Music is always on my brain.
I listen to satellite radio in the car, I have a 120 GB iPod classic with about 15 GB of music on it, five guitars in my house, 10 years as a classically trained musician are under my belt and I played viola.
A favorite activity is going to shows. I’ve seen everything and everyone from Ozzfest to Jewel to the Wicked Tinkers, a pipe and drum band that plays the Scottish Highland Games in Enumclaw annually. Recently I saw a band called the Young Dubliners (www.youngdubs.com) at Snoqualmie Casino. I met the guys after their set and one of the members of the band told me “we need a million more people like you.”
The Young Dubliners have been making music since 2000 and have a small but loyal fan base.
It got me thinking about the persistence it takes to be in music. My thought process moved on to the fact that Maple Valley has become a little incubator for up and coming artists.
Brandi Carlile is from Maple Valley and still comes home when she’s not recording or touring. I was in line behind her at Starbucks in Wilderness Village in December. The baristas told me she’s a regular.
Then there’s all the young rock bands, mostly local, that play shows at The Den like Le Attempts, Omeggaphones, and Perfect Day who will be performing at 7 p.m. on March 20. That’s one of a series of monthly teen concerts put on by the youth program staff there.
Or there’s the fund raising shows Cameron Murray and his team from Rock for Reason put on every few months at Warehouse 91. Le Attempts played a show there last month along with We Move Mountains and Striking the Nations.
Those shows raise money to build wells in a village called Bamboi in Ghana. It’s Murray’s ambition to build enough wells to provide clean water for 125,000 people. You can learn more about it at www.rockforreason.com or hear some of the music by the bands at www.myspace.com/rockforreason.
Every fall The Den hosts a popular Battle of the Bands. Last year eight bands played in the battle and Le Attempts took first place.
Staff at The Den are also encouraging young people to further pursue music with the installation of a music recording studio.
The beat goes on with organizations like the Maple Valley Youth Symphony and Dace’s Rock N More Music Academy (rocknmore.org), a non-profit which provides music lessons as well as helps up and coming bands learn how to rock.
Music is alive and well in Maple Valley. That’s so exciting for me because now if I want to go to a show I don’t have to go more than a mile or two from my front door. And I may just get to hear the next big thing.