Wil Russoul talks Grays Harbor talent ahead of Sunday night performance

On a likely rainy night in Shelton, music fans can sit down, have a couple drinks, eat some food and listen to a few of the talented artists Grays Harbor County has to offer.

The Grays Harbor Artist Appreciation event is scheduled for Sunday at 6 p.m. at Wilde Irish Pub — 423 W. Railroad Ave. The show is for people at least 21 years and older.

Wil Russoul of Aberdeen, Angel Phoenix Damasiewicz of Aberdeen, Mike Kachman of Westport and Karl Penn of Lake Quinault are scheduled to play select songs from their catalogues.

Daniel Walker, a guitarist who has also played at the 22,500-seat Tacoma Dome, is putting together this showcase, according to Russoul, who is also the executive director of Downtown Aberdeen Association. While Walker has put other showcases together, Sunday’s event is unique.

“In this particular case, Daniel is putting a showcase together where we can celebrate the things we love about our songwriting and our art, which features Grays Harbor,” Russoul said. “He brings in a photographer so we all end up with professional photography. He records the events if anyone wants to replay it later. … The other thing is a lot of times there are other artists there, other venue owners, other people in the ‘biz’ and you get to meet different people that might help you further your own mission for what you’d like to do with your music.”

Amanda Ransom, a Grays Harbor singer and songwriter who has performed at Aberdeen’s Summerfest, Winterfest and other festivals along the Harbor, has also been featured there. She met a radio host, who ended up featuring her music.

“What I really like about this particular thing is you’ve got Daniel Walker, who runs something called DNA Entertainment, treating us like professional, respectable artists where he’s done all the promotion, he’s made incredible flyers to send out, it’s a well-attended event,” Russoul said. “The Wilde Irish Pub people have been very good to us. Great food, great drinks, lots of laughing, and really there’s never an empty seat in the house. And on a Sunday night, especially going that late, it really kind of gives you a little idea about how much that area’s wanting and respecting some local music, even if we’re out of town just to share our art with them.”

According to Russoul, Penn plays “uplifting and encouraging music,” with some in the “Christian arena.”

Angel Phoenix will play with supporting guitarist Christian Svinth. Phoenix will sing songs she’s released on one of her albums, Russoul said.

“She also does very uplifting, encouraging music,” Russoul said. “She has a background of singing in churches.”

It sounds like Kachman’s inclusion in the set list is a highlight.

“He is probably one of my favorite songwriters on the Harbor,” Russoul said. “He writes about the sea. He lives out in the Westport area and he’s written such beautiful songs about the ocean and his love for that.”

Kachman’s inclusion is a rare one as he’s a first responder who works outside of the area, according to Russoul.

“He’s always commuting, so it’s difficult to find time for him to sing,” Russoul said.

Russoul will also be playing his guitar and singing. His songs are about Aberdeen.

While Russoul will also play, he’s convinced the other performers’ sets are enough to make it a good night.

“I think those three artists, even without me being present, is quite the treat for anyone to hear what they’ve been writing about,” Russoul said.

Contact Reporter Matthew N. Wells at matthew.wells@thedailyworld.com.

Mike Kachman