Tune up your flat top, rosin up your bow, re-string your washtub and put on your best dress overalls. It's time for BREWGRASS! A Bluegrass and Microbrew Celebration.
If you're coming down from the hills for just one event this year, make sure it's Friday and Saturday, November 8th and 9th 2013 for the 10th annual BREWGRASS!
where you're gonna find all kinds of great Bluegrass music and a load of great craft brewed beers.
3 Clubs, 6 Acts, 51 Handles. Hot Dang! Come and go all night to the Rockfish Grill, the Brown Lantern Ale House and H2O all within a two block stretch on Commercial Ave in Old Town Anacortes. Music will start each evening at 8:30 PM and finish around 12:30 AM.
Stay and Play for Brewgrass! at the top rated
Ship Harbor Inn
. Book your overnight accommodation and leave the driving to them! They'll shuttle you to and from Brewgrass! during the event weekend. Enjoy complimentary expanded breakfast each morning you stay.
If that aint enough, the nearby Cap Sante Inn
is offering a discount on lodging with an advance reservation. Call 'em @ (360) 293-0602 and tell 'em your coming to town for Brewgrass!
Now check out this year's line up!
Brown Lantern - Brer Rabbit (9:30PM)
H2O - David's Drinking Band (9PM)
Rockfish - Faast and Blair (8:30PM)
Brown Lantern - The Ames (9:30)
H2O - The Oly Mountain Boys (9PM)
Rockfish - Betty and the Boy (8:30PM)
As a recent addition to the Bluegrass community, David’s Drinking Band
specializes in drinking songs of all kinds, whether they are original, Newgrass style, or traditional. They will lead you around Dixieland, up to good old Rocky Top Tennessee, and back down to the river to pray all in pursuit of a jar of moonshine whiskey. The band is comprised of hard driving, hard drinking members who sing like angels and pick like demons. DDB’s revivalist sound incorporates classic 4 part bluegrass harmonies and features guitar, mandolin, and double bass.
Their set is comprised of material drawn from Southern Gothic Mythology, Biblical imagery, and traditional Bluegrass and American fiddle standards, while also incorporating songs which explore the simpler side of having a cheap good time at the expense of good judgment. The Devil appears constantly in their material, emerging from the deep to torture and tempt sinners of all shapes and sizes against the backdrop of deep rural backwoods. Less likely to steal your soul but similarly mischievous, the spirit of their namesake “David” also runs throughout DDB’s originals, sometimes offering support while you finish your 40 or encouraging you to stuff a beer in your coat. No matter what the story, David’s Drinking Band rips into it with the fervor of the damned and the honesty of those who’ve suffered the consequences of a wild night or two.
Though mischievous, the members of DDB are well-versed in their genre and proficient both vocally and instrumentally. They will surprise you with their tight 4-part bluegrass harmonies, delight you with such timeless original classics as “The Bacon Song,” and leave you wondering where all your beer and whiskey has gone in the morning.
Betty and the Boy
defy simple categorization. Though the quintet’s string-laden melodies occasionally anchor them in the territories of folk, bluegrass, or minimalist rock, they’re more at home in the cracks in-between. It’s from these deeper, often darker, places where Betty Jaeger’s voice reaches up, takes you by the hand, and invites you along for the ride – a difficult offer to refuse.
Betty is a self-taught vocalist from Kalispell, Montana and writes a majority of the group’s more down-tempo and melodramatic melodies. Jaeger, the daughter of an english professor, was groomed to be the captivating vocalist and songwriter she has become. Her own lyrics are replete with animal and nature imagery, but it’s in a fairy tale more in the fashion of Grimm than Disney, with minimalistic guitar styling to accompany them. After meeting Josh Harvey in Montana a handful of years back, the two began collaborating their music into what as become Betty and the Boy today.
Josh Harvey is a self-taught, multi-instrumentalist born in Portland, Oregon. He began playing upright bass and guitar during adolescence and pursued playing inherited instruments from his musical family members , such as mandolin, guitar, and banjo soon after he met Betty. The two began performing in the Northwest as a duo. Joshes songwriting capabilities are heavily influenced by post-punk undertones, and adds the more quirky side to Betty and the Boy.
