Idaho Arts Quarterly » East Idaho

East Idaho Report

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Getting Back to Our Roots

The Smithsonian show, "New Harmonies: Celebrating America's Roots Music," is currently at the Carr Gallery. The exhibit looks at America's musical landscape and how the sounds of the people who first came to this land mixed with the sounds of all who came afterwards, helping shape and define an important part of American culture. Several special events are part of this exhibition.

On June 6, musicians Gary Eller from the Idaho Humanities Council Speakers Bureau and Marv Quinn from Boise invite musicians of all ages and levels to join in a jam and learn about Idaho roots music. On June 16, a free music interpretive art class lets kids ages 6-15 find inspiration in American roots by drawing or painting and then learning how music can affect mood and the importance of that for artists. On June 15, fiddlers are eligible for over $8,000 in prize money in the Fiddlin' on the Falls competition. The contest will be judged by national fiddling champion judges.

June 6: 5 p.m., Willard Arts Center, 450 A. St., Idaho Falls, 208-522-0471. June 16: 2-5 p.m., FREE, Willard Arts Center, 450 A. St., idaho Falls, 208-522-0471. June 15: 7 p.m., $5 to enter, Colonial Theater, 498 A. St., Idaho Falls, call 208-522-9005 for more information; www.idahofallsarts.org.

Grizzly Toes

Music and music festivals abound during the summer months. Bearfoot is a young, exciting acoustic bluegrass group out of Anchorage, Alaska, who is making a name for itself in festivals all across the lower 48. The band won the Telluride Bluegrass Festival's band competition in 2001, an honor shared with Nickel Creek, who won in 1995, and the Dixie Chicks, who took the honors in 1991. Bearfoot's virtuosic vocals, amazing arrangements and incredible instrumentation captivate audiences everywhere they go. Don't miss the opportunity to see one of bluegrass's finest when they perform on the Brigham Young University of Idaho campus.

July 5, 7:30 p.m., $8 general, $4 BYU-Idaho students (no babies please), Kirkham Auditorium, BYU-Idaho, 525 S. Center St., Rexburg, 208-496-2230, www.byui.edu/tickets.

"Lonesome Loser?" Only If You Miss This Show

Throughout the '70s and '80s, you couldn't have a radio tuned to an adult contemporary station for long before hearing some song by the Little River Band: Songs that you may not even have known were done by LRB, like "Lonesome Loser," "Cool Change," "Take It Easy On Me," "Reminiscing," "Happy Anniversary" and so many more.

This Australian import had hit after hit after hit and toured with bands like the Eagles, the Doobie Brothers, America and Supertramp, and according to their Web site, by 1982 they became the only act—from anywhere, not just Australia—to have a top ten U.S. single for six consecutive years. They've continued to play, record and tour over the 30 years they've been together, and an intimate concert at the Colonial Theatre with LRB is a great way to wax nostalgic and re-live a little of the past.

June 14, 7:30 p.m., Colonial Theatre, 498 A St., Idaho Falls. For tickets, call 208-522-0471, www.idahofallsarts.org.

Take Care If He Finds You Been Creepin' Down His Back Stair

On August 22, the man who penned "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" and "Sundown" will perform in Idaho Falls. Famous for renditions of his own songs, over the years Gordon Lightfoot's music has also been covered by the likes of Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell, Barbara Streisand and more. With over 20 albums and more than 20 tour dates so far this year, the 69-year-old singer-songwriter continues to perform his own brand of folk sounds in venues across America and Canada.

August 22, 7:30 p.m., 501 S. Holmes Ave., Idaho Falls, 208-612-8369, www.ci.idaho-falls. id.us.

Is there bluegrass in your blood?

Summer is definitely a time of music festivals, plenty of which you don't have to travel across the country to get to. Idaho is home to a number of great ones, including the Bannock County Bluegrass Festival. The three-day event includes free music workshops, plus beginner and advanced jams for folks who are just learning to play and folks who've got bluegrass in their blood. The festival features bluegrass bands from Idaho and surrounding states, including the Buckhorn Mountain Boys and the band Tradition, both from Nampa; Public Radio from Sun Valley; New South Fork from Idaho Falls; Pocatello's Wild Coyotes, who will also be playing for the barn dance; the Jesse Jones Family Band from Eugene, Oregon; and the Stormy Mountain Boys, Cold Creek, Hammer Down and the Red Desert Ramblers, all from Salt Lake City, Utah. Camping is available (though it is first-come, first-served), as are spots for food and craft vendors. Children 14 years old and younger are free when accompanied by an adult.

This festival is the perfect destination for a fun family vacation. Gather up the kids, grandma, the aunts and uncles and all the cousins, and head to Pocatello for a weekend of bluegrass.

August 24-26, gates open at 12:30 p.m. on August 24, $30 for a weekend pass ($35 if purchased after August 1); $10 Friday only; $15 Saturday (includes barn dance; $5 for barn dance only); $10 Sunday. $10 per day for camping with electricity and hookups; $5 per day for camping with no hookups. To find out about becoming a vendor, call 360-436-1179 or e-mail djmorgan@glacerview.net before July 1. Bannock County Fairgrounds, Olympus Dr., Pocatello, 360-436-1179, www.bannockcountybluegrassfestival.com.