Tag Archives: Acoustic Music

Hope is Alive! 12 coming to Montgomery Creek October 6

The 12th Hope Is Alive! Open Mic Night will be held 6-8 p.m. Friday, October 6, 2017 at Billy’s Roadside Café, 30356 State Highway, 299 East, Montgomery Creek. Songwriters, musicians, poets, spoken word artists, storytellers, and dancers are welcome to come share their talent. Performers are encouraged to reserve a spot in advance by contacting Carrie Jo Diamond at 229-8484 or cdiamond@co.shasta.ca.us.

Stu Stoore, Ginny Dye, and Don Smith

Stu Stoore, Ginny Dye, and Don Smith at Hope is Alive! 9 in McArthur

This is the fourth Hope Is Alive! to be held in the Intermountain area of the county.

Hope Is Alive! was founded in September 2014. The purpose has been to celebrate the healing power of art, music, and poetry and to raise awareness about mental health struggles, substance use disorders, and suicide loss.

Burney International Folk Dancers

Burney International Folk Dancers at Hope is Alive! 4 in Burney

Hope Is Alive! open mic nights have been held at locations throughout Shasta County. Nearly 130 performers, including dancers, spoken word artists, rappers and musicians have participated.

Billy Riggins and Lewis Gustafson

Billy Riggins and Lewis Gustafson at Hope is Alive! 4 in Burney

For more information about Stand Against Stigma and Hope Is Alive! Open Mic Nights, visit www. Standagainststigma.com or Hope is Alive! 12 on Facebook.

Articles on past Hope is Alive! open mics in the Burney, Montgomery Creek, and McArthur:

Hope is Alive 9! at Old Merc Pizza
Hope is Alive! 6 showcases incredible talent
Open mic brings hope alive in Burney!

Hope is Alive 9! at Old Merc Pizza: A selection of videos

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Filed under Art, Hope is Alive!, Mental Health, Music

Dec. 5th – Crafts Flourish in Pit River Country

December 5 was not officially named Craft Day, but it could have been.

Linda bought this one in Round Mountain

Linda bought this one in Round Mountain

From McArthur to Round Mountain a half dozen different events treated Intermountain residents  to a celebration of local creativity and Christmas cheer. In McArthur, shoppers flocked to Santa’s Workshop and 12 Days of Christmas  at the Inter-Mountain Fairgrounds. In Burney, The VFW Women’s Auxiliary Craft Show and the New Hope Evangelical Presbyterian Church Annual Christmas Bake Sale and Craft Show were taking place. In addition, the first annual Christmas Boutique at Hearthstone Health Foods also featured local crafters and artists.

Then as events in Burney and the Fall River Valley were winding down, the Mountain Community Center in Round Mountain hosted its 2015 Holiday Open House and Free Santa Store.

Beautiful pattern on a handmade pot holder

Click on image for larger view

Click on image for larger view

Events actually began on Wednesday December 2 with the 12 Days of Christmas at the Inter-Mountain Fairgrounds in McArthur. This is the first week of a three-week craft event.  Each week from Wednesday through Saturday the holiday fair will be open. The 12 days of Christmas will culminate in a ginger bread contest on December 19.

On Saturday, Santa’s Workshop, was held from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in Ingram’s Hall. This is a major annual holiday event. This year’s show featured local artists, a Wayside Garden Club Greens Boutique, and locally made Christmas decorations.  Santa came at 12:00pm. Food was offered by the Fort Crook Historical Society.

Because Linda and I had a table at the VFW Christmas Craft Show, we weren’t able to get over to the fairgrounds in McArthur but we did meet shoppers who were making a day of it trying to hit all of the craft shows in  Burney and Fall River. What a great day for visitors to tour the area and witness the creative output of the area.

VFW Auxiliary Gift Baskets

VFW Auxiliary Gift Baskets

In addition to hosting their craft fair, the Woman’s Auxiliary 5685 had a table selling  tickets for gift baskets to be raffled of at the American Legion Ham Dinner on December 12th.

Anita "Cricket" Allen with baked goods, candles and homemade jellies

Anita “Cricket” Allen with baked goods, candles and homemade jellies

Amongst the vendors at the VFW Hall, Anita “Cricket” Allen, one of my favorite people, was selling some delicious baked goods and homemade jellies.

