Spring Grass

March 20

An online, one-day bluegrass festival, held in the Pacific Northwest corner of the internet

Our favorite regional Winter-time bluegrass festival isn’t happening this year, so we’re throwing our own via Zoom! Springgrass is donation based, with 100% of donations going to instructors and performers. 
Suggested donation is $10. If you can, please donate!

Watch here:

password: frontporch

password: backporch

Springgrass features two “stages” called “Front Porch” and “Back Porch”, each hosting festival-style workshops all day. Each stage takes place in a different zoom meeting, which you can access on this page when the festival starts on March 20

Schedule

All times PST

Front Porch

12pm: Tunes and Coffee - Isaac Callender & Louise Steinway

1pm: Stanley-style songs - John Kael & Annie Staninec

2pm: Bluegrass Mandolin History - Tristan Scroggins

3pm: Fiddle Workshop - Ellie Hakanson

4pm: Luthier Roundtable - Jayson Bowerman, Gareth Jenkins, Matt Ruhland, & Tom Nechville

5pm: Nyckelharpa Q&A - Amy Hakanson

6pm: Banjocalypse - Austin Quattlebaum, Jon Meek, & Brian Alley

7pm: Performance - Never Come Down

Back Porch

12:30pm: Traditional Bluegrass Guitar - Christopher Henry

1:30 pm: Performance - The Horsenecks

2:30 pm: Contest-style fiddle - Doug Fleener, JT Trawick, & Kian Dye

4:30pm: The Music of Charlie Moore - Travers Chandler

5:30pm: Guitar Pickin' - Joe Suskind, Lonnie Ohta-Meyer, & Patrick Connell

Supported by:

Lineup

The Horsenecks

Performance Workshop

The Horsenecks play hard-hitting and heartfelt Old Time and classic Bluegrass music. Their sound is centered around the pairing of the signature rhythmic Appalachian fiddle style of Oregonian Gabrielle Macrae, (the Macrae Sisters, Hook & Anchor) and the driving yet subtle three-finger banjo playing of Liverpudlian Barry Southern (Tramp Attack, The Loose Moose Stringband.) Gabrielle's playing style is the result of being raised in the Old Time music hotbed of Portland, OR and being exposed to the fiddle traditions of the Southeast through years of traveling to festivals and learning from some of the greatest players in the genre. Barry's banjo playing ranges from thrilling and high-octane to moody and captivating.

Amy Hakanson

Nyckelharpa Workshop/Q&A

Amy Hakanson was first introduced to Swedish folk music and the nyckelharpa in 2008, when Väsen first performed at the Wintergrass Bluegrass Festival in Seattle. Her interest in Scandinavian music continued to grow for years until, in 2014, she was able to buy her first nyckelharpa. Later that same year, Amy was accepted to the Eric Sahlström Institute in Tobo, Sweden, where she studied traditional Swedish nyckelharpa with Olov Johansson (Väsen,

riksspelman), Ditte Andersson (riksspelman), Sonia Sahlström (riksspelman), Mia Marine (Mattias Peréz Trio, NiD, Marin/Marin), and Niklas Roswall (Ahlberg Ek & Roswall, Ranarim).

In addition to the nyckelharpa, Amy plays the fiddle, Hardingfele, banjo, guitar, and is trained in classical violin. She grew up immersed in American roots music, playing bluegrass fiddle with her family band, and has a BA in Ethnomusicology at Portland State University. She is interested in exploring ways to incorporate her varied musical background, education, and interests with traditional Scandinavian folk music.

Amy performs regularly with her Nordic fusion band Varelse in addition to playing solo for Scandinavian events, teaching workshops, writing and performing string arrangements for studio recordings, and gigging with local bands in Portland.

Gareth Jenkins

Luthier Roundtable

Gareth’s woodworking skills started in crafting furniture and accessory lines that he sold in galleries and his skills were honed over many years. The first musical instruments he made were Appalachian dulcimers that he crafted for his friends and family. His deep love of music and his woodworking skills would eventually lead him to study guitar building at the Charles Fox School of Luthiery. He was then fortunate to be able to apprentice with his friend and mentor, the master builder John Greven, who taught him the art of voicing vintage style guitars.

His long time love of playing Bluegrass music and being one of the hosts for KBOO radio’s “Music from the True Vine” also helps us hone in on the various players on the scene and in reaching out to people interested in these types of guitars.​

Tom Nechville

Luthier Roundtable

It all began with Tom Nechville's dream: a better banjo. He would spend more time tweaking and setting up the instrument than actually playing it. He believed in a better way. Then it hit him: he would create a banjo that held even tension all the way around the head- with a mason jar like tightening system.

