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A set of fiddles and a secret pickleLast week we got caught in a rainstorm, playing to a crowd of milllions--of raindrops. That was the Oxbow Farm Pumpkin Festival in Carnation; the festival's past, but they'd got an incredible pumpkin patch, and other activities: We highly recommend visiting even if we're not playing there. What could be better?

Well, perhaps hearing us play would only make it better, and you've got three chances. First, on Saturday Oct. 5, we're back for a second time at this year's Lakewood Community Center Oktoberfest. We love this gig: It's rowdy, community-filled, and they don't make us wear leiderhosen! $20 buys you all the sausages, potatoes, and beer or non-alcoholic drink you'll ever need. Doors open at 6:30, and we start playing at 7.

On Sunday, we'll begin the day at the Issaquah Salmon Days, performing at 1 p.m. on the Hatchery Stage, hopefully to millions of sun rays and salmon worshippers. Salmon Days is crazy fun--have you ever been?--where Puget Sounders flock to the city's historic hatchery and celebrate the return of spawning salmon to the lakes and creeks of east King County.

Then--drum roll please--we'll be playing at 6 p.m. at The Royal Room in Columbia City, opening for the amazing contemporary string orchestra Scrape (Riley's is a member) and Travis Gore's Feeds On Majesty. We'll be introducing a few new songs and tunes, while Scrape will be performing compositions by Jim Knapp, and Eyvind Kang. You can check out some of FOM's music at the link above, where its described as a "group of talented multi-instrumentalists and singers (who) set out to bring elements of bluegrass, folk, psychedelia, and contemporary classical music to the modern band."

All the details are here. See you at one of these? Hope so! - r, s & l


First stop: Portland!

Road tip: The Onlies' 2013 West Coast Tour itinerary.
Road tip: The Onlies' 2013 West Coast Tour itinerary: Portland, Ore., Arcata, Berkely, and Palo Alto, Calif., and Cottage Grove., Ore.

Well, we're getting close. Packing, planning, renting a van, all that stuff before a road trip. Our dads Johnny and Tom will be our chauffeurs, roadies, and merch sales staff, but they won't be our sugar daddies: We're actually paying for most of the trip--and the destination fiddle camp--through money we've made at gigs and other performances. Wahoo -- does that make us professional musicians?

Anyway, our itinerary includes five West Coast stops, and if you can't attend any of them, well, at least make sure your friends do! Portland is our first stop on Tuesday (Aug. 20), for a 7:30 p.m. house concert at our friend Etienne's. Then on Wednesday (Aug. 21), amid the redwoods of Northern California, we'll do a second house concert chez another friend, Jennifer MacKey, a fiddler and artist who lives in Rio Dell, Calif., just south of Arcata. That one starts at 8 p.m. On Thursday (Aug. 22), we'll do a third house concert in as many days, this one at 7:30 p.m. in North Berkeley, with Brad and Lisa Gallien.

Then we spend a week at Alasdair Fraser's Valley of the Moon Fiddle School, after which we play a contra dance in Palo Alto (8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31) and, the next day, a pub gig at Cottage Grove's Axe & Fiddle (7:00 p.m. Sept. 1).

Whew. And we hope to pack in a few college visits too.

Details on the dance locations, prices, and so forth will be found on our calendar page!

Onlies are Folk Alley's Open Mic Artist of the Month, June 2013!
Onlies are Folk Alley's Open Mic Artist of the Month, June 2013!

What a treat and honor -- that way cool online-folk-radio site named us its Artist of the Month in its Open Mic section for up-and-coming artists. We are honored, and recommend you visit the site. A few of our tunes are available there, and tons more, including interviews and reviews of musicians we love. Check it out!

We were recently asked to pay tribute to Jimi Hendrix (a Garfield High alum!) at Seattle’s Experience Music Project, and decided to play the Star-Spangled Banner. Hendrix, as you know, took that tune and turned it on its head. (Jimi disagreed: “I didn’t think it was unorthodox. I thought it was beautiful” he told Dick Cavett. Did you know he was in the 101st Airborne?)

Well, we tried to do both Jimi and our national anthem justice. We added a little old-time tune to the end, too. Let us know what you think. And please, if you like it, please share it widely!

Join our email list!
Join our email list!

