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Carl Solomon
A music festival with ‘peak’ interest posted on 07/31/2017

Jon Tullis, Director of Public Affairs for Timberline Lodge, described the annual Mountain Music Festival as a time when, “Timberline lets its hair down a little bit.” This year’s event brings in folk, bluegrass and Celtic musicians from near and far, starting at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 4 at the iconic lodge’s amphitheatre, with music going until sunset.

“There’s some real high energy bluegrass to good country, folk and great vocals,” Tullis said. “It’s going to be a great show.”

The lineup features local musician Carl Solomon, a Portland singer-songwriter who performs in the storyteller tradition, Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys, The Way Down Wanderers, The Railsplitters and We Banjo 3, a “Celtgrass” band featuring banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin.

Tullis noted this year’s lineup offer some youthful energy, with bands that are playing at festivals all over the country, including two (We Banjo 3 and Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys) who will head to the Sisters Folk Festival after their gig near the top of Mount Hood.

“I think it’s a good complimentary lineup,” Tullis said, adding that the routes bands take during their summer tours often plays a role into who is available to play at Timberline.

The festival, which is free and open to the public, will also feature the “Pickin’ Patio,” where festival goers can bring their own instruments, and the chance for different organizations to do some outreach, including the Friends of Timberline, the Pacific Crest Trail Association and Filson, a clothing maker who more than 100 years ago had the first contract with the U.S. Forest Service to make their uniforms.

Tullis noted he likes to feature a local musician at the festival, such as Solomon, who was selected to be a performer at the Portland International Airport and who also organized the Portland chapter of Soldiers Songs and Voices, a nonprofit that provides veterans and their families with free instruments and songwriting workshops as a form of post-conflict care.

Solomon is familiar with Timberline Lodge, even playing at the Ram’s Head Bar last December, and is looking forward to returning to the landmark for the festival.

“It’s an amazing piece of art,” he said. “The first time I saw it we went up to do some skiing, and it just took my breath away. It’s just an honor to have a chance to play there and have that kind of view.”

Solomon noted he plans on playing both new material and at least one song from his first CD, plus one that tells the story of his first job out of college as a carnival barker.

“It taught me to rhyme on my feet,” Solomon said of the job. “Basically you’re just supposed to continue to talk and have a cadence and a rhyme and a sense to your voice. That actually has proven to be a very helpful background.”

Tullis framed the event as a party for the mountain, and festival goers should be ready to enjoy themselves and have a good time.

“I like to tell people to bring their dancing shoes, I think people will be on their feet,” he said.

Music will take place rain or shine, but no dogs or picnic lunches. For more information, call 503-272-3134.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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