Category Archives: music
Ninilchik’s annual musical tribute to salmon starts on Friday the 5th and runs through the weekend. One of Alaska’s largest music festivals, Salmonfest is even worth the battle with the tourists down on The Kenai.
It’s Chickenstock weekend!
Chickenstock, the uniquely Alaskan music festival, is being held this weekend in Chicken, Alaska.
Chicken, which is just a leisurely drive up the Taylor Highway, was founded in 1902 by a group of miners. Legend has it that the miners wanted to call the new community Ptarmigan, after the local bird population, but couldn’t agree on a spelling, so they settled on Chicken.
As of 2020, the population of Chicken was 12, which is up from the 2010 census of 7. That’s close to a 42% increase! The Forty Mile District is booming!
2022 is the 16th Chickenstock, with a break in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Get your cluck on!
Chickenstock, the music festival at “the top of the world”, has returned after a year off due to the pandemic. The music begins on Friday and will continue through Saturday, but this is Chicken, and one never really knows when the festivities will end. The festival is hosted by the Chicken Gold Camp. Chickenstock is a very Alaskan event, not to be confused with Salmonfest. Local breweries and food trucks will be on hand, but it is best to be prepared for a self-sufficient, off-the-grid weekend.
Chicken, Alaska was founded by goldminers in the late 1800’s. In 1902, the community built a post office, but they needed a name for the town. With so many ptarmigan around, the miners wanted to call it Ptarmigan, but they could not agree on how to spell the word, so the miners settled on Chicken.
Located on the Taylor Highway, Chicken is completely off-grid. There is no cell service, electricity, running water, ATM’s or wifi for 100 miles. Chickenstock is a BYOW event: as in, Bring Your Own Water. You will be able to buy beer. Remember to pack it in and pack it out.
The music is always very good, and there are all sorts of activities planned for the weekend including the annual “Chicken-Legs-Morning-After-5K-Run”, which takes place Saturday morning.
Ithaca, New York
Ithaca’s State Theater
I had one final side excursion before climbing aboard Amtrak for the rail trip to Saint Paul. The Curator and I joined Doug & Cindy in Ithaca for a Kris Kristofferson concert.
Ithaca, which sits alongside Cayuga Lake, is the home of Cornell University. The State Theater is next to the Ithaca Commons. The theater building was built in 1915, as the Ithaca Security Company auto garage and dealership.
The building was bought, with the idea of renovating it into a theater. The State Theater opened with a vaudeville act on December 6, 1928. At its peak, Ithaca had seventeen grand theaters downtown. Today, the State Theater is the last remaining cinema and vaudeville palace in Ithaca. The theater is a beautiful venue for a concert. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.
Kristofferson is one of the most prolific song writers out there today. I must admit, I never expected to see him play live. He was backed by Merle Haggard’s old band The Strangers, which included two of Merle’s sons: Ben & Noel. The 1600 seat theater was the perfect setting for the laid back and intimate concert put on by the 82 year old Kristofferson.
It was a good show. Kristofferson was in fine form, and after a bit of a tentative start, he relaxed with an audience that obviously adored the man. It didn’t take long for him to mix some things up and joke with the audience, although he was pure business, hitting song after song, for a 29 song set. Kristofferson is a masterful storyteller, and every song is a compelling tale on life.
The Strangers were a great addition. I thought Ben Haggard on guitar and vocals was an incredible artist. He’s be worth seeing in his own right. A good concert, and an unexpected surprise to the trip.
To celebrate International Jazz Day, here is the incomparable Aretha Franklin from the 2016 IJD event at the White House.