West Summer Fest 2017: Performances at the Main Stage

Short Interviews with the Bands

Sunday, July 16

Text and photos by Mitch Kief,

© Mitchell Kief 2017.  All rights reserved.


South Sound Tug and Barge, Mega Bog, Swedish Finnish, Carrie Akre and Danny Newcomb, and the Dusty 45s.


It was noon, where California Avenue intersected with Oregon St. on the north end of the West Seattle Junction. The music was starting after the hip-hop dancers, and fans and their families gathered in front of the stage, which was sunny and comfortably warm and far enough away from the distracting smoke and smell of grilled meats. Behind the stage, in the break area with fold down chairs and stacks of bottled water, there was an atmosphere of collegiality and courtesy. Musicians put down their equipment and greeted each other warmly, whether they were old friends or meeting for the first time, and offered one another easygoing encouragement to allay a normal amount of uneasy apprehension. The stage staff had been working hard the last two days, but they were calm, attentive, and helpful, never overbearing or obtrusive. This was the perfect summer festival.


South Sound Tug and Barge

12:00 PM

Steve Duda: banjo and vocals; Charley Rowan: accordion and vocals; Scott M.X. Turner: guitar, harmonica, resonator, bodhrán, and vocals.

Learn more about South Sound Tug and Barge and find their music at www.southsoundtugandbarge.com/.

What is your connection to West Seattle?

Steve: We all live in West Seattle.

Charley: I met up with Scott at the Shadowland’s open mic night.

Scott: We owe thanks to Patrick Smail and Shadowland’s Starlite Singer/Songwriter Showcase on Tuesdays night. This was the real incubator.

Steve: It’s exciting for us. Last year we were busking in front of Easy Street Records, and now we are on the main stage.

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Left to right: Charley Rowan, Steve Duda, and Scott M.X. Turner

How would you define your band?

Steve: We’re a political band. We oppose and resist what is right in front of us. We’re acoustic, with punk rock energy, and play old songs. You don’t hit people over the head with a message, but people love music. We changed the words slightly to Which Side Are you On to make it more relevant, and 12 Gates to the City can now point to the current refugee crisis.

Scott: It is also about the music, from living in Brooklyn and being actively involved against development, I learned that waking up and thinking only about the political struggle meant I couldn’t think about the band.

Steve: We like to think we play punk, but we play old songs with a banjo.

And an accordion.

Charley: The accordion was once the most popular instrument in America. I play the keyboard and picked up the accordion, and then was playing Brazilian forro music.

Where do you like performing?

All: Parliament!

Steve: Though we wouldn’t say no to an offer for a world tour.



















View of South Sound Tug and Barge from backstage.

Mega Bog

1:00 PM

Erin Birgy: voice and guitar.

Learn more about Mega Bog and find their music at www.megabog.com/

If I said you were setting your poetry to a Fender Stratocaster, would you agree?

(Smiles and laughs) I play a Fender Cyclone. I like Alice Notely’s free form poetry and am reading Laura Riding’s poems – she was Robert Grave’s mistress. When I am alone, and I am hardly ever alone, words come out and I write, and when I am with people, music happens.

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Erin Birgy with her Fender Cyclone

Where are you from?

I drove here today from Missoula, Montana. I’ve lived in Seattle, but now I am in Brooklyn. Brooklyn is where everybody is trying hard; it is extremely competitive, and there is good, amazing art. Scenes overlap and divide, and they have their own capitalism. Seattle offers a supportive community. My chosen family lives in Seattle, and I am grateful that iji was a major influence. I gained a lot of experience in Seattle with no focus.

What about music and the Internet?

It can be classist: while anyone can listen to music on the Internet, not everyone has a computer or the resources for unlimited streaming, and the libraries offer only an hour of computer use.

Where next?

I will always be playing music. I’ll be at Hidden City records in Vancouver, B.C. on Tues, [July 19, 2017] then Wed. [July 19, 2017] at the Old Fire House Teen Center in Redmond, Wa. Then Los Angeles, Portland and the UK . I might even eventually live in L.A. and make music for the movies. My friends live in Glendale and Highland Park, and I am drawn to Sun Valley because of the horse neighborhoods.

Swedish Finnish

2:00 PM

Rod Moody: vocal and guitar; Tina Anderson: drums; Scott Sutherland: lead guitar; Andy Hoggarth: bass.

