All about the Seldovia Festival 2012

24 05 2012


What do you get when you cross a flat picker, a former Klingon, part of a roller coaster, and a shrew tamer??? Why, you get Seldovia Arts Council’s, walloping 2012 Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival. This year’s headline acts include:  flatpicking  legend, Dan Crary and his band, “Thunderation “, and James Lee Stanley teaming with Cliff Eberhardt to create “All Wood and Doors”, an acoustic version of the “Door’s” greatest hits. They will be joined by 14 solo artists and groups from all over Alaska, who will “knock your socks off” as they entertain and present workshops over four fun-filled days, of the twelfth annual Seldovia Summer Solstice Music festival.

  • June 21st – 24th
  • Most events will be at the Susan B. English School

Dan Crary is a flatpicking stylist with an international reputation for innovation, taste and brilliance. With more than 50 years as a performer, he is one of the few artists whose work transcends the boundaries of style and genre. A long and distinguished recording career, featuring solo projects and award-winning group efforts, have brought Dan Crary acclaim as a versatile performer. He is able to range from Mozart to Anglo-American fiddle tunes to moody, evocative original compositions. “Jammed If I Do” (1994), with guests, Tony Rice, Doc Watson, Norman Blake, and Beppe Gambetta, was hailed as one of the decade’s great gatherings of guitarists, while his 1992 solo album, “Thunderation”, won the National Association of Independent Record Distributors and Manufacturer’s annual “Indie” award for “Best String Instrumental Album.” Crary’s “Holiday Guitar”, won 1998’s “Indie” for “Best Seasonal Music” from the Association For Independent Music. Dan is also a university professor that has produced excellent flat-picking guitar DVDs, taught 100s of workshops, toured the world, and has recently produced “Primal Twang, the Legacy of the Guitar”. It is the first definitive theatrical journey through the guitar’s colorful and surprisingly controversial 3,500-year history. It will be presented at the festival as a workshop.

Dan is accompanied on this visit to Seldovia by Martin Stevens and Steve Spurgin. Steve Spurgin, a native of Texas, is one of the most prolific song writers of his genre with numerous hit songs covered by country greats such as Reba Macintire. Martin Stevens is an up and coming mandolin whiz-kid with a decade of touring. All three musicians will be playing and teaching instrumental workshops during the festival.

Songwriter and guitarist, James Lee Stanley, is returning to the Seldovia Summer Solstice Festival as a headliner by popular demand.  He is constantly creating new and interesting material and putting smiles on folks’ faces as he tours around the U. S. and Europe.  Some people do not know that James spent time on the TV set playing a Klingon for Star Trek or that he is very active in the National Folk Alliance as a board member, that he spent time in the Air Force as a Chinese linguist or that he was a “Two Man Band” with Peter Tork of the Monkeys. He has created eight albums, nineteen compact disks and more, all having received critical acclaim. He has currently produced the acoustic version of many Rolling Stones tunes with John Batdorf,  “All Wood and Stones” and with Cliff Eberhardt,  “All Wood and Doors“. James will be performing with Cliff and will also be teaching an arranging workshop at the festival. He will be our festival MC! Helping out with this will be Cliff Eberhardt and Robin Hopper.

We promised a shrew tamer and he is coming to us direct from the stage of the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C. The Western musical version of “Taming of the Shrew” showcases a unique shrew, one that is influenced and inspired by the amazing music of singer/songwriter, Cliff Eberhardt, who composed the original music and is performing in a role called “The Blind Balladeer”. At fifteen, Cliff and his brother Geoff began touring as an acoustic duo, playing the Eastern club circuit. He has long been one of the most respected songwriters on the club scene. After nearly two decades of touring his debut album, ”The Long Road” (1990), received an outstanding response. The Philadelphia Inquirer called the album a “repeatedly astounding collection”. His critically acclaimed album “The High Above and the Down Below” was named the number five album of 2007 by USA Today. It was recorded with noted jazz players, Gordy Johnson, J. T. Bates and Rich Dworsky. Cliff’s new album “500 Miles: The Blue Rock Sessions” may be his finest to date. It is an intimate album of powerful originals and unique covers which features a reworking of his hit “The Long Road”. A collection of his songs has been published in “The Cliff Eberhardt Songbook” (Cherry Lane Publishing). Performers who have recorded his songs include Richie Havens, Shawn Colvin, Russ Taff and Buffy Sainte Marie.

