Shake a Tree a 10-year Steamboat reflection and celebration
By Anne Jardine
COVID-19 was especially hard on live gatherings such as music festivals over the past two years. Steamboat Mountain Music Festival had been growing gradually over its eight-year history, but in 2020, large live gatherings were prohibited by public health rules.
In its ninth annual venture, Steamboat Society had to adapt. The festival organizing committee put the music online on their website. They created a studio in the old Our Lady of Peace Church in Radium Hot Springs and recorded a dozen 15-minute sets by local and regional performers.
All the artists got paid for their performances, although the payroll was small, due to a much-modified budget.
This year, 2021, Steamboat was hoping to host a best-ever event to celebrate the festival’s tenth anniversary. But phase three and then phase four of the coronavirus raged on, and public health restrictions continued.
In the spring, BC Arts Council rolled out cultural resiliency grants to performing arts presenters around the province. Without even applying, Steamboat was awarded a one-time grant. That funding, along with grants from the Arnie Charbonneau Foundation, and the Columbia Valley Community Foundation, has helped to create a double disc CD of all local artists playing 26 all original tunes to mark the festival’s 10 years of showcasing Columbia Valley’s homegrown music.
The festival organizing committee brought back producer Michael Wallace, who had done the video and sound engineering of the Online Steamboat 2020. The committee held an album cover art contest, which was won by Cimone Zimmer for the cover and Bill Arc for the inside art.
The songs were recorded in Edgewater over the summer, and the production work was completed in September. The much-anticipated shipment finally arrived on November 1.
The album is on sale for $20 at Edgewater Post Office, and a few more outlets will be announced over the coming days.
Money raised from the sale of the albums will be used to present the 2022 Steamboat Mountain Music Festival in Edgewater next July.
There is a bit of a story behind the album’s title. “Shake a Tree” comes from a quote by legendary local musician Mickey Maione: “Shake a tree in Edgewater, and a musician will fall out.” Also, Mickey’s witty love song to Covid, “Kiss of Death,” opens Side A of the album.