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The Annual Amboy Bluegrass & Old Time Music Festival that was taking place in June has been cancelled until further notice.

If you can, you may want to check out the Bluegrass Festival in Ridgefield in October.

 

 

Square Dance called by Internationally Infamous Bill Martin.
Friday night after the main stage show at the grange hall just a short way down the road from the park.
Music by Caroline Oakley and the Amboy Pickups.
Runaway Train - Olympia, Washington
"Solid bluegrass from some bluegrass veterans."

Visit Runaway Train Website

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Great Northern Planes - Portland, Oregon
"Always a good time and what great harmonies."

Visit Great Northern Planes Website

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Urban Monroes - Portland, Oregon "The future of bluegrass. Solid instrumentals and wonderful vocals." Visit Urban Monroes My Space Website

Fashioned from the heart of tradition and infused with adrenaline, the Urban Monroes’ contemporary bluegrass style is an outgrowth of the combined skill of some of the Pacific Northwest’s finest talent. Possessing band member credits ranging from “record of the year” and “CD of the year” to state bluegrass instrument champions, their musical experience circles the globe having taken them as far away as England and Scotland and even to Siberia…the long way. Three of the Urban Monroes’ members have been featured on the Emmy award winning television show “Oregon Art Beat.” With Fran Kent – guitar and vocals, Matt Grey – banjo, Jason Mellow – bass and Eddie Parente – fiddle, the Urban Monroes are the new tradition in contemporary bluegrass.

 

Jason Mellow was born in Norfolk, Virginia, raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and moved west to Portland, Oregon in August of 1995. With musical aspirations, he played electric bass with Portland rock/groove/jazz/Americana bands such as “Walleye”, “Rosewater”, “Louden/Mellow Project”, “Jon Ostrom Band”, and “The Millies”. At age 30, Jason got his first upright bass and helped form “Cross-eyed Rosie”. Now, a well rounded bass player with real appreciation for the modern acoustic sound and traditional music, Jason continues the journey with the Urban Monroes, Cross-eyed Rosie as well as playing pick up gigs with bands such as “Deadwood Revival” and “Loose Digits”.

Matt Grey – banjo. Oregon State Banjo Champion and Nechville endorsed artist. Matt has also played with “Everything’s G”, “Mollybloom” and “True North” and can also be seen in a banjo/fiddle duo with Jeff Shippy.

Fran Kent – guitar. “Record of the Year Final Chart” – Radio six International Glascow and “CD of the Year” – Music Portal Magazine for two consecutive full length CD releases. Fran has played and toured with Joni Harms on guitar and vocals (Capital Records and Warner Western), “Everything’s G”, “Cowboy Orchestra”, “New Moon”, “Appalachian Swing”, and others. She received an endowment from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts for her songwriting.

Fiddle player and Global touring violin monster musician. He has played with more people than you can shake a stick at. His performance credits range from the “Trail Band” to touring in many cities in Western Russia, playing in philharmonic halls in Beliki-Novgorod, Kazan, Ufa and Samara.
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Deadwood Revival - Port Angeles, Washington
"Old Timey with an edge. People will really love their sound."
Visit Deadwood Revival Website

Kim, Jason, and Ches have an undeniable connection intertwining “old-time, bluegrass, folk, blues and even classic country flavors” into a timeless style of good ole down home, feel good music. Their original tunes are full of depth and emotions as well as lyrically beautiful. The traditional tunes are bass thumping, rhythmically solid and sometimes spin into moments of improvisation with the claw hammer banjo often taking the lead role.

 

The vocal harmony between Kim and Jason is so powerful…a blend so tight…that their voices truly become one. As if the music itself weren’t enough, the positive energy they exude…that unknown dimension…is a large part of what draws people in and keeps them coming back. The joy they put into their music reflects back to the fans who take with them feelings of happiness, positivism, and inspiration. That is why in less than two years, Deadwood Revival has had an amazing amount of accomplishments. Since early 2005, DwR has played over 300 shows, released two CDs earning rave reviews, won the 2005 Northwest String Summit band competition, toured the west coast four times, played at some of the most reputable regional music festivals, opened for national acts such as Hot Buttered Rum and the Drew Emmitt Band, and had (and is still having!) radio airplay on stations all across the country and Victoria. Presenters and fans alike all ask the question, “When are you coming back?” Is it any wonder?
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Dewgrass - Gig Harbor, Washington
"Great family band with tremendous instrumentals."

Visit Dewgrass Website

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Chickweed - Portland, Oregon
"Hot chicks, cool grass." Visit Chickweed My Space Website

What is Chickweed anyway? Portland’s HOT Bluegrass Band!

