Posted by ScottK on Friday, January 11, 2013
The exciting thing about the Portland Old Time Music Gathering (POTMG or Gathering for short) is that it really is a gathering. We have an active old time music and dance scene here in Portland, so we get a steady diet of jamming, square dancing, and friends playing music in pubs year round. But during the Gathering a whole bunch of our festival friends from near and far come to visit. It’s like a big family reunion.
And folk do come from near and far to attend the Gathering. I’ve heard from festival friends from Alaska, Canada, Washington, California, Utah, North Carolina, and Kentucky who are coming. I’ve also heard that a couple folk from England will be here.
Anticipation for the Gathering starts to build about a month in advance when you start getting emails from out-of-town friends looking for a place to stay. Most of the active members of the Portland old time music community will have several house guests during the Gathering. That means that in addition to all the organized events and house parties you end up having a nice social time with shared meals and impromptu tune sessions with the folk staying at your place. I have a big house and lots of friends who don’t mind sleeping on floors, so this year I’ll have about a dozen folk staying at my place. My house guests this year include Bertram Levy and Kirk Sutphin, so I’m excited to get to visit with them and hear their set down at the Gathering on Saturday.
Anticipation for the Gathering builds more with the local old time music events in the week or two prior when folk start to share their excitement. It’s been a good week in that regard. At the Portland Parlor Pickers jam Friday we had friends from Eugene, Corvallis, and Salem in attendance, so it kind of felt like a warm-up for Gathering jams. The Every Sunday Square Dance was rocking this week with The Gold Diggers providing the tunes. They’ll be playing for the Gathering square dance at the Polish Hall on Thursday night. Later Sunday night the Caleb Klauder Country Band played a great acoustic set over at the Moon & Sixpence. They’ll be playing for the Gathering kick-off party on Wednesday at the Spare Room. Wednesday night I went to see my son Erik’s Irish Trad band Na Rósaí play over at East Burn. Erik will be playing old time fiddle at the Gathering on Friday night with Gabrielle Macrae on banjo and Joanna Macrae on guitar. Last night Joel Savoy and David Greely played an awesome Cajun twin fiddle house concert at my friend Abbie’s place. Sammy Lind and Nadine Landry came practically straight from the airport. They just got back from a two month tour of Australia. They’ll be playing with Foghorn Stringband for one of the square dances on Saturday night as well as for the Gathering wrap-up party at the Moon & Sixpence on Sunday night. Tonight I have a practice session with the Crankset Stringband. That’s Lisa Ornstein on fiddle, me on banjo, Joe Moore on guitar, and Robin Wilcox on bass. We’ll be playing for a square dance on Saturday night with Charmaine Slaven calling.
So the excitement is building!
POTMG: Putting the all the time in old time all the time!
Friday, January 11, 2013 @5:49:07 PM
Appreciate your POTMG updates evry year, Scott. You live in a special place and time.
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