Here in Bellingham, we like to think we’ve got the market cornered when it comes to blending our bands with our beer.
Anacortes, however, may beg to differ with that opinion.
As proof the not-so-sleepy island town also exists at the nexus of making music and pouring pints is the yearly festival known as Brewgrass, at which one can wander from venue to venue, catching bands and quaffing pints.
By the numbers, this year’s iteration of Brewgrass looks a little something like this:
• Number of festival days: Two (Fri.-Sat., Nov. 9-10).
• Number of venues involved: Three (the Brown Lantern, H2O, and the Rockfish Grill).
• Number of bands playing: Seven (more on that in a minute).
• Number of beers on tap: 51 (yes, that many).
• Cover charge: Zero dollars (that means free).
• Being able to see seven bands for free on two nights at three venues within two blocks of each other in downtown Anacortes while drinking handcrafted beers at each stop: Priceless (sorry, couldn’t resist).
As for the kind of music that will provide the soundtrack for your beer-tasting expedition, if the name “Brewgrass” doesn’t give it away, the call to action issued by festival organizers almost certainly will: “Tune up your flat top, rosin up your bow, restring your washtub and put on your best dress overalls. It’s time for Brewgrass!”
It is possible that all sounds like a foreign language to you, and, if so, allow me to translate: bluegrass is on the musical menu for this event, and it will come to you via the Stilly River Band (Brown Lantern) and Pearly Blue (Rockfish Grill) on Friday night, with the Shed Boys (Brown Lantern) and the Howdy Boys (Rockfish Grill) on the Brewgrass lineup Saturday night. As well, Spoonshine will play at H2O both nights, and they’ll be joined by some very special guests.
Six-string violin player Geoffrey Castle will take the stage with Spoonshine first, and he’ll bring to bear all the inventive nimbleness that took this musician from being a street player to the bright lights of Broadway. Come Saturday night, Spoonshine’s honorary auxiliary member will be none other than Danny Barnes, whose ranging banjo stylings and adventurous nature are sure to keep Spoonshine on their feet all night long, as they have with other artists Barnes has played with such as Bela Fleck, Lyle Lovett, and Bill Frisell.
So, if you possess a bow, you may want to rosin it. And that flat top could probably use a tune. As for your washtub, don’t forget to restring it. It is, as they say, time for Brewgrass.
I live near enough to Western Washington University that I can exit my front door, meander a block or two down the street and view the institution of higher learning… more »
At a mere five feet and four inches, Ronnie James Dio was the definition of tiny but mighty. Arguably one of the most influential forces in heavy metal music, Dio’s… more »
One of the consequences of my particular job is that occasionally—more than occasionally, if I’m being totally honest—I have a hard time deciding what to write about.
One could… more »
Let’s face it: finding things to do in a small town when you’re a college kid who either isn’t old enough or doesn’t want to hit the bars can be… more »
Six years ago, when the music industry was in freefall due to the digital revolution, a group of independent record store owners got together to discuss not just the problems… more »
It’s likely, if you’ve been alive on this Earth for any length of time, you’ve been lucky in love.
It’s also likely that, life being what it is, you’ve been… more »