BoRambler's Ramlbings


September 14, 2009 - Sisters Folk Festival Rocked!

We just spent the best weekend at the Sisters Folk Festival. So cool, y'all. We saw and met amazing artists from around the country, like Ellis, Tom Prasada Rao, Danny Schmidt, the Belleville Outfit, Pancake Breakfast, our old friends Joe Craven and Chris Kokesh, and on and on and on. We performed 2 sets that felt pretty solid. Got to share our music with lots of new fans, too. Congrats to the fest crew for a fantastic 2009 festival!

We are off to Ashland this weekend for 2 shows at Alex's. That is always a blast - and it seems like forever since we were there. And then, just when you thought festival season was over, the Bend Roots Festival happens. It keeps on rollin'......


Check out the new video from the Sisters Folk Fest in the Photo Album.


September 7, 2009 - Moon Mountain Music Festival at Elk Lake Report

So, another rainy festival moment for Drew, and the sound crew, and MMR. There hasn't been THAT many, but in this small region of the world one can get spoiled. I couldn't believe it: our first song at Elk Lake the rain gods decided that it would be the perfect time to shine their liquid light down upon us.  But any time you find yourself in a weathered situation, it always turns out to be nicer than you might expect from a distant pre-assumption. Once you are there and are forced to make the best of it, you usually do, and the best usually turns out to be really, really good.

Our Elk Lake festival was forced to be a little scaled back this year which is a whole n'other long story. But this was OK because we got to slap a big FREE sign on all the ads, which made us think we could still get a great audience to show up. As the days grew near, things began to look grim. The weather forcast seemed to get more and more detailed and it wasn't looking good.

We started to see bad signs like rain, cold, wind, but wait... snow? In early September? Wha'? Sure enough, the day came and as we drove toward our destination, there were so many signs of potential cold wind and rain beyond acoustic imagination. But in between all of this, consistant warm patches of sunshine and hope battled their way through and broke up the funk. This must have happened in town, too, because.... people showed up! There were people there that had camped the night before and people that were just willing to take a chance that day to see what was to become of it all. Those people chose wisely.

Once the music started, it rained. I saw people bundled and swaying to stay warm, others holding each other tight, while others just danced in the rain without a care. I was amazed though, nobody seemed to have a sour face, everybody was stoked! And sure enough, in just about 10 or 15 minutes, the rain let up, the temp seemed fine and the sound crew had a chance to relax from throwing plastic bags over all the speakers and amps and everything else. From there on out, it did rain off and on through the show, causing the one leak in the whole stage cover to leak right on to my picking hand and fretboard, but man it was great. The people decided to make the best out of it and there best was great! Everybody got down, made noise, got a little wet and just made it all happen! All of the sudden, it seemed like the weather had nothing to do with anything. It slowly became dark, it never got too cold to play or anything. We just settled into our groove and found a great connection with the audience. It was especially fun when we got DaMMR at High and Dry 2009ve and Enion Tiller from TAARKA to come join us for some extendo space jams toward the end of the show.

Any time you can get a large group of people to motivate and gather, especially in such a beautiful outdoor environment, then throw a little music in the mix and just go with it, little things like weather don't mean a thing.  Never let a silly forcast dampen your times. I love you all who came and spent this wonderful evening with us. It was so dang fun! Cheers! - Joe


2009 High and Dry Fest - borrowed from

July 23, 2009 ~ Good news and good friends

We are in the middle of a McMenamins tour and just heard from Drew Kelliher, of Sonic Solutions and High Desert Booking, that we were again awarded the Best Band of Central Oregon award by the readers of the Source. This is our third time and we couldn't be prouder. And the fact that the news came to us through Drew is so perfect.

Times like these remind us of how we are part of a wonderful community in Central Oregon. And one of our special community members is Drew. Few people do more than Drew to help shape our music scene - hell, our cultural scene - and we sure appreciate it. People like Drew work tirelessly to make things happen in Bend. And they are working on the next 2 things before the first is even complete - often with nothing financial but potential risk in return. Why? I think it is because people like you come out to support the vision of these people, the artists they promote, and the venues that host them. It is a cool balance that all communities value, but not all achieve. No artist, promoter or fan should take any of this for granted.

So, it is with deep, deep gratitude to you for supporting us again this year - we promise to never take you for granted!


July 14, 2009 ~ Tuesday Rehearsal Becomes Juniper Roots Recording Session

Instead of the regular scheduled practice, the Ramblers met at Largent Studios to meet with our great friend, and host of the local roots radio show Juniper Roots, Dave Ehle. Dave is also a great picker and routinely proves it as the guitarist in bluegrass band Old Wave.

Dave asked us to do a live radio show to help promote the upcoming High and Dry Bluegrass Festival on August 15th right here in sunny ol' Bend. We played the festival last year and found it to be a wonderful community event that brought out all the local pickers.

In support of the event we recorded a hot radio show featuring a debut of a new tune that Bassdawg Dan wrote in '73 called Feel The Laughter. Tie in a little Led Zeppelin
and you got some serious classic rock. Not exactly bluegrass but true to the heart of Americana music and its roots in bluegrass.

On the traditional side, the gang did bust out the standard bluegrass tune Red Haired Boy to pay homage to ol' Bill and the Boys but the usual MMR twist and turns always seem to give it some Rambler style.

Great questions from our host and some fiery pickin' made for fun times on the airwaves of bend,or. Hear the show broadcast on KPOV's Juniper Roots. Broadcast July 29 at 8pm and re-broadcast on August 1 at 4pm. You can also stream KPOV live at or check-out their archives.


Tower marquisJune 18 - 21 ~ A Very Musical Weekend

This weekend was a full one with many of the Ramblers performing many times between Thursday and Sunday.  Thursday saw us kickin’ it at Sisters’ 3-Creeks Brewery and then playing a really fun wedding at Shevlin Park’s Aspen Hall.  Both crowds were ready for fun and we agreed!

It was also a great way to warm-up for a weekend of fun at the 2nd annual Coyote Festival at Summer Lake Hotsprings.  While the festival was bigger and better than last year, it was also wetter.  Really wet.  While Friday and most of Saturday were nice, the clouds opened-up while Dale was on (the outdoor) stage with TAARKA.  After some crazy scamblin’ by Drew and his amazing crew at Sonic Solutions to protect the gear, a PA was built in a large barn and the fest went indoors.

During all of that, TAARKA kept the place dancin’ with an acoustic set in the barn.  Joe was called-up to join them for some tunes.  He was even coaxed into singing Stealin for us.

MMR was to headline Saturday evening, and we did, but it wasn’t really Saturday anymore.  With the rain delays, it was 1:30am when we took the barn stage – and there was a crowd ready to dance and party into the night.  (By the way, it was still raining.)  We rocked it as hard as we could, for sure, and lasted until 3:45am.  The wonderful crowd stayed with us through and through.  Quite memorable.

The next day held even more music, though a few things were cancelled.  Joe, Mai and Crystal were to play with Tone Red as the closing act for the fest.  That got scratched.  Dale was to play with COYO Sunday morning, but he scratched himself (so to speak).  Dale did make it back to a very sunny Bend to play with TAARKA at Bite of Bend.  What a weekend!  It is truly amazing where music takes us…


May 30, 2009 ~ Good Times, Bad Times
Silver Moon (Bend, OR) - entered by Jenny

It was all good times at the Silver Moon last Saturday (May 29, 2009). We’ve been in hiding for the last month…Joe had twins after all…and have been working on some new songs for the summer. We were really excited to finally show off the tunes: Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times” (hell yeah,s) and BassDawg’s newest tune “Feel the Laughter.”

Our friends Old Wave warmed up the crowd with a great performance. It was a great way to kick off the evening. The room started to heat up and we knew that it was going to be a hot one. Note to self: Steve Vai was on to something…bring some fans for the next show (not people, the oscillating ones)

By 10 p.m. the place was packed like sardines and hot! The beer was flowin and the dancers were sweatin.  Mai ran through a whole set of new strings in one night. Now, that’s some shreddin!

During the second set, we ran into the problem of no beers on stage. How does that always happen ( ; A couple enthusiastic fans brought a pitcher to a very thirsty band. One set the pitcher on our amp and was about to put down some glasses on a lid, but it started to tip over. He caught it just in time before the pitcher fell over onto my fiddle and our snake with all of the cords. Oofta. That would have been an electrical mess!

Then that same guy was dancing and almost fell into Joe. He somehow missed knocking over four glasses of liquids that were by our monitors. We must have had some good karma for cleaning our equipment the week before. Double oofta. There was plenty of beer being spilt in the audience, though. I think all of our cords need a little bath. :-)

Well, we always have a blast playing at Silver Moon. And this time we will be back within a week with a whole new set! Here’s to the “Good Times.”


"They're self-described “high-desert soulgrass.” Built on more of a jazz and blues, than bluegrass foundation, the combo likes to embark on polyphonic sprees and improvisational interludes." (Joe Ross, music writer Bluegrass Now)

Revised - February 25, 2012

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Moon Mountain Ramblers