Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blues and Brews

Just got back from the Blues and Brews Festival in Stevenson, WA, in the Gorge.

Beautiful venue, great weather, terrific bands, and outstanding beer. My wife and I and the dogs parked in the campground next to the lake, and had a fine ole time. 

The event, which has apparently been going on for eighteen years under various names, is held at the Skamania County Fairgrounds, within walking distance of Stevenson, and probably five or six hundred people hung out at the busiest part of Saturday's sessions.

The local cheerleaders handed out water and sunblock. The football team sold T-shirts, as did the science club, to raise money for a wind generator on the school's roof. No dogs allowed inside the venue on Saturday, but you could throw a rock from the back gate and hit the nearest RV and there were places to walk pups until they got tired.

Lot of goose poop to avoid, too. 

Our favorite group was called The Knuckleheads. They did great delta blues. Only songs by dead guys, they announced up front, and they had a groove deep enough to swallow a Mack truck.

Two rules for the band, they said when my wife went looking for CDs after their set: 1) They never rehearse and 2) It's never the same line-up twice.

No CDs ...

Fronting this time was Curtis Salgadao, who is one helluva singer and blues harp player. You get a chance to hear him, go. 

 Naturally, we bought enough tokens to get a fair sample of the beers and wines, and the craft brewers had some mighty fine stuff. Best of it for me was Walking Man's Walking Stick Stout, which was about the color of expresso and as good as it could possibly be.

Only drawback were the mosquitoes who came out after it got dark, once the wind died down. Fortunately we had skeeter dope in the camper, though I always forget to to spray my head, and with short hair, they go for the scalp. Baseball caps are good.

 Got the T-shirt, too. Couldn't have had a better time, though it was noise after the bands shut down Saturday night. Lot of happy drunks in the campground, but no fights. When I got up in the morning to walk the dogs, I was the only person out. Not early risers, blues festival fans, apparently ...

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