Performers, neighbors enjoy Kingfield PorchFest

The Potluck String Band
Karin Torrey and Jimbo Miller of the Potluck String Band. Photo by Nate Gotlieb

The Potluck String Band spent Father’s Day weekend playing the 4,000-person Blue Ox Music Festival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

The following week, the band played at a slightly smaller venue: Kingfield PorchFest.

The group played for three-and-a-half hours June 20 in band member Chris Beyers’ Grand Avenue driveway. Dozens of people stopped by at points during the event, which started just after an afternoon rain shower.

“It was awesome,” bassist and manager Jimbo Miller said. “We thought PorchFest was great.”

Potluck String Band was among the 80-plus acts that performed on one of 37 porches, sidewalks or driveways during the fifth-annual event hosted by the Kingfield Neighborhood Association. Neighbors walked from site to site to listen to the various acts.

Bayport Library Troubadours (or BLTs)
Members of the Bayport Library Troubadours (or BLTs). Photo by Nate Gotlieb

Homeowner Mark Hinds, who hosted two bands on his Blaisdell Avenue porch, said the event “speaks to what neighborhoods and communities can do.”

“It’s a great way for people to support folks being artistic and creative,” he said.

Edie Rae Baumgart spent part of the night playing alongside Chad Mittag on her Pleasant Avenue porch. Baumgart, who fronts the band Edie Rae and the Blaze Kings, said PorchFest is a great way to get the neighborhood together.

Edie and Chad
Edie Rae Baumgart and Chad Mittag play on Baumgart’s porch. Photo by Nate Gotlieb

“I like the grassroots of it,” she said.

Miller said the Potluck String Band heard about the event because of Beyers, who plays the washboard. He said the group was happy to draw a pretty good crowd and keep people there for periods of time.

“What a neat concept PorchFest is,” he said.

Life Without Bud
The band Life Without Bud plays “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson. Photo by Nate Gotlieb