Arts and Entertainment

Hard Times Fest celebrates Depression-era music

“Hard times here and everywhere you go.

Times is harder than they’er been before’.”

from Hard Time Killing Floor Blues by Skip James

The economy is brutal. It’s hard to go anywhere on Bainbridge and not see or feel the effects of it. If the hard times have got you down – or even if they haven’t – Hard Times Fest this Friday at Island Music Center will have you singin’ the blues.

Headlining the event is blues musician Del Rey from Seattle.

“She’s one of the greatest guitarists I’ve ever heard anywhere – and I’ve heard almost all of the great blues guitarists in the world,” said Mark “Howlin’ Wolf” Hoffman, the events co-producer.

Hoffman should know. His biography of legendary bluesman Howlin’ Wolf became the top-selling blues book in the world.

Del Rey, who has recorded five albums, plays a metal body resonator guitar and combines acoustic blues, stride piano, classic jazz and “hillbilly boogie” with complex guitar grooves and a little dry wit thrown in.

Other performers include: Georgia Browne and Rob Gilbert, Whozyamama, Rick Barrenger, Brent Grossman and Jeremy Rothbaum, Chele’s Kitchen, Emily Groff, Bob Burmer, Peter Spencer and Mark Hoffman and Art Hanlon.

The show will double as a benefit for Haitian relief efforts, with half the proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders, and the other half going to Friends of the Orphans, the nonprofit group for which Port Orchard resident Molly Hightower worked. Hightower was killed in the January quake.

Salmon Canyon Cafe will serve food at the event.

Tickets are $15 each and can be purchased at Island Music Center.

Give/get some relief

Hard Times Fest: A Tribute to the Music of the (Last) Great Depression, will be from 7-10 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 19 at the Island Music Center, 10598 NE Valley Road Rolling Bay. For more, visit

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