Learn more about Swedish Finnish at www.facebook.com/SwedishFinnishBand/

(Speaking with Rod primarily) You have a long standing West Seattle relationship?

My grandparents moved here in 1923 from Indiana. I’ve lived here, except for a while in Queen Anne and the east coast. I have worked at Easy Street Records for nine years. I volunteer at the West Seattle Historical Society and did an inventory of local Junction businesses, and using old city directories, determined what used to be in the buildings here. West Seattle is a vibrant community, with lots of bands and lots of opportunity to see them.

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Left to right: Rod Moody, Scott Sutherland, and Andy Hoggarth

How about the band?

We are practically all neighbors in Morgan Junction. Makes getting together for rehearsal easy.

You have a remarkable drummer.

My wife Tina never missed a show in 20 years, then she took drumming lessons. Tina’s style is similar to Michael Clarke’s of the Byrds.

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Tina Anderson

Favorite venues?

Parliament and Slim’s.

Current projects?

We have an album coming out Friday on the Green Monkey Records label, and it is also available through Amazon.

Carrie Akre and Danny Newcomb

3:00 PM

Carrie Akre : vocals and guitar; Danny Newcomb: lead guitar and vocals.

You can find Carrie Akre and Danny Newcomb on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CarrieAkreDannyNewcomb/. You can also find Carrie on www.facebook.com/Carrie-Akre-1436949453254699/ and Danny on dannynewcomb.com/

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Danny Newcomb and Carrier Akre

You’ve moved from Seattle to Minnesota and back?

Carrie: Yes, originally from the Tri-Cities, I lived in West Seattle, Admiral and White Center, then Minnesota, and now live in Tacoma. I feel grateful to have explored Seattle when Seattle was affordable, but now it is crowded and expensive. I miss people here and seeing friends, but Tacoma is accessible and friendly, and has good clubs, 6th Avenue, and also has that great underdog feeling.

Danny: I grew up in North Seattle, and I love West Seattle. It reminds me of how Seattle used to be.

Can you describe how you arrive at a song?

Carrie: Music is personal and from within me, but it comes from nowhere into my psyche. It involves an artistic intuition, and there are a lot of things going on, and it creates a lot of art.

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Carrie Akre

Danny: I live on a farm on Vashon Island, and I get up early, practice for an hour, and write a new idea every day. Sometimes they are good. I think it is important to have a routine.

Farm? No wonder you’re in such good shape!

Danny: No, no, not really. But I was in an accident recently, and the doctor said that I was doing well because I didn’t have an office job and was used to moving my body in different ways.

Favorite venues?

Carrie and Danny: Tractor, Columbia City Theatre, Bijou, and the Royal Room.

What’s coming up?

Danny: A record release performance on August 11, 2017, at Easy Street Records.

The Dusty 45s

4:00 PM

Billy Joe Huels: band leader, singer/songwriter, trumpet, guitar; Jerry Battista: lead guitar; Robin Cady: upright bass; Kohen Burrill: drums; William Stover: piano.

For more about the Dusty 45s, go to www.dusty45s.com/.

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Left to right: Jerry Battista, Billy Joe Huels, Robin Cady

(Speaking with Billy Joe primarily) I think you’re holding on your own against Louis Armstrong on St. James Infirmary.

I cannot even begin to compare myself to Louis Armstrong. What I like to think I’m doing is channeling him. I also draw inspiration from Buddy Holly and put them all together.

When did you pick up the trumpet?

That was my first instrument when I was young. We play rock-a-billy, and I’ve played surf and twangy style guitar music, but I wanted that Tex-Mex sound, so I had my parents send me my trumpet.

Are you from Seattle?

I grew up on a farm in southern Illinois, went to college in Illinois and Bozeman, Montana. I was dating a girl in Vashon, Island, and moved here in 1989, and lived in the University District. Most of the band lives in West Seattle; Jerry Battista lives in Everett. We practice two blocks from here and record our albums on 46th Street. This year, the Dusty 45s celebrates 20 years of playing music.

Where do you like to unwind in West Seattle?

Some of the favorites are West 5 and Parliament.

A Seattle music memory?

Seeing Nirvana playing at release party at the Peaches record store. I bought the Nevermind CD then.

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Left to right: Robin Cady and Billy Joe Huels

Where are the Dusty 45s Going?

