acoustic · banjo

Portland Old Time Music Gathering

Portland Old Time Music Gathering
Uncle Wiggily

If you frequent this blog, you know that I can’t say enough good things about the thriving old-time music scene in Portland, Oregon. That town is the nirvana of old-time goodness on the whole of the West Coast. I would be remiss if I didn’t plug their annual winter festival of old-time music and dance, to be held this year on January 14-18, featuring some of the best pickers out here, including Foghorn, the Tallboys, and the Hurricane Ridgerunners with Mark Graham and Paul Katopish.

The Portland Oregon Old-Time Music Gathering is a grassroots volunteer-run festival that aims to celebrate and enrich the community of traditional old-time Appalachian stringband musicians. We wish to create an environment where the music is as meaningful as it is when we gather to swap tunes and play in a friend’s living room or meet to play at a campsite during a summer festival.

“The Gathering has attracted some high-powered pickers from around the country, people like Rafe Stefanini and Brett Ratliff, Mark Graham, and Hank Bradley. But our main claim to fame is a rich week-long showcase of
Northwest traditional music performers. We got concerts, 9 square dance bands and 9 callers, a family dance and kids show, tongue-in-cheek fiddle contest, clogging workshops, song circles, jams jams jams and more jams than any festival I’ve ever been to in the US.”

Dance caller Bill Martin is at the core of all this tomfoolery. That’s him on the cello in the picture above, with band Uncle Wiggily (photo by Charles Espey).

Learn more at

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