TGIF: Thank God It's Festival (Time)! The Second Annual Valley Bluegrass Festival: June Jubilee begins this afternoon (Friday the 27th, 2014)! If you haven't gotten your passes yet, don't fret (get it? don't FRET? ba-dum-tish!). You can still get passes for you and your family at the gate (which opens at 3 pm today). This morning on Valley Bluegrass Festival Video Theatre we're thrilled to bring you the tight progressive grass group known as Wanigan.
(Full disclosure: yes, that is yours truly on the fiddle. But... and this might blow your mind: am I playing it, or is it playing me?)
Voted the number one crowd favorite at the 1st Annual Valley Bluegrass Festival in 2013, the progressive grass group known as Wanigan is a dynamic five-piece acoustic band bringing old sounds to original songwriting and new sounds to old: close three- and four-part harmonies backed by mandolin, fiddle, banjo, guitar, and bass.
Named for an important part of the annual log drive that used to take place each year down the North Fork of the Clearwater River, Wanigan has become known for its wealth of original story songs inspired by local people and places.
The wanigan served as both sleeping quarters and cookshack for the men who worked on the river, risking their lives to free the logs every spring. At the end of a long day on the river, the wanigan was a place for food, music, and the company of good friends.
Wanigan’s repertoire features a lot of original works in addition to bluegrass and folk classics like Two Little Boys, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, and Blackberry Blossom. Not afraid to find their own sound in the wide fields of bluegrass, Wanigan’s sound is often described as “bluegrass, etc.” due to their many other stylistic influences that come peeking through (Folk, Celtic, Appalachian, Blues, Alternative, and more).
The group released their landmark second album in 2013. More than three years in the making, Firefly is filled with even more original story songs: songs about dreams, love, life, and light. A third live album, recorded at the 1st Annual Valley Bluegrass Festival last year, is under production and will be released soon. Stay tuned for the latest information on how you can obtain your own copy!
Wanigan features Warren Akin on guitar/lead vocals; Tim Gundy on mandolin/vocals; Dale Vallandigham on banjo/vocals, Denis Hackwith on upright bass/vocals; and Jason Hackwith on violin, mandolin, guitar and vocals. Band Member Emeritus Mike Haberman (guitar, mandolin, vocals), took a job promotion and moved his family to Bellingham, Washington last year. The band is hoping to put together gigs in the Seattle area for a reunion.