Seattle Acoustic Festival Spotlight #6

Tekla Waterfield

Tekla was born for music. Her father was an opera singer in college, her mom a master of the strings (cell, guitar, violin) and sang. Growing up, she and her sister were always out at parties and shows to see their mother’s various bands – which quickly taught them how to harmonize. As an avid writer and lover of music, songwriting was a natural transition as she became more involved with music.

Influenced by the likes of Gillian Welch, Wilco, Phosphorescent, Courtney Barnett, The Velvet Underground, and the live music scene, she delivers an uncanny blend of indie, Americana, folk, and soul. As her songwriting has evolved, her lyrical content has expanded beyond relationships and emotions, encompassing the greater human experience.

After she wows you at today’s Seattle Acoustic Festival performance – 8:30pm on the Sanctuary stage – be sure to mark your calendar for October 11th where she’ll be playing the Tractor Tavern to celebrate the vinyl release of her new album “The Curtain Falls”.

Where you can enjoy her music:

Website | BandcampSpotify | YouTube

Stay up-to-date with Tekla Waterfield:

Facebook | Twitter |  Instagram

An Open Letter to Maria Cantwell: Vote Yes on the Music Modernization Act

Dear Senator Cantwell,

As a songwriter and musician, I implore you to back the Music Modernization Act. We are currently being paid off copyright precedents set back in 1908.

Album purchases are at an all-time low (as I’m sure you’re well aware of) and streaming companies have taken over the industry. While great for the consumer, compensation for streams are minuscule compared to the sale for a single/album.

Here’s some real-word context:

If a song has 100 million streams, it creates around $3.5 million on the mastered copy for record labels and artists — but only 4% of that goes to the publishing. So in that case, it’s creating around $140k in mechanical royalties for songwriters. And that’s often split four ways, which leaves about $35,000 per person. There are currently 12 songs that have a billion streams. That creates about $35 million on the master side, and only 4% of that goes to the writers (source: Forbes).

To make matter more dire, streaming companies are currently operating under a model where they are not paying mechanical licensing royalties – meaning songwriters are not being paid for their work. Believe it or not, music copyrights are more heavily regulated than all other major industries – including Tobacco. We – as songwriters – have no bargaining power. In fact, we are LEGALLY UNABLE to negotiate on our own behalf.

Some stances have been raised a counter saying this is an attack on the consumer. This is false. The consumer won’t be picking up the bill here. On a per sale / stream basis, we’re talking a matter of cents.

Now, the Music Modernization Act has the ability to remedy some of the challenges we’re facing, and was passed 415-0 in the House of Representatives.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and pray you do the right thing.


Duncan Byargeon

Seattle Acoustic Festival Spotlight #5

Warren Dunes feat. Julia Massey

Ever since college, Julia Massey has been honing her songwriting craft. Inspired by the records of Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones (Thriller), and Joni Mitchell (Blue), her songwriting explores the current political/environmental landscape to the mysteries of nature and the cosmos.

Formed in May 2017, Warren Dunes featuring Julia Massey combines the songwriting prowess of Julia and her partner / songwriting collaborator Jared to deliver heartfelt, Calypso-inspired songs about how to be human. What excites them about the Seattle Acoustic Festival is the rarity of a festival setting that features acoustic music and “the intimacy that these kinds of sets offer on a larger scale”.

Their new single “What Did You Find Out” is coming soon, so keep your ears to the ground. You just may be able to catch a sneak peak during their set Friday, August 24th at 8:30pm on the Sanctuary Stage. We’ll see you there.

Where you can enjoy their music:

Website | SoundCloud | YouTube

Stay up-to-date with the band:

Twitter |  Instagram

Seattle Acoustic Festival Spotlight #4

Sunflower Sutra

This band has quite the story of perseverance. Originally formed in 2002, visa issues caused one member to leave the country. 12 years went by before they got him back (2016), but they’ve been playing ever since.

Their eclectic sound is derived primarily from 60s and 70s rock and roll, often with a dash of jazz, R&B, and/or classic country. From Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, to Grateful Dead and Steely Dan – if you’re musical interests lie in this spectrum, they’ve got something for you!

At the SAF, you’ll get the privilege of newly arranged songs to translate the band’s electric (rock) tracks into an acoustic setting. Their live set will be unlike any other – as Sunflower Sutra is a very visual band. With live dancers and painters, they bring a festival-like atmosphere regardless of the set-type or venue.

You certainly won’t want to miss them – Saturday August 25th, they’re closing out the Sanctuary stage at 10:30pm sharp.

Where you can enjoy their music:

Website | Bandcamp | YouTube

Stay up-to-date with Sunflower Sutra:

Facebook | Twitter |  Instagram

Seattle Acoustic Festival Spotlight #3

Kristin Chambers

Returning to the Seattle Acoustic Festival, this songwriter has an uncanny ability to blend folk, blues, and pop. After cutting her chops in the New York theatre scene, she returned to Seattle after the events of 9/11 to deliberate and recover. Since then, she has released 4 recorded works – painting vivid pictures for her listeners and continuously inspiring hope.

Her new EP “Unravel Me” is set to be released September 14th, featuring a slight departure from her folk/roots sensibilities and leaning more heavily into pop and R&B. The album release party will be the following night at the Fremont Abbey with Tekla Waterfield and Lenore. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait that long to see her!

You can witness the magic that is Kristin Chambers Saturday, August 25th at 4:30pm on the Sanctuary stage – which she’s referred to as “a really spiritual experience”.

Where you can enjoy her music:

Kristin’s WebsiteSpotify | iTunesYouTube

Stay up-to-date with Kristin: