Friday, August 12, 2022

Bringing back the beat: Live music back on in Bigfork

by Rebekah King
| June 23, 2021 2:40 AM

On the morning of April 26, as I was sipping coffee and going through the events of the

weekend, something felt different.

The local roadside cleanup, Clean Your Fork, had been a success.

The inaugural Kids Bike Swap had gone off without a hitch.

And Taste of Bigfork sold out for yet another year running. It had been the very definition of community, cuisine and celebration.

As I sat in the silence of the early morning, I mentally broke down each component of the event on a personal quest to discover what exactly had made it feel so different.

The answer?



Rebekah King

After a year of lockdowns and uncertainty, social isolation and anxiety, walking from venue to

venue and hearing live music pour out into the streets was a reason in itself to celebrate. Live

music is a powerful force that is experienced in a deeply personal way. Yet somehow, it also

magically creates a sense of belonging and community, uniting us all.

It was this feeling that flooded out of the yard at Lake Baked last Friday during the release of

Mike Murray’s fifth album.

The energy was palpable. The yard was brimming with tourists and locals, young and old, kids

and dogs, and there was little question that for those few hours we were all connected.

The music scene this year in Bigfork is exploding! There are blues in the Sculpture Garden on

Tuesday. The Keyboard Kismet, Bigfork’s public piano, is back out in front of the Bigfork Art and Cultural Center available for all to play and enjoy.

If you head over to, you will find a live performance almost every day.

There are, of course, still the traditional favorites — the regular line-up of live music at The Raven and bands at the Garden Bar each weekend. There are also newer venues. Max’s Market will be hosting intimate, family-friendly performances throughout the summer, and be on the lookout for the parking lot parties at Kelly’s Casino.

That being said, it may be the Sunday music lineup that is taking center stage. Lake Baked is

hosting “Sunday Morning Music” from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and there is “Sunday Funday” at The Raven.

The volunteer-led Riverbend Concert Series kicks off its 39th season on June 27 with local favorite John Dunnigan, while ”Sundays on the River” returns to The Nest on Swan River on

July 11.

As I said, music in Bigfork is exploding. Last week I was able to see three of my favorite local

musicians, plus one new one. And, in this post-COVID world where to-do lists are longer and

time shorter, I had to convince myself to go. As I listened to Mike Murray play “Bury Me In

Montana,” I felt a deep personal connection to the song.

Then I looked around and realized that so did everyone else in attendance, and that is what connected us. Our local music scene is a way for us to cement our bond with each other and the community, it is a way for new residents to build their own, and it offers visitors a glimpse of what makes our Bigfork so special.

As Billy Joel said, “...Music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what...everyone loves music.”

So get out there and support live, local music.