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Unplugged. And Rehearsed!

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Pederson, Packard and Newbill at DiLuna's

Di Luna’s, in downtown Sandpoint, will once again be the venue for one of Beth Pederson’s acoustic productions. This time Beth will share the stage with local popular players Charley Packard and Tom Newbill. Denise Bartlett will provide percussion.
    Last week I sat in on a rehearsal with Beth, Charley and Tom. The creative energy in the room was peaking in the stratosphere. When I mentioned it they said about all they felt were their bad backs. Maybe the bodies have aged a little but the creativity is still growing.
    I asked how many times they had played together. All three started talking at the same time about concerts, benefits, and other performances over the last 30 years. Their deep and old friendship was showing in the fun of remembering. Then Beth said “but this is the first time we’ve ever rehearsed.” We laughed, but their talent and love for music and performing filled the room with excitement.
    Beth Pederson has been a popular performer in the area for many years. She and Cinde Borup were the Wild Rose’s, they played all over the country. Wildly popular in Sandpoint ever since they arrived in the 70's, Beth and Cinde raised the level of the talent pool. After Cinde’s death Beth has continued to dazzle Sandpoint audiences with her clear, sweet voice and excellent guitar picking.
    Charley Packard plays guitar, piano and harmonica and sings, but is most noted as a versatile and talented songwriter. His more than 300 compositions might be best described as folk country with spiritual seasonings. His recent performance in the Big Boy Ballet brought a packed Panida to its feet with his original words "Where Has Bertollini Gone" to the tune of the old hit, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone."
    Twenty-four years ago, after a stint with Epic Records in Hollywood, Packard opted for the lifestyle offered in North Idaho, and has since become a favorite entertainer in the Northwest.
    Charley has opened for Willie Nelson, John Prine, Arlo Guthrie, Jerry Jeff Walker and many others and will open for “Asleep at the Wheel” on the opening night of this year’s Festival at Sandpoint.
    Tom Newbill, local favorite guitarist and singer, will be joining Charley this weekend. Folk and blues influenced, Newbill might be remembered as a member of "Cousin Jess," "Hambone," and "Dogs With No Fur." He has opened for Willie Nelson, Rori Block, Jerry Jeff Walker and Taj Mahal.
    When Tom was asked if he had any recordings he said, "I played with Dennis Coats on a record several year ago. A while back I found a copy of the record in a yard sale and bought it for a quarter."
    Charley and Tom met while in California. They have played together on numerous occasions since. Recently, while playing a gig in Montana, an old friend came up the stage and said, "You guys got 'mellow' down pretty good."
    I asked Charley if Beth and Cinde had influenced his move up north. “Absolutely” came the answer. He had gone to hear them on the advice of a friend during one of the Wild Roses' trips to California. He loved their show and they became close friends right away. When he started thinking about leaving the big city scene another friend, Dennis Coats, who had played Expo 74, told him about Idaho. Since he also knew Beth and Cinde he decided to give it a try.
    Beth said, “A lot of musicians moved here in the 70’s including Charley and Tom.” Coats had also relocated here by then, so the talent pool in Sandpoint was getting deeper.
    Di Luna’s is a perfect venue to highlight this group of friend’s poetic songs and laid-back style.
    Dinner is served at 6 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30. Music begins after the dinner, about eight. It is a relaxed setting with drinks and desserts served during the breaks. Seating priority is given those who take in dinner as well as the show.
    Beth will open with a set with a little help from her friends. The second set will be all three with the addition of Denise Bartlett on percussion.
    Reservations may be made by calling Di Luna’s at 263-0846.

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Author info

Ernie Hawks Ernie Hawks is a former theater director who has branched into the creative fields of writing and photography. He lives in a cabin in Athol with his lovely wife Linda, and feeds the birds in his spare time.

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