Wednesday, October 26, 2016

More Americana Music comes to Feist’s New Sutter Creek Venue - Fri Nov 11

Amador Winery’s Fall and Winter Concert Series Begins

October, 2016:  Sutter Creek, CA: On Friday, November 11 at 7 pm Dave McGraw and Mandy Fer will play at Feist Wines in Sutter Creek, California. The winery has produced a steady stream of stellar Americana and folk shows which sell out quickly at the intimate venue.

Known as a standout electric guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, Mandy Fer is unafraid to dominate the stage for an extended guitar solo. Dave McGraw’s emotional songwriting riffs on natural elements of the world around him. McGraw spent a decade as a wildlife biologist, studying endangered birds in remote locales from the deserts of Mexico and the Grand Canyon to the mountainous rainforests of Washington. McGraw and Fer joined forces in Flagstaff, Arizona in 2010 before relocating to the Pacific Northwest in 2012.

The songwriter duo voyaged far out to sea on their latest self-produced/recorded release Off-Grid Lo Fi.  Recorded entirely with solar and wind powered electricity on a nearly uninhabited, remote, island in northwest Washington state, McGraw and Fer have ventured into new territory, both geographically and artistically. 

McGraw and Fer were invited to a seaside farm to care-take for four old donkeys and a flock of chickens for three months on a non-ferry serviced island with a winter population of fewer than eight people. Seizing the opportunity for a solitary writing residency, the duo loaded all of their instruments, minimal recording gear, and groceries into a tiny 16’ aluminum boat and crossed the channel towards the US/Canadian border for what they called their ‘feral’ adventure. 

Pushing wheelbarrows full of provisions in their rubber boots, they made their way to a hand-built cabin where they recorded Off-Grid Lo-Fi in a living room overlooking the Pacific inland sea. The recording set-up was basic. No computer screens or editing. No Auto-Tune. All real takes. The result is a twelve-song album drenched with rich vocal harmonies, poignant songwriting, Fer’s potent electric guitar playing, acoustic guitars, percussion, cello and newly prominent banjo and piano. Off-Grid Lo-Fi is an authentic and refreshingly honest exploration into the genres of folk, rock, and roots music.  The duo will present this body of work on the small stage made of pallets at Feist Wines.

Their 2014 release Maritime charted at #1 on the EuroAmericana Chart for two consecutive months and was praised by The Telegraph for “…soulful songs, intuitive musicianship, and fine singing.” Together, their exceptional vocal harmonies coupled with Fer’s pioneering electric guitar work have become a vehicle to carry them around the world. The pair has honed their skills touring extensively throughout the US and Europe.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and are available at the tasting room or at The winery offers farm to fork wood fired pizza, artisan cheese and charcuterie plates and desserts by local pastry chef Ingrid Fraser to complement the music. Wine is available by the glass or bottle. 15 Eureka Street, Sutter Creek, CA 95685 (209)267-8020

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

​Holiday Adornments Show and Sale Opens November 5 in AmadorArts Gallery

Art Trek ​Reception 3-6 pm.
Show runs through December 31, 2016,
Extended hours for November and Dec.: every Sat. and Sun. from 11:00-5:00.
Also open “Plaid Friday, Shop Local,” 11:00-5:00 (day after Thanksgiving).

11-A Randolph St., Sutter Creek

AmadorArts’ Holiday Adornments Show and Sale offers a wide variety of clever and affordably-priced gift ideas including ornaments, holiday decorations and cards, jewelry, wearable accessories and much more. Over 20 local artists have been selected. Get a head start on the season, because this event opens Wednesday, November 5 and continues through December. The AmadorArts Gallery is located in Sutter Creek, just a block off Main at 11-A Randolph. That’s the street where Sina’s Backroads CafĂ© is on the corner.

Saturday, November 5, is not only the 1st Saturday Art Trek Artist Reception from 3-6 pm, but the time to place special orders for Millie Butler’s wreaths for pick-up later. On Saturday, November 12, the gallery will be open until 7:00 pm because it’s one of the stops on the Winefest.

The extended hours in November and December will be from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm every Saturday and Sunday. The day after Thanksgiving, called Plaid Friday, the gallery will be open 11 to 5. Usually on weekdays, excluding Wednesdays, the gallery is also open when the admin. office is open, generally 10-3. Best to call ahead. Remember, AmadorArts members receive 10% discounts, and you can join the day you shop.

Here are the artists with gift ideas: Karen Crane, wired Jewelry; Carole & Ron Kamerlink, wood & copper boxes and silver jewelry; Lynn Keever, earrings $9-18; Carla Fry, enamel jewelry; Ingrid Fraser, candy; Mary Nahhas, fabric tote bags with original art, cosmetic bags; Sandra Wagner, Fiber Art, like silk vests, scarves, other; Sarah Dixon, small paintings, cards; Shelia Wertman, Papercuts-matted, framed, holiday and others; Andrea Broglio, beaded birds $80; Shari Schreiber, felted journals and shawls; Jim Bass, pottery coffee mugs; Sarah Switek, pottery bird houses; and Laurie Williams, clay whimiscal animals.

