Talent continues to pour into festival

  • Tue Aug 11th, 2009 4:14pm
  • Life

The Enumclaw Expo Center’s fieldhouse and stadium will feature the great acoustic sounds of regional bluegrass bands Aug. 21, 22 and 23.

The afternoon of Aug. 22 will feature the Tutmarc Brothers with singer Paula Tutmarc Johnson. Johnson’s vocals will be combined with her husband, Jerry Johnson on bass, Country Dave Harmonson, steel guitar; and Western Dave Dorning on guitar. They’ll be performing at 2 p.m. at the stadium.

Paula Johnson is well-known in the music industry. A singer and songwriter, she comes from some pretty deep northwest musical roots. Her dad is Paul Tutmarc, who is known as the inventor of the electric bass, and the man to create the world’s first guitar and bass pickup. Her mom is a nationally celebrated local gal by the name of Bonnie Guitar, who enjoyed several hit records in the 1950s and ‘60s, of which “Dark Moon” and “Mr. Fire Eyes” are two of the most famous. She worked in her mother’s band for several years touring Nevada, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.

Johnson had a popular hit record in 1966 under the name of Alexys, and remained an active recording artist for Dot and Paramount records for several years following. The record was titled “Freedom’s Child.” From the late 60s through the 1990s, she was easy to find working the rock and rhythm and blues club circuit in the Pacific Northwest with groups like The Iris Hill (one of her numerous pseudonyms) Band, Freefall and Peace.

Today she owns and runs Two Vaults Art Gallery in Tac-oma and has reappeared in the last 10 years to the stage, using her real name. She has self-produced two CDs with more to come. For this festival she returns to her musical and family roots with a set of favorite country songs.

“You are sure to enjoy the performance of this seasoned professional, an artist whose life and career is infused with her musical family, and is an integral part of local musical history,” city of Enumclaw Cultural Programs Manager Gary LaTurner said. “This event gets better by the minute. Be sure to tell your friends and get tickets early.”

The city still has three non-funded sets available Saturday afternoon for local bluegrass bands. Groups interest in performing can contact LaTurner at 360-802-0239.

The city of Enumclaw is also proud to present a group of local and regional bands: VZ Valley Boys, Runaway Train, Country Dave and the Pickn’ Crew, Northern Departure, Urban Monroes and The Gettogethers.

Tickets are available at the Enumclaw Expo Center and will also be available at the fieldhouse during the event. For information, call 360-825-3594, or contact LaTurner at garylaturner@ci.enumclaw.wa.us.

A three-day ticket package is available for $35. Individual tickets are set at $15 for Friday evening, $20 for Saturday and $10 for the Sunday morning gospel session.

Bluegrass fans can enjoy food on-site. Local restaurants will also be ready to serve the crowds. On-site camping is available, all to reserve a space.

For more information visit www.enumclawsbluegrassfestival.com and follow the links to the headliners and more.