One of the things I like about Cricket, is that she is generally cheerful and kind and always seems to have good advice. My advice is that if you ever have a chance to get some of her breads or jellies seize the opportunity. I got a banana nut bread and some choke cherry jelly.

The McKay brothers were there too with items hand-crafted from wood and other natural products. They also have a booth at the 12 Days of Christmas. Their hand-made pens are very popular. While at the Vets Hall, they got a call from McArthur saying that they needed to bring in more pens because they were selling out.

Nancy Crafts and Collectibles had a beautiful display featuring dazzling crystals.

Nancy's Crafts and Collectibles

Nancy’s Crafts and Collectibles

Linda was busy showing her hand made Christmas cards featuring beautiful pictures of wintry Burney Falls and Burney Mountain as well as gift items, framed and matted photos, and artwork.

Linda Colvin from LACE Photography

Linda Colvin from LACE Photography

There was also a large and lovely display of hand-made soaps and numerous other Christmas crafts and items. I actually didn’t have time to get around to all of it. While Linda manned the table, I snuck away to go over and check out the 87th Annual Holiday Gift Sale at New Hope Evangelical Presbyterian Church. They are in their new location behind Burney Valley Real Estate.

Everything was cozy and beautifully decorated. While there I ran into Sarah Clark and Barbara Watson. A few weeks earlier I had seen these gracious ladies doing folk dances at the Hope is Alive! Open Mic.

Sarah Clark and Barbara Watson at New Hope Evangelical

Sarah Clark and Barbara Watson at New Hope Evangelical

We talked about what a great event it was, hoping that there will be another one in a few months. They said that if there is they will invite more international folk dancers up from Redding.

I also had a chance to talk with Bobby and Ramona about how the church is doing since their transition. Actually, spirits are high and faith strengthened. It is still unclear what will become of the old Presbyterian church building where they formerly held services. I think that the Burney Presbyterian Church is the first church that I ever attended when I was child back in the 1950’s.  (See Churches of Burney)

As I talked with Bobby and Ramona I felt the spirit of prayer in the church and I told them that I would try to come this month to visit one of their services.

When I got back to the Vet’s Hall it was time to pack things up. But the day was not yet over. Linda and I jumped into our sleigh (actually Jeep) and headed over Burney Mountain to attend the Mountain Community Center Holiday Bazaar. On the way, we stopped at the vista point to get some pictures of snow-covered Burney mountain.

Mt. Burney

Mt. Burney

When we arrived at the community center,  we saw that the hall had been beautifully decorated with red table cloths and Christmas decorations. There were tables full of baked goods, tables of gift items, tables with items donated for a silent auction, and nicely decorated tables for people to sit down and enjoy. Most thrilling perhaps was the Santa Shop.

Young'uns lined up for Santa Shop

Young’uns lined up for Santa Shop

When youngsters entered they received tickets that enabled them to shop in Santa’s shop for gift items for family members. Then after selecting the gift items, they went to a table where Santa’s helpers dressed as elves helped them to wrap the presents.

Santa's elves gift-wrapping

Santa’s elves gift-wrapping

There was also great music performed by the Mountain Messengers. I even got a chance to get up and sing a few Christmas songs.

Me singing Christmas songs with Jerry, and Kay

Me singing Christmas songs with Jerry and Kay

A highlight of the evening came when some of the children got up to sing Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, and other great Christmas songs backed up by the band.

Children singing Christmas songs

Children singing Christmas songs

Deb Klein was the main organizer for this year’s event. Kay Nichols, Elena Norman, Angela Bartolomei, and Sally Durrett also put in many hours of work to ensure success.

Deb was really excited by how much the community pitched in.  She said that over 400 toys had been donated, plus the baked goods and auction items. In addition, many local folks volunteered their service during the function.

“This was really a big event for the community,” she said.

Everyone did an outstanding job. Everything was beautiful. The atmosphere glowed with the joy of community Christmas spirit.

Deb also made some delicious home-canned jellies for the occasion.

Deb's Jellies

Deb’s Jellies

Just after 5 p.m., people gathered outside and sang more Christmas songs as the community Christmas tree’s lights went on.

Christmas Tree Lighting at the Mountain Community Center

Christmas Tree Lighting at the Mountain Community Center

Then the evening concluded with raffle prizes and the announcement of the winners of the silent auction.

