The eighth annual Joseph Mountain Jubilee “Where the Mountains Meet the Music” music fest was another one for the books according to organizer Tammy Kruger. The Roots/Americana event is held under the auspices of the Wallowa Valley Music Alliance and is a fundraiser for the organization.
Kruger said that 10 acts, both local and regional, performed at various venues on Main Street in Joseph. Original music is the staple of the festival although some covers are allowed.
Sometimes acts are chosen from the Alliance’s Fiddle Camp or Dulcimer Camp. Two of the acts, Mason and Weed, along with Blue Plate Special, appeared courtesy of the Fiddle Camp. Chris Acker and Nick Shoulders and the Growing Boys, New Orleans acts, were on the road and agreed to appear.
Local musicians included the indomitable Bart Budwig, An American Forrest and Margo Cilker and the Local Yokels. Venues included the Wallowa County Farmers Market, the Stubborn Mule, Embers Brew House, Blythe Cricket, Red Horse Coffee Traders, La Laguna, and the Rusty Spur. La Laguna and Blythe Cricket were first-timers hosting the event.
Kruger noted that several venues reported their best numbers ever for the event.
“I believe more people are coming to the Jubilee as a destination event,” she said. People are now calling the Alliance, Kruger and others to get information about the event.
The festival also included a 50/50 raffle that netted $400 for the Alliance and commemorative stainless steel cups were also sold.
“The music alliance doesn’t have a way to compensate ourselves for all the advertising that we do. The venues take care of the bands, and we do all the footwork,” she said with a laugh.
Changes at this year’s event included a host at each venue to make sure the musicians were introduced and the sponsors thanked.
“I think that made it more festive and feel more pulled together,” Kruger said.
As for Kruger, she thought this year’s event set the benchmark for the future.
“It’s the busiest one we’ve had,” she said.