Chickweed is acoustic music that is: determined, high energy and engaging with fast, raw vocals, strong chops, steady bass line and melodic guitar featuring raucous original tunes, solid bluegrass and traditional roots.

 

Drawing on each member’s strengths, Chickweed blends choice traditional tunes with new “old” originals. Bringing the late night camp fire jam feeling to every audience they now play for has been the goal of this exciting and raucous trio of musicians. The humorous and entertaining nature of their personalities is contagious. Always friendly and quick with a smile, the ladies of Chickweed are ready to rock!

Abby Downs plays the guitar and provides a strong lead vocal that puts the blues in bluegrass.
She hails from the big O, Ohio that is. When she was young, she started singing with the glee club. When she realized it was not quite her style but loved singing, she moved immediately to the local rock scene. Abby then experimented with the Rocky Mountain bluegrass scene in Telluride, Colorado, but longed for the beauty and majesty of the Northwest rainforests. Today, Abby makes Portland, Oregon her home. She relishes the support for her songwriting and the inspiration of the local bluegrass community.

Finn Fox gets the crowd going with her lightning fast mandolin playing, and gives Chickweed its signature sound.
Before she discovered the mandolin, her love of traditional string music was inherited from her Grandfather’s passion for square dance calling at the local grange hall. Finn’s affection for playing music started with the piano and has evolved to the mandolin. Moving from Buffalo, New York to the Olympic Peninsula, her grandfather’s last words rang in her ear as she built a cabin in the woods, “Bill Monroe”. After years of striving for that high lonesome sound that eludes many a bluegrass musician, Portland has become the springboard of opportunity for her true calling.

Holly Wyman maintains the low end with a rock-solid bass line that helps keep it all together.
Bluegrass has echoed through her life as far back as she can remember. Banjo and guitar were the first live instruments she ever heard played. Her grandfather and his siblings all played instruments, bringing their love of acoustic string music with them as they traveled to California during the Great Depression. Holly loved music, but never had any intentions of playing an instrument. One fateful night, she was invited to a Thanksgiving Day party that turned out to be a picking party. A friendly gesture was made and an upright bass was placed in her hands, the very same one she plays today. The encouragement from great friends and loved ones solidified her love for the low end, and her bass, Carmella. It has truly changed her life 100%, just ask her. Now calling Portland her home, you can usually find her jamming late into the night, surrounded by friends, with her laughter as the beacon.
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Kathy Boyd and Phoenix Rising - Tualatin, Oregon
"A Northwest favorite entertainer. A class act." Visit Kathy Boyd and Phoenix Rising Website

Kathy Boyd and Phoenix Rising
Just as the mythical phoenix flew as high as it possibly could, burst into flame and then arose reborn from the ashes…the same phenomenon occurs with musicians and the bands they perform in. Phoenix rising has a sound that’s fresh and new as the result of its members performing together in various combinations over the past 30 years. This particular group of individuals has now gathered together in full force; bringing together the best of bluegrass, Americana, cowboy, folk, country and some incredibly talented songwriters to bring you a sound that is clean, hard driving, and uniquely their own.

 

Kathy Boyd
Well known throughout the Northwest for her high energy, entertaining, classy style. Kathy provides the bass beat and sparkle to Phoenix Rising. She has performed as a member of “Something Blue”, “No Strings Attached”, “Knock ‘em Stiff”, “The Pickups”, “The Oops Band”, and throughout the Western United States and Canada with various musicians both on stage and in the recording studio. This people lover is also a festival emcee through Uptown Bluegrass, a public speaker for Odyssey Hospice and the Alzheimer’s Association, and a people lover who’s heart is as big as her instrument.

Tim Crosby
This astounding talent is known far and wide for his ability to give any instrument he picks up a personality of its own. He has performed with “Briarose” (for over 30 years), the “Flying O’Carolan Brothers”, and throughout the United States with various musicians both live and in the recording studio. Tim has shared the stage with the likes of Bill Monroe, David Grisman, Don Edwards, Baxter Black, and Riders in the Sky. Taking on the duties of fiddle and mandolin player for Phoenix Rising, his playing forms the character of the bands sound.

Tom Tower
Our own Dr. Phil of Bluegrass, this master storyteller and remarkable presence is our own lovable dancing teddy bear. Taking on the duties of both banjo and dobro player for Phoenix Rising, Tom’s playing adds a bit of whimsy and fun that is the perfect counterpoint to the playing of his long time friend Tim Crosby. He has performed as a member of “Briarose” (for over 30 years), “No Strings Attached”, “Knock ‘em Stiff”, “The Pickups”, and the “Sussefusse International Dance Orchestra”. Tom has performed throughout the world with various musicians both on stage and in the recording studio.

