This girl’s on fire!

Yet again, a fiddle conflagration ensues during an Onlies' practice.

A fiddle conflagration ensues during an Onlies’ practice.

Yes, once again, Sami’s bow catches fire during an Onlies’ practice session. It’s such a common occurrence these days, nobody in the photo seems to care. Fortunately, the band has hired a firefighter to stand by for all practice sessions and concerts, and she was able to put the fire out in seconds. Alas, the costs of purchasing new bows for Sami has become a major drain on the Onlies finances.

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NW Folklife: THE folkstravaganza of the year!

Come join us from 1:40 to 2:15 p.m. Saturday May 24 at the Fisher Green Stage, as we participate again at Northwest Folklife, the great-grandpappy of all Northwest folk events. This year, we’ll debut a few new songs and tunes, and play some of our oldies but goodies.
OnliesBow-onlinecropping-700x400 Definitely check out all the other great acts over the weekend, from Friday through Monday. While our show takes place on Saturday, Sami plays some Cape Breton and old-timey tunes for dancers on Friday (4:30 p.m., International Dance Stage), Riley plays with his dad on Sunday (6 p.m., Trad Stage), and we all join Paul Anastasio & Fire of Tierra Caliente for some heated Mexican string music on Monday (12:30 p.m., Fisher Green Stage).
See you there, and come say hi!

 

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KID FRIENDLY: Folklife for families, 2 p.m. Sunday April 27 in Redmond

In a benefit for Northwest Folklife, join us, John Ackerman, and Sunshine Music Together instructors for a family-oriented sing-along and concert from 2 to 3:15 p.m. at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center, in Redmond. We’ll be playing our own tunes from 2:50 to 3:10 p.m. — ish!

Sing-a-long in Redmond, Sunday May 27.

Come and sing with us!

Even if neither you nor your littlest has never been to a Music Together class, these songs are easily accessible for families with young children to enjoy! Heck, even old hipsters will have a great time. Come out, and help raise a little money for the best fest in the west!

Music Together is an innovative music and movement program for children ages newborn to age five years and their parents or caregivers, that is based on the belief that all children are inherently musical. Originally offered to the public in 1987, it pioneered the concept of a research-based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music curriculum that strongly emphasizes and facilitates adult involvement.

Tickets are $10, $5 for children (Are you under 6 months? You get in free!)

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Feb. 15: Battle of the bands? Well yes, and no…

soundOffImagine an under-21 band competition (unimaginable!), where your favorite teenage folk trio is pitted against an incredibly great rapper/musician – Kingston’s Nabii KO$MO, an absolutely crazed garage-rock band out of Bellevue - Thee Samedi, and an amazingly ethereal electronica artist, Manatee Commune (a.k.a. Bellingham’s Grant Eadie, who happens to play violin, guitar, and keys). Well, that actually will come to pass at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 at the EMP at Seattle Center, as part of EMP’s annual Sound Off! competition. We’re freaking out with trepidation and excitement, and we would so be honored if you would join us, root for us, and root for our competition as well — they truly rock. It’s such an honor to be among semi-finalists in this well-respected annual event. We recommend attending every one of the three semi-final events, which run each Saturday starting Feb. 8, and then coming out for the final showdown,  March 1.

An annual event since 2001, EMP’s Sound Off! supports the all-ages scene by giving artists an opportunity to showcase original music, launch their music careers, and connect with the larger artistic community. All participants are 21 or under and residents of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, or Idaho.

The coolest rule is that all music has to be 100 percent original, so while you’ll hear some familiar stuff, we’ll be debuting some new tunes and songs. Get the details (including tix). Be there!

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A few notes in support of Northwest Folklife…

Winter Fireside Party, 2013Tomorrow, along with a slew o’ stellar Seattle musos, we will brandish our fiddles, geetars, and such and play more than a few notes at the Winter Fireside Party, a hells-a-fire fundraiser for Northwest Folklife starting at 2 p.m. at Seattle Center. We’ll play a concert AND a square dance (yes, we’re giving our fingers a day of rest today), and count ourselves fortunate to play in a showcase alongside the likes of Phil and Vivian Williams, Paul Anastasio, and others. Concerts follow with Orville Williams, Ravenna Woods, The Sojourners, The Shivas, dang, even that most teenagerly of Northwest folk stars, Baby Gramps. Our elbows will be looking out for some good rubbing.

