Old Time Festival: Sabra Guzmán Returns to Her Old Time Roots

by Karen Lunde for OLY ARTS

Old-time music is perhaps the oldest form of North American folk music, pre-dating Bluegrass. Vocalist, guitarist and bassist Sabra Guzmán was first drawn to its raw stylings at the turn of the millennium when she lived in Portland. Now, Guzmán is preparing to pick and sing old-time tunes with Riley Baugus at the Oly Old-Time Festival. “This will be my first time performing and attending,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to being back on the West Coast again.”

Guzmán, who now lives in Lafayette, Louisiana, became a full-fledged member of the old-time music scene when she moved to the Virginia hills in 2007, where she was a founding member of the award-winning old-time bands Old Sledge and Old Buck. She’s brought her guitar and bass chops, along with earthy, heartfelt vocal stylings, to many prestigious stages at festivals and venues across the United States.

“I was excited to hear that [the Oly Old-Time Festival] wanted to book Riley Baugus and me for 2018,” said Guzmán. “They had seen me perform and teach at Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend last summer and asked us to play for their festival. It’ll be a great reunion with Riley. He and I haven’t played together since 2015, when we toured with Old Buck and did a recording with The Stuart Brothers. I’ve been living in Lafayette, Louisiana for the last three years, and have focused more on honky tonk and classic country with my band, Sabra & The Get Rights. To get back to my old-time roots is going to be a real treat.”

Guzmán believes that concert-goers will enjoy the song selection and harmonies when she and Baugus take the stage at the Old-Time Festival’s Friday night concert. “Riley and I are singers at heart, through and through,” she said. “With old-time music, we’re primarily drawing from songs and tunes from southeastern Appalachia, either from recordings from the early 1900s, or from hearing and learning from the folks we’ve been around. It’s the nature of the music, playing and singing songs and tunes that you’ve fallen in love with and heard and learned over the years.”

[Read our complete Oly Old Time Festival coverage]

Riley Baugus & Sabra Guzmán
Oly Old-Time Festival

South Bay Grange
3918 Sleater Kinney Rd NE

Friday, February 16, 7-10 p.m.


Oly Old Time Festival

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