Oh Sisters, where art thou? In the pines, in the pines of central Oregon, and well worth searching out.
Like some younger sibling of Bend, the post-logging economy of Sisters is now apparently based on art, skiing and fly fishing. It’s a perfect village for setting up several stages and inviting musicians and fans to invade the town and throw a party. That’s just what Brad Tisdel and his crew and the warm people of Sisters have done for 13 years. I’ve been attending folk festivals for over 30 years now, and I can tell you, Sisters is one of the best.
Its natural beauty, warm people, and great little eateries were just grand, but the prime ingredient this year was the entertainment lineup. From inspiring singer-songwriters to country rock, bluegrass to gypsy-klezmer music, there was too much to take in, but it was fun to try! Some quick impressions:
Tim O’Brien: a master of the old-time and bluegrass traditions, and a mesmerizing performer.
Joe Craven: his positive message that anyone can play folk music has inspired many. He showed us how anything can become an instrument!
The Waifs: These Aussie folk-rockers held their large crowds spellbound.
The Wailin’ Jennies: Canadian vocal trio that spin a beautiful feminine brand of Americana.
Ray Bonneville: Delta blues with a Mark Knopfler-esque southern harp-and-guitar groove.
Stonehoney: Southern California country-rock with four-part harmony in the Eagles vein.
Johnsmith: Brilliant songwriter and collector, great voice and nice guitar work, poignant stories in his songs.