This became our patented Heli-Mount frame, which allows easy, quick and simple adjustments. The Heli-Mount frame has been the staple of our product line for over 30 years. The sound of a perfectly tensioned banjo head is remarkable: rich, deep, and sweet. The time spent changing the head transformed from an all afternoon event to a two minute spin.

Since that time in the late 1980's, he has made many other improvements to the banjo. These include an adjustable and removable neck connection that negates the need for coordinator rods. Also a compensated bridge, wooden armrest and radiused fingerboard. These are modern conveniences not traditionally found on the instrument. The result is cleaner sound and easy adjustment.

Chris Henry

Traditional Bluegrass Guitar

I love roots music, but I have also spent many years working in hip-hop and managed a recording studio and record label nest Washington DC with served many local urban artists doing pop, r&b, and dance music. I think it can be important to have a well rounded view of so many global musics to understand how they can all inform each other in good ways. I may be the only person In the world who has played for Bill Monroe at the Grand Old Opry and also collaborated with Raekwon from the Wu-Tang Clan. My main instrument in my late teens was drums in a punk rock band and I also played a good bit of metal guitar. Lately I have been studying a lot of South America music with a focus on traditional Peruvian healing and medicine songs.

John Kael &
Annie Staninec

Stanley-style songs

Annie Staninec and John Kael are a Portland duo with a passion for finding lesser-known traditional bluegrass and old-time songs, and crafting them to their particular style.

They both play and teach multiple instruments, have toured nationally and internationally, and have each received awards and recognition from the International Bluegrass Music Association and others.

Annie is a uniquely gifted fiddle player, bringing driving rhythm, musicality and joyful exuberance to every performance. She has toured the world with artists spanning from Peter Rowan to Rod Stewart, and is on countless recordings in a variety of musical styles. John plays guitar, banjo and mandolin equally deftly, has a repertoire of literally hundreds of traditional songs, and is an award-winning songwriter himself.

JT Trawick &
Doug Fleener

Contest-style fiddle

Fiddlin' Doug Fleener & JT Trawick have been pickin' tunes together for a long time. They first met in Oklahoma at Jana Jae's big fiddle festival more than 10 years ago.. Both share a passion for the breakdown playing and style of players like Benny Thomasson, Terry Morris and Daniel Carwile to name a few. Doug makes appearances with JT at regional gigs where they cater to the crowd, if it's a honky tonk or a living room, the two pull from a deep well of American roots music and fiddling mixed with JT's growing list of original music. JT says, "with Doug around, it feels a lot more like home around here."

The two have an ongoing YouTube Series on JT's Front Porch (name of YT Channel) and Doug is working on a new album of fiddle breakdowns.

Travers Chandler

I love Charlie Moore and so can you, with The Lonesome Truck Driver, Travers Chandler.

Tristan Scroggins

Bluegrass Mandolin History

With a signature raw mandolin groove, bold fashion sense, charismatic yet soft spoken confidence, and keen sensitivity to style and artistic innovation, twenty-six year old GRAMMY award nominated mandolinist Tristan Scroggins is quickly becoming a highly influential voice of both music and community in the world of bluegrass.

Ellie Hakanson

Fiddle Workshop

Ellie has played bluegrass all her life, performing with her family band, various regional groups, and most recently, touring internationally for five years with Jeff Scroggins and Colorado. In January 2019, Ellie released her first full length album with Jeff Scroggins and Colorado. The band was nominated in 2018 for IBMA Emerging Artist of the year. Ellie was also nominated for several IBMA Momentum awards, in 2017 for Instrumentalist of the year, in 2018 for Vocalist of the year, and in 2019 for both Vocalist and Instrumentalist. In addition to performing, Ellie has been teaching private fiddle lessons and workshops at festivals since 2003, and currently teaches fiddle and vocals at camps and in individual lessons.

Matt Ruhland

Luthier Roundtable

I grew up in Memphis. My hands have always been busy making music, building and restoring homes. I made my way to Portland in 2006. After completing the interior restoration of my new home, I wondered what I could do

with all of the tools and machines I had accumulated in the basement shop.

