It’s the 13th annual Brewgrass! A Bluegrass and Microbrew Celebration right here in downtown Anacortes.
Three establishments: H2O, the Rockfish Grill and the Brown Lantern Ale House will each feature some amazing bluegrass bands Friday and Saturday November 4th and 5th 2016 starting at 730 PM and going all the way til 1230 AM.
3 Clubs, 6 Bands, 51 Handles. Hot Dang!
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
and Marina Inn
are offering discounts on lodging with an advance reservation. Call the Cap Sante at (360) 293-0602 or the Marina Inn at (360) 293-1100 and tell 'em you're coming to town for Brewgrass!
Here’s a look at this year’s line-up:
Rockfish: Rain City Ramblers 8PM
H2O: The Duntons
Brown Lantern: Queen's Bluegrass 9:30PM
Rockfish: Pearly Blue 8PM
H2O: Jake Navarro and Sander Vinberg 7:30PM
Brown Lantern: Marcel and Nakos 9:30PM
Queen's Bluegrass has been performing since the mid 1980's. The founder of the group, Ernest Queen passed away in 2015--we like to say he "has gone on before." Kevin Fazio and Aaron Maas, both longtime Queen's Bluegrass members, had the privilege of spending a good bit of time with Ernie in his final days. One of Ernie's final requests was that we "keep playing the music." Kevin and Aaron (with the much needed and appreciated help from Aaron's wonderful wife, Jen) have honored the request since Ernie's passing.
The current lineup for Queen's Bluegrass...Kevin Fazio on banjo, Aaron Maas on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, John Parent on mandolin and fiddle, and Marcel Ardans on lead guitar.
Bluegrass music revolves around singing, and the Dunton Sister’s band revolves around the exceptional vocal power of Jen Dunton, on guitar, and Bev Dunton, on mandolin. A lifetime of singing together has yielded a similarity of tone and phrasing, resulting in some of the most amazing harmonies ever heard in bluegrass. Both sisters are also accomplished flautists and have performed with their mother, Gae, in a classical trio.
Bev, on mandolin and vocals, is also an accomplished flautist. She teaches privately and has been a soloist with the Northwest Washington Concert Band. She has studied mandolin with Tom Moran and John Rieschman. Bev lives next to Mount Erie, Washington, near Anacortes.
From the desk of Jake Navarro: I grew up in the small blue-collar town of Anacortes Washington, out in the San Juan Islands. I spent my youth collecting records, playing guitar, exploring the woods and lakes that surrounded home, and sailing the waters of the Puget Sound. When I'm not on the road touring or holed up in a recording studio somewhere, I still call Anacortes home.
I perform solo, as Danny Barnes's accompanist, and collaborate with various other musicians and bands. I was a founding member in the folk-rock group Spoonshine. Three of Spoonshine's records were produced by Adam Kasper (Foo Fighters, Cat Power, Pearl Jam, Into The Wild Soundtrack, REM, Soundgarden).
Some notable collaborations have been recording with George Schwindt from Flogging Molly, recording and gigging with Danny Barnes on banjo, and playing mandolin for music legend Eddie Vedder on his song "Better Days" for the Eat Pray Love soundtrack. I have done a lot of session work over the years, from basement studio’s in the San Juan Islands, studios in Seattle and LA, to studios found in the hills of Tuscany and Provance, studio session work has brought me literally around the world, and exposed me to many great musicians, producers and experiences.
I also occasionally write music for television, and have composed music for shows that have aired on Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Spike TV. I sometimes dabble in visual arts and graphic design. Basketball legend Bill Walton has a mural of my creation that covers an entire wall of his home.
I've framed houses in the midst of the winter snow, dug ditches, stood bleary eyed in front of a conveyor belt in a factory assembly line day dreaming of song lyrics, driven a travel lift and blocked up ships at a boat yard. I ran a high school music program at a group home for troubled inner city youth on a small isolated island, lived on a failed commune in an old van, lifted many heavy stacks of wood in a lumberyard, and once spent a memorable 24hours stranded at the Greyhound station in Tijuana. I have helped sail a boat down the west coast, survived a hurricane and near dismasting sailing in the Sea of Cortez, and spent one fine summer on a forty foot catamaran off the Atlantic coast of France. I've driven across the back roads and highways of the USA, slept in hotels, motels, and the back of a van to many times to count. As a performer I have been cheered, praised, heckled, and totally ignored, sometimes all at the same time. I've wandered around Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, France, England, Russia, Mexico, Canada.....I've been lucky and unlucky, but mostly lucky, and I count my blessings, because what a long strange trip it's been. Hope to see you somewhere on down the road! – Jacob Navarro
NAKOS - From his birth, Nakos was often around music and musicians thanks to his folksinger dad. He developed a vague interest his father's 4-string mountain dulcimer at a very young age, and by age 12 he had learned to play a few tunes. However, he was becoming bored with the simple instrument, and began to play less and less.
