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Open Space for Arts & Community proudly presents the Cider Fest Stomp and FLY FRIDAYZ

The Great Divide photo by Pete Welch
The Great Divide photo by Pete Welch

We get a yearning every fall here at Open Space, an itching in our feet and a jiggle in our legs, and we start to hear the imaginary strains of something we need to move to – and we know it’s time to dance. So we are pleased as punch to welcome The Great Divide and the Jeff Kanzler Band to the Cider Fest Stomp on Saturday, October 11! You can wrap up a fantastic 2014 Cider Fest at Open Space, and kick up your heels on Vashon’s biggest dance floor, to music from our island’s favorite musicians.

The Great Divide is a Vashon institution. This all-islander band was formed in the early ‘80’s and played locally for many years before hitting the ‘big time’, touring with blues guitar great Elvin Bishop. We got to talk with Loren Sinner about how the early days of The Great Divide, and he shared just how groundbreaking it was.

“When the band got going, it was the biggest deal around – there was no other band like this on Vashon. Everywhere we played, it was packed. Now there’s an upswelling of music on the island. But when The Great Divide formed, it was the first Vashon band made up of all islanders – it was very grassroots. And then we took it to a level none of us expected.”
In 1987, The Great Divide won the Marlboro Country Music Talent Roundup, with a $5,000 grand price and the privilege of opening for Alabama, The Judd’s and George Strait in the Tacoma Dome before a crowd of 20,000. They have opened for Asleep at the Wheel, Charlie Daniels, and many other acts, playing a mixture of country rock, Texas swing, and straight up rock.

Loren said, “We really play crossover music – country-based rock and roll. We like to do songs not everyone does, B sides and ones that are hard to find.”

“In 2002 we thought ‘let’s try this again’ – and we played, at it was great. Then we took another few years break and played around 2005. So playing now is a big reunion for us. Two of the six of us live off-island now – Jerry Wilkes, our fiddle player, lives in Yakima, and his fiddle is a big part of our sound. And Bob Goring, his voice is probably the most important piece of the band.”

Opening for The Great Divide is The Jeff Kanzler Band. Jeff released Black Top Road (currently available on iTunes) to critical acclaim and extensive airplay in the US and Europe.  Called “a jaw-dropping set of beautifully crafted country-folk” by Don Yates, Program Director of KEXP, Black Top Road was among KEXP’s Best Top 10 list of 2007 Americana releases. Dan Macintosh of said, “If you’re looking for the next big alt-country thing, Jeff Kanzler might just be the one. His rough-edged voice only makes his songs that much more believable. Much like Ryan Adams and Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Kanzler uses a natural world-weariness to his advantage. His songs are generally sad, but rarely downright depressing. The important thing is that he comes off authentic from start to finish.”  Black Top Road reached #4 on the Euroamericana chart (playlist rotation ranking reported by 140 stations across Europe).
Then Jeff implausibly set down his guitar and has rarely picked it up since.

Now, with a new 12” EP entitled PILLS FOR TWO crawling towards a release date (it’s at the vinyl pressing plant now) and a local band comprised of veteran Vashon musicians Dianne Krouse, Dan Bruce, Kevin Almeida and The Great Divide’s Loren Sinner, Jeff’s guitar is happily back out of the case.

The Cider Fest Stomp brings together two fantastic Island bands, full of our favorite musicians, at the end of a great Island day, to share fantastic music and have some serious fun. Loren says, “Sandy Silagi will be doing dance lessons at the start of the night, and we’ve worked out a whole dance set – country line dancing, all kinds of fun. And we’re doing one set with Jeff Kanzler and his band – that’s going to be really special.”

Doors open for the Cider Fest Stomp at 7pm on Saturday, October 11. Tickets are $10 in Advance, and available at Vashon Bookshop and Tickets will be $12 at the Door. As always, no one turned away for lack of funds!

If you’d like to move to a different sound, the Friday before the Cider Fest Stomp features a young artist bringing an exciting new sound to Open Space and Vashon! Our monthly dance night, Club O, has been rocking the last Friday of every month, and now it’s time to add an extra spin - with FLY FRIDAYZ, debuting Friday night, October 10.
We’re thrilled to welcome uber-talented Marcus Jones-Moore, AKA SPEAK ON THE MIC - a talented rap artist / producer / actor bringing fantastic new music to Vashon. This first FLY FRIDAYZ installment also features Brian Boyd, ADA BRIAN B SMOOTH, a DJ with loads of experience, and Peter Evans, AKA Donald Evans 3rd, a talented rap artist from Seattle.

Doors open at 8pm, and admission is $10 at the door - and no one turned away for lack of funds.
Make your way to Open Space for FLY FRIDAYZ and the Cider Fest Stomp - music and dancing to suit every taste!