Dennis Nelson
Singing that high tenor and bringing the “high lonesome” sound to the band, Dennis is the most recent addition to Phoenix Rising. With a background in blues and country rock, he adds his unique sound to the mix by playing lead and rhythm guitar. A member of several bands during his travels from Wisconsin to Alaska to Oregon, Dennis is our resident airplane pilot and mechanic. You might also catch him as one of the “instigators” of many of the jams throughout the Salem, Oregon area.
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Whiskey Puppy - Portland, Oregon
"Raucous old timey good time." Visit Whiskey Puppy Website

Whiskey Puppy plays boot-stomping, mule-slapping traditional bluegrass and old time music. The Portland, Oregon trio brings energy, humor, and skillful musicianship to little-known songs and tunes searched out from the repertoires of the early Southern string bands. Known for sweet three-part harmonies and their collection of chew toys, Whiskey Puppy has been performing since 2001, including their infamous 2005 “Kiss the Puppy” cross-country tour. They have appeared at bars and festivals all over the West Coast, and in 2004 won the “Not quite bluegrass” band contest at the Columbia Gorge Bluegrass Festival.

Whiskey Puppy features Rachel Gold (of the band The Flat Mountain Girls) on guitar, Justin Auld (of the band Redwood Highway) and on banjo and fiddle, and Travis ‘Tater’ Harrison (of the bands Cocks in the Henhouse and Jackass Willie) on bass. Justin and Rachel are honored to be the first Saturday of the month hosts of KBOO’s (97.1 fm Portland) Music From The True Vine show.

 
Whiskey Puppy has four cds out currently including:
2001: Pork Dungeon (hair of the puppy) 2003: Love Storm (puppy style)
2005: Fate of Man (before the dawn of pants) 2008: Unleashed!

They have received favorable reviews from some very reputable people including:
“Make no mistake about it…Whiskey Puppy has a raucous edge that straddles the line between old time and bluegrass.” - Bluegrass Unlimited 2003
“Whiskey Puppy…is on the cutting edge of incredible energy music…Whiskey Puppy has maintained the sound of the Skillet Lickers and have as much fun as the old timers did.” – The National Traditional Country Music Association Tradition Magazine 2005
“Punch-drunk with a high-powered sound.” – The Missoula Independent 2005
“You would have a hard time distinguishing between this group and any of the early 1920’s or ‘30’s string bands that were so incredibly popular. Do puppies really drink whiskey?” – The National Traditional Country Music Association Magazine 2006

In their own words:
We love the string bands of the 1920’s-1950’s because they had a raucous good time singing about prohibition, homesickness, and heartbreak. Whiskey Puppy continues this tradition, finding the richest songs from the old time string bands, medicine show performers, blues masters, and early bluegrass greats, and striving to have as much fun with them as our musical predecessors did. We are Whiskey Puppy – Unleashed!
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Wide River - Spokane, Washington
"Solid bluegrass band influenced by blues, swing, jazz, a bit of 60's and 70's rock and a touch of old time honky-tonk country!"

Visit Wide River Website

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Small Towne - Astoria, Oregon
"Amazing vocals and solid instrumentals, traditional to the core"

Visit Small Towne My Space Website

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The Puddletown Ramblers - Portland, Oregon (I gotta get in on the action, it's just too much fun) "A Northwest legend" Visit Puddletown Ramblers Website

Puddletown Ramblers – The Myth, The Legend

This unstoppable force, believe me, people have tried to stop them, was hatched on a glorious Wednesday night in 1996 when three outstanding young men met for the first time at Chick Rose’s bluegrass class, Steeplegrass, in Vancouver, Washington. Upon striking that first out-of-tune chord, while playing completely different songs, they boys knew it was destiny. Well, time went by and their playing ability improved to beginner level. They decided it was predetermined that they form some sort of band to try and get paid for jamming together. This lead to the formation of the bluegrass supergroup Puddletown Ramblers. The heavens parted, the sun shone, and the legend was born.

 
The guys took it to the next level by adding a fiddle and a bass player who shared their dream of one day becoming bluegrass kings. With the addition of the bass, rhythm and timing were suddenly discovered and their distinctive sound was unleashed upon the world. The boys practiced and practiced the old-time and traditional songs, and, when one of them learned to write, they began performing some original songs in addition to ripping off other band’s set lists. This was the sign that they were waiting for and took the show on the road; pretty much taking any gig offered to them out of desperation. They paid their dues to the bluegrass gods and got the experience and gas money they needed to become international superstars. They boys learned through the struggle of “the long hard road” that it takes a lot of hard work and effort to be a band. It’s not like jamming in a la-z-boy at all! They overcame the long nights, obsessed fans, paparazzi and supermodels, and went on to over ten years and counting of incredible shows.

