Words, Photos & Video: Dixie Highway live at the Franciscan Polar Plaza ice rink

By Ron Swarner on December 21, 2014

Dixie Highway. Remember those words. You may already know them, but in a year you'll know them better. At the bluegrass family picnic, Dixie Highway is the loud and brash kid brother, the noisy upstart from down south who would just as soon stand on your sandwich and scream into your face as slink quietly back from whence he came - deep in the woods, behind the still.

Last night was no picnic. As 20 police cars chased bad guys past the Franciscan Polar Plaza ice-skating rink on Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma, Dixie Highway ripped through songs from The Barleywine Revue's repertoire and Forest Beutel's new CD, If You Label Me, You Negate Me. There were several times during Dixie Highway's two riveting sets at the rink when you had to remind yourself that this was only half and not a full-throttle Barleywine Revue. As a duo, Forest Beutel on banjo and Julie Campbell on fiddle - half of the Revue - craft some of the finest bluegrass around. Unfortunately, Forest and Julie don't book many gigs around the Sound, so here's hoping this duo gets the exposure they deserve.

Dixie Highway performed "Good Ol' Boy" off Forest Beutel's CD, which I sort of captured on video.

The word on the street is this year's Polar Plaza numbers will beat previously year's totals. Last night, the rink was packed with young and old - and a whole bunch in the middle as the photos below show.

The Franciscan Polar Plaza ice rink at Tollefson Plaza is open to public ice-skating sessions across the street from the Tacoma Art Museum daily through Jan. 11.

The Weekly Volcano presents Rhythm & Ice: Down Home Holiday Hoedown every Saturday night from 7-9 p.m. at Polar Plaza. Saturday, Dec. 27, banjo musician Forest Beutel tells his other bands - The Rusty Cleavers, The Barleywine Revue and new favorite band Dixie Highway - to take a flying leap as he's performing solo at the ice rink. Ice skate in front of Beutel and show him your new clothes you scored for Christmas. In the meantime, enjoy a few photos and a video (above) from Dixie Highway live at Polar Plaza Dec. 20.


Words, photos and video from The Rusty Cleavers' live performance at Polar Plaza

Words, photos and video from Shotgun Kitchen's live performance at Polar Plaza

Words, photos and video from SweetKiss Momma's live performance at Polar Plaza

Words, photos and a video from The Cottonwood Cutups' live performance at the Polar Plaza ice rink

The backstory and band schedule for the Weekly Volcano's Rhythm & Ice music series at the Franciscan Polar Plaza ice rink