Michelle Whitlock has been playing violin since the age of 3, and has trained through the Suzuki Program. Coming from a musical family from Fort Wayne, Indiana, she later pursued a music degree from the Indiana University. Her innate ability to play by ear, and her preference to play her instrument in a lower register creates a unique compliment to such whimsical tunes.
Nanci McDonald was classically trained in Niantic, Connecticut. Beginning her musical endeavors at age 5, she later studied with a music minor at the University of Vermont, and participated in various bands throughout Boston, Northern Arizona, San Francisco Bay, and currently in Eugene, Oregon. She currently also volunteers with the Eugene Symphony and teaches private cello lessons at Harmony Roadhouse. Nanci also sings and plays great ’round the campfire’ ukulele and guitar tunes.
Jon Conlon is also a self-taught bassist from Washington D.C. His vast experience in various up-tempo garage rock and punk bands throughout the Northwest has fueled his inspirations and talent for studio recording. Consequently, he has (in the comfort of his own living room!) recorded some of Betty and the Boy’s most successful tracks, such as, Moth to a Light, Good Luck, and Babel on their recently released album titled, Good Luck. Jon not only has ‘killer chops,’ he can also cook a mean set of BBQ pork ribs.
The Oly Mountain Boys
began in 2008, playing the traditional music of Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers with high-energy drive. This music is still the backbone of the band’s repertoire. Now they have incorporated a couple albums' worth of original bluegrass material, some of a traditional bent and others drawing liberally from folk-rock and Americana. Either way, the band combines bluegrass picking prowess and tight, three-part vocal harmonies, bringing a youthful vitality to one of America’s original musical forms.
The Oly Mountain Boys' mission is to reinvigorate the bluegrass genre by bringing the original bluegrass sound of the 1950s to a new generation of fans. The band believes that the appeal of Bill Monroe and his music knows no bounds. The band is a regular fixture in Olympia at the Pig Bar, but has brought its sound north to the San Juan Islands (Lopez Island's The Galley) and Bellingham (the Green Frog Acoustic Tavern) and south to Cottage Grove, Oregon (the Axe & Fiddle), and everywhere in between (Seattle's Nectar Lounge and Conor Byrne, Tacoma's New Frontier Lounge, Port Townsend's Sirens, and more). The Oly Mountain Boys hit the festival circuit for the Washington Bluegrass Association each summer, and have also been featured at Seattle's Folklife and at Bend, Oregon's High and Dry Bluegrass Festival.
Tye Menser (Banjo, Vocals) was born in Southern California but likes to point out, for bluegrass credibility, that his parents and entire family are from Western Kentucky. Tye learned to play bluegrass in Fairbanks, Alaska starting in 2004, studying the bands of Carl Hoffman, the Father of Alaska Bluegrass, and the hard-driving style of his banjo disciples. Tye is a practicing "attorney at bluegrass," freeing citizens from the jails by day and bluegrass licks from the strings by night. He currently resides in West Olympia.
Chris Rutledge (Guitar, Vocals) was born and raised in Shelton, Washington. Chris grew up with his dad's country/rock band, Whatever's Fair, and learned to play guitar at a young age. He went on to play in several local bands, and his style was once compared to Eric Clapton, and Jimmie Page, only, "no where near as good...." After a long love affair with a Les Paul and a big Fender amp, he was bitten by the bluegrass bug at the Northwest String Summit. The only cure was to unplug all that cumbersome gear and find a group of like-minded pickers bent on making great music. Chris does ask that you not tell the Les Paul, as he has yet to break the news.
Phil Post - Bass, Dobro, Vocals
Phil Post (Bass, Dobro) is the only member with bona fide Southern heritage, growing up in the Ozark Mountains in Missouri. Phil's musical journey began singing for a Springfield, MO church choir. He moved to the Pacific Northwest many years ago, studying jazz and composition, and has played a number of instruments in a variety of regional bands through the years, including Big Idea, Heliotroupe (jam band), Head For the Hills (bluegrass), Milroy Holler (psychedelic), Cabin Kind (newgrass), Tilted Stilts (alt-country), and currently the Erev Ravs (klezmer). Phil resides in Olympia.
