On Saturday, June 30, at Fort Worden State Park's McCurdy Pavilion, two separate shows (one in the afternoon and one in the evening) bring together some of the finest singers and slide guitar players in the country.
The afternoon show features a condensed history of the evolution of sliding instruments, from bottleneck to dobro to lap steel and, finally, pedal steel, with Marley’s Ghost showcasing all of the instruments at the show’s close.
The evening show features tight bluegrass duets with Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, the legendary stylings of South African spoon guitarist Hannes Coetzee, songs of the Carter family by Linda and David Lay, and the brilliant four-part gospel harmony singing from Alabama by the Birmingham Sunlights, whose performance at the 2005 Voiceworks Festival absolutely ignited the audience.
Schedule and bios are below. For tickets, call Centrum at 360.385.3102, x117, or purchase tickets online using our secure Acteva site.
SATURDAY, JUNE 30
PANOPLY OF SLIDE GUITAR, 1:30 pm
Reserved seats: $20
• Terry Robb—bottleneck guitar
• Stacy Phillips—dobro
• Bobby Black—lap slide
• Joe Wright—pedal steel
• Marley’s Ghost
Guitarist Terry Robb is one of the most-heralded players of the Pacific Northwest’s blues scene, an eighteen-time winner of the Cascade Blues Association’s Muddy Award. Resting Place, Robb’s debut album with Yellow Dog Records, features cover songs that compliment Robb’s originals, echoing a broad swath of roots legends.
Stacy Philips is a dynamic mainstage headline performer. An internationally acclaimed resonator guitarist, Phillips’s shows are popular throughout the world. Phillips is also the author of more than twenty-five teaching and repertoire books and DVDs for lap style slide and fiddle, and he has worked effectively to educate novice players of this instrument, playing a central role in its resurgence in popularity.
Bobby Black is a master of the steel guitar whose resume looks as if someone could have made it up. He has played and performed for over fifty years with such artists as New Riders of the Purple Sage, Dolly Parton, the Eagles, John Lennon, Elton John, Barbara Mandrell, the Moonlighters, the Beach Boys, and the Grateful Dead.
Joe Wright’s electric slide technique ignites audiences. He is famous for his use of fuzz tone. His speed metal phrasing of “guitaristic” riffs have drawn rave reviews and his album Powerslide is one of the seminal works of the rock steel genre. His comedy stints are also a well-received feature of his Steel Jam appearances.
Jerry Fletcher sings and plays drums, percussion, and keyboards. He’s been in the music business for over thirty years performing, touring, and recording. He has worked with John Denver, Steve Martin, and Jimmy Rodgers, to name a few. His solo CD is entitled We’re Here To Love.
Ed Littlefield, Jr., a product of the northern California folk scene, relocated to Washington state in the early nineteen-seventies. He played with western swing band Lance Romance before founding Sage Arts, one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier recording studios. With his band, Marley’s Ghost, Littlefield, Jr. has released eight albums.
Mike Phelan of Marley’s Ghost plays in many styles, including bluegrass, rock, folk, and blues. A fine singer and soulful lead instrumentalist, Phelan has released a solo CD, Donora Street. Phelan cites guitarists Steve Cropper, Eldon Shamblin, Doc Watson, and BB King as major influences.
Dan Wheetman came to Marley’s Ghost after the John Denver Band. Wheetman has been Hank Williams, Jr.’s fiddler and had one of his songs recorded by Kermit the Frog. His showmanship and unique sense of humor, combined with an uncommonly powerful and resonant baritone, provide the focal point for the group’s sterling performances.
Jon Wilcox is a member of Marley’s Ghost. He has also released several solo recordings on the Folk-Legacy, Sierra-Briar, and Sage Arts labels, and has toured internationally as a singer-songwriter and interpreter of traditional American and British Isles music. He is a dynamic performer, heavily influenced by the tenor vocal styles of Sam Cooke and the songwriting of Van Morrison.
SATURDAY, JUNE 30, 7:30 pm
SATURDAY NIGHT EXTRAVAGANZA
Reserved seats: $20
• Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum
• Hannes Coetzee
• Linda and David Lay
• The Birmingham Sunlights
Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum. Laurie Lewis’s stage shows are renowned for their musical virtuosity and front-porch friendliness. She has released over a dozen CDs, won a Grammy Award, and twice been named Female Vocalist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association. Vocalist and instrumentalist Tom Rozum mixes traditional bluegrass and old-time music with Western swing.
Hannes Coetzee was born on a farm in the Western Cape region of South Africa and taught himself to play guitar on a three-stringed homemade guitar built from an oil can with cat-gut strings. Since meeting South African songwriter David Kramer, who will join him at the Festival, he has performed to sold-out crowds in every major South African city. This marks his first trip outside the borders of South Africa. Coetzee’s teaspoon guitar technique have made him a YouTube sensation. A single video of him playing has garnered nearly one million hits.
Linda and David Lay. Linda began singing in church and on stages when she was six years old. She sings bluegrass and learned many of her songs directly from the Carter family. She sang lead and played bass with Appalachian Trail, one of the most respected bluegrass bands to come out of the bluegrass heartland. David Lay plays guitar and sings low harmony; he has a keen ear for the traditional music of the Virginia region.
The Birmingham Sunlights grew up in the heartland of African-American a cappella gospel quartet singing in Alabama. With deep respect for their musical heritage, the Sunlights sought out and received priceless musical instruction from older local quartet masters. They have developed a repertoire of impressive original gospel compositions to complement their traditional songs. Their music inspires audiences and brings listeners to their feet.