Fair music is as traditional a part of the annual West Tisbury Agricultural Fair as the cows, dogs, roosters and meeting neighbors.
The 151st Ag Fair begins tonight. Music will fill the air over the four day duration. The main stage, set up by food vendor row, will feature music every evening.
A separate “Acoustic Corner,” located in the pulling ring used for animal competitions to the west of the exhibition hall, will feature Island favorites fiddling, crooning and strumming Thursday through Saturday.
Tristan Israel, Paul Thurlow, Nancy Jephcote and invited guests return to the fair. These seasoned music veterans have been playing barn dance style tunes as frequently and as long as anybody around.
Ms. Jephcote and the Flying Elbows will play at 7:30 pm on Thursday. Many of the same musicians, this time headlined by Tristan Israel and Paul Thurlow, will return on Friday and Saturday at 6:30 pm.
Thursday night at 7:30 pm, The Daytrippers will start things off on the main stage. They’re a Beatles cover band that has become a summer staple on Martha’s Vineyard stages. The band features the talents of Doug Brush (guitars), Charlie Esposito (piano), Shelagh Hackett (vocals), Eric Johnson (guitar, bass), Boaz Kirschenbaum (guitar, bass) and Brian Weiland (drums).
Friday at 4:30 pm The Stragglers will take the stage. They’re a country and eastern group that includes Merrily Fenner, John Early, Peter Huntington.
At 6 pm, The Tashmoo Trio will we play an eclectic bunch of music, anything from the 50’s to today, but mostly rock, pop and blues with a little sprinkle of country too. They will bring songs such as Paul Simon’s “Down By The Schoolyard” and Otis Redding’s “Sittin’ On The Dock By The Bay.” The Tashmoo Trio is currently comprised of Christine McLean on rhythm guitar and vocals, Chris Seidel on drums, and Merrily Fenner filling in for Penny Huff on bass. Guest George Davis will play lead guitar.
Goodnight Louise will play at 8pm on Friday.
On Saturday Entrain is the sole act, but what an act they are. They take the stage at 8:30 and their entrancing drums and energetic songs are sure to bring a crowd.
On Sunday The Blue Ribbons, who have been described as Ray Charles and Tom Waits on a pirate ship with Sun Ra and Captain Beefheart, will take the main stage at 4pm. The band is comprised of James Rohr (pianos, howls,shapes and colors), Mike Castellana (guitars,alien abduction), Jef Charland (bass, kung fu) and Tauras Biskis (drums,lithuanian voodoo). Their music is a mix of “upbeat disillusionment and celebratory fatalism with musicianship” according to Charan Devereux in The Boston Globe.
At 6 pm, Seanote, which features Erik Lowe on lead guitar, Julius Lowe on acoustic guitarist, Cheryl Lowe on bass, Chuck Downing on drums and Bozena Michalczuk on vocals, will rock the fair to a close with their southern classic rock with a bit of old time stuff thrown in there too for good measure.