Arts and Entertainment

Island stages will feature rock, twang and a gospel star this weekend

'Miss Lillie'
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Vashon’s music scene will be lively this weekend, with a number of events planed at Island venues.

Dance the night away

A new Island band is set to make a splash at an all-ages community dance this weekend.

Rumor Has it, a seven-piece ensemble, will play a benefit for the Vashon Maury Community Food Bank from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Aug. 22, at the VFW Hall.

There is a $10 suggested donation, but lesser amounts, as well as food donations, will also be accepted.

The band is the brainchild of Islander Roger Taylor, who plays guitar and sings with the group.

Taylor, inspired by what he called “string band rock,” invited a number of Island players to join him to start the band.

Band members include Steve Amsden on guitar and banjo, Paul Colwell on mandolin, Sarah Perlman on fiddle, Kevin Almeida on bass, Larry Lawson on flutes, whistles and harmonica and Todd Zimberg on drums.

Rumor Has It is also a band full of vocalists. In addition to Taylor, Amsden, Colwell, Perlman and Almeida also sing.

Taylor said that when the group started rehearsing, they didn’t have a name or vision for where they would play.

“We scheduled some gigs to get focused, but those fell through for one reason or another,” Taylor said. “Pretty soon, some of our friends were referring to us as The Secret Band, and teasing us about whether we’d ever appear in public. This eventually led to the name Rumor Has It, and finally, our first gig at this summer’s Strawberry Festival.”

Taylor said the original idea for Saturday’s event at the VFW was “just a fun, summer dance — then we heard that the food bank was hurting, so we decided to make the dance a benefit to raise money for them.”

Taylor also said that Rumor Has It is ready to play for private and corporate events and parties, and interested groups should contact him at 463-3763.

Get ready for gospel

An award-winning gospel singer, Lillie Knauls, will appear in concert at Bethel Church at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23.

Knauls, who is known in the gospel world as “Miss Lillie,” took home a 2007 Dove Award for traditional gospel album of the year for her CD “Past and Present.”

The singer is famous not only for her music, but also for her broad smile and penchant for hats. She is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame who has recorded numerous albums and performed music throughout the world, both on her own and with the Edwin Hawkins Singers and the Gaither Homecoming Friends.

Knauls grew up in Seattle and graduated from Garfield High School in 1956, before moving to California.

Her Vashon concert came about by serendipity when Islander Bob Blomgren, who graduated from Garfield High the same year, met up with the singer at two class reunions and asked if she’d be willing to sing on Vashon.

Blomgren recalls his high school days as being filled with music.

“Our school was loaded with musical talent,” Blomgren said. “Quincy Jones also attended Garfield High School, graduating about five years before I did.”

Admission to the concert is free. A voluntary collection will be taken up at the end of the show.

Bethel Church is located at 14736 Bethel Lane S.W. For directions, visit

Ride the Bike for twang, rock and blues

Billy Roy Danger & the Rectifiers will play a free show at Red Bicycle Bistro at 9:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21, for ages 21 and up.

Concert organizer Pete Welch promised the band has a raucous, honky-tonk tinged sound.

Two Island bands will take the stage for another free show at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22.

Murgatroyd, formed on the Island in 2008, combines the talents of Brett Bacchus, “Rez” Arnot, Morgan Snyder and Doug Spencer. The band, which Welch said has the “power, raw energy, personality and swagger reminiscent of 1970s arena rock,” has performed all over the Island this summer.

Stoney Beach will also play a set on Saturday night. Band members Ian Bradley, Nigel Brown, Colin Brynn, Shawn Burns and Chris Hayward will play music inspired by blues, punk and rock.

The weekend will conclude with a free, all-ages show by Poultry in Motion at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23.

The Island band plays Cajun, country and western swing.

Two acts come to Café Luna

Melissa Ruth will travel to Vashon from Eugene, Ore., on Friday, Aug. 21, for a free concert at 7:30 p.m. at Café Luna.

She’ll be accompanied by her husband Johnny Leal, who was a founding member of the California blues band Big Earl and the Cryin’ Shame.

Together Ruth and Leal, who is essentially a one-man string band, cover a breadth of musical ground from roots gospel originals to Springsteen covers. Ruth calls her music “homegrown folk sass.”

The café will offer up a different kind of musical treat the next night, when Lee Tyler Post takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22.

A critic at the San Diego Troubadour called Post’s music “blue-collar heartland grit mixed with Motor City soul.”

Post tours extensively, performing almost 200 shows a year, and has released five studio albums.

For more information, visit

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