What a full day of heart and creativity in Pit River Country.  What a great way to usher in the holiday season. Feel the love. Joy to the world!

Let us pray for peace on earth. Amen.


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Filed under Art, Burney, Entertainment, Fall River Mills, Intermountain Art, Intermountain Fair, MacArthur, Montgomery Creek, Music, Pit River Country Events, Round Mountain

Open mic brings hope alive in Burney!

Local talent packed the building behind the Rex Club on the evening of November 19 to share an uplifting evening of Native American rap, spoken word, blues, gospel music, poetry, folk music, folk dancing, belly dancing, and story telling. More than 50 people attended

A great audience

Playing to a full house

The event named “Hope is Alive 4!” was held in honor of National Suicide Loss Survivor Day on Nov. 21. It was sponsored by Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency in conjunction with the Community Education Committee along with community partners and advisory boards.

Community Education Specialist Marc Dadigan

Community Education Specialist Marc Dadigan

Performers began gathering to sign up between 5 and 5:30 p.m. As they entered they were greeted by the friendly host and Emcee, Marc Dadigan. Dadigan is a community education specialist for the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency. He has been working with a program named “Stand Against Stigma

By six o’clock the hall was full. Marc invited everyone to share refreshments: veggies, small wrap sandwiches, popcorn, lemonade and water. He then explained that performers  would have eight minutes to share their creative offering.

First to get up to the mic were Louis Gustafson and Billy Riggins, two members of the Pit River Tribe.

Billy Riggins and Lewis Gustafson

Billy Riggins and Louis Gustafson

Louis began by saying, “We are very grateful to be able to participate in this event to help the community.”

He then introduced us all to Native American rap. Louis’s rapper name is PittFox. They rapped two rousing and inspirational songs. It was awesome. Louis and Billy also do Native American drumming with the Pit River Nation Drummers and shared some of their sacred songs at Burney Basin Days last July.

It was a great way to begin the evening and crack the ice. The crowd responded with total enthusiasm. Next up was Brave Faces advocate Christina Stampfli who shared a poem about facing depression.

Christina Stampfli shares about poem

Christina Stampfli shares a poem

Reading her poem, Ms. Stampfli portrayed perfectly the theme of the evening, “Has creating music, rhymes or poetry given you light in dark times or shed light on a hidden struggle? Then come celebrate how art heals and promotes understanding.”

Next, Kimberly Michelle Davis delighted the audience with her a capella rendition of two songs. Ms. Davis has a lovely voice and a natural charisma. As she sang, people could feel the love.

Kimberly Michelle Davis sings a capella

Kimberly Michelle Davis sings a capella

Steve Stoore came up on stage next. He said he hoped there would be more events in the future because he had a number of songs he would like to share that are relevant. Then he proceeded to play his soulful version of the classic blues song, “Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just as Bad)” written by T-Bone Walker and recorded by the Allman Brothers as “Stormy Monday.” He accompanied his artful singing and guitar picking with some bluesy harmonica playing.

Steve Stoore plays the blues

Steve Stoore plays the blues

Billy Riggins

Billy Riggins

Next Billy Riggins came up again and shared some songs that he had written. Billy was just turning 17. He told of how he had suffered because of the death of beloved family members. Billy is a young man of great heart. He told us how he “loves his family to death,” and we all felt it. One of the songs he sang was a beautifully melodic, poignant song about the madness in today’s world.

Mental health concerns us all. We all would like to enjoy optimum health, mentally as well as physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Yet, whether through our own trials or affected by the struggles of others we all have been touched by illness. The challenges to mental health include stress, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, grief, addiction, learning disabilities, mood fluctuations, and other psychological concerns.

These issues affect us not only individually, but collectively through the problems that we see every day in the news about our nation and the world. Billy’s song illustrated the anguish of this situation.

After Billy sang, Martin and Vicky McAffee got up and sang two moving gospel songs, one of which was “Light at the End of the Darkness” written by Larry Gatlin.

Creative expression is one of the ways we address and deal with our down times. Faith, family, and friends are major sources of support. But sometimes, in the pit of despair, one feels totally alone, doesn’t  see the light at the end of the tunnel, and loses all hope.

About forty people a year die from suicide in Shasta County.

Sometimes, people need help. Sometimes people who need help don’t reach out because of the stigma associated with psychological problems. That is why programs like Stand Against Stigma have been created: to increase awareness and openness; to lessen the stigma associated with problems we all share: to make people aware of behaviors that may be warning signs; and to provide avenues of support.

When my turn came, I did a poem entitled Night and Day and then performed an original song “Stay Awhile.”

Then we took a break which was nice because I had a chance to talk with two friends that I hadn’t seen for awhile. They are planning on getting married and asked me to sing a song at their wedding. Good things happen when folks get together.

Stand-up comedy by Justin Babb

Stand-up comedy by Justin Babb

After the break there were still more amazing things to come. Justin Babb, who was engineering the sound for the evening, told us that stand-up comedy helped to relieve his woes. Justin had chosen this evening for his debut performance.

The crowd was in stiches When Justin said, “If I had a dime for every time I picked up a chick, I wouldn’t have a dime,” a lady in the audience shouted, “Don’t worry I will set you up.” Everyone roared.

He also told a joke about Donald Trump’s hair which pretty much always goes over well with everyone.

We also were treated to two dances by the Burney International Folk Dancers

Burney International Folk Dancers

Burney International Folk Dancers

And while we were in the mood for dancing a young lady named Amy demonstrated two belly dances.

Belly Dancing

Belly Dancing

The crowd’s was rapt in attention. No one in the audience fell asleep.

Next, one of the women who had participated in the folk dancing read a moving section from her master’s thesis. The thesis was 25 years in the making. The reading described how support from a mentor had encouraged her in accomplishing the work.

Sarah reading a testimony from the intro to her master's thesis

Sarah reading a testimony from the intro to her master’s thesis

After Sarah’s reading we were treated to more poetry by Stand Against Stigma advocate Chante Marie Catt.

Chante Marie Catt shares her poetry

Chante Marie Catt shares her poetry

Ms. Catt and all of the performers are living testimonies to the fact that hope is indeed alive!

To conclude the evening, our host, Marc Dadigan, told us a story. It was a humorous and engaging story from his college days about a blind date. The date didn’t work out. To put it mildly, the chemistry was not quite right. While the story was amusing, it also ended on a telling note. At the end of their last conversation, the girl said, “I wish I were not around.”

Looking back, Mark told us that he wonders how the girl fared. Now that he has become more aware he realizes that her statement was a sign that she may have been in need of help. Awareness awakens compassion. Mark advised us that materials and resources are available to help prevent suicide.

It may seem paradoxical that such serious issues were addressed at such a joyful gathering. One of the amazing things is that the whole event only lasted about two hours.  The creativity flowed as smoothly as water through a dynamo producing a healing surge of inspiration for all. The atmosphere was never heavy. Au contraire, it was uplifting and empowering.

It was wonderful to experience such a wide variety of talent. It was truly a social event that helped a community connect in heart.

After the program concluded, people did not rush home. Rather, people lingered to get to know each other better and talk more.

The next day, I stopped by the Rex Club to thank the owner, Connie for hosting the open mic. She said that they may have another one in 3 months. Wonderful!

End Note:

I tried to include everyone in this article, but I fear I may have missed a performer. If I did, I apologize. There was a lot of hay on the fork. If you are aware of someone I left out, please notify me and I will include them.

Also, I want to thank all of those who came to attend. Listeners are participants, and what’s a show without an audience? God bless you all.

See you next time.

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Local Musicians Entertain at 2015 July 4th Fireworks Program

Article by Alex Colvin; photos and videos by Linda Colvin

The wonderful Burney fireworks display is always one of the highlights of Burney Basin Days.  After a day of parades, barbecues, shows, and festivities; the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air bring the day to a dazzling conclusion. The fireworks program is organized and hosted by The Rotary Club of Burney and Fall River Mills.

4th of July Fireworks at Burney High School

4th of July Fireworks at Burney High School

Before the fireworks there is a full pre-fireworks program. The new Burney Basin Days Queen and her court are introduced.  The new Honorary Mayor of Burney is also recognized. Music is played and announcements are made.  Sponsors and vendors are recognized.

Bill Campbell introduces The 2015 Honorary Mayor of Burney and Basin Days Royalty

Bill Campbell introduces The 2015 Honorary Mayor of Burney and Basin Days Royalty

For the 2015 Basin Days Fireworks Program, something new was added. At the February meeting of the Burney Basin Days committee, George Whitfield suggested having an open mic at the fireworks program and the idea was approved. George asked me if I would host the open mic. At the April meeting, the committee decided that instead of having an open mike, we would feature a showcase of local musical artists who wished to volunteer their time and talent.

Kermit Minor Adjusting the Sound for the Pit River Nation Drum Group

Kermit Minor Adjusting the Sound for the Pit River Nation Drum Group

This article gives a glimpse of some of the entertainment provided as a result. Performers are introduced in the order that they appeared on the stage. The MC for the event and overall organizer of the fireworks program was Bill Campbell of the Rotary Club. My wife, Linda Colvin, was busy taking both videos and photographs. She couldn’t capture every song. However, the sampling she did record, provides a good taste of the happening for those who were unable to attend and for posterity. Kermit “Butch” Minor, assisted by his wife and son, did an excellent jot of providing sound for the program.

Naturally, since George came up with the idea, he was one of the first on the list. George is a past president of the Lions Club. He used to perform with the Burney Basin Band. George and I decided that we would share a spot to kick the program off.

I met Jeff McNeil at a joint social of the Burney and Fall River Chamber of Commerces at the Clearwater Lodge in the Spring. He was singing “Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard. Jeff recently moved to the Intermountain area. He has been a blacksmith and a cowboy for 35 years. He also served as a trail guide in the Sierras. Jeff has been playing music for a long time and knows a wealth of cowboy and country tunes. When I asked him if he would like to play in the talent showcase  he readily volunteered.

Jeff McNiel at the Burney Basin Days Fireworks Program

Jeff McNiel at the Burney Basin Days Fireworks Program

We didn’t get a video of Jeff’s wonderful performance. However, he has been playing at the Rex Club and the Fall River Hotel. If you stop in, you can experience for yourself why he got a call for an encore and hoops and hollers of appreciation after he performed.

One of the first groups to volunteer to play were Martin and Vicky McAbee. Marty and Vicky have been playing at local churches, the community center, and local open mics. They wrote the song “Ring the Bells of Freedom” for this event.

Gerry Goldman and Honey Storlee are becoming well known in Northern California music circles. They play as a duo and with a group named the Mountain Messengers. They were recently featured on the Round Mountain public radio station and regularly play at the Farmer’s Market in Redding and local festivals. Honey lives in Redding and studies ministry at the Bethel Church. She loves sharing her musical gift. Jerry plays guitar and banjo and has accompanied many musicians in the Intermountain area.

No representation of local talent would be complete without music from the members of the Pit River Tribe. The Pit River Basin  is their hereditary homeland. Each year the Pit River Tribe sponsors a Pow-Wow that brings people from all over the West to Burney. I was so happy when Ira Winn agreed to ask the Pit River Nation Drum Group play at the fireworks show. Ira introduces the members of the group in the video.

After they had played and sung a couple of songs of honor and blessing, Ira got a spontaneous inspiration. He called to his cousin Crystal Flores, the 2015 Burney Basin Days Queen, to lead a Round Dance. The Round Dance is a traditional dance of friendship.

The final act of the Talent Showcase was a joint concert by band members from Burney and Fall River Mills High Schools organized and directed by Hugo Castro. Mr. Castro is the music teacher at both schools. When I first contacted him in the Spring, Hugo was busy organizing four concerts for the end of the school year. On the last day of school, we spoke again and he proceeded to put together a program combining some of his best students from both programs. It was wonderful to have such talented young people perform, rounding out the program with a special flare.

Many thanks to the Burney Basin Days Committee and the Rotary Club of Burney and Fall River Mills for including the Talent Showcase in this year’s program. Thanks to all of the performers who donated their time and talent, and to Kermit to making it all sound so good. Thank you very much to the school district and Burney High School for the use of the football field.  I would especially like to thank Jill Barnett, the Chairperson of the 2015 Burney Basin Days Committee, for all her work coordinating and supporting all of the events sponsored by all of the organizations, businesses, and individuals who worked long and hard to make the 2015 Burney Basin Days a success!

Alex Colvin is co-owner of The Lace Gallery in Burney, California. He previously wrote for non-profit corporations in the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Area. Since returning to Burney, where he has deep family roots, Alex and his wife Linda have dedicated themselves to exploring and photographing the natural beauty of Northern California.

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Filed under Burney, Burney Basin Days, Music, Pit River Country Events, Pit River Tribe, Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River, Video