The Port Gamble Maritime Music Festival, now in its 7th year, will offer five hours of free live music on August 11th from noon to 5 pm. Performing will be four Northwest maritime acts: Watch the Sky, Cannery Underground, Piper Stock Hill, and Spanaway Bay. The setting is the Port Gamble Amphitheater, a sloping, grassy lawn overlooking Port Gamble Bay.
While maritime music has its roots in the work songs used aboard ships in the days of sail, modern maritime musicians have taken the music in a direction which has a broad appeal to all ages, writing new songs and incorporating elements from pop, rock, and Celtic music. While the music will have a definite appeal to those who enjoy the folk and folk-rock sounds of the 1960s and ‘70s, maritime music has continued to innovate and incorporate new elements, particularly the Celtic music revival.
While music is the main attraction at the festival, there will also be booths selling maritime music CDs, books, and other gift items. A free activity area will allow children (or adults) to color pictures of boats and marine life. The nostalgic Port Gamble General Store, next to the amphitheater, will sell hot or cold food and beverages, which spectators can take outside to eat while watching the show. Although there are a few picnic tables, it is recommended that the audience bring blankets or lawn chairs. Visitors will have a choice of seating in the sun or under the shade of tall trees.
Admission is free, although a voluntary donation box at the gate will collect funds to help pay the musicians. A state-of-the-art sound system and an expert sound crew will ensure festival-goers a pleasant experience, courtesy of Pilgrim Media Services. Free parking is available along the street next to the amphitheater. In case of inclement weather, the rain stage will be the historic Port Gamble Theatre across the street.
The four acts offer a range of different sounds within the maritime genre.
The trio of Watch the Sky plays traditional and modern maritime music with a Celtic verve. Joe Wagner’s energetic playing brings a rock feel to acoustic guitar, backed by Jan Elliott-Glanister’s percussion on a variety of drums and shakers. Chris Glanister provides haunting counter-melodies on tinwhistle, or the unique sound of the cittern, a larger relative of the mandolin. All three trade off on lead and harmony vocals, to weave a complex, enchanting spell around songs of the sea.
Cannery Underground, a duo from Anacortes, has a background in folk, jazz, blues and rock & roll. With Tim Wittman on 12-string guitar and Dave Perkins on acoustic bass, they sing contemporary folk originals that Tim has written about Northwest maritime life and history, along with classic folk-rock favorites.
Piper Stock Hill, a Seattle band, focuses on songs of Newfoundland. This Canadian province has a centuries-old tradition of music incorporating Irish, English, Scottish and French elements, and has continued to innovate, producing some of today’s hottest maritime acts. Piper Stock Hill draws on both traditional and modern songs.
The festival will be hosted by the clever quips of Spanaway Bay, whose music combines humorous lyrics with a relaxed but accomplished musical style. This duo draws their comic maritime songs from a variety of sources, and perform them in a range of styles, from beautiful ballads to up-tempo zany numbers.
Port Gamble, a U.S. National Historic Landmark, was built by Pope & Talbot lumber company in the 1850s, and has become a quiet, unspoiled tourist destination since the mill closed. The small town, with its colorful clapboard buildings, green lawns, and views of the water, is a charming setting for this laid-back festival.
Free Live Music at the Port Gamble Maritime Music Festival » Kitsap Sun (User story from ShipSing):