Tuesday, August 23, 2011

High and Dry Bluegrass Festival - Bend, Oregon

I spent the weekend from August 19th to the 21st at the High and Dry Bluegrass Festival in Bend.  I decided to camp at the festival to make it easier to participate in the jam sessions which is really the best part for me.  I got there Thursday night to make sure I got a good campsight.  So here you see Camp High and Dry.

You can learn more about the High and Dry Festival at: www.hadbf.com/

In between the main stage acts they had a smaller stage set up for short sets performed by people attending the festival.  My camp neighbor, Steve, played the bango with some other friends on the bonus stage.  These guys really could have been a main stage act.

On Saturday morning there were workshops taught by festival performers.  All of the different classes, guitar, banjo, fiddle, vocal, mandolin, vocals, and bass worked on the same song-- Salty Dog Rag.  Then in the afternoon we did a Mega-Band performance of Salty Dog Rag.  All of the different instruments got to take a turn at center stage.  You'll see me on the far left here with the mandolin section.

Through the course of the festival my camp neighbors Steve and fiddle player Amy, who I knew from the Pine Mountain camp out, learned that they both liked to play Celtic tunes and got together for a short jam on Sunday morning.  The fiddle and mandolin make a really nice combo.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bend, Oregon

After the acoustic blues workshop in Port Townsend I headed for Bend, Oregon to visit my friends Perry and Carol.

Perry and I headed up to the Pine Mountain Observatory on Friday for a camp-out with a bunch of their friends.  Here you see an evening jam session that broke out before dinner.

The Pine Mountain Observatory is run by the University of Oregon's astronomy department.  I attended a lecture they had in the evening to learn about the observatory and other astronomy topics.  I was put on to a really great and easy to use planetarium program that anyone can download for free from: www.stellarium.org/

You can learn more about the Pine Mountain Observatory at: pmo-sun.uoregon.edu/

People often think Perry and I are related... but we're not... unless our parents were lying to us.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop

After the Port Townsend Jazz Festival I hung around for the next week to attend the Acoustic Blues Workshop.  I think this was the fourth time I've attended this workshop and I always leave thinking this was the best year ever.  The first year I took guitar classes, harmonica the second year, piano the third year, and this year it was the mandolin.

Jam sessions tend to break out all over the campus, all week long, and at all hours of the day.  This picture happens to be of a scheduled jam that took place on the back porch every afternoon.  I tended to try and sleep for a couple of hours in the early evening so I could last until 3am.

Here's the beginning mandolin class with our teacher Lauren Sheehan.  [you can hear some of her music at: www.laurensheehanmusic.com ]  Lauren also taught an intermediate mandolin class that I took even though it was a bit over my head.

You can learn more about the acoustic blues workshop and festival at: