One such event is going to take place at the 49th State Brewing and Pub in Anchorage. Three days of everything celebrating the love of being Irish. In truth or spirit. (From 7 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 6-9 p.m. Sunday) Show up there and you will be in for a musical treat with sounds of the Irish fiddle played by Andrea Childers.
It should be said that Alaska has a very vibrant music and entertainment scene. It may not be as big as let’s say New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles or other cities in the lower 48. Yet despite our small population Alaska has put out to the world some real class acts. Artists like Jewel and bands like Portugal the Man and our state’s biggest ambassador; the late great Hobo Jim.
Alaskan Grooves is my attempt to bring our music and entertainment scene in Anchorage and in the Valley to the light of day, spread the word so to speak. My name is Dan Grota and for six years I was a columnist for the Mat-Su Frontiersman. I did some other pieces for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Commons and this paper as well.
I am also a radio DJ. I do a show called the “DownBeat” on KVRF 89.7 FM, Big Cabbage Radio out of Palmer for about nine years now. On that show I play everything from Billie Holiday to Led Zeppelin. I’m an artist, a retired U.S. Army veteran and a aspiring musician. The guitar is my chosen instrument. Simply put I love art, books and tunes and that is the inspiration for this column.More about me, later. Much Later.
St. Patrick’s Day is approaching at warp speed.Things are going on all over the place. One such event is going to take place at the 49th State Brewing and Pub in Anchorage. Three days of everything celebrating the love of being Irish. In truth or spirit. (From 7 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 6-9 p.m. Sunday) Show up there and you will be in for a musical treat with sounds of the Irish fiddle played by Andrea Childers.
Andrea is known in the Valley as a premier bluegrass, folk and country fiddler. She plays with groups like “Vested interest” and “Flintlock Special” from Palmer to Talkeetna. Do not let her small stature fool you, her talents and skills with music are very large indeed. Along with the violin, Andrea plays guitar, piano and ukulele. When she is not on the road playing her heart out, Andrea teaches music at Wood & Wire Guitars and Music in Palmer. Her students young and old adore her. ( That is where I met her working at that shop.)
She will be accompanied by Guitarists Steve Oudean and Neal Van Gorder. So it should prove to be a good time is to had by all as these three seasoned pros get up on the stage. Andrea told me recently that this the sixth year in a row she has played this gig.
So ends my first installment of Alaskan Grooves. As things begin to warm up and summer rolls in events and venues will open up that will bring out acts of a wide selection of styles guarantied to warm the hardest hearts.Which means I will have plenty of stories to write about. So fellow Alaskans, get ready to get your groove on. Alaskan Grooves that is!
Daniel D. Grota retired from the U.S. Army after 21 plus years in service. He is a veteran of the war in Iraq. An independent columnist, Mr. Grota has written articles for the Mat-Su Frontiersman, Alaska Commons, Anchorage Press and the Alaska Dispatch News. Dan Grota is also the host of the “DownBeat” on KVRF 89.7 FM Big Cabbage Radio out of Palmer. Mr. Grota resides in Wasilla.
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