McCloud to become a music mecca in September with a Maria Muldaur concert and the Mountain Bluegrass Festival
(from the September issue of After Five Magazine, page 5 – full issue available here!)
By Aaron Williams
Maria Muldaur certainly is right – the weekend of Sept. 8-10 in McCloud will be a “Party Gras.”
Muldaur, the songstress best known for the 1970s hit “Midnight at the Oasis” will play a benefit show for the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 at the new The Hall and Old Mill Distillery on Main Street in McCloud. Her show caps off a weekend of bluegrass music in the tiny mountain town as the McCloud Mountain Bluegrass Festival runs from Friday Sept. 8 through Sunday the 10th.
Though the shows run from one to the other, they are unrelated and tickets for each are sold separately.
“It’s a total accident,” Muldaur said by phone from Woodstock, N.Y., of the shows being held on the same weekend. “Sometimes you book a gig at Carnegie Hall and find out the Rolling Stones are playing across the street. It happens.”
Nevertheless, Muldaur, whose show includes a New Orleans style dinner prior to the show, would love to see Northern California music fans enjoy a few days of bluegrass in Hoo Hoo Park and then head over to her show to cap the weekend off.
“I’m a huge fan of Laurie Lewis,” Muldaur said of one of the bluegrass festival’s main performers. “I’ve sung bluegrass most of my life.”
These days Muldaur plays what she calls “Bluesiana” music – a blend of New Orleans fl avored blues and swamp funk. She evolved into it during the 1980s after playing with Dr. John and “just got addicted” to the sound.
“I’ll still play ‘Midnight at the Oasis’ though,” she laughed. “I’m not one of those rock stars that complains about having to play the hits every night. It’s actually a hip little jazz song and most people I meet have some sort of memory with the song – most of them X-rated.”
Andy Fusso, board member and treasurer of the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center, said their nonprofit is dedicated to science-based policy advocacy, community education and stewardship that will preserve and protect our pristine natural resources for generations to come.
“That’s serious work,” he said. “This event is fun. All of us at The Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center are excited to bring Maria back to support our grassroots mission with her excellent ‘Bluesiana’ music. It happens on the last day of the McCloud Mountain Bluegrass Festival. In Louisiana we call that ‘Lagniappe’ – a little extra.”
Tickets for Muldaur’s show and pre-show dinner are available at www. mountshastaecology.org.
McCloud Mountain Bluegrass Festival
The McCloud Mountain Bluegrass Festival features three days of music, performances, food and jamming.
The star-studded lineup includes Grammy-winning artist Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, as well as the Rita Hosking Trio, Blue Summit, Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising, Mossy Creek and the Old Kennett String Band.
“We are quite happy to come (to McCloud),” Lewis said by phone recently while packing up her van before heading to a show. “It’s a lovely area and I’ve heard wonderful things about the festival and I’m so glad they asked us to come.”
Lewis also shared the mutual adoration Muldaur had for her, adding “I love seeing Maria play and there’s a chance of her sitting in with us for a song on Sunday.”
Three-day tickets are $25 each before Sept. 1 and may be purchased at Kyody Coffee at the Mercantile, the McCloud Chamber of Commerce office, McCloud Hotel, McCloud Mercantile, McCloud Outdoors and Siskiyou Brew Works. Online, they’re available via PayPal at www. mccloudchamber.com/tickets/.
Event camping check-in begins on 5 p.m. Sept. 8 with festival events beginning at 7 p.m. Gates open at 10 a.m. Sept. 9 and 10, with gospel music on Sunday.
Free parking is available at the Old Mill site and fans are encouraged to bring low-sitting lawn chairs. Well-behaved dogs on leashes also are welcome, but coolers are prohibited.
Guests may not bring alcoholic beverages, however beer, wine and soda will be available for purchase. This year’s event is a benefit for McCloud Elementary and High School music programs.
(Note: Lewis will also be performing this month in Weaverville at 7 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Trinity Alps Performing Arts Center. Visit www. tapaconline.org for more information).