Haines Junction is bursting with bluegrass

Haines Junction is bursting with bluegrass

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A Summer 2015 Yukon Prospector Web Extra.


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There's a whole lot of pickin' going on in Haines Junction right now.  Everywhere you look people seem to be breaking out into song.

 At The Village Bakery Saturday afternoon, a crowd of people gathered round for a "Slow Jam" workshop with Nadine Landry and Sammy Lind.  

 The duo led about 6 people through traditional bluegrass songs for about an hour. A crowd of coffee drinkers looking on were able to get a heck of a good free show. 

  Little moments like this are popping up all over town.  

  In fact, the best part about the Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival for me isn’t the concerts. Those are great of course, and a huge kudos to the sound guy for bringing crystal clear audio to the performance. 

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  But the real magic is happening all over the city, late into the night.

  Mostly all of the musicians slated to play the Kluane Mountain Bluegrass festival this weekend had multiple shows lined up. Haines Junction is bursting at the seams with talented musicians. Folks who can wail for hours on a mandolin, then jump right on a banjo or guitar. People who have heart. And lots of it.

 Some shows were a bit tighter musically. But the bands who were a bit loosey goosey usually more than made up for it with banter, and an inclusive, 'you're here with us' feeling. 

  Jeff Scroggins and Colorado played at least three shows this weekend. And they hosted a workshop. But that didn’t stop them from playing their hearts out in a local bar after Saturday’s show. There wasn’t much fanfare. They didn’t take a stage; they were, infact, just standing next to a pool table. They certainly weren't getting paid. These guys just love to jam. 

  Anyone who’s had a chance to listen to them this weekend knows it’s paying off. They sound fantastic. 

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  Scroggins does things with a banjo that should probably be illegal it sounds so good.  And his son Tristan is a maniac on the mandolin. The youth’s raw energy elevates the band to a whole new level on stage. 

  They make the perfect accompaniment to Greg Blake's thundering vocals, which tie it all together.

  On stage, they’re force to be reckoned with. But it’s after where you can really get a taste for bluegrass.

  A party was setup for revelers last night, with musicians and fans coming together around a bonfire. 

  A lot of the acts from the weekend, in varying states, were jamming.  From sundown to sunup they played into the night, while people danced around the orange light. 

  Pockets of music would spring up in one corner. Artists would switch out of one and go jam with someone in another. There was singing, jumping around and a whole lot of laughing. Everywhere people were smiling

  Maybe it was the idyllic setting in Haines Junction. Maybe there’s something romantic about jumping around to life bluegrass by a bonfire, under a mountain. Maybe it’s just the easy going, ultra-talented musicians. Either way, the Kluane Mountain Bluegrass Festival is one of the best times I've had yet.


Photos and Story by 

Jonathan Duncan 

prospector@harperstreetpublishing.com

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