Kristen Grainger & True North will play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Open Space for Arts & Community (Courtesy Photo).

Kristen Grainger & True North will play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Open Space for Arts & Community (Courtesy Photo).

Americana quartet to bring bluegrass roots to Open Space

They are known for lush vocal performances and intricate instrumentals rooted in folk and bluegrass.

The Americana acoustic roots quartet Kristen Grainger & True North will make their Vashon debut at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at Open Space for Arts & Community.

The group is known for lush vocal performances and harmonies, as well as intricate instrumentals rooted in traditional folk and bluegrass.

Kim Ruehl, a roots performer and critic for No Depression, has lauded the group, writing that they “bring to mind bluegrass-pop artists like Alison Krauss and Union Station, as well as old country legends like Hank Williams.”

Fronted by singer-songwriters Kristen Grainger and Dan Wetzel, True North is rounded out with noted Pacific Northwest bluegrass players Martin Stevens and Josh Adkins.

Grainger’s song, “Dark Horse Bar & Grill,” was the winner of this year’s Local Roots NW Songwriting Contest in Portland, Orgeon, and she also won the 2018 performing songwriter contest at Wildflower! Art and Music Festival, in Texas. She and her songwriting has also received recognition at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival and Merlefest.

Kristen Grainger and True North have won or been finalists in five national songwriting contests and most recently won the 2019 Local Roots NW songwriting contest.

Her song, “Be Here Now” was named Song of the Year in the folk category at the 2015 IMEA Awards. Her song with Wetzel, “Hard Place to Suffer (And That Really Gets Me Down)” won the 2010 Wintergrass song contest.

Wetzel, who sings and also plays guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin, ukulele and mountain banjo, has also earned considerable recognition as a singer-songwriter. His talents are frequently tapped by other artists and bands for recording projects and live performances.

The band’s newest project, “Open Road, Broken Heart,” debuted at number 1 on the Folk DJ Charts for national radio airplay and has continued to stay in the top 15 for the past six months on the Roots Music Report.

Tickets to the show range from $17 to $30, with youth 18 and younger admitted free. To purchase in advance, visit

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Arts

Meet our farmers: Lotus, in her backyard wonderland

“The ecology of how it all works together fascinates and inspires me.”

For some local artists, local auction is a 43-year tradition

VCA’s gala fundraising auction is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25.

A night at the drive-in is for the birds

Two programs, both Vashon bird-centric, will be shown on the big screen on Tuesday.

What’s Happening Sept. 10 – 17

Drive the red carpet at Open Space, Passport2Pain switches gears, Rotary plans a benefit, and more.

At Subway, a family perseveres to live their dream

In this ongoing series, we hear from island restaurateurs about how they are faring in the pandemic.

Original dance works find a place in the sun

Four pieces slated to take the stage at the Vashon Center for Dance have been reworked for video.

What’s Happening Aug. 20 to 27

Movie magic, Sundae + Mr. Goessl pop up in concert, author pens an island mystery, and more.

Our Town: Painting in a pandemic, with Richard Lipke

The virus has pushed him to work even harder, creating 34 paintings since October.

With passion for the arts intact, key staffer returns to VCA

“I have so enjoyed working with the VCA team through the years and that continues to be the case.”

Local author sheds light on how to cope with climate change

The book explores how climate change indicators affect the daily work of scientists.

Summer Arts Fest to open its final set of shows

For this week, the walls of Vashon Center for the Arts will be filled with works by 22 local artists

What’s Happening Aug. 13 – 20

Drive up to the drive-in, Ian Moore concert sure to please, and more.