After shows in Seattle and eastern Washington, we’re playing the Wild West Fest, at Drunky’s Two Shoes BBQ, in White Center, August 13, 2017, from 2PM until 6PM. There’s pony rides! Then we head off to the east coast, from Boston to Knoxville, with an annual show in Nantucket Island.

West Seattle Summer Fest Survey

The Summer Fest Survey is here. The Junction merchants were pleased to bring you the 35th Annual Summer Fest. We are interested to learn how you feel about the festival and what we can do to make Summer Fest 2018 (July 13-15) better than ever.  Thanks for your comments!

Fill out my online form.

Sidewalk Sale in the 35th Year

West Seattle Summer Fest 2017Shopping at Summer Fest is one of the many reasons people from all around the region visit West Seattle over the 3-day festival. Now in the festival’s 35th year, Summer Fest started as a merchant sidewalk sale. Many of the West Seattle businesses still hold that tradition true by offering sidewalk sales throughout the event.

Some of our recommended highlights are the famous Easy Street Records sale – there’s always plenty for everyone! Zamboanga has imported clothing from around the globe. Fleurt and City Mouse offers everyday clothing and decor for gift giving all-year round.

Make sure you check out all our sidewalk sale merchants for deep discounts:

Antique Mall of West Seattle
Jan’s Beauty Supply
Stop ‘N Shop
Click Design That Fits
ACS Discovery Shop
Bakery Nouveau
Funky Janes
Many Moons Trading Co
Virago Gallery
Wild Rose’s
Terjung’s Studio of Gifts
Great Harvest Bread Co.
Northwest Art & Frame
Merryweather Books
Menashe and Sons
The Forsythe Studio
Sound Advise

There’s plenty going on outside the festival too. Make sure you head to Sound & Fog for a sparkling wine cocktail menu and a summer pop up. More information on their Facebook page.

Sound Advise is offering $50 off all Android Phones with specials on JBL Bluetooth speakers and Headphones. All Military personal, Veterans and Reserves also get a $200 VISA gift card on any new activations in addition to all other deals and new activations get Free activation and phones stating from Free to $10/Month.

And click on the full shopping list for all of our Summer Fest vendors.

West Seattle Wine Walk

West Seattle Wine WalkThursday, September 28th

6pm – 9pm

Limited tickets $25 advance or $30 day of the event

The West Seattle Wine Walk celebrates wine with this vibrant and fun event. Located in the heart of West Seattle, the Wine Walk provides you with the opportunity to meet the boutique wineries around the Pacific Northwest.

Housed in some of West Seattle’s favorite merchants, you’ll enjoy tastings from 14 different wineries, each showcasing a unique variety of wines.

Bottles of wine and additional individual wine tasting tickets will available to ticket holders.

Complete with a West Seattle Junction Wine Walk glass.

The night of the event, please go to our check-in host at Capers located at 4525 California Ave SW in the heart of the Junction.

We will have your name on a list at our check-in list. You’ll be presented with your tasting tickets and complimentary wine glass.

Tickets on sale now!


Brown Paper Tickets Ticket Widget Loading…

Click Here to visit the Brown Paper Tickets event page.


Join the Biggest Party of the Year

Summer Fest 2017

Busk at Art Walk & Summer Fest, 2017

Summer Fest Dates and Times:

Thursday, July 13th 6pm – 9pm (Summer Fest Eve/Art Walk night)

Friday, July 14th 11am – 6pm

Saturday, July 15th 11am – 6pm

Sunday, July 16th 10am – 5pm


The organizers at Summer Fest invite you to join one of Seattle’s most vibrant street parties of the year. Buskers of many types perform at Art Walk and Summer Fest each year. We welcome performances with instruments and tools ranging from acoustic instruments, performance art, odd instruments, puppets, bubbles to magicians. Buskers enrich the already busy streets at the festival by adding to the overall festive feeling.

During Art Walk (July 13th) you may set up on the street between SW Oregon and Edmunds between the hours of 6pm to 9pm for 90 minutes at a time.  You may place a tip jar on the street. There is no information booth manager at Art Walk.

There are two locations at Summer Fest (July 14th-16th) where performers can entertain the crowds for 90 minutes at a time.

Due to the crowds, amplified music is not permitted. All Summer Fest performers are required to wear a performer’s name tag and log into the official busker book.

