Kites & Crows is, left to right, Michael Paul Caruos, Nancy Martin and Jesse Baldwin. - Photo courtesy of Alli Lane

Music in the Mountains

Music in the Mountains gives local folks one last chance to enjoy live music and a pint in the great outdoors before the fall season really sets in.

The fourth annual music festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, and 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, on the parklike grounds surrounding the Prospect Hotel, 391 Mill Creek Drive, in Prospect.

Bands will play throughout the day under a canopy of trees, and the hotel will serve food from an old gazebo.

"Mill Creek flows through our property, and the backdrop is trees, trees and more trees," hotel proprietor Fred Wickman says.

"The weather will be spectacular. Regardless of what happens in Medford, the weather is always better in Prospect."

After the Lions Club retired its annual Prospect Bluegrass Festival in 2008, Wickman, together with his wife, Karen, picked up, rebranded and reimagined the event.

"We moved it (from July) to September when the weather is particularly gorgeous, like it will be this weekend, and we made it two days instead of one to keep guests in town," Wickman says. "We are a hotel/motel. This fills our rooms, the campgrounds and RV parks. Now we're sending people to Shady Cove. We also took what was a bluegrass-only festival and added country, folk and Americana to keep people interested."

For the festival, Wickman sought out bands playing family-friendly American roots music.

"Three bands — the BrownChicken BrownCow String Band, Brooks Roberston and the Bathtub Gin Serenaders — are repeats from last year because they were so well received," Wickman says. "We had people come for just one day last year who ended up coming back the next day so they could hear them again."

Hailing from West Virginia, BrownChicken BrownCow is the only out-of-state band in the lineup, but as its sound is inspired by Appalachian melodies, it was only fitting to include the five-piece, acoustic band.

Ashland duo Bekkah McAlvage and Sage Meadows, The Maybe Sometimes, will kick off the festival with their harmony-laden, ukulele-driven Americana, folk and country.

Portland fingerstyle guitarist Brooks Robertson will play a solo set of mostly instrumental blues, jazz and country, including originals and songs by guitarists such as Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Tommy Emmanuel and Buster B. Jones.

Ashland trio Kites & Crows — Michael Paul Caruso, or "Mysha," on acoustic guitar and kick drum, Nancy Martin on cello, and Jesse Baldwin on banjo and accordion — will perform upbeat Americana and folk songs off its 2012 album "More for the Mender," as well as "We All Come 'Round Tonight," a new foot-stomping, rollicking song with a Mumford & Sons feel.

Vocalist Cilette Swann and multi-instrumentalist Roman Morykit also will play music from the Americana vein, including songs from their CDs "The World Is My Country" and "Wanderlust."

"Our Americana thing is acoustic music with a little more roots, blues and jazz and even hints of gospel," Swann says.

The eight-piece Bathtub Gin Serenaders — a jug band with a jug — will add hot, New Orleans-style jazz and blues to the mix, including standards from the 1920s and '30s and a few original and contemporary songs with the same flavor.

"We want people dancin' on the lawn, singin' and just carryin' on," Wickman says.

The Maybe Sometimes play Saturday morning and Kites & Crows on Sunday morning. All other bands will play hour-and-a-half sets both days.

Musicians in the audience are invited to participate in the free "Jammin' on the Veranda" open jam, held at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, and 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28.

A pancake breakfast to benefit the Prospect unit of Jackson County Search and Rescue will be served from 7 to 10 a.m. both days for $7.

Art and craft vendors will display their wares on the lawn, and quilts by Vi Grimes will be displayed on the hotel veranda.

Beers by Southern Oregon Brewery and Deschutes Brewery and wine by Crater Lake Cellars will be available for purchase.

Tickets cost $20, or $35 for a two-day pass. Call 541-560-3664 or see www.prospecthotel.com/bluegrass.html or www.brownpapertickets.com.

Share This Story