Sunbanks Blues & Roots Festival

Here we are headed out with Bluesie (and my sprained ankle) on Thursday

It was rainy and miserable.  So we were happy to be headed to the sunshine.


We took I-90 worrying about Bluesie driving up to Waterville on Highway 20.  We ended up in Ephrata, Washington.  Here is a defunct Penney’s,


and Lee Theatre, still showing movies.


Then we drove by Soap Lake,


Blue Lake


and finally Banks Lake.  The rock formations were amazing.


Upon arrival at Sunbanks Lake Resort in Electric City, Washington, I opened up the cocktail case and made Old Fashioned’s.


Here is our view, complete with my boot.


And Bluesie all set up with Tom.


Here are the schedule of events:


The sunset that evening was mind-blowing.


Then we went to the Cantina to see Billy Stoops (recovering still from his injuries) with Leanne Trevalyan and Jim King.


Next was Kristen Marlo & Gina Belliveau.


Here are Billy and Jim watching next to Tom.


Then came Older & Wiser.  I managed not to get a photo of them somehow, probably because of all of the dancers.

They were absolutely great for singing along to.

Here is my ankle the next morning.  The other side is also bruised which I was not expecting.  So back into the walking boot I went.


Friday morning I hung out my the camper.  This cute bug came for a visit.


I gingerly walked to the stage.  I had already fallen and hurt my knees trying to use the scooter so opted to walk instead.  We saw this homemade trailer on the way.  She said it was her pandemic project.  It reminded me of a sheep wagon, and I loved it.


Here is Tom making some purchases from the leather booth at the Washington Blues Society.  It was to benefit Billy Stoops for his ongoing medical bills related to his fall escaping a fire.  Now he also needs rotator cuff surgery.  He tore it hanging from a window sill before he jumped.  A pretty debilitating injury for a guitar player.


Here is Billy opening up the festivities.


And the first act of the day, Diego Romero.  They were fun, really funky.


Next was Coyote Kings.  They were really fun, and Tiphony Dames was amazing.


Next was the Delgado Brothers.  We have seen them before, and they continue to impress.  Joey is an amazing guitarist.


Finally for Friday night there was the Harlis Sweetwater Band.  They were powerful and bluesy.


Saturday morning, I got a chance to knit with my boot, the lake and the sunshine.


I hobbled over to the stage.  I got a better photo of the pandemic project trailer.  I love it!


Here’s Billy introducing the first act.


It was Brooks Forsythe.  He was amazing and got Billy a little verklempt with a later song.


Next came Octopus Ballet with Leanne Trevalyan and Barbara Blue, two of our favorites.


Then was Billy Stoops & the Dirt Angels with Jim King and Leanne Trevalyan (basically Junkyard Jane) with a song from his new album which we purchased.


Here is Chris Carlson of the Duffy Bishop Band bringing in the CDs himself.


We slipped out to make dinner while Rich Layton & Tough Town played.  We could still hear them though, but they were not bluesy enough for my liking.  We have the poster from the last Sunbanks Festival we went to 10 years ago posted in our van.


After dinner (basically the whole trip was farm food) we returned to hear Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps.


I was sipping on my homemade blackberry wine from this bag,IMG_4872

and the Duffy Bishop Band got ready.


I had hobbled up front to see them as they are one of my favorite bands of all time.  It was so incredibly nice to see them again.  I took a bunch of photos and videos so I apologize.  I also apologize for my screaming and bad singing.



This next video was sped up for some reason, but I thought it was interesting to watch anyway.

Next up was Too Slim & the Taildraggers, another favorite of ours that we have sorely missed.  Lots of photos and videos here too.


Here is a weird selfie of me.IMG_4949


The next day we missed the acoustic act so we could watch the Seahawks game.  The game wasn’t looking good initially so we wandered over to the stage and saw TUN the Band,

while streaming the game on Tom’s phone.



I was wearing the leather bracelet Tom got for me from the leather booth.


Then came the unsynchronized swimmers.  They were so fun to watch!


Next was Sister Mercy. She could really belt out a tune.


Here is a musician (one of Leroy Bell’s Only Friends) getting ready beside the stage.


This lady bought this coat from the leather booth.  I thought it was perfect for her.


There definitely was a diversity of performers at this festival, but there was some diversity in the crowd I noticed dancing as well. It was nice to see.

Here is a romantic song that got couples slow dancing.

And then there was nice sunset over the stage.


The final performance was Leroy Bell & His Only Friends.  We have seen them before, and they are incredible.


They were perfect to close the festival with.  Afterwards there was an announcement by Billy.  There was speculation that this was going to be the last Sunbanks Festival.  And apparently that was true 1.5 weeks ago, but based on the new resort owners’ impression of the festival it will continue twice per year as it has for 26 years.  This is really good news.  It is a wonderful small music festival with a gorgeous location.

Monday we packed up.  Here is Tom cleaning the dead bugs off the windshield of Bluesie.


Leaving Banks Lake.


And old hotel sign in Coulee City.


And the drive home on Highway 2.


This is Waterville, one of our favorite towns.


And the hotel there that we love.


We ate lunch by the Columbia at Lincoln Rock.


We stopped to get apples outside of Cashmere.


The colors over the pass were incredible.


And we made it home safely to our farm.  It was so nice to get away and listen to live music again but always nice to come home too.  The van did great, and my ankle didn’t cause too much trouble.  So, all in all, a great trip.

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13 Responses to Sunbanks Blues & Roots Festival

  1. Washe Koda says:

    😎 cool Thanks for sharing 😉

  2. What a wonderful time you must have had, well, except for your ankle. It just must have been good to bathe yourself in all that incredible music!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Dorothy! It was wonderful. And it was good I wasn’t on the farm with my hurt ankle. I would have tried to do stuff I shouldn’t.

      • I hear you!
        I think one of the things I have missed the most this past year and a half has been the live music. I was co-producer for our local roots on the river music festival for nearly 20 years, and its last year ws 2019. Since then, it has been pretty dismal, a few small things here and there but nothing more festive. Maybe next summer!

      • Donna says:

        I sure hope so Dorothy! I had no idea you were in the music business.

      • Well, non-profit, all-volunteer! In addition to organizing the Roots on the River music festival, we also produced many small concerts at local venues, mostly folkish singer-songwriters, and a few bigger names for our beautiful Opera House, Judy Collins, Greg Brown, Pete Yarrow, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra! Since I was running an inn, at least some of the artists always had a place to stay!

      • Donna says:

        That is so cool! I hope you are able to continue.

      • I might start with a house concert here if things slow down Covid wise soon. We can hold 45 nicely on a regular day, so I would have to limit it to around 25 and get some sponsors.

  3. Jeanne says:

    Hi Donna! Thanks so much for sharing your trip. I enjoyed the pictures, and videos. It’s good that they will be continuing the festival. I’m not really a blues fan, but I appreciate music very much.

    I’m with you – I really liked the little Pandemic Trailer. It would be fun to see the inside of it.

    I’m sorry about your sprained ankle. I hope it’s getting better now.

    • Donna says:

      Hi Jeanne! There is also some folk music too which I also appreciate. I am glad you enjoyed the photos and videos. We wanted to see the inside of the pandemic trailer but it was never open when we walked by. My ankle is getting a little better. I am trying to graduate to an ankle splint today. We shall see how it goes.

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