The fans have spoken. We have created an email list for news about upcoming concerts and other news. We must admit that that this development came with more than a tad of heartbreak: We are, after all, trad musicians, and have always relied on word of mouth, smoke signals, and the occasional Web/FB post. But with this act, we are firmly moving into the mid-1990s (when we were just little visions of anticipated familial gratification in our parents' heads), when Al Gore invented the Internets and e-mail lists grew exponential.

So, here's the deal: Subscribe here! And let us know what you want to know. We'll do our best to tailor. Hey, it's a 20th century technology, right? Doesn't that make it trad?

Northwest Folklife home page, June 3, 2013
Northwest Folklife home page, June 3, 2013

Well, not the cover of the Rolling Stone, but the cover of Northwest Folklife Web site. That's us (at least as we write this). Thank you to Folklife's rock-star photographer Dan Thornton: It's a fabulous portrait of our affection for each other and for our wonderful audiences--thanks so much for braving the rain last weekend and attending our show. It was one of our favorites ever!!! Oh, and if the link above doesn't include our photo, here's the evergreen post containing it.

More Music at the Moore
More Music at the Moore: May 10 at the Moore Theatre

We're stoked, and hope you can come along for this cool ride: The Onlies have been honored to participate in More Music at the Moore, an artist development program for selected young musicians representing diverse music genres, resulting in a way-cool concert at 7:30 p.m. May 10 at the Moore Theatre in downtown Seattle. (Buy tickets here!)

The program provides young artists training and rehearsal time with professional musicians, production and promotional support, and the opportunity to perform at a professional venue, The Moore Theatre. Artists are selected through an audition process.

The event is produced by Seattle Theater Group, which has hired Meshell Ndegeocello as the Music Director of the 12th annual event. A fearsome bassist and prolific songwriter, Ndegeocello has been nominated for 10 Grammy Awards, released 10 studio albums, and remains one of few women who writes her own music and leads her band. Ndegeocello will join the stage for one collaborative number with the young artists.

Other participants in the show include:

We're excited to play with the folks above, learn and play from Meshell Ndegeocello, and to do it all with you in the house!


The Onlie's 'Setting Out To Sea'
'Setting Out To Sea'

It’s official – “Setting Out to Sea” is now available online, which means people from beyond Seattle and Portland (well, anybody who didn’t make our CD-release gigs) can listen to and purchase it now. We are so dang proud of the CD, and we’ve every hope you’ll love it as much as we do.

Fiddle virtuoso and genius Darol Anger gave it a listen, and here’s what he said: “There is something really special going on in music on the West Coast. It’s a wonderful and highly evolved fiddle community of young people, growing up fast, playing some of the most beautiful rootsy acoustic music ever heard. The level of ensemble playing and the ‘family’ feeling of the players are unprecedented. From Northern California up through the Pacific Northwest, musical magic is in the air. You can hear it on this recording.” (Wow. Thank you Darol!!!)

For those of you who don’t know, it’s got 14 cuts, three of which are songs we wrote, plus a number of original fiddle tunes, too. True to our diverse styles, the CD crosses genres: Scottish, Irish, American old-time, French Canadian, Cape Breton, and a few that are harder to classify. A cut by Liz Carroll makes an appearance, as does “I’m Not Fed Up With The Pacific Ocean” by Ola Backstrom. Our buddy and frequent co-collaborator RuthMabel Boytz sits in on bass on several tracks, and we were lucky enough to land some beautiful cello support from Mila Phelps-Friedl.

The album is a very DIY effort. We recorded it in Riley’s living room, with the help of Riley’s dad Johnny. Also, with the help our friend Tom Collicott, we created the CD art. Here’s where to get it:

We really hope you enjoy the album. If the urge grabs you, buy copies for friends (we plow all proceeds into fiddle camps), and tell everyone you know, and write your own review on your blog or any of the sites above. And let us know what you think! Thanks for listening!

Extras, btw:

A water droplet precariously balanced on a young fern
Photo by David J Laporte (CC BY 2.0)

We're excited and honored to be playing short sets at two Moisture Festival shows over the next few weeks. As most Seattleites know, the Festival is a monthlong series of comic, musical, vaudevillian, aerialist, thow-that-fun-thing-in-too performances. It bills itself as "is the world's largest Comedy/Varietè festival," and we don't hear anybody arguing with that claim.

We'll be playing twice, both times during family-friendly events: 3 p.m. Sunday, March 31 at the Broadway Performance Hall on Capitol Hill, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 7 at Hale's Palladium in Ballard. Check out the rest of the artists who will be in the show! Tickets are $10-$20.

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