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Catch sound waves at Manzanita Music Festival

Third annual event rocks beach town Sept. 14-15

By Ron Baldwin

For Coast Weekend

Published on September 12, 2018 10:47AM

Last changed on September 12, 2018 11:17AM

R&B guitarist Michael Williams, of the Michael Williams Band.

R&B guitarist Michael Williams, of the Michael Williams Band.

Singer-songwriter Hayley Lynn will perform at this year’s Manzanita Music Festival.

Ron Baldwin photo

Singer-songwriter Hayley Lynn will perform at this year’s Manzanita Music Festival.

Modern roots rockers The Resolectrics.

Tim LaBarge photo

Modern roots rockers The Resolectrics.

Manzanita Music Festival founder Beth Carter-Boyer, left, and Debra Greenlee, owner of the San Dune Pub and 2018 festival presenter.

Courtesy Beth Carter-Boyer

Manzanita Music Festival founder Beth Carter-Boyer, left, and Debra Greenlee, owner of the San Dune Pub and 2018 festival presenter.

Sarah Barlow.

Courtesy Beth Carter-Boyer

Sarah Barlow.

Tony Smiley performed at the 2017 Manzanita Music Festival.

Dave Po photo

Tony Smiley performed at the 2017 Manzanita Music Festival.


Music festivals were once as scarce as hens’ teeth on the North Coast.

Not anymore.

The third annual Manzanita Music Festival takes place Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14 and 15. Music starts at 1 p.m on both days.

The venues are all in downtown Manzanita and within walking distance: the San Dune Pub and MacGregor’s Whiskey Bar, both on Laneda Avenue, and A Mighty Thai on Manzanita Avenue.


Line-up


The big news at the festival is the Michael Williams Band.

The son of Texas blues singer Larry “Junior Medlow” Williams, Michael is a member of the legendary Austin band The Cobras.

After his father’s death in 1997, Michael did what many young Texas blues men have done: move to Seattle. It wasn’t long before he was dubbed “the next Jimi Hendrix.” (One thing that distinguishes Williams from all the other “next Jimi Hendrixes”: He persuaded real Hendrix producer Eddie Kramer to come out of retirement to produce his second album “Fire Red.”)

The Michael Williams Band headlines both nights at the San Dune Pub. Tony “TC” Coleman — the drummer from B.B. King’s band for 29 years who now lives in Portland — will be behind the kit.

Sedona Fire, a stand-out favorite last year, is a five-piece rock band featuring the talents of Sedona Torres.

Headlining Friday night at A Mighty Thai is another returning act, Scratchdog String Band, a high-energy bluegrass group.

Singer-songwriters are also well-represented.

Austin-born Manzanita resident Sarah Barlow brings her “Cosmic Country Soul” to A Mighty Thai on Friday and Saturday, and Hayley Lynn’s quirky Americana-style originals hold forth at all three venues.

On Saturday night, The Resolectrics, a roots R&B band, play A Mighty Thai.

The Resolectrics’ spokesman Tate Peterson echoed many artists playing this event as well as folks who plan to attend: “We’ve heard so much about the festival, and we’re really looking forward to Manzanita.”


Smaller footprint


The Manzanita Music Festival is a fundraiser for the Neahkahnie School District Music Program.

Last year, the organizers expanded the list of venues to include a large stage and at a local baseball field.

Though the festival was a success, traffic and parking became a problem on U.S. Highway 101, and festivalgoers had to be bussed to the field. This year’s organizers had planned on using that venue until the stage production company pulled out unexpectedly.

Facing this roadblock, festival founder Beth Carter-Boyer chose to steer the festival back to its smaller, more intimate origins. She also scaled back the event from three days to two.

“We’re going back to a festival with a smaller footprint,” Carter-Boyer said. “The musicians and the crowd interact better, and it makes things more intimate and community-feeling. Last year was fun, but it was just too big, too complicated.”

To keep the music playing, organizers teamed up with San Dune Pub owner Debra “Deb” Greenlee.

“I just want to see school kids have a chance to play an instrument or sing instead of turning to drugs and crime, so I decided to step up,” Greenlee said.

“I cannot overemphasize what Deb’s support means to this festival,” Carter-Boyer said.







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