You may place a tip jar on the street. To perform at Summer Fest, visit the information booth manager who is located at the info booth. You’ll find the info booth at the cross section of the “All Walk” at California Ave and SW Alaska St.

Busker spots are awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Any busker who plays outside of the designated spots or performs outside of the rules will be removed by festival staff.

For questions, please email the festival at info [at] wsjunction [dot] org

5 Tips for Shopping Summer Fest

The West Seattle Summer Fest (July 14th-16th) is well on the way to being one of the premiere festivals in Seattle. In addition to the music schedule, you’ll find a wide array of shopping options for the entire family.

Here we’re sharing some of our tips for shopping Summer Fest:

  1. Being a recycling city, bring a couple of canvas bags to fill up with goodies. Check out the new Junction tote bags that will be available at the info booth.
  2. Water is a must when you’re strolling the streets. A number of vendors will be giving away free water bottles. Stop by for some refreshments and meet the friendly folks at the booths.
  3. Start by the music stage to work yourself down the street. Take a fill from the beer garden before you dive into the shopping.
  4. Take a break at many of the outdoor cafes. Don’t shop on an empty stomach. Taking a break at one of the outdoor cafes (we recommend Elliot Bay Brewing, West 5 and Seattle Fish), all have great food and people watching.
  5. Remember to shop inside at many of the merchants too. You’ll find sales during Summer Fest you may not find during the year. Click! Design that Fits and Fleurt usually have great sales.
Summer Fest Map 2017

Celebrate June in the Junction

Celebrate 8 years of CAP at the Anniversary Open House

Sunday, June 4th 11:30am – 1pm

Join Community Acupuncture Project Sunday, June 4th 11:30am-1pm for coffee, sweet treats, free acupuncture and an opportunity to meet all the acupuncturists, your neighbors and tour the clinic. Free and open to all!

All weekend long, June 2, 3, & 4, they will be running an anniversary special for new patients!

Tell your friends and family who have been curious about acupuncture to check this special out! New patient Special: $8 first time treatments, cash only.

Schedule here: www.acupunctureforall.org/west-seattle/​


4545 44th Ave SW @ Alaska

Ladies Night Out at Junction True Value

Junction True Value Ladies Night

Wednesday, June 21st 6pm – 8pm

1st Annual Ladies Night at Junction True Value is on June 21st from 6pm – 8 pm. There will be prizes, drawings and vendor demonstrations. The 1st 100 ladies will receive a bag filled with goodies. All ladies can take advantage of 20% off store-wide savings (excluding Stihl products and sale items). Plus refreshments and yummy snacks will be served.

4747 44th Ave SW

Would you like the Junction association to list your event? You can find the calendar form on our events page.

Summer Fest GreenLife – Sustainability for West Seattle and Beyond


The West Seattle Junction is pleased to announce the 6th year of partnerships between Summer Fest and Sustainable West Seattle. Sustainable West Seattle volunteer their time to program GreenLife, a community stage and area full of interesting sustainability demos, debates, and world music. As you may not know much about Sustainable West Seattle, this article I thought I would give you some background about the organization’s President and why they were chosen as one of our community partners.

The mission and vision of Sustainable West Seattle is to educate, create and be advocates for urban sustainability in their local community. Their vision is a West Seattle community of empowered citizens who actively lead us toward greater self-reliance, local democracy, social justice, and existence in harmony with life on earth.

President Stu Henessey, a longtime West Seattle neighbor and lifetime Seattle resident, grew up surrounded by trees, mountains and seas the instinctive feeling of being one with nature. He’s a part of the core group that develops several Sustainable West Seattle endeavors. His interests are carbon free transportation associated with West Seattle Spokespeople and DIY Bikes as well as growing food locally at COWS (Community Orchard of West Seattle).

You may know him as the owner of Alki Bike and Board in the Admiral District. Typical of a gardener/farmer, he likes to plant seeds of change in his community and watch them grow.

It was important Summer Fest programming also included an element of green sustainable outreach, something that truly understood the roots of community giving. The team at Sustainable West Seattle was everything the Junction was looking for in a nonprofit partner.

The GreenLife features 3 days of sustainability demonstrations, music and hand-on experiences. In years past, topics have included:  building with reclaimed materials; backyard beer making; and home canning and preservation.  GreenLife also excited to program a wide variety of music, ranging from world beats, to local Seattle homespun bands.

