Every year they come. In a frenzy of activity they swarm with a common purpose to one gathering place, intent not on ravaging the level landscape but on providing and listening to some of the best local, regional, and national old time musical entertainment available today.
Located at the Deming Log Show grounds in Whatcom County, Washington, the Subdued Stringband Jamboree is an annual gathering of primarily local musicians that come together to pick, jam, and listen to some great bands. While approximately 80 percent of the musicians are from Whatcom County, some regional and nationally popular names show up to play, as well. Although not restricted to one type or style of music, the primary focus of the events is roots-oriented music. They welcome all types of acoustic instruments but limit electronics, using a piano in place of a keyboard. Bands and solo artists play a variety of tunes including old time, country, klezmer, gypsy-jazz, western swing, honky tonk, bluegrass, singer-songwriter, and Irish songs.
This two day event hosts not only a music venue but tent and RV camping, music workshops, and a square dance. Kids’ activities such as the popular Kids’ Concert with Peter Blake, which features “adult-friendly” children’s songs and the family square dance keep musically inclined little ones occupied and happy.
This year, the Subdued Stringband Jamboree will include such notable musicians as John Reischman and John Miller, the Gallus Brothers, The Sour Mash Hug Band, and others from the Bellingham-Whatcom County area. The festival will begin on Friday, August 28th at 12 pm when the gates open and will continue all day Saturday, August 29th ending at 11pm that night.
There is a great deal of lodging available in the area. You can stay at any one of Bellingham’s excellent hotels or travel ten miles east on highway 542 to Nugent’s Corners and camp out right on the Log Show grounds. Or you can travel another 15-20 minutes further up the Mount Baker highway and stay at one of Mt. Baker Lodging’s many condos, cabins, or chalets.
To get to the Deming Logging Show grounds, take the I-5 exit 255 and head east approximately 10 miles to Nugents Corners. Just before the bridge over the Nooksack river at Nugents Corners, turn left on to Cedarville road and travel another mile to the log show grounds entrance on the left. Bring your kids (but not the dogs, sorry!) and your musical instruments for two days of relaxation, fun, and unforgettable musical entertainment.