The square dance starts at 2 p.m., with Gabe Strand calling. Then at 4 p.m., we’ll be part of the Northwest Fiddlers’ Showcase.

Warning: The sticker shock is $25, but if you consider it’s for a great, great cause, you’ll probably just want to buy two tickets for yourself, or bring a friend. Do, and say high to us, dance a do-si-do, and if you’ve got an instrument, bring it to: There’ll be jams galore.

All the deets are here.

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The Onlies: Year in Review

Wow. This year has been one heck of an amazing year filled with endless wonders. To attempt to encapsulate this greatness, we thought we’d highlight our favorite musical moment from each month of this year. We hope to include every one of you—the most supportive and enthusiastic group of fans (more like friends) we could ask for. We owe 2013’s success to you!

Note: Links to videos are included, so do click!

Portland Old-Time Music Gathering posterJanuary: We had the pleasure of playing the Portland Old-Time gathering for the first time! Here’s a video of the Family Dance, Portland Old-Time Gathering. It was a weekend bursting with music, dancing, inspirational people, and Voodoo doughnuts. We got opportunities to jam with friends from near and far, along with deepening our Old-Time musical skills. We’re looking forward to returning again in 2014!

 

February: Our album was close to finished as we headed over to the East side of Lake Washington to attend Wintergrass’ 2013 kid’s program. Along with crazy-fun jams, adventures, and parties within ngton to attend Wintergrass 2013. We were Youth Academy Teacher Trainees (YATTs) for the deep corridors of the Bellevue Hyatt hotel, we got the opportunity to play on-stage with Darol Anger and the Furies for a song. T’was a most fabulous fiddle weekend. Later that weekend, we attended a Rushad Eggleston house concert, and got the deep and true honor of accompanying him on “Hegwilard Basugiman”  (Spell check?). If you know Rushad, you know that we were joining him on a Sneth journey toward a Fwethering Ubujnux party (Spell check….again?)-circle extravaganza, as you can see in the video.

March: This month marks the birth of our first full-length CD, Setting Out to Sea! On March 16 at Hale’s Palladium, the three of us rosined up our bows and tuned our strings in preparation for our CD release party. We must  say, it was quite an exhilarating night. With the combination of 300+ enthused audience members (made up of friends, family, musical mentors, and personal mentors), The Barn Owls (the opening band), and our boundless excitement, the night couldn’t have gone any better. The energy in that room could have fueled infinite rockets to the moon. We also received notice that we were accepted into More Music at the Moore, a program in Seattle for young artists to collaborate to put together a musical show at the Moore Theater!

AprilAlong with rehearsing new material for the Moore, our families decided to take a trip to Hawaii over Spring Break. It was relaxing, inspirational, and snow-cone filled. While inspired by the island, we arranged Past the Fog, the song we would later sing at the More Music at the Moore show. Mahalo, Kauai!

May: Always a crazy-busy month, we started it off with performing a collaboration with beatboxer CDQ on New Day Northwest! Under the mentorship of bass player/singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello, we spent a week preparing for the big More at the Moore show after school at the Moore theater. Meshell was a great musical and personal role model for us, exemplifying her love of music and performance through her teaching style. Almost everything that came out of her mouth could be put into an inspirational quote book, we thought. We loved this experience–though different from what we usually do, because it gave us a chance to meet other young musicians in Seattle and learn to cross genre barriers. Who says a fiddle can’t back up a beat boxer!

We also had the honor of performing and having an interview on KUOW!

Later on, we had an annual Folklife gig, and were asked to play the National Anthem at the Experience Music Project’s Sky Church to honor Jimi Hendrix’s musical influence. We put our own twist on it, just like Jimi did.

Here is our performance at More music at the Moore: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYug_j255RU; here is Riley’s performance with Otieno Terry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wscoZf6qIW0; here is Sami’s performance with Emily Randolph: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HLBbF2Fuxs.