The following artists have made quality decorations: Millie Butler, fresh wreaths; Lorra Lee Rose, feather ornaments; John Haedrich, metal art including stars, candy canes and tabletop trees with candles; Patti Blaylock, stained glass, including stars and more; Kathryn Devlin, holiday ceramics; Wendy Rogers, holiday wine glasses, ornaments, cards; Amanda Sedgwick-Maule, pottery ornaments; Cynthia Dunn-Selph, encaustic hangings, mirrored ornaments; and Pamela Quyle, stamped pottery.

Check Facebook or our website for the latest details. Put AmadorArts Gallery on your list of where to holiday shop for unique, affordable items. Visit or call209-267-9038.

PHOTOS: Feather artist Lorra Lee Rose will offer some rare ornaments. Other ideas are bags by Mary Nahhas; glass ornaments by Wendy Rogers; precious beaded birds by Andrea Broglio; and fresh wreaths by Millie Butler.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Amador County School Band Program to receive $22K from Big Red Band fundraiser

Ione, CA October 10, 2016--Results are in for the 2016 BIG RED BAND fundraiser to benefit the Amador County school music program. Over 200 people attended the event that was held at Rancho Arroyo Seco in Ione. The goal was met, and over $22K will be donated to enhance the 5th through high school music programs. Funds will be used to purchase and repair, instruments, band uniforms, and transportation to competitive events. Rancho Arroyo Seco once again donate $7,500 in matching funds.

The evening was filled with music from the combined Amador and Argonaut High School bands as well as the jazz band. Funding for music and the arts, has over the years been drastically reduced, and most programs are self-funded. Music instructors John Burns and Heather Walkover emphasized the importance of music education as it offers benefits even beyond itself. Musical training helps develop language and reasoning, a mastery of memorization, helps students stay engaged in school, and gain self-confidence. The support of the community countywide for this event will help to begin to build this valuable program.

This is the 10th year that Rancho Arroyo Seco has sponsored this fundraiser. Over the years the BIG RED BARN event has raised and donated over $200,000 for organizations throughout Amador County. The emphasis has been on education and public safety. All donations are tax deductible through the Community Foundation of Amador County.

Photos courtesy of Eddy Walsh

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Mermaid News - Art Classes & Events in October

Happy Autumn!
I love Autumn in the Sierras and can't wait for my annual photo shoot to look up and see the golden Aspen leaves shimmering against the blue Autumn sky and just inhale the season... ahhh!

We've got quite a line-up of creative classes for you this Fall and I hope you'll join us for some seasonal fun and inspiration.
'til then, I'm gonna get my pumpkin! Wendy
october classes
And finally, I hope you'll join us at a Monday Open Studio! It's a place to explore & enjoy the company of other creative people - and we are ALL creative! 
10am - 1pm
~ Enjoy Community & a Space for Creative Play ~
Bring a project you're working on or come for inspiration & ideas. See what others are working on & try new materials & techniques.  
$15 basic tools & materials
Wendy Ward Studio & Creative Center
at the Red Corral  22594 Hwy 88 Ste 18, Pioneer
UpCountry Holiday Fair!
Enjoy Live Music as you shop for one-of-a-kind Holiday Gifts created by Local Artisans! 
Sending you good wishes & Mermaid Magic  ~ Wendy
For up-to-date Happenin's at Wendy Ward Studio
LIKE Wendy Ward's Studio on Facebook
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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Festival of Carols 2016 - Auditions and Rehearsals

Dear friends and family,

You are cordially invited to the 17th Annual Festival of Carols - an annual fund raising concert for the Amador County Food Bank

This year’s festival will be

Friday, November 18 (7PM) African Style
Saturday, November 19 (3PM)  MH Orchestra

Saturday, November 19 (7PM) ICC Women's Chorus
Sunday, November 20 (3PM) Sacramento Baroque Soloists
Sunday, November 20 (7pm) ?
The Ione United Methodist Church --1-50 W. Marlette St. Ione, Ca. 95640

We welcome back African Style who also opened up the festival last year. For those who did not come down the hill last year you missed a sweet and inspiring concert with history and personal testimony. What a great group!

The Moriah Heights Orchest is a group of young people, mostly in High School, but a few in college and one old guy. After playing in last years festival and again at the Methodist Church in the Spring, this group has blossomed and has earned their own concert this year. They will feature:
Haydn's cello concerto in C
Telemann's three trumpet concerto in D
and Marcello's oboe concerto in d minor
The ICC Women's Chorus will be  performing the
 Benjamin Britton's 
"Ceremony of Carols" with harp
And joining us for the first time will be Michael and Lisa Lawson's group the Sacramento Baroque Soloists.
Now in their 13th season, this
 professional baroque music ensemble is dedicated to creating vibrant, engaging performances of music from the 17th to 19th Centuries. We are very excited to have this accomplished group share their years of dedication to some of the world's most beautiful works.

For more information on the Interfaith Community of Choirs, to hear recordings of these pieces and past programs, please visit

 If you would like to audition for this year's Women's Chorus, please download the music on use the study aids and contact Mr. Leggett at 209-560-6403

Thank you  for your support!