by Alec Clayton for OLY ARTS
Banjo player and singer Riley Baugus will perform with Sabra Guzman at the Oly Old Time Festival main concert Feb. 2. Baugus plays and sings in the Round Peak style from Surry County, North Carolina.
“Riley is a charismatic performer and excellent storyteller,” said Emily Teachout, festival co-founder and programming director. “His reverence for this music comes through in his presentation of the ballads, tunes and songs of his upbringing. If you’ve seen the movie ‘Cold Mountain,’ you’ve heard his singing. He’s the voice of one of the characters and he also made some of the instruments in the movie. Riley frequently tours with the Dirk Powell Band and Tim O’Brien. He’s recorded with the likes of Alison Kraus, Robert Plant, and Willie Nelson. All this and he’s a great teacher, too, able to break down his tunes and songs in a way that you can actually take them home with you.”
This year’s festival marks Baugus’s first Olympia performance. In addition to performing at the Friday night concert, he will teach two workshops in the festival: Southern Appalachian clawhammer banjo and Appalachian singing.
Guzman, from Lafayette, Louisiana, played with Baugus in his old-time string band, Old Buck. She now fronts a honky-tonk band called Sabra and the Get Rights. “Sabra was recently on staff at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes where she knocked everyone out with her soulful singing and deep repertoire of traditional old-time and old country songs,” Teachout says.
Guzman will also offer a couple of singing workshops: one on technique and one on country singing. The festival runs Feb. 15-18 with venues at South Sound Grange, First Christian Church and Arbutus Folk School.
Riley Baugus and Sabra Guzman
South Bay Grange, address
7-10 p.m., Friday, Feb. 16
Oly Old Time Festival