle” Loren Postma was adopted by Blueberry Hill in 2010.  Loren is an exciting dobro technician.  He’s also a delightful vocalist, with a vast musical background, and knowledge of many genres.  He took the Blueberries under his wing, when he found out what they had planned.  The result has been a musical journey beyond their wildest dreams.  LorenOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA has played and performed with numerous acoustic bands in the Pacific Northwest. .  Loren’s enthusiasm for bluegrass music is a driving force in our Blueberry Hill band.

Wintergrass 2014 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 2014 Performers-The Cleverly’s


Nashville’s The Cleverly’s are alittle different than most of the bands that have appeared at Wintergrass. Best way to get an intro to them is just take alook at their website. Take alook at a few of their videos and you will see a variety of songs and a couple of introduction videos. This is the short bio on Cleverlys:

Our family comes from the remote part of the Ozark Mountains, near Cane Spur, Arkansas. We spent our days working on the family farm mostly raising our own food and growing dad’s famous pipe tobacco. I guess he grew the best pipe tobacco around. People came from as far as Big Flat to get it. We worked hard but we had fun. In the evening we played and sang. On weekends we had pickens’. There was always a big crowd around. The Cleverly Trio is our family band. It was founded by dad and his three brothers, Turk, Tink and Bunyon. The whole family at one time or another has played in the band. Since 2005 my brother Digger has taken over the band. The current members of the trio are Digger, our brothers Miles and Vernon Dean, my boy Harvey D and our cousin Otto.

Wintergrass 2014 Performers-The Rambling Rooks

The Rambling Rooks are kinramblin rooksd of a new band. Guitarist Kenny Smith,bassist Ronnie Bowman and mandolinist Don Rigsby were 3/4ths of the Lonesome River Band in the 90’s. Kenny went on to form the Kenny & Amanda Smith Band, Ronnie formed his band the Committee and continued singing and writing award winning songs and Don formed his band MOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAidnight Call and In 2001, he became the first full-time director of Morehead State University’s Kentucky Center for Traditional Music.

They started playing a few shows together in the past year or so and will be at Wintergrass 2014! They often add a banjo player to their shows and we will update this post when we know who will be with them at WIntergrass.

Currently they are just finishing up on the first Rambling Rooks CD. Here is a preview the band just posted from the project of a song “The Coal Minin’ Man”