The next year, a family vacation to a lake in Idaho changed everything. On a beautiful lazy summer's day on the beach, for no good reason, Nakos placed a spoon on the lowest string of the dulcimer and discovered that it changed the note. He excitedly spent the rest of the day experimenting and practicing - despite his musical upbringing, Nakos had never learned what slide guitar was.
The spoon was quickly replaced with his father's flashlight, and soon after, a 5/8" deep socket wrench that was his tool of choice for far longer than it probably should have been. The slide technique fascinated Nakos. He started practicing every day and, after realizing slide was not exactly new, listening to every slide guitar recording he could find. After much practice and playing the blues, he tried playing "real" slide on a guitar, and never went back. A few months later he had his 15th birthday, and received a Gibson Hound Dog Deluxe Dobro that he still plays.
Since he received a Dobro, Nakos' intense musical curiosity has lead him to Blues, Bluegrass, Jazz, Irish Traditional, Country and more. Having also been a teenager, he's had brushes with Rock, Pop, and even Thrash Metal. Because of his versatility, he's ended up in many interesting performing situations.
MARCEL - Marcel has roots tied to the Great Northwest through his family, the Carkeeks. The musicians in the family include a banjo playing great-great-grandfather and his son, a guitar player who toured the west coast during the Great Depression. Both of their family heirlooms, the1890's S. S. Stewart banjo and a 1930's Kalamazoo guitar, are now in his possession.
Despite his Americana heritage, Marcel began taking drum lessons at the age of eleven from jazz great, Mel Zelnick. Mel spent his life playing with great musicians such as Patti Page, Peggy Lee, Benny Goodman, Les Brown, Ray Charles, Mel Torme, and Stan Getz. Marcel was one of the youngest students Mel ever taught and was therefore frequently showcased.
Marcel began experimenting with other instruments when his older brother left for college. His brother was known in the family as the "guitar player" but didn't want to take the family's heirloom Kalamazoo to school with him. Eventually Marcel picked up the guitar, and by the end of his older brothers first year in college, Marcel had surpassed him in skill. At age fourteen, Marcel's parents noticed the passion and raw talent in his skills, and bought him his first Martin guitar.
Marcel discovered his passion for bluegrass in 2011 and has since pursued the music intently. He leads Jackalope (formerly David's Drinking Band), hosts an exclusive bluegrass jam with some of the most talented bluegrass musicians in town, just finished recording a solo album titled Something Old, Something New and now gives private guitar lessons from his home as well as giving free lessons at Lessons With Marcel.
Hailing from Seattle, the Rain City Ramblers are an exciting acoustic trio that draws upon the deep well of American roots music to practice their own original songwriting and arrangement. Featuring Forrest Marowitz (upright bass), Daniel Ullom (mandolin) and Jim Horbett (guitar), they can rip fiddle tunes, set down a groovy two-step, and render haunting versions of folk ballads.
Their minimalistic line-up and tight vocal arrangements can captivate people in living rooms, street corners, and on stages. In the short time they have been together, they have been featured at the Seattle Folklife Festival and at local venues like the Tractor Tavern and Conor Byrne Pub. They are currently working on their first full-length album, which is expected to be released in January 2017.
Pearly Blue is a northwest group founded in 2004 that specializes in traditional bluegrass music. It’s members are veterans of many top Washington bluegrass bands. Performance credits are simply too many to name here.
Barry Brower has been at the core of many fine bluegrass groups. He formed the Friends of Sally Johnson in the 1980s and The Fossils in the 1990s. Barry is a bluegrass writer and historian, and was a longtime emcee of KBCS Bluegrass Ramble.
Jen Dunton-Brower is familiar to many Skagit Valley residents from her years of performing with the Dunton Sisters. She switches from guitar to bass in Pearly Blue but that sweet voice remains. The legendary Ralph Stanley said of her and sister Bev Dunton, "Those girls sure can sing!" She has performed with Tony and Larry Rice.
Bill Scott is a longtime performer on the banjo in the Seattle area. He has played in numerous bluegrass bands including The Fossils; the Howdy Boys; Mountain County Co-Op; and Sockeye. He is one of the few banjo players in the country to have mastered "Reno style" but he is also adept at "Scruggs style."
Pete Martin is a well-known Seattle multi-instrumentalist who plays a variety of different styles of music including bluegrass, jazz, and Texas contest fiddle. He was the Adult Fiddle Champion at the National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest in Weiser, Idaho. He is also a columnist for Mandolin Magazine and makes his living as a music teacher.
What They're Saying:
"Best wishes and much success. Ya got a great band there!" -- Larry Kuhn, California Bluegrass Association
"You're the real deal!" -- Keith Bowers, Whidbey Island Bluegrass Festival
"Both lead & harmony vocals fueled by the pulsating sounds of these fine instrumentalists made you take notice of "Pearly Blue" from Washington State. I found myself singing along with many of these fine classics. Everything...was "spot on."
-- Al Shusterman, KCBL Radio, Backroads Bluegrass