PHOTOS OF THE ROCKSTARS

THE SOUTH END STRING BAND

 

Homegrown in the rich manure of island ravines fog-kissed for eons, the fabled fiddle band thrives in the Great Mossback region of Camano Island’s South End where few but the hopelessly lost have set bloodshot eyes upon.  Their old time music echoes off nettled canyons of glacier carved hollers like a siren-call to a time we all thought was gone forever….

Experience a nostalgia so keen you’ll think you smell woodsmoke curling off the banjos.  Either that or the burn barrel is smoldering.  Bring the entire family, bring some friends, but definitely bring a fire extinguisher.

 

We’re an old time fiddle band of five stringpluckers bent on a mission to drag the Puget Sound basin BACK to a time when neighbors talked to neighbors and folks sat on the back porch to share music, gossip, jugs and favorite recipes.   We play music from the backwash of the American Archipelago.  Dike buildin’, ditch diggin’, river dammin’, log jammin’ Roots Music for the next generation raised on Game Boy, bad video and an apparent lack of historical perspective.

 

We play a lot of benefit concerts, fundraisers, Save the Grange, goody two shoes type stuff.  If we had a goal —- if we were the type of folks who could even imagine such a thing —- we might shoot for world music domination.  Except, we have trouble remembering when the next practice is, much less enunciating a Vision for the Band.  But occasionally, usually late at night when the jug is nearly empty and it’s time once again to shuffle home and face the music, we like to think we’re here to help bring hi-falutin’ culture to the well washed masses.  So we play fundraisers for the Camano Senior Center and the Stanwood Senior Center.  We put on a yearly benefit for the Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center where we fill their restored IOOF Hall and give the money to them to sponsor music the rest of the year.  We organized the music for the first Harvest Jubilee, Stanwood’s celebration of sustainable agriculture a few years back, and we’ve played for them for free the last couple of years.  We actually did help save the South Grange here on Camano when their fiscal woes threatened to close their doors.  We threw a dinner, auctioned donations, played on a cold miserable rainstorm night and made them enough money to continue a 75 year tradition of community service.  They were, after all, the folks who brought 1000 volunteers down to Camano Island State Park in 1949 and built that park in one day!

 

We were the House Band when Cama State Park opened up last year, gratis.  We play for Old Folks Homes, we play for firemen’s fundraisers, we play for the elementary kids as well as the AAUW, we donated concerts to the first few years of the Snow Goose Festival, we helped raise money for a private school on Orcas Island, we put on a fundraiser for the American Legion and this year we plan to help CARE and the Camano Library and a group trying to save an old schoolhouse here on the island.  We plan to save the American economy, restore faith in our political system and end all wars.   When we get really bigheaded about our essential goodness, we just go down to the local grocery stores at Tyee or Elger Bay Store and set up in the parking lot.  A little exhaust fume deflates our balloons nicely.

 

So we’re the South End String Band, classically trained at the prestigious Elger Bay School of Pickin and Grinnin, performing irregularly in the hill country of South Camano to legions of loyal detractors, dropouts, delinquents, parole officers, undercover surveillance teams, unemployed muleskinners, deadbeat dads, acne-pocked groupies, underage children and other neighbors.  If you’re ever down our skinny keester end of Camano, stop in and sit a spell with us.  We got some pretty good songs to sing and we got a few whoppers to tell.

 

 

DSCN3569

Mike Hilley at Cama Beach Wedding

monika and mike_edited-1 the magical mystery tour bus at the grange setting up for the strange grange ava and the hookah smoking character ava and the lava lamp and smoke machine groovy people setting up for the strange grange DSCN4029

 

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Don Mailloux at Cama Beach Wedding

BARRY GUMMontana Mandolin

BARRY GUM
Montana Mandolin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONIKA DENASHA banjo, guitar, mouth harp

 

 

BILL GUM standup bass and haberdashery

gums-first-gig

 

 

ERICH SCHWEIGER fiddle erich-adj

 

 

JACK ARCHIBALD banjo and soapbox

 

 

SKEETER DADDLE   grief counselor and bailbondsman

what-next-guy4

SOUTH END STRING BAND   IN GRANGE HALL

4 of us with red truck promo photo xxx_edited-2014historical society sesb gig 002art by the bay 4

5 of us on grange steps5 of us at don'sw nettles010

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