The Monthly Grind was another first for me, but this time I had a better idea of what to expect. I was greeted by a sense of communal togetherness along with a wall of warmth when I walked into the Saxman Tribal House, plus the audience’s chattering anticipation of the music to come. Those who braved the storm came in great numbers, leaving no empty seat. Desserts brought in by attendees lined the walls, presented on tables for everyone to enjoy throughout the show. And boy, was it a show.
The night began with the PeaceHealth Child Development Center showing off some great talent. There were a handful of solos and a lone trio that were very nicely done, the latter having worked on their song all summer long. The children contributed throughout the night, a recipe or a list for Santa separating each act throughout the night. There were some absolutely hilarious ones; two separate kids said their favorite food was top ramen and another believed cheese was $50 dollars. After the children finished their charming performances, the Kayhi Jazz Choir took to the stage with incredible performances. Some songs were a cappella while others had a piano accompany them. When they sang ‘Under the Boardwalk’, I was especially delighted since the song has always reminded me of my time in California and visiting Santa Cruz.
After the Kayhi Jazz Choir finished, there was a short skit by recycling advocates from Island Recycles about bringing your own mug to The Monthly Grind and getting tickets for a free shirt and mug so you too can advocate for recycling. The music started back up with Vikes, a duet that was the product of six months of jamming. The acoustical music they played worked well with the warmth of the tribal house. Following Vikes was the intermission, letting guests share coffee and desserts without worrying about missing any performances. It was during this time that the winners of the dessert competition were announced. In third place was Janice with her strawberry muffins, and in second was Bonnie with pumpkin truffles. In first place was Annie with peanut butter no-bake cookies. The winners were given a gift certificate to Soho Coho for their efforts.
Once intermission was over, and listening to a few more letters to Santa, Stacked Upside Down came on stage to play the classics. One song in particular, ‘Country Roads’ by John Denver, was a big crowd pleaser. The last performance of the night was by Sublime Leather Green Beans, playing songs that I recognized from the movie ‘O Brother Where Art Thou’. Their renditions were absolutely amazing, transitioning from one song to the next without skipping a beat. It made for the perfect ending to a very fun night.
I learned on the way home with a friend that The Monthly Grind is something that is meant for Ketchikan locals and doesn’t run in the summer, so this makes for another very well-kept secret on the island. The next Monthly Grind is on December 21st with doors opening at 6pm at the Saxman Tribal House. See you there!
- K-Town's Roving Arts Observer