Josh Grice - Fiddle
Josh was raised near Milwaukee, Wisconsin and moved to Olympia to work and stare at the mountains. He stumbled into a bluegrass jam in early 2009 and soon wound up a member of the Oly Mountain Boys. His bluegrass inspirations begin with his dad's bluegrass treasury albums and extend to modern pickers like Bela Fleck and Chris Thile, and fiddlers like Jason Carter and Casey Driessen. He keeps his fingers limber by playing "violin" with the Olympia Symphony Orchestra.
Derek McSwain grew up in Olympia, plays the mandolin and sings baritone.
After performing together for over 8 years, Jamie Blair (master banjo player and high lead and tenor vocalist) and Mike Faast (singer/songwriter and guitarist) have pooled their talents and formed a hot new act: “Faast & Blair.”
Faast and Blair exhibit unique versatility in their ability to perform as a duo, trio or traditional four or five piece band. When performing as a band they draw from several great northwest musicians to get the job done.
Faast & Blair have a passion for Bluegrass Music which is apparent from the very first note. Being seasoned veterans of the Bluegrass genre, they demonstrate professionalism, attention to detail, and respect for tradition in every performance.
Whether performing original tunes, traditional bluegrass standards, or their unique rendition of an iconic pop tune, Faast & Blair deliver high-energy music they’ve affectionately labeled “Extreme Bluegrass.”
is a folk + roots band based in Bellingham, WA. Combining each member's unique influences ranging from jazz to Leadbelly to The Lumineers, blending three distinct vocal styles, and adding copious amounts of foot-stomping, they demonstrate a sound and presence that's at once original and familiar, appealing to audiences of all generations and genres. Having just finished a Midwest tour, they are currently playing shows in and around the Northwest and preparing material for their first full-length album, to be recorded in early 2014 at the famed Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville, WA.
Brothers Zach and Nathan Hamer have been playing music and reading one another's minds since their earliest days running around wooded areas of their family's farm in the furthest Northwest corner of the U.S. Meanwhile, on the other side of the same small town, Miranda Zickler was playing Weezer covers at her high school lunchtime concerts. It wasn't till they had all spent varying lengths of time in New York City that they ended up in the same diner in Union Square and decided to start playing music together. They each moved back to the NW at their own pace, and they have since dedicated each of their lives wholly to the pursuit of the band.
Combining each member's unique influences ranging from Leadbelly to The Lumineers, blending three distinct vocal styles, and adding copious amounts of foot-stomping, they discovered a sound and a presence that's at once original and familiar, appealing to audiences of all generations & genres. Having just finished a Midwest tour, they are currently playing shows in and around the Northwest and preparing material for their first full-length album. Their self-titled debut EP is available on iTunes and at www.brerrabbitmusic.com.
Zach Hamer on lead guitar, harmonica, and vocals doesn't like anything recorded after 1979. If he's controlling the music it is almost always a Bob Dylan recording. His vocal type and early songwriting are frequently compared to the basso profundo of Johnny Cash, and he's often found noodling along to old blues artists like T-Bone Walker and Robert Johnson.
Nathan Hamer on ukulele, mandolin, vocals, and melodica grew up sharing influences with his brother. Nathan's sound balances Zach's nicely by leaning more toward contemporary folk artists like Tallest Man On Earth and Beirut. The cadence and style of his writing is reminiscent of Paul Simon, and he counts Jack White and Jacques Brel among his heroes.
Miranda Zickler on guitar, tambourine, cello, piano, and vocals having spent the better part of her adolescence in choirs and musicals, is heavily influenced by the harmony and energy found in group singing - especially that of Gospel and African choirs. She found a love of soul music and its pop counterparts at an early age when she received the Jackson 5's greatest hits for Christmas, and she grew from there into the quirky anti-folk scene of artists like Regina Spektor. Tom Waits, Dolly Parton, and Patti Smith are some of her heroes.
Together, their sound blends old and new into a style they've taken to calling Folk-stomp Americana. Drawing on influences from decades past and taking cues from current artists like The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, and Old Crow Medicine Show, they like to think their individual influences tie together seamlessly to create something at once original and familiar, appealing to audiences of all generations and persuasions.
"Those with their eyes on the folk scene around town have a keen eye on The Ames,
and are about to be rewarded. With their new CD We Were Kids, The Ames have crafted a musical identity – a sound which only sounds like The Ames.
