Arts and Entertainment

A folk festival touts talent from near and far

Carolyn Cruso - Courtesy photo
Carolyn Cruso
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Wine, song and the waning days of summer will be celebrated this weekend as Vashon Winery presents its second annual folk festival on the winery grounds.

The festival’s roster will feature a renowned British folk singer, well-known national and regional acts and popular local bands and performers, including Riverbend, Mark Wells and Robyn Landis.

Ron Irvine, who owns Vashon Winery, is excited about the event.

“I love folk music in all its different disguises,” Irvine said. “And Vashon Winery is kind of a folksy place —

wine for the people and all of that. I really try to strip the pretension from wine; therefore, the folk fesival kind of helps in that way.”

Irvine plans to introduce a new wine, Folk Red, during the festival. The label art for the wine matches the festival poster, which was designed by Annie Brulé.

Wine, as well as cider, will be sold by the glass during the festival. Island chef Paul Motoyoshi will also prepare food for sale, though Islanders can bring their own picnics if they’d prefer.

“What helps make the festival special is the setting at the winery,” Irvine said. “Folks can come and go as they please and enjoy the rustic setting of the concert in the surrounding apple orchard. And the lineup of musicians is fantastic.”

The roster, arranged by Wally Bell, includes nine musical acts, including a headlining performance by Pete Scott.

Scott, born in Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne, is a well-traveled veteran of the international and British folk circuit who has released three solo albums. Although he now divides his time with performing, recording, writing, teaching and theater gigs, he spent most of the 1970s and ’80s touring non-stop, supporting major names, including Lindisfarne, Janis Ian, Judy Tzuke, John Martyn and Richard Thompson. He has also worked in the unusual setting of high-security prison, where he had a two-year stint as a resident musician.

Another notable performer, Carolyn Cruso, will also take the festival stage.

Cruso has toured throughout the United States and Europe, produced seven albums and is widely respected for her musicianship on hammered dulcimer, flute, guitar and vocals. She performs original tunes and songs as well as traditional material from the Celtic tradition. To find out more about Cruso and sample music from her recent CDs, visit

The festival will also include a performance by Cat loves Crow, a husband and wife team comprised of Joe and Karena Prater. The couple has performed at regional venues, including the Northwest Folklife Festival and the Tumbleweed Music Festival.

The Praters are known for their guitar and mandolin playing, harmony singing and lively renditions of old-time country and bluegrass music. Not to be pigeonholed, the couple also includes Russian songs in their repertoire.

Other performers appearing at the bill are Julie Mainstone, The Hayburners, Tamara Lewis, Tania Opland and Mike Freeman.

The festival will conclude with a participatory event — a ceilidh dance where everyone is invited to kick up their heels at the end of a spirited musical day and night.

Festival tickets and times

The Vashon Winery Folk Festival will be presented from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, at Vashon Winery, 10317 S.W. 156th St. For directions, visit

Admission is $10 at the door and free for school-aged children.

The festival schedule is as follows:

2 p.m. Riverbend

2:45 p.m. Julie Mainstone

3 p.m. The Hayburners

4:15 p.m. Mark Wells and Robyn Landis

5 p.m. Cat loves Crow

5:45 p.m. Tamara Lewis

6:30 p.m. Tania Opland and Mike Freeman

7:15 p.m. Carolyn Cruso

8 p.m. Pete Scott

9 p.m. Ceilidh dance

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