Putting the ‘Oy’ in Oysterville!

May 2, 2011 | 3 comments

Oysterville House Concert

     According to their website, the Kosher Red Hots “open the rich treasury of Jewish music—whirlwind Eastern European klezmer dance tunes, Yiddish musical theater, swing, cabaret, and Spanish flavored love songs of the Sephardim.”  After their House Concert here yesterday evening, I can only say, “All that and more!”
     This talented group of four musicians treated a rapt SRO audience to a delightful taste of  Jewish music, humor, and tradition.  We sang along in Yiddish, laughed at Jewish jokes, and sipped Manischewitz wine (provided by the Red Hots) at appropriate times during the L-Chaim song.              
     They sang and played in a variety of Jewish musical traditions – Klezmer, Yiddish, Ladino and Jazz – explaining the history of each type of music.  In the audience heads nodded in time with the music, feet tapped, hands clapped.  We were quite literally dancing in our seats.  Only the fact that there was not a bit of extra available space prevented us from getting to our feet and dancing in the aisles!
       And, along the way, the Red Hots shared some interesting information.   The morsel that stuck with me is that ‘oyster’ means ‘treasure’ in Yiddish – even though oysters are prohibited according to strict Jewish dietary food laws.  Definitely food for thought.
     Perhaps the most delightful part of having the Red Hots here was the re-connections that were made when many of the audience discovered that the group’s vocalist, Susan Windham. was none other than Ilwaco High School graduate Susan Bays.  At the intermission there were hugs of reunion between Susan and some of her former teachers and friends, and more than one “Go Fishermen!” salutes of sentimentality.
     Although the Red Hots came clear from Spokane for this gig, they hope to come again.  Furthermore, the group’s leader, Liz Dreisbavh, and I are trying to figure out how we can get another of her groups, The Sedentary Sousa Marching Band (based in Seattle), to Oysterville.
     This is a group of “30 or so,” spanning all ages, who play Sousa marches exclusively.  They play sitting in chairs, wearing unmatched second-hand high school band uniforms,   They even have a sedentary majorette who twirls the baton as she sits and takes the sedentary drill team (the audience) through their routines.  We think that they would be the perfect musical accompaniment on some occasion when The Honorary Oysterville Militia gathers to fire Oysterville’s cannon!
     In the meantime… while we’re working on the logistics, the Sedentary Sousa Marching Band will be appearing in Seattle at the Folklife Festival on Sunday, May 29th  at 12:45


  1. Nancy

    Loved reading about the concert. Wish we had been there. We do have a new plan for attendance: Sonoma County Airport to Portland, rental car to O’Ville. Is Susan Bays related to Randall? Know that the Stevens’s musical offerings have motivated the soon to happen concert in our home!

  2. Pat Krager

    What a wonderful afternoon of exceptional music-!!

  3. Stephanie Frieze

    Sorry we missed the concert, but really enjoyed reading about. Glad everyone had a great time. Sedentary Marching Band, what a concept!


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