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My husband, Ken Bevis, is a guitar-playing folk singer who writes original songs. Of course, he also has a day job working as a wildlife biologist for the state and has no intentions of quitting that day job. Whew.

He recently came out with his second CD, Great Divide. And to celebrate he had a CD Release Concert at the Merc Playhouse in Twisp. The Merc is an intimate theatre with not a lot of room for moving around. So I shot photos from near the second row and from the aisle in the top row in hopes of not disturbing the folks that came to listen.

For the CD Ken included many talented musicians and he invited all of them to play at the concert and fortunately most of them were able to be there. It took lots of planning and coordination. At no time were all of the players able to rehearse together. Fortunately they all know how to improvise and the concert was a rousing success! The Merc was sold out – there were nearly 150 people for the show! More than one person told me, that’s the best music performance of the year. One person even said it was the best ever! The accompanying musicians were Lynette Westendorf, Arnold Cleveland, John Weeks, Julie Dubois, Laura Love, Carl Bevis, Don McIvor, and Wayne Mendro.

You can find the CD’s at The Winthrop Gallery, in Winthrop, or contact me to get one directly from Ken, or order it from his website.

You can see highlights from his first CD Release Concert, Wanderer’s Moon, here.

The trip did not end in SE Utah. The girls and I continued south to Albuquerque where we camped just outside of the city in an RV park. Not my favorite accommodations, for sure. And Sky was very upset. It seems that the place is covered with goatheads. In case you are not familiar with them, let me explain. Goathead is a common name of an annual weed sometimes called puncturevine among other things. Its seeds are small and have sharp thorns that can puncture a bicycle tire. Imagine stepping on them with bare feet. The dogs would come to a complete halt, unable to move until I came over and removed the goatheads from their pads. Poor Sky could hardly relieve herself while we were there. Luna took to going as soon as she got out of the camper. It was a challenge for the dogs for sure. I did find a couple of trails at the nearby Petroglyph National Monument where they could walk more easily on leashes.

So why did we stay three nights in this RV park? My friends, Jennifer and Judy, of Notable Exceptions (you can listen to and buy their music here) were up for an award at the International Western Music Awards show and they were debuting the Corral Chorale, a mighty musical event and they asked me to photograph it for them. It was a fun weekend of music. Everyone was decked out in their finest western finery and I had to borrow a shirt. I did have my own boots.

Here are just a few photos from the weekend.

Lots of terrific music comes through the Methow Valley. This weekend is the Winthrop Rhythm and Blues Festival. Next week is the start of the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival. Last night we got to see Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, a pair of uniquely gifted musicians from Nashville. According to their website, “Rob Ickes is a longtime, well-established instrumental giant, and Trey Hensley is newly arrived in Music City, bursting with talent both as a vocalist and guitarist. They are in town for the Blues Fest and the Methow Valley Ciderhouse hosted them for two hours. What a treat for folks that don’t get to go to the festival.

My husband, Ken is a singer and songwriter, specializing in folk songs that tell stories, some of them close to his heart and many of them about the nature of this place we call home. He has been working for the last year and a half with Chris ‘Breathe’ Frue to produce a CD of his original songs. Many of Ken’s musician friends joined him in Breathe’s studio to lay down tracks to go with his guitar and vocals and finally, it is finished.

Wanderer’s Moon was released at a concert at the Merc Playhouse last night to one hundred happy fans and listeners! Six of the performers who are featured on the CD were able to join Ken and the show was outstanding! This is a once in lifetime event because getting this many busy people together in one place is always a challenge. The other performers last night were John Weeks, of Chicago on violin and viola, Bill Weiler, of Lyle, WA on the keyboards, Egon Steinebach, of Twisp on harmonica, Julie Ashmore from the Okanogan Highlands on vocals, Don McIvor, of Twisp on guitar and Richard Wassen, of Winthrop on drums. It was a fun evening full of music and celebration. Don Ashford, owner of KTRT radio in Twisp and Winthrop introduced the program. Breathe did the sound. Thank you Don, Breathe and everyone else who helped to make this evening a success!

If you’d like to get a CD, contact me and I will will tell  you how to get it!

 

 

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When I first thought about where I’d like to live, the Methow Valley was high on my list for two things – the terrific outdoor recreation possibilities (hiking, skiing, etc) and the arts. This area has a large number of creative people and it also supports the arts pretty remarkably for such a rural location. Last night we had the good fortune to experience a wonderful musical act – Cahalen and Eli in the Spartan Art Project which is currently located at TwispWorks. How can I begin to describe all of this? Let’s see – TwispWorks is housed in a former US Forest Service complex that was surplused by the federal government and put out for auction. A group of civic minded folks decided it could be a great incubator to support arts and small businesses in our valley and they raised enough money ($1 million dollars!) to buy it and then they had to start refurbishing the old buildings. Now it is home to art studios, classrooms, a natural history center, teen center and more! The Spartan Art Project is a 1951 travel trailer transformed into a gallery space supporting artists both local and from far away. It is the brainchild of three local artists. Last night Donna Keyser’s studio on the TwispWorks campus hosted a reception for the musicians and the audience.

Cahalen and Eli are two fine acoustic musicians based in Seattle. In the last week they have been featured on NPR and Folk Alley and probably other media outlets as well. They write many of their own songs and play mandolins, banjo and guitar and their harmonies are wonderful We were lucky to have such a talented duo in our tiny town of Twisp. One of the ways that the Spartan Art Project supports artists is with their ‘Intimate Performances’. This is the third one. As you might imagine, an old travel trailer does not seat too many people. However, the acoustics are wonderful and the chance to see these men performing up close was particularly entertaining. We reserved two seats so we could be up close and personal with the show.

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