The headliners are joined by two “Alaskan Songwriter of the Year” winners, Robin Hopper, and Eric Braendel.  Look forward to solo artist Rick Brooks, the duo John Cook and Ken Sease , Tom Begich, Milo Matthews,  the Cindy McKenna Band, Hurricane Dave Rush,  duo Angela Kositz with Lee Petkul and the rollicking “Rant and Ravens Morris Dancers”.  There will also be some tunes by our famous local band, “Billy Goat”, that “Naughty Lady Simone D’ Biblioteque” and some grand accompaniments by master jazz pianist Dan McElrath.  In addition, Susan Sommerville, PhD, mezzo-soprano, choral conductor and music historian, formerly of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will be presenting a workshop on the history of music and song in Alaska. Many of the musicians will be presenting workshops in many areas of their expertise: some for instruments, some for voice, and some for little children.

The festival schedule will surely include something for everyone, and many opportunities to interact with the artists. The festivities begin on Thursday around noon with a ferry jam on the Alaska State Ferry, the Tustemena. On the way to Seldovia, the performers will share a song or two with the lucky folks on the ship. Once they arrive in Seldovia, they will be hosted by local families. At 6 pm join them at the Linwood Café for a “meet and greet” and then, perhaps attend the OPEN MIKE session in which locals and out-of-towners, who are not officially in the show, share a song or two on the Festival Stage. Friday Morning the workshops begin at 10 am with a two hour workshop with Suzanne Sommerville and a 1 pm presentation of “Primal Twang” with Dan Crary. Friday evening the Festival Stage will begin at 6:30 pm. Saturday morning, join everyone for a “cuppa coffee” at the Tide Pool Café at 10 am where there will be a songwriters’ circle led by the headliners and maybe even a sing along. Look for our newest “meet-up”, the official uke circle at 2:30 pm (bring your ukulele and join the fun). Tim Quinn will be leading this event, hopefully, outside in the park. There will be over twelve workshops on Saturday beginning at 1 pm. Saturday night at 6:30 pm there will be more show time at the Festival stage. Finish off the festival on Sunday afternoon at 2 pm with a Gospel Jam on the deck of the Dancing Eagles Lodge.

The price for the whole festival is $49 at the door.  If you are a local and are in Seldovia before the festival you can buy a ticket at Thyme on the Boardwalk for $39 (must be purchased by Wednesday June 19th). Children’s ticketing and one day festival tickets will be available at the door.

  • Schedule in a Nutshell
  • Thursday 
  • Join us on the Tustemena  for the Ferry Jam…leaves around 11AM  Homer Dock
  • 6:PM  Community  Meet and Greet at the Linwood
  • 7:30   OPEN MIKE at the Commons

  • Friday
  • Friday Morning Workshops around the Commons area
  • 10 AM  Popular Music in the 49th State   with Dr.  “Phil”  Suzanne Summerville  
  • 1   PM  “Primal Twang”  (special personal presentation of Dan Crary’s  PBS special.. on the big screen)
  • Friday  Evening  Performances   START AT 6:30 PM  Commons

  • Saturday
  • 8:30 Yoga for Performers with Amy Gilson at the Sea Otter Community Center
  • 10 AM Song Circle at the TidePool  Cafe
  • 11:30  Uke Jam (bring your ukulele)
  • Saturday Afternoon Workshops  1 -4   (12 to choose from)  Commons and Sea Otter Community Center
  • Saturday  Evening  Performances  START AT 6:30 PM

  • Sunday
  • Sunday Afternoon  Gospel Jam on Dancing Eagle’s Deck with Judith Lethin

Some Songs by our headliners

Cliff Eberhardt and James Lee Stanley

Have YOU HEARD    

What Would You Do


 Moonlight Drive 

On the Bus




Dan Crary and Thunderation

North Country Fair

Sail Away&Sally Ann

Dan Crary

Lady’s Fancy

Workshop on HomeSpun

Flatpicking Medley