You can find more videos of the group collaboration at the STG Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/seattletheatregroup?feature=watch

June: With the conclusion of school comes the favorite time of the year….SUMMER! Leo and Riley drove over to Weiser, Idaho for the Weiser fiddle contest/festival (Sami, alas, couldn’t attend). With a week of jamming and fun, Leo and Riley decided to compete in the twin fiddle category of the competition. They made it through to the finals, yet had to leave too early to compete once more. Here’s the video.weizer

July: We boarded the ferry boat on our way to one of our most beloved fiddle camps, Festival of American Fiddle Tunes! While there, we spent our time roasting marshmallows, exploring abandoned barracks at Fort Warden, playing tunes in those barracks (great acoustics!), playing tunes about everywhere else, putting on crazy hats for the annual campsite hat-party, and not getting much sleep. We all got the opportunity to play a couple tunes on Ed Haley’s fiddle, a really memorable musical experience.  

August: Man, this month was jam-packed as well! It started with Leo’s Clifftop adventure in West Virginia, winning 4th place overall and 1st place in the youth division for fiddling! We are renaming ourselves “Leo and the Onlies” as a response to his success…haha, just kidding! At the end of the month, we embarked on our West Coast Tour! T-shirts were made:

Headed down to Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle School (VOM), lead by the fearless Alasdair Fraser, we stopped to play house concerts and shows in Portland, Arcata, Berkeley, Palo Alto, and Cottage Grove. Along with MANY hours in the car, we saw many friends on our way up and down and played a lot of music on our way up and down. Valley of the Moon, like all many fiddle camps, was quite amazing. We played all sorts of tunes with all sorts of people, reconnecting with old friends and meeting new. Riley was constantly pullin’ out his ole’ banjo, and began to jam in the three-finger style with it! Sami was learnin’ new chords on her ole’ guitar, and also began to jam with it. Leo was also pullin’ out his ole’ banjo, and clawhammered it up. I don’t know why we just went abbreviation-crazy there, but it seemed to fit the rustic mood!

September: We readjusted to school life, you know, the kind where it isn’t quite the “norm” to pull out your fiddle at any time and start jamming on some tunes in the middle of the hallway like it is at fiddle camps. Schoolwork piled up, teachers were good and teachers were bad, life was busy. We did, however, play one show at the Oxbow Pumpkin Farm outside on a day where it was POURING rain…we ended up selling one CD to the two people who showed up! Here’s our set-list after the day was done…. 

October: We played the Issaquah Salmon Days Festival, which was quite a blast. It was a warm and sunny day in October…something unheard of in Seattle! 

We also played a show at the Royal Room in Columbia City, a very fun night where we saw many friends! We opened for Scrape, a small orchestra Riley is part of.

Finally, we played a show with A Thousand Years At Sea, made up of Colin and Ethan, two friends from VOM!

November: We Onlies were getting into the Mexican mood rehearsing with Paul Anastasio, Elena Delisle, Juan Barco, and RuthMable Boytz for our Calentano music show! Paul and Elena had asked us if we wanted to play some Mexican tunes (from the region of Tierra Caliente) for a couple of shows, and we had our first one at the Bounty coffeehouse! La musica de tierra caliente es muy bonita, nosotros pensamos! (Now this post is tri-lingual! Notice the Hawaiian we used earlier:) Here is a video of us playing Piedritas Al Agua.

December: Ah, we’ve reached the end of this fabulous year! We were notified that we made it on to Sound Off, a competition between local bands hosted by the Experience Music Project in Seattle. We’re looking forward to it! We’re also looking forward to having our own concert series, “the Onlies Presents.” A bluegrass supergroup is coming to town on January 8th to play a show–we’ll be opening for them. We played a private event on the Paramount Theater stage with a couple friends from More at the Moore, and enjoyed looking out at the massive theater from a new point of view. Our recent meeting solidified our goals for 2014, and there is some pretty exciting stuff to look forward to! Finally, we’ve been working tirelessly on New Year’s Eve to complete writing this, complete embedding videos and pictures, complete adding a few stupid jokes to keep y’all interested. If you still are, congratulations! YOU win nothing except for extra knowledge :)

Aaaaannnnnddddd…..that was our year! Other stuff happened, of course, but these were our Onlies highlights. We are looking forward to the future! We hope you, the best supporters EVER, are looking forward to the future. 2014, here we come!