GreenLife runs from Friday, July 14th through Sunday, July 16th. Make sure you check out everything GreenLife has to offer this year.

Volunteer at the Junction Spring Clean

Spring Clean West Seattle Junction

Believe it or not, spring is here! And with it comes Spring Clean, a community cleanup program supported by Seattle Public Utilities.

Spring Clean, now in its 31st year, runs from April 1 through May 31. During this time, Seattle residents—neighbors, volunteer groups, community organizations—come together to clean up Seattle’s neighborhoods. Activities include picking up litter, stenciling storm drains to prevent water pollution, painting out graffiti, removing invasive plants, and more. Seattle Public Utilities and the Junction Association supports volunteers by providing free tools like garbage bags, gloves, garbage grabbers, safety vests, and paint supplies.

Show your community involvement!

The Junction Spring Clean is set for Saturday, May 20th 9am – 12 Noon

We’ll have coffee, breakfast, tools, and a nifty limited-edition tote

We’ll meet at Junction Plaza Park (42nd and Alaska St) – look for the white tents with supplies! You can join the Facebook invite here to spread the word with family and friends.

Interested in participating? Gather your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors—there’s no minimum or maximum group size. Register online here through the Junction Spring Clean application.

Spring Clean is a partnership between Seattle residents and Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, and Seattle Department of Transportation.

Rock the House That Stays Close to Junction Ties

People with memory loss, their family and friends, and all who support a dementia-friendly community are invited to attend a fun social gathering called “Rock the House.” Organized by local business owners, organizations and neighbors, the event takes place from 3 – 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 27 at Shadowland in the West Seattle Junction.

Along with a chance to enjoy food, drinks and good company, the event features MC Brent Amaker (of Brent Amaker and The Rodeo) and live music by Jay Cates (of The Bend). Happy hour menu will be available. Event is free other than the cost of menu items ordered.

“I’m excited about this because I love to get people together, especially people in different situations,” states Frances Smersh, who helped plan the event. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to engage people and have a great time. And music is always good for the heart and the soul!”

Frances was diagnosed with dementia in 2015 at the age of 48. Since then, she and her husband John, the owners of Click! Design That Fits, have openly shared her diagnosis with the West Seattle community.

“It was important for me to share the news about my diagnosis,” states Frances, “because I knew I couldn’t hide from it, and I don’t think it does anyone any good to try to hide. Remaining engaged in the community is important to me personally, and it seems to be one of the best things for people dealing with memory loss.”

With over 100,000 Washingtonians, and over 5 million Americans, living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, Frances is certainly not alone. However, it can be easy for people with dementia to feel socially isolated. Although they remain vital members of the community, social stigma and other barriers can prevent them from staying involved and engaged.

In this context, a local movement called Momentia is empowering people with memory loss and their loved ones to stay connected and active in their communities. People and organizations are coming together to produce “dementia-friendly” opportunities in popular public spaces – like walking groups at Woodland Park Zoo, art gallery tours at the Frye Art Museum, and service projects at the Cherry Street Food Bank. (Learn more at www.momentiaseattle.org)

“For too long, a dementia diagnosis has meant fear, shame and isolation,” states Marigrace Becker, Program Manager for Community Education and Impact at the UW Medicine Memory & Brain Wellness Center. “People with memory loss and their loved ones deserve to stay engaged in their communities – and by working together, we can make that happen.”

Here in West Seattle, Momentia is taking off. In the Fall, a group of organizations and neighbors involved in the Momentia movement hosted a community meeting for people with memory loss and their loved ones to develop their own dementia-friendly programs, making use of favorite West Seattle venues.

As a result, several new programs are in the works. In the new year, Providence Mt St Vincent began opening up their drum circle to others living with dementia in the wider West Seattle community. In March and April, Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Senior Center of West Seattle, and others are offering a 4-week creative arts and storytelling workshop for people with dementia and their loved ones.

And now, the Momentia group of West Seattle is proud to announce “Rock the House.” Whether you have dementia, love someone with dementia, or want to meet others who support a dementia-friendly community, you are invited to attend.

The event is offered in partnership by Shadowland, Click! Design That Fits, the Senior Center of West Seattle, Full Life Care, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and Providence Mt St Vincent.