Over the years they have earned at least a few really loyal fans in Yugoslavia. Their cd Black Highway is a big hit in the Eastern Block. They are currently searching for other songs to rip off for their upcoming newest release. The band has learned a lot performing, including, always zip up your pants before going onstage. Plus, they found out that chicken wire dices the tomatoes perfectly when thrown at the rate of at least sixty miles per hour. The Puddletown Ramblers are survivors and a great bluegrass legend.

Puddletown Ramblers – The Members and Lore

David Peterson Plays lead guitar, dobro and sings. He is known far and wide as “Fast-talkin’ Dave, the West Coast Promotions King”. The band believes he could sell ice cubes to an Eskimo. His day job involves computers, taking over the world, and drinking lattes. David’s passion is music and he loves his guitar. He sometimes cuddles it. We’ve seen him do it! He is a Portland, Oregon native and enjoys being able to read and write, groupies and performing with these old guys. David is the band’s manager and often gets them hired at some of the finest freeway off-ramps and greasy spoons. Yes ladies, he’s single.

From Vancouver, Washington comes Joe Martin, who plays rhythm guitar and sings. Joe was recently asked to say a few words about his musical career. He responded with “hmmm, a few words, lets see, cauliflower?, succotash?, horsefeathers?”. Although some things may on occasion get by him, he is certainly a nice guy and never misses a beat. He will generally be right on the timing of a song even when everyone else isn’t. Joe enjoys finding that “tasty harmony” and those “neat little licks” that add to the “wall of sound” that the Puddletown Ramblers have. Joe is a plumber by day and really gets into “tearin’ apart a toilet in less than ten minutes”. If you shake his hand, wash immediately.

Tom Martin, also from Vancouver, Washington, and Joe’s older brother, is the band’s legendary banjo player and he also sings. When you watch Tom play, the pain, sorrow and the chili he just ate is definitely on his face and you feel what he feels. Tom’s “unique”, “interesting”, and “controversial” banjo style was developed by the CIA in the sixties as a method to extract information from suspected spies. Born into a very large musical family filled with opinions and attitude, he brings the band a wealth of witty comebacks and submission holds. Never a practice goes by when all the problems of the world aren’t solved with one of Tom’s readily available opinions. Tom is an auto mechanic by day and an elite crime-fighting superhero by night. His banjo is his weapon.

Fred Schulz plays the fiddle, mandolin and sings in the band. Fred is determined to bring about a new form of civilization with his fiddle playing. When the new dawn comes, he will be “tilling his land” and “polishing his shotgun” while laughing at the rest of us. Fred is the yin to Tom’s yang and their discussions have been known to last for days. While they have never as of yet led to fisticuffs, we do have to send them to their rooms at times. Fred enjoys getting his hands dirty, jamming to the wee hours and free food. We recently learned that Fred has reached the twentieth century with the purchase of a ten year old microwave and a cell phone, both “instruments of the devil” as Fred puts it. Although without electricity, we aren’t sure how he’s going to use them.

Playing the bass and giving the band much needed class and distinction, is Walt Jacobson. An all-around great guy, he keeps us all in line with solid rhythm and runs. We’d like to thank Walt for lowering his standards and performing with us. We’d also like to thank Walt for smacking us when we needed it. Although Walt has a good voice, he refuses to sing with us. Everyone has their limits. Walt prefers to sing to pets and while in the shower. The band has affectionately, and out of fear, named him “Enforcer”. We also refer to him as “Walking Bass” because the boy can play! When we try to speed up a song, he gently and lovingly tells us to “get it right dummies!” Walt enjoys his family, motorcycles, a nicely ironed shirt and secretly laughing at us on the inside.
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Reggie Miles - Sultan, Washington (he will open the show both days, he plays bottleneck guitar, slide guitar, "nobro", harmonica and the saw!) "You gotta see this guy. He's amazing and death defying!"

Visit Reggie Miles Geocities Website

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George Chudacoff - Vancouver, Washington
"A wonderful musician and teacher well known in the Northwest and beyond"

Visit George Chudacoff CD Baby Website

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Short Cuts to: Runaway Train Great Northern Planes Urban Monroes Deadwood Revival Dewgrass Chickweed Kathy Boyd and Phoenix Rising Whiskey Puppy  Wide River Small Towne  Puddletown Ramblers Reggie Miles George Chudacoff  Top of Page

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