Olympic Peninsula native Roger Ferguson has accumulated half a century of experience in bluegrass music, and estimates he’s played in Port Townsend and Jefferson County “countless …
Olympic Peninsula native Roger Ferguson has accumulated half a century of experience in bluegrass music, and estimates he’s played in Port Townsend and Jefferson County “countless times.” He’s pleased to return yet again, this time for a “Bluegrass Mini-Fest” on Saturday, Aug. 5, as part of the “Concerts in the Woods” at the Laurel B. Johnson Community Center, at 923 Hazel Point Road in Coyle.
At 2:30 p.m., Ferguson and his daughter Kristen will open the day’s acoustic music with a single set from “Ferguson and Co.”
Ferguson couldn’t help but pick up an ear for bluegrass from his family, with his dad following both his grandfathers in fiddling, and passing on the affinity for guitar playing that made Ferguson a National Flatpick Guitar Champion in Winfield, Kansas, at the age of 21.
Likewise, Ferguson told the Leader he’s been proud to instill bluegrass traditions in his musically well-educated daughter, whom he said learned perhaps the most important lesson of “not being married to the music, because you should be able to play without looking at the paper to tell you what to do.”
And from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Ferguson will take up the guitar, mandolin and fiddle, and be joined by Terry Enyearts on the mandolin and guitar; plus Rick Meade on the banjo, dobro and guitar, and Mick Nicholson on the upright bass, as they perform two sets as “Me and the Boys.”
A veteran of touring during the 1980s, Ferguson played with Enyearts on the road for years, after hitting it off at a chance jam session at a party in Oregon.
It was when the two roped Meade into one of their performances, in the 21st century, that their band “fell together” and accidentally acquired its name.
“Rick was Terry’s friend, so as I was booking this gig for me and Terry to play together, we decided to bring Rick along,” Ferguson said. “I was calling up to book the gig, and I said, ‘Oh, yeah, it’ll be me and the boys,’ so that’s how they billed us. I never even thought about it, but the name stuck.”
From noon to 2 p.m., both bands’ musicians plan to provide lessons and information about their respective instruments inside the Coyle Community Center on a donation basis.
Both Roger and Kristen Ferguson are music teachers, with the elder Ferguson providing private tutoring and courses at Olympic College. In spite of devoting five days a week to Zoom lessons and other workshops, the man who’s played bluegrass for more than 50 years can’t fully account for his passion for the genre.
“I can teach, and play everything from jazz and blues to rock-and-roll, but I suppose it’s the acoustic nature of bluegrass that appeals to me as much as anything,” Ferguson said. “At this point, I’m drawing Social Security. I don’t need to book weekend shows anymore, so when I do shows like this, it’s because I want to.”
Tickets are available for a suggested donation of $30.