MOSSYROCK — The sparkling Mayfield Lake, temperatures in the mid-80s, fine local wine, a scrumptious St. Louis-style pork rib barbecue and jazz from Seattle and Portland jelled together Saturday, making the annual Mayfield Lake Jazz and Wine Festival one cool happening.
Headliner Michael Powers brought his intense guitar-riff driven one-man show for the second-straight year, and the audience was in rapture. Closing out the night was the sultry Shelly Rudolph, who played two encore songs with her trio before a pleading crowd that didn’t want the evening to end as the sun set.
“It’s beautiful, what a great setting. It’s gorgeous,” Powers said between sets, adding that this is just the beginning for the venue. “It’ll build.”
The downside of the jazz and wine fest was attendance, estimated at about 100. It made it easy for concert-goers to amble up and find seats right up front and the lack of lines for the food and drink made for a leisurely afternoon, but organizers are hoping that in the future the Harmony Lakeside RV resort that hosts the fest will be full with hundreds and perhaps thousands of jazz and wine aficionados.
Paul Stewart, director of the East Lewis County Chamber of Commerce and the man responsible for the fest, said he hopes the event in the future blossoms into a summer series of concerts. He said the wooded hillside sitting above Mayfield Lake is a showpiece for the entire East End.
“This is part of our economic development to make Mayfield Lake a destination, a major tourist attraction for the county and to expose those outside our community,” Stewart said. “We’re hoping to let them know what Lewis County has to offer — its beautiful outdoors. A lot of people I talk to once they get here they say ‘wow, I didn’t know it was so beautiful.”
Norm Lindquist of Renton was one of those that came to Mayfield Lake for the first time to take in the concert. He found out about the concert while surfing the Web. He was impressed with the intimate setting, and said as he dished up a plate of ribs and beans that it was the smooth move to come for the weekend, with the great weather as a bonus above being able to escape with his wife from their kids for a few days. They camped out the night before in the park.
Andrea Keary was pouring wine from her esteemed selection of bottles (including her Valley de Bon Blanco, a Gewurztraminer that was judged as the best white wine earlier this year at the Capital Food and Wine Festival in Olympia) from her and her husband’s Scatter Creek Winery in Tenino. She was pouring tastings with a smile as the jazz from Powers played as a backdrop.
“We love coming up here, it’s one of those places kind of tucked away. The music is fantastic, the food unbelievable,” she said. “This helps breath life into our local communities.”
Liz Marou, the deli manager at Morton Country Market, was turning over the ribs at her grill set up on the bank overlooking the lake.
“I love it here right now,” she said. “This is the most beautiful place I have ever cooked at. You know, I’ve lived here all my life, born and raised here, and I never knew this spot was here. This is the best catering job I’ve ever had.”
Michael Wagar: (360) 807-8224