River City Music Festival

I spent a little time last night at the River City Music Festival. This used to be the River City Bluegrass Festival, but the festival has expanded its horizons and now encompasses Americana and Country, too.

We went mostly to hear Tommy Emmanuel, a phenomenal guitar player from Australia. He played for an hour and a half, delighting us with guitar and his special brand of percussion on the guitar.

How does he make it sound like his hands are an ensemble of players? At one point he yelled, “Take it away, boys!” and looked over his shoulder. You would have sworn that he had a backup band, but nada. Amazing.

There were bluegrass groups jamming in rooms all around the hotel, and they sounded great. There were vendors in the hallways and meeting rooms, and I fell in love with a blond. A blond guitar, that is. It has a gorgeous Sitka spruce top, a Brazilian Rosewood back (the guitar on the right), and it’s only three days old. Les McMasters of McMasters Guitars in Hermiston made it. It felt good in my hands, and sounded good, too. I’m not in the market for a guitar right now, but a girl can dream, right?



(Sorry that my iPhone camera doesn’t do this beauty justice, but this is all I had with me.)

There’s a more thorough description of the festival here on the OregonLive site, but what you really need to know is that the festival runs through Sunday (tomorrow), so get on down there and enjoy some music! Whether or not you can make it, here’s a treat. Tommy Emmanuel, playing Michelle, with lots of harmonics.

3 responses to “River City Music Festival

  1. When I saw him at the Aladdin last year I thought he was playing along with many tracks – I was astounded to discover all those sounds were coming from him!!! One of the most memorable concerts of my life. He is a musician extraordinaire!!!

  2. what a beautiful guitar! One day I’ll go to music again. We should hit the Laurelthurst on Tuesday sometime. I think that’s the night they have bluegrass.

  3. Wow, that looks like so much fun! And Tommy Emmanuel is one talented musician.