Also, coming up December 10 is The Great POTMG Squash-Off. This is an annual pot-luck and picking party to raise money to help fund the gathering (past pot-luck themes have included chili cook-offs, mac & cheese bake-offs, and pie baking contests) and is always a good time.
If you just can't wait for the gathering, head to Seattle next weekend (Dec 9-11) for the Seattle Folk Festival featuring lots of great old time folk. You'll have to miss the Squash Off, though. :-)
I'm really looking forward to the Gathering, as always! One reason is that I'll be playing a dance set on Saturday night (at 8:30, following Foghorn) with the Dragonflies, which is Tatiana Hargreaves and Grace Forrest on fiddles, Karen Celia Heil on guitar, and myself on banjo, with the talented and charming Maggie Lind calling. We intend to rock the place - be there and be square!
Funny you should ask. The Portland Old-Time Music Gathering won't be moving, but one of its founders, Michael Ismerio, will be co-hosting Dare to Be Square in Riner, Virginia May 4-6, 2012 along with Phil Jamison. Phil Jamison wrote a couple of well known articles for the Old Time Herald titled Community Dances in the Eighties: Dare to Be Square! and Old-Time Square Dancing in the 21st Century: Dare to Be Square! and hosted the first Dare to Be Square weekend back east many moons ago. Dare to Be Square-West was held in Portland 2007-2008, then Seattle 2009-2010, before moving to Virginia last year. Out here Dare to Be Square was like a min-version of the Portland Old-Time Music Gathering. Same local crowd, same high energy, lots of picking, lots of dancing, just more square dance calling workshops thrown in. In some ways I liked it better than the gathering since it was smaller, hence a little more intimate. (Bill Martin likes to joke that the Portland Old-Time Music Gathering is a kitchen picking party that got loose. ) So that's where I'd go to get a shot of the Portland Old-Time Music Gathering in the east. You can check out some of the action at last year's Dare to Be Square in this video and see some of the 2010 Dare to Be Square in these photos. and andaa
Square dancing is a big part of the old time music revival out west. It brings in a lot of young folk with their energy and enthusiasm and allows them to participate in the fun right away without the long learning curve associated with playing an instrument. But quite a few will go on to learn to play the music as well.
Michael Ismerio is also a big part of why we currently have a lively old time community in Portland. Michael has always been a big community organizer and put a lot of effort into organizing events, playing in bands, calling square dances, and getting people hooked up out here while the community was growing over the last decade. Michael tells me he's moving to Asheville soon. If there's a strong enough need/desire for another mid-winter festival back east, Michael might be persuaded to help organize it, or at least consult with his experience starting and building the Portland gathering.
As he did last year, Mark Burgin has posted videos of the weekend concerts performed at this year's Portland Old-Time Music Gathering. You can find them on the playlists page on Mark's YouTube channel. There are playlists for: