It's new and exciting. The inaugural Seagrass Music Festival is coming.

It's something local music enthusiasts Jim Ring and Carmen Mathews cooked up. They wanted to offer something a little above and beyond the occasional and seasonal concert, so they planned three consecutive evenings of music Feb. 19-21. The first two shows will be at 7 Devils Brewing Co. and the final show, part of Music on the Bay's line up, will be at the Egyptian Theatre.

Both organizers get top notch performers' information sent their way through booking agents so they know who's playing where and when. This year's Winter Festival in Bellevue, Wash., set them up with the amazing bluegrass bands that are scheduled to appear for the 2018 Seagrass Music Festival.

Front Country kicks off Seagrass at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19. Ring said, "The bands are all great performers and all put on fantastic shows. Front Country is a progressive bluegrass band that is high energy for the start to finish. We had them at the pub last April and it was, in the words of Carmen an "EPIC night"."

The Jacob Jolliff Band of Yonder Mountain String Band will make an appearance at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20. Advance tickets are $12 or $15 at the door.

Mathews said, "As for Jacob Jolliff band, he is the mandolin player and vocalist for the Yonder Mountain String Band, which is a huge band that tours internationally. They have a cult following and the mandolin player is top notch. He is consider to be at top in the world in terms of mandolinist." 

Don't miss the third festival concert either, it's one budgeted by Music on the Bay, The Dustbowl Revival with Bay City Swing opening. Ring said, "Bay City Swing opening for Dustbowl, is a local band of great musicians performing songs from an earlier era." That show will start at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21, at the Egyptian Theatre where beer and wine will be available. Advance tickets are $12 or $15 at the door. 

Mathews said, “As a community, we are responsible for what we want to see in our little corner of the world. Since we are the largest population center on the Oregon coast, we can be a draw for the stream of musicians that are flowing through our area, on their way to a larger metropolitan area. We just have to take the chance, and bring these acts into our venues, and hope that the community comes out to show support."

"I think so far, we are really starting to build some great relationships with bands and their booking agencies, because we take really good care of the musicians. So my tip to everyone is, when there is a good band coming through, it might be on a weekday, but your support is crucial in making our city a bigger draw for more bands. Word spreads quickly through the musical community, and the message we send should be one of support and care of our guests. So far, we are on a great track, and I see our area gaining a great reputation, which has given us a solid base to continue to build on.”

"As we grow, we will need to build more diversity into our offerings. When I say this, I mean diversity in venues (size, type, and location), and in genre of music. Once again, we have a great base, and I only see us continually developing our craft. It’s the groundswell that we talk about at the Brewery — the social demand for what we want to be."

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Be part of that change and help shape the direction of our community's growth. If you want to see more arts and theater, support the arts. Want more music, support it. Bike paths, hiking trails, you get the picture. 

Ring confirmed, "To make this whole thing work, we need the support of the community on every level. Besides the great local individuals and businesses that make Music on the Bay successful, we need the support of the ticket buyers. Between Music on the Bay, 7 Devils and their Investor Pints, we are able to provide the area with a tremendous amount of free music. But we also need those music fans to help us out when we have shows that they have to buy tickets for. We need people to purchase tickets to make sure we able to bring them the highest level of music available. The price of the tickets are very reasonable and we don't have to drive to the valley."

Ring said, "The Egyptian can hold 750 people but we really need a venue that can seat 100-200 people and offer a dance floor." 

Both Ring and Mathews agreed that opportunities for visiting musicians like access to the state of the art Inner Sanctum Recording Studio, located right up stairs from 7 Devils, makes stopping here a little more appealing. Musicians could get some great video footage and head right into the studio. There are wonderful outdoor settings, especially our beaches.

Another lure to serious musicians is Cardas Audio and K&K Sound, both of which provide some of the best sound technology available through online and special sales. 

Ring said "Blair Crimmins and the Hookers rented a vacation rental by Charleston, and they had a blast. They went down on the docks, they went tide pooling and some of the guys just hung out that the house, it gave them a better opportunity to visit the area than just staying in a hotel."