2019 Pickersfest Lineup
From Bach to Beatles
and barn-burners to ballads
Audiences delight, when world-renowned
fingerstyle guitarist Richard Smith cuts loose
After witnessing one of his live performances, fellow musicians and music lovers alike sing hymns of praise about world-renowned finger style guitarist Richard Smith. With fretboard fireworks and lyrical endeavors he will melt your heartstrings, make your toes tap and your jaws hang open. Richard's ever growing repertoire comprises a wide variety of music from classical Bach to Beatles pop. It includes Scott Joplin Rags just like Sousa marches, Chopin, Mozart and fiddle tunes. It ranges from jazz standards to Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed and from Django Reinhardt gypsy swing to Richard Smith’s own intriguing originals. He delivers both, lightning fast barn-burners and beautiful ballads, while spicing them with wonderful vocals.
His incredible stylistic wealth is founded in a lifelong love for music. Born in Beckenham, Kent, England in 1971, Richard started playing guitar at age 5 under the instruction of his father. Concentrating initially on the country picking of Chet Atkins and Merle Travis, young Richard digested everything he heard, learning even the most complicated of these tunes with ease, and confounding everyone with his dexterity. It seemed that not only did he possess amazing physical skill, but a photographic musical memory as well. Often, a single hearing was all it took to get a piece under his fingers, using all ten to play bass, rhythm and melody simultaneously and creating a universe of sounds, while easily switching between thumbpicking and flatpicking like hardly anybody else.
Eric Skye & Tim Connell
Eric Skye (Guitar), Tim Connell (Mandolin)
Mandolinist Tim Connell and guitarist Eric Skye present a captivating and adventuresome way of playing traditional fiddle tunes in an intimate and uncluttered duo setting. These are two seemingly very unlikely voices in bluegrass. Mandolinist Tim Connell is a widely known recording and touring artist in both the Brazilian choro and the swing music worlds, guitarist Eric Skye is nationally established as a fingerstyle guitarist and jazz recording artist.
“A world class mandolinist" - Mandolin Magazine
“A Guitar Master” - Oregonian
“Stunning improvisational performances” – Acoustic Guitar Magazine
“Classic-style fiddle tunes with beautiful and emotive melodies that feel like they were plucked straight from an old episode of A Prairie Home Companion” - Willamette Week
Tim Connell - Mandolin, Eric Skye - Guitar,
The Portland Radio Ponies
Patrick Connell (Guitar), Joe Suskind (Guitar), Kian Dye (Fiddle), Ben Ticknor (Bass), Brian Alley (Banjo)
A bluegrass collective featuring a rotating cast of Portland's finest bluegrassers, formed as an excuse for its members to stop taking their other musical projects so seriously and get down to some honest pickin'. The Portland Radio Ponies deliver a hard driving no-nonsense bluegrass wallop with all the charm their youngish mugs can muster.
Patrick Connell - Guitar, Joe Suskind - Guitar, Kian Dye - Fiddle, Ben Ticknor - Bass, Brian Alley - Banjo.
Greg Linder (Guitar, Vocals), Kent Powell (Bass, Vocals), John White (Mandolin, Vocals), Clayton Hess (Banjo, Vocals)
Since 2000 Runaway Train has been performing at festivals, concerts and private events throughout the Northwest. As host-band for Shelton's Bluegrass from the Forest Festival every May and based locally in South Puget Sound, Runaway Train feature solid instrumentals balanced by tight vocal harmony. While respectfully holding to traditional bluegrass roots they aren't afraid to push the limits of the genre. They are certainly not your run of the mill band!
Band members include: Greg Linder – guitar, vocals; Kent Powell – bass, vocals; John White – mandolin, vocals; Clayton Hess – banjo, vocals.
See you at a festival down the road!
Neil Massey (Guitar, Banjo, Vocals), Al Miotke (Mandolin, Guitar, Vocals), Jeff Anderson (Cowboy Harmonica, Swinging Clarinet), Bob Johnson (Bass, Vocals)
The Cowchips band plays a mix of western swing, bluegrass and cowboy tunes with a
tight musical sound and three-part harmony reminiscent of Western swing bands from the 1940's. The group’s
current lineup all play multiple instruments and have been together since 2004. Al Miotke, the newest member
of the group, brings a background of country, oldies and classic rock while providing melodic mandolin,
guitar and vocals to the group. Jeff Anderson, well known for his talent in Dixieland Jazz, can't be
topped for cowboy harmonica and swinging clarinet. Bob Johnson and his big ol' bass fiddle holds down the
rhythm section and sings high harmony. Neil Massey, the heart of this old-timey group, plays guitar, banjo,
fiddle and delivers some of the best darn cowboy vocals anywhere. You're sure to be smiling and tapping
your feet when the Cowchips take the stage.
Tim Howell (Guitar, Vocals), Gene Alger (banjo, Vocals), Larry Ullman (Bass, Vocals), Clayton Knight (Mandolin, Fiddle, Vocals)
Ash Creek explores the frontiers between bluegrass, folk, and traditional country music.
You’ll hear classic bluegrass, along with tunes of more recent vintage, including original songs that just sound old. A good song is a good song, and it’s better with a banjo or a fiddle.
Tim Howell plays guitar; Gene Alger plays banjo; Larry Ullman plays bass; Clayton Knight plays mandolin and fiddle. We all share lead and harmony vocals.Visit Website
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Pickersfest Audio Technician
WAMA is ecstatic to have the renowned Jackson Linder back again as our Pickersfest Audio Technician. His vast experience and professional expertise as a sound technician, along with his acquired familiarity with our own Pickersfest venue, will ensure that the fantastic bands we have in our lineup will sound their very best and that the shows will all be first class. WAMA is once again very grateful for Jackson's service!