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The Onlies Present: Bluegrass ‘supergroup,’ Wed. Jan. 8

The new fab five?

A new fab 5? Leslie, Clarridge, Chrisman, Kraukaer & Price.

The Onlies want the world to hear five acoustic-string geniuses, and to that end have invited them all to perform a house concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8 in Madrona, at the fabulicious home of Gretl Galgon.

Tashina Clarridge and Simon Chrisman of the Bee Eaters have brought together an all-star band to play and sing two sets of high-octane bluegrass, taking a break from their regular gigs to revel in the sounds and grooves of traditional bluegrass, a music in which all players have deep roots.

The musicians are:

  • Dominick Leslie on mandolin (Deadly Gentlemen, Missy Raines & The New Hip)
  • Luke Price on vocals and guitar (Scott Law, Tony Furtado)
  • Ben Krakauer on banjo (Old School Freight Train, David Grisman)
  • Tashina Clarridge on fiddle (Bee Eaters, Tony Trischka)
  • Simon Chrisman on bass (Bee Eaters, Jeremy Kittel).

Though these five have shared the stage and toured together over the years in various combinations, the roots of their connection grow from late-night jams they’ve had at festivals, parties, and music gatherings… and that’s the energy they’ll be bringing to the stage on this one-off run down the West Coast: The playful exuberance and freedom of making music just because it feels good.

The Onlies will play a new tune or three to begin the evening, and then turn the stage over to Tashina, Simon, and friends. Please come, and invite your friends: It’ll be a faboo way to usher in the new year!

Entrance is $15, students $10. Come at 7 for snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, and wine in the loveliest of venues! Show starts at 7:30 p.m. promptly!

Gretl lives at 816 35th Ave. in Seattle. Map is here: bit.ly/Gretls

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KBCS names “Setting Out to Sea” one of year’s 10 best CDs!

KBCS logoA huge shout out to KBCS and all the air time they’ve given us over the last year, and woohoo are we on cloud nine having “Setting Out to Sea” named as one of the year’s 10 best CDs.

That designation came from Eric Hardee, host of one of our favorite KBCS shows, “Folksounds,” which airs Tuesday nights with co-host Jeanne Geiger.

You can check out the whole list of each DJ’s top CDs on the KBCS Web site — we highly recommend it.

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KEXP interviews EMP on Sound Off!

KEXP logo

KEXP: An interviewing machine

KEXP’s Troy Nelson did a FABOO interview today with the EMP’s “Anita” (no last name mentioned), covering Sound Off! 2014 in which we’ll be participating.

Definitely give the interview a listen — it includes tunes by several of the bands — synth pop from Laser Fox of Seattle and ethereal electronic coolness from Manatee Commune of Bellingham, and hip hop from Tommy Cassidy of West Richland. Great stuff, and stiff competition. We’re excited!

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Feb. 15 @ the EMP: It’s battle time!

Sound Off! lineup for Saturday, Feb. 15.

Sound Off! lineup for Saturday, Feb. 15.

When we think of music, the word “competition” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Rather, it’s being in the groove, in harmony, tight and in the pocket. But alas, we’re going to throw that all aside now that we’ve been invited to join the Experience Music Project’s 2014 “Sound Off!” battle of under-age Pacific Northwest bands.

The four-Saturdays event (Feb. 8, 15, 22, and March 1) pits 12 up-and-coming soloists and ensembles against one another, though we’re guessing it’ll be a lot more fun than fight. Our big date is Feb. 15 — hopefully you can come and cheer us on. We know several of the performers, and listened to all the others today, and we know that we’ll be in great musical company, performing alongside folkies, indie rockers, hip-hop artists, soul singers, hard rockers, and so forth.

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