A good friend, past bandmate and the finest woodworker I know, Jason Brooks (Minor Lee Woodworks) planted the seed of working in production. With limited space in the basement, it made sense to shoot for something small. Mandolins came to mind. I had always wondered what it took to make such small instruments keep up with the volume of my archtop banjo. Jason supplied me with a slab of maple for the first test instrument. A trip to visit Bruce Harvie of Orcas Island Tonewoods would supply me with material and some critical knowledge for the next ten instruments.

I'm now alternating between F5's and A5's with each batch. After 26 F5's I decided to take it a little easy on myself. I'm still doing 5 F5's per batch and I'm feeling good about my change to 8 A5's per batch.

Jayson Bowerman

Luthier Roundtable

Thank you for your interest in my guitars. Building musical instruments is my passion. I am fortunate to have learned from - and apprenticed under Kim Breedlove and many other fine craftsmen and industry leaders over the 15 years of my tenure at Breedlove Guitars. I have many friends at Breedlove - many of whom I regard as my heroes, and all of whom I wish continued success in building some of the finest instruments available.

Guitar building - much like guitar playing - offers an unlimited wealth of knowledge to be learned. I tis a privilidge to share with you in the magic of making music. From my one-man workshop on the edge of the Cascade Range in Oregon, I strive to build musical instruments which will inspire your creativity, delight your senses, and fuel the passions of your playing.

Austin Quattlebaum

Banjocalypse

Quattlebaum, Southern Gent and Banjo Slinger, brings more to the table than just music. With his infectious smile and weird antics, he brings people together; encouraging camaraderie and building community. The singer-songwriter, currently based in Portland, Oregon, tours the country picking and strumming indie-folk songs that are spacious and emotive, and have an implicit groove. When he plays, you can hear the reverberations of the rustic mountains clashing with the breezy ocean. Like a willowy heron, Quattlebaum struts around on stage as the music moves through him, evoking a range of emotions from laughter to longing. He shares tender moments, where one can almost hear his banjo breathing, then erupts into raucous peaks of unbridled energy—his captivating solo performances take his audiences on a ride.

Isaac Callender & Louise Steinway

Tunes and Coffee

Isaac has been a regular in the North American Folk Music scene for the last twenty years. He has performed with such notable acts as Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, The April Verch Band, Bobby Hicks, John Reischman, Tony Trischka, Tommy Emmanuel, and Peter Rowan to name a few. Isaac's versatility as a musician has garnered him accolades on fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and bass. He is joined by his wife and collaborator Louise Steinway.

Never Come Down

Performance

“If you never take a chance, you can never get it wrong, so you better take a chance before it’s gone”. These lyrics from the song Chances on their self-titled debut album have become a mantra for the members of Never Come Down.

As band leader Joe Suskind puts it, “This band was born out of taking risks. We all felt the pull to take a chance on our music and each other, so we left our day jobs behind and hit the road. We’re taking a real swing at it.” Earnest songwriting, dedication to craft, and genuine care for the music is at the forefront of what Never Come Down does. “We never tell each other what to play; as a group we can feel it when the music is right.” It’s that feeling that Never Come Down creates that has captivated audiences from the onset and is drawing national attention.

Brian Alley

Banjocalypse

Howdy! I'm Brian. my number one earthly passion/vice/happy place is playing my banjo. nowadays i live and strum in portland, oregon- via new york, japan, and colorado, which i will always consider "home". i've grown up loving, learning and exploring all sorts of music and hope that comes through in my playing. I also get a lot of satisfaction out of teaching. and i love helping people realize their own musical ambitions.

Jon Meek

Banjocalypse

Raised in the Washington, D.C. and Delaware area, Jon’s life has taken him on a zig zagging banjo playing journey across the country to reside in Portland.

After studying banjo with several instructors including Tony Trishka, he went on to major in music at the undergraduate and graduate level, taught music for many years through both private lessons and as a K-8 public school teacher, and has held down the banjo and dobro chairs in various bluegrass bands from Maine to Oregon. His obsession with all things banjo has led him to study banjo styles ranging from straight ahead Scruggs to melodic, classical, and jazz. He is a multi-instrumentalist who enjoys playing fiddle, guitar, bass, mandolin and everything else from recorder to marimba that is not often included in a bluegrass ensemble. When not making music on something or the other, he can often be found whipping up something in the kitchen or exploring the outdoors.

Contact Us

Got questions? Ideas? Concerns? Let us know at springgrassfest@gmail.com

12pm: Tunes and Coffee - Isaac Callender & Louise Steinway