Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Cathy Breslaw's "Weightless" Installation at the LCC Gallery (August 4-31)

I love serendipity because it often leads to a good story and I want to be a raconteur when I grow up. For example, I was traveling with my brother, who has no time for the unplanned, and we stopped in St. Johnsbury, Vermont (www.town.st-johnsbury.vt.us) for gas. He dragged me out of town many hours later because I had discovered the Dog Chapel and the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum (library and art gallery) and the teachers and students from St. Johnsbury Academy willing to chat and the elderly men staging their weekly anti-war rally and and and. Earlier this year I was traveling on the steam train in Durango and met a woman I had laid off from work 25 years ago in Alaska (She called me the “meanest woman in Alaska”).

My latest encounter with serendipity occurred last weekend at The Blues Festival in Portland. My husband and I, his son and daughter-in-law and three-year old granddaughter arrived there late afternoon (after naptime). It was crowded and we were more interested in finding enough room to lay out a blanket than in listening to any particular music group. We were also interested in getting as far away as we could from the main stage because the music was LOUD. So we settled down on the fringe, snacked the granddaughter, and discovered we were three rows back from an empty stage with the speakers pointed straight at us. Up close and personal to the upcoming performance of Super Chikan & the Fighting Cocks (superchikan.bandzoogle.com) . That name raised images of very loud music and lyrics not appropriate for children. Oh Oh.

It was the greatest Delta Blues set I have ever heard! Super Chikan, whose real name is James Johnson, is a truck driver from Mississippi who makes his own ornately decorated stringed instruments and writes his own songs. He is the ultimate showman. Johnson won the 2010 Blues Music Award for Traditional Blues Album, his Chikadelic, and had been nominated for three other awards-BB King Entertainer of the Year, Song of the Year for "Fred's Dollar Store" and Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year. The Fighting Cocks were three fabulous women, a young, cool base player, his daughter on drums, and LaLa Craigdelong, a keyboard player originally from Portland who could ruffles feather as well as the “Chikan.”. The set was intense, good humored blues that kept me and my granddaughter dancing. And it wasn’t too loud.

I have listed a number of music festivals in our area this summer. I urge you to pack a picnic, grab a child, and go dancing.

Note: I am a new blogger and been having trouble with getting the "comments" button to appear. It was on my first two posts and then disappeared. I hope I have resolved the problem. So if you have read previous posts and wanted to commment, please do so. Constructive Comments are much appreciated.

Music Festivals

Clatskanie Rhythm on the River Blues Festival July 31, Noon-10. Free. City Park, Clatskanie, Ore. Info: http://sites.google.com/site/clatskaniebluesfest2010.

Clatskanie Bluegrass Festival August 6-8. Free. Clatskanie City Park and Copes Park, Clatskanie, Ore. Info: www.clatskanie.com/chamber.

Blues and Seafood Festival August 13-14, Fri-7-10pm, Sat. 4-10pm. $10 Fri, $20 Sat. Ilwaco, Wash. Info: 360-783-1143 or http://bluesandseafood.com/.

Mount St. Helens Bluegrass Festival August 13-15. Toledo, Wash. Info: 360-866-2601 or www.washingtonbluegrassassociation.org/2010fest/index.php.

Jazz and Oysters August 15, 10:30-5. $15. Oysterville Schoolhouse, Oysterville, Wash. Info: 360-665-0102 or http://www.jazzandoysters.com/.

The 13th Annual Vancouver Wine & Jazz Festival August 27-29. $17-$25. Fri 4-10:00 pm, Sat 11-10 pm, Sun 11-9 pm. Esther Short Park, Downtown Vancouver, Wash. Info: www.vancouverwinejazz.com/.

First Thursday and Downtown Live!

First Thursday will be on August 5 and the featured artists are listed below. In addition, downtown Longview is celebrating Downtown Live! every Friday night in July and August. Many shops will be open until 9 with special promotions and live music.

1. Broadway Gallery, 1418 Commerce www.the-broadway-gallery.com/

The feature artists are Gayle Kiser (painting), Darla Anderson (ceramics), and new members Marisa Mercure (painting), Bill Smith (photography) and Diane Springer (painted gourds and origami).
Reception: 5:30–7:30pm. Music by Dian Norman.

2. LCC Gallery at the Rose Center, 15th & Washington lowercolumbia.edu/gallery/

The featured artist is Cathy Breslaw, multimedia wall sculptures (Exhibit runs August 4-August 31; Opening Reception August 4, 5-7pm)
Open until 6:00pm.

3. Lord & McCord Artworks, 1416 Commerce http://www.lindamccord.com/

The featured artist is Cathy Causland, porcelain. Columbian Artists Association member Scott McRae will demonstrate acrylic painting with a palette knife.
Reception: 5:00–7:00pm. Violin music by Kaitlyn Lee.

5. Teague’s Interiors Mezzanine Gallery, 1267 Commerce http://www.teaguesinteriors.com/

Teague’s will be featuring work by over 15 local artists.
Open until 7:00pm.

6. Banda's Bouquets, 1310 Broadway http://www.bandasbouquets.com/

Featuring paintings by Gayle Kiser.
Open until 7:00pm.

7. Java Joy Coffee House (in The Treasure House), 1252 Commerce Avenue

Featuring artists from For the Love of Art. www.ftloa.org/.
Open until 7:00pm.

8. The Bistro, 1329 Commerce Avenue www.thebistrobuzz.com/

Wine Tasting. Live music. Door Prizes. Reservations Recommended.
Hours: 5:00-8:00pm.