Sunday, August 14, 2011
Just Another Day in Bellingham WA, 7
Okay, technically this was a day in Deming, but the Subdued Stringband Jamboree is Bellingham's beloved hometown folk festival. We started going in the early years when it was so small it hardly seemed like it could survive. I reemmber one year there was a wedding going on in a different part of the Deming Log Show Grounds and there was plenty off room for both events. No way that would be true now. In it's eleventh year the Jamboree has spread out magnificently, taking over the place with hundreds of tents owned by eager camper/jammers. As an old codger and lifelong folkie I just love seeing so many thirty-somethings there with their kids. Makes one feel like the future has a chance somehow.
I don't know if the focus is so local because the festival doesn't have the money to fly in a lot of people from around the world (like, say, the Vancouver Folk Festival) or because Robert Sarazin Blake, who dreamed this thing up, wants it this way, but it works beautifully. Sure, there are a few performers listed in the program as being from New York, Texan, Portland, but most are proudly declared to be from: Sehome, Fairhaven, Lettered Streets, and other Bellingham neighborhoods.
Some of my favorite performers this year: the Gallus Brothers (of course), the Shadies, Kit Nelson, Giants Causeway, Mike and Makos Marker, Laurel Bliss and Cliff Perry, and Bent Grass. (I hope someone recorded Bent Grass's hilarious song about Whatcom County.)
May the jamboree keep subduing us for many years to come..