So many bands listen to music in their genre and focus on mimicking it as closely as possible but The Ames have managed to completely miss their genre entirely. They are known as a folk band but their album falls more closely to pop-rock. If this scares you, don’t let it. All this means is We Were Kids will appeal to people who like folk, pop, rock, roots, singer-songwriter, indie music, etc. For anyone counting at home that’s pretty much everyone. Recorded in B Natural Studios down in Shoreline, the sound engineering on the disc is solid. At times the bass is a little loud and I found the cymbals (particularly the ride) to be a bit bright in the mix but I haven’t heard vocals or piano this well recorded in awhile.
My only complaint about the music itself is that there wasn’t enough! Someone needs to tell these guys (by lining their pockets with cash preferably) that if they’re going to make music as good as this then we want a longer album. We Were Kids clocked in around 20 minutes making it a great EP but not really a full length CD yet. The record features seven songs but two of them are transition pieces so we’ll call it five complete songs. Some are upbeat, happy jams that would be fun to dance to, others more somber. To the Heart, the first song on the EP sounds like what I imagine Phantom of the Opera would sound like if Elton John wrote it. The piano on the album is driving and vibrant, often in control of the feel, even more so then then drums at times. Not to take away from the drumming which often features fantastic dynamics and a range of styles and grooves to keep things interesting. When playing along side a full 88 key piano many bass players can get lost but I didn’t feel that was the case here. Throughout the album Sam Carlton's vocals range from stylish and fun, to soulful- even painful at times giving the full album a brilliant, distinct sound. In the future I would love to hear The Ames branch out a little more with their orchestration. More backup vocals, harmonica, banjo, and guitar on their next recording would fill out the sound and could be the difference between local band and national touring act.
We Were Kids really is an impressive recording. There isn’t enough emphasis put on creative, original song writing in music these days and The Ames have that in strides. Find a way to hear this album and make sure you check these guys out next time they play because it’s bands like The Ames that put B’ham music on the map in the first place."
- Daniel de Lisle / What's Up! Magazine - May 2013
"The Ames, a three piece with Michael Lanz on drums, Dan Swan on bass and Sam Carlton holding down principle vocals, piano, banjo, harmonica and kazoo. They start off with a song called "Scratch The Night": a percussive piano driven piece with drums and bass underneath. Sam Carlton's voice moves easily around early Tom Waits, Britt Daniels from Spoon and aspects of Jeff Tweedy. But it is unique and interesting, dynamic unto itself, engaging. Everyone seems to get on the same pony with the song "Human Being". After that, no one was going to leave until the band stopped playing. "Rusty Laroux" demonstrated a fine sense of narrative songwriting and you had to imagine Fred Snodgrass smiling. Then Sam shifted from piano to banjo, picking the strings with a unique skill that made it sound as if a guitar was playing underneath the voice of the banjo, making the instrument do things it it normally doesn't do. Aspects of Bela Fleck. Nice. The second half of the set was marked by a sort of gypsy style klezmer kazoo song, waking up the midnight crowd. Then the song, "Fish Outta Water". A lamp in the window behind the drums and beautiful beautiful playing in silhouette. A lonely song aching with nostalgia. And as with all good music, you didn't want any of it to ever end."
- Scot Casey / What's Up! Magazine "Live Reviews" - April 2012
"Three piece collective The Ames - drummer Michael Lanz, bassist Dan Swan and multi-instrumentalist Sam Carlton, who contributes lead vocals, keys, banjo, guitar, harmonica and the occasional kazoo - make a type of music that fits their hometown of Bellingham: quaint, charming and a little off-kilter. The band has only been together since August, but the seven songs on their self titled EP already offer a good lesson on how folk can be fun - theatrically woeful vocals and loose, freewheeling melodies backed by plinking strings and a pounding ragtime piano. It's foot-stomping, saloon-style folk!"
- Erin K. Thompson / Seattle Weekly - Dec. 2011
"The Ames have assembled a sound that combines a modern sensibility with traditional influences. The guys are from Bellingham and have put together a recording that is heartfelt and unpretentious. Sam, Mike and Dan seem to actually enjoy each other on a personal basis and the music reflects that mutual respect."
- Pooner Clark / 92.9 KISM - Dec. 2011