Eugene Weekly : Oregon Country Fair 2010 : 7.8.2010


Oregon Country Fair 2010

Fair History, Family History A smattering of stories of the real people behind the magic

Music, Spoken Word, Juggling  . . . A doctor with a clown costume, plus a whole lot more

Fair Process Behind the scenes of the fairyland

Pedal Power The OCF greens up even more

Missing Kevin at the Fair Longtime Fair backer remembered

Music, Spoken Word, Juggling  . . . 
A doctor with a clown costume, plus a whole lot more
By Vanessa Salvia

Flying Karamozov Brothers
The Gourds

Each year’s Oregon Country Fair always brings a little bit of the past into the present. After all, one of the greatest things to look forward to is seeing familiar faces — vendors, friends, musical acts — that you don’t get to see throughout the year. This year’s fair is no different. One exciting event is that the Flying Karamozov Brothers are confirmed! The question has been raised in past years. . . would they come or wouldn’t they? This year, they’re not letting anybody down. Back in 1975, when the OCF was the Renaissance Fair, another well-known fair performer named Reverend Chumleigh organized a vaudeville circus show, and asked the Flying K’s to join in the fun. They’ve made it back to the magical temporary city many years since. (Saturday, Main Stage, 4:40 pm)

There’s this guy, a really funny doctor named Patch Adams, and they made a movie about him. Well, health care is no joke, and Doc Adams will be bringing his clown costume to the fair and putting a new face on the need for change in the health care system. On Sunday he’ll be discussing “The Changing Health Care Paradigm” with Carl Hammerschlag, a pioneer in the field of mind-body-spirit medicine. (Sunday, Front Porch, 4 pm; Sunday, Stage Left, 12:40 pm)

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Girl Circus at the fair. As the name suggests, Girl Circus is indeed an all-women circus featuring women of all ages performing traditional circus arts such as fire tricks, juggling, trapeze, hand balancing, contortion, acrobatics, aerial and more. The women move to original music performed by the Girl Circus Orchestra — a perfect show for families or anybody looking for high-energy girl power. (Friday, WC Fields Stage, 6:30 pm; Saturday, 2:30 pm; Sunday, 2:30 pm)

In this year’s Peach Pit, you’ll see the brief description of Mythrill (the band spells it with two ‘l’s): “A reincarnation of Mithrandir.” They don’t mean the wizard Gandalf, but rather a popular band that frequently played the Fair in years past. Among them, the three sisters Kathy Burleson, Jamie Smith and Kriss Crowley play saxophone, flute, mandolins, guitars and violins. They moved to Eugene from L.A. “sometime in the ’70s,” says Burleson, and it was only natural that they would get a band together. Burleson describes Mithrandir’s music as “island rock, a cross between Latin and soul.” They no longer call themselves Mithrandir because they’ve gotten some new members. For one, their former singer, popular restaurateur and leader in the local Latin community Jorge Navarro, is no longer with them. Now Kathy’s husband Barry Burleson is singing, and they have David Birch on bass and Evan Belize, “a hell of a drummer,” says Burleson, who is known as an excellent reggae drummer around the Northwest. The group officially disbanded in 1982, but the ladies performed acoustically along the Fair paths for many years since then. This is the first time, though, that they’ll be plugged in and playing electrically again, and they are pumped. “Mythrill means Elven silver after it’s gone through the intense heat and magic,” Burleson says. “We decided Mythrill is ‘the new silver,’ so here we are!” (Sunday, Monkey Palace, 6 pm)

The new album from Great American Taxi has cemented their position in roots rock circles, placing them in the same stratosphere as New Riders of the Purple Sage, Wilco and even the Grateful Dead. What began in 2005 when Leftover Salmon singer, guitarist and mandolin player Vince Herman joined keyboard player and singer Chad Staehly for an all-star benefit jam has turned into a crowd favorite. Join them for impromptu jams, crowd sing-alongs and a never-know-what-might-happen musical performance. (Friday, Main Stage, 5:30 pm)

All the way from a hilltop near Austin, Texas, to the woods of Oregon come The Gourds. Throughout their 10 studio albums they have torn through just about every type of music imaginable: funk, back-porch blues, New Orleans-horns, even a bluegrass version of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice.” Never underestimate how a handful of talented Texas misfits can liven up a party! (Sunday, Main Stage, 5:40 pm)

If you’ve heard Jerry Joseph, you know that he’s an incredibly talented songwriter who puts his heart into every note. While some of his songs have been covered by Widespread Panic and every one of his recordings has moments of true beauty, it’s live where Joseph really delivers. He’s been part of the jam-rock scene since before anyone knew what to call it, and his new album, Badlandia, harkens back stylistically to his early days in music. (Friday, Main Stage, 2:10 pm) 5