Bellowing for bucks

Jimmy Hall JHall@ptleader.com
Posted 9/4/18

As dark carabet music rang throughout Finnriver Cidery Sept. 2, Paul Rogers, one organizer behind the third annual Port Townsend Deep Squeeze Festival, pointed around to the throngs who listened to …

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Bellowing for bucks

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As dark carabet music rang throughout Finnriver Cidery Sept. 2, Paul Rogers, one organizer behind the third annual Port Townsend Deep Squeeze Festival, pointed around to the throngs who listened to Avian Velvet’s tunes while sipping hard cider.

“These are the sponsors,” Rogers said. “This is a community sponsored event.”

Rogers and co-founder Maggie “Mags” Martin put together the event in 2016, as a three-day event around the accordion, utilizing downtown Port Townsend pubs, such as The Pourhouse, which was its two-day host. This is the first year Finnriver Farm and Cidery, located in Chimacum, became a partner.

Eric Jorgensen, Finnriver founder and owner, was all smiles after the Cajun and Zydeco flavorings of Billy Wilson and Lloyd Meadows left the stage. For him, the missions of Finnriver and Deep Squeeze fit into one another. As friends, Jorgensen and Rogers have been chatting about putting together an event for a couple years.  

“It felt like a perfect match,” said Jorgensen, adding community and music events are one of their strengths. “We are always trying to diversify our music. We get singer/songwriters, which is fantastic, but we don’t get that kind of band around Port Townsend,” he said, pointing to The Pickled Herring Band on stage.

“It is the perfect venue for it,” said Rogers about Finnriver’s hospitality, adding they would like to continue to have an all-ages day for families to enjoy the unique culture accordion music brings.

To host such an event, which requires funding for airfare and lodging for talent, a set amount needs to be raised through donations and raffle items. Rogers isn’t so much as concerned about that, as he will front the cash to go toward the pair of causes that Deep Squeeze aims to help this year, whether or not that amount is reached. He said the beneficiary organizations, The Teen Center at Chimacum High School and Dove House Advocasy Services would receive $1,000 each, even if it had to come from his own pocket.

A few of the accordion acts donated all or a portion toward the festival, while Those Darn Accordions contributed all their merchandise sales. Rogers said he would be looking for additional sponsors for next year’s festival with hopes of bumping up the amount donated toward nonprofit organizations.

With such a niche instrument as the accordion, Rogers wanted to present a wide breadth of sounds for each of the nights. Talent from near and far accommodated, thanks to Rogers’ connections throughout the west in the accordion music arena.

With a wealth on the docket, including rock, Scandanavian and Brazilian sounds on the schedule, Rogers reached out to Billy Wilson and Lloyd Meadows for their Cajun and Zydeco influences.

“It’s about genres. The whole concept is to show what this instrument can do,” said Rogers. Wilson and Meadows came from the Bay Area to help close out a couple nights at The Pourhouse. Other acts on the docket were The Alternators, The Pickled Herring Band, Tangoheart, Maray Fuego, and Creosote.

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