The Princeton Traditional Music Festival is just over three weeks away. It begins on the evening of Friday, August 16 with the opening ceremony followed by a country dance on Veterans’ Way beside the Legion. On Saturday and Sunday there will be music from 10 am until 6 pm right in town. This year we have a large number of new performers coming to share their music and we’d like to introduce you to some of them.
Murphy and Middaugh are a duo new to the Festival this year. They play old-time and traditional songs about the “good old days” – the civil war, prohibition, the Depression, hoboes, fire and brimstone on Sundays and World War II. Orville Murphy is originally from Kentucky where he learned to tell stories from Uncle Jim and how to play Gospels and hymns on the harmonica from his grandma. When his grandma wasn’t listening his Aunt Virginia taught him the Blues. Besides giving a concert with Jerry Middaugh, Oroville will also be participating in the Blues workshop.
Jerry Middaugh is originally from Ohio with roots in Appalachian music. He plays guitar, banjo, mandolin and he also sings. Jerry has lived in the Pacific Northwest for over 25 years and has been active in various types of folk music. His repertoire includes songs about work, trains, cowboys, hoboes, loss, women and philosophy.
Another new group this year is Port na Gael from Campbell River. Port na Gael means “tune of the Gael”, and that’s exactly what this four-piece group plays – mostly Irish most of the time. From four-part harmonies to spirited reels, the group’s focus is on traditional music with vitality, sometimes updated with original arrangements, but always true to its roots. The occasional foray into Canadian, Scottish and English songs provides a folk influence to the lively mix.
These are just two of the new performing groups appearing at this year’s Festival, and the best thing about it is it’s free!
The reason it’s free is because it’s run entirely by volunteers and the performers are donating their talents. To make the festival a success the organizers will need lots of volunteers. If you’d like to get involved, please contact them. Even if you have only a couple of hours available your help would be most welcome. Give them a call and they’ll welcome you aboard. To find out more visit the Festival’s webblog at princetonfestival.org or give Jon and Rika a call at 250-295-6010.