IN THE PENINSULA SPOTLIGHT: Peninsula bands hit stage for Beat the Blues Barn Dances

IN THE PENINSULA SPOTLIGHT: Peninsula bands hit stage for Beat the Blues Barn Dances

SEQUIM — The New Forge man doesn’t hold back.

“We love it all, and we play it all,” says Matt Sircely, who’ll bring his band to the Beat the Blues Barn Dance “adult” segment Saturday night.

New Forge, well-known in Port Townsend and Seattle, is coming west for this event to benefit Five Acre School, a small, private program in Dungeness.

Make that two events: Tonight is the family dance, with the Black Diamond Fiddle Club dishing out tunes, plus Zumba dancing for all ages and dinner by Caitlyn’s Cafe, Five Acre’s own little eatery.

Then Saturday night, the revelry resumes, this time for the 16-and-older crowd; both New Forge and Abby Mae & the Homeschool Boys, the Port Angeles-based folk band, are on the bill.

Both dances will get going at 5 p.m. at the Big Barn Farm, 702 Kitchen-Dick Road just west of Sequim. Admission tonight is $5 per person; children 3 and younger get in free. Saturday, admission is $15, while dancers may want to bring some more cash for the suppers served by the Old Mill Cafe and Mystery Bay Seafood, pizza from Van Goes and local beer and wine from Fathom & League Hopyard Brewery in Carlsborg, Port Townsend Brewing Co. and Olympic Cellars.

For more information about the two events, phone Five Acre at 360-681-7255 or see

This evening’s dance is all about families kicking up their heels together, said organizer Lynette Brown. She added that Jane Dominguez, who teaches Zumba at Five Acre and the Aspire Academy just outside Sequim, knows how to get everybody together on the dance floor.

On Saturday night, Abby Mae & the Homeschool Boys will go on first, in one of the group’s last performances before it disbands this summer.

Guitarist and banjo man David Rivers predicted renditions of songs from “Wade in the Water,” Abby Mae’s CD for sale at the dance, as well as from the forthcoming album to be produced with funds raised on And since this is a hoedown, Rivers forecast playing of the band’s dance anthem “Shake That Thing.”

New Forge will come on next, and “we’ll be starting with some sweet music mostly catered to partner dancing. As the evening develops, we’ll tear into things like funk and reggae and fire up some barreling bluegrass,” promised Sircely, the band’s tenor guitarist and mandolinist.

“New Forge was founded at Finn River Farm in Chimacum, and we’re playing barn dances across the state this year. It’s our ideal element,” he added. “It’s a great feeling to witness a great community in celebration while keeping the dance floor rocking into the night.”

Sircely predicted too that later in the evening, his four-piece outfit will invite Abby Mae & the Homeschool Boys back up on stage.

Tonight and Saturday night’s dances will feature further fundraising for Five Acre: silent auctions of “homespun items” and drawings for prizes, added Brown. Proceeds will go into the school’s funds for equipment and scholarships.

“Put on your dancing shoes,” Rivers said. “You’re helping education, you’re helping children, these are local bands … it’s a huge barn and a great celebration.”

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