Marina near Eureka Bringing Great Gigs to Northwest Montana

What a backdrop. It is on the shores of Lake Koocanusa. You have the lake, you have the mountains and you have cool boats in the marina. On top of that, they’re attracting big names to this small Montana town near Eureka.

Elle King, Blues Traveler, Queensryche and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band are just a few of the names of the bands soon to play at Abayance Bay Marina in Rexford, a short drive from Eureka, Montana. Pictured above is Montana’s Tim Montana during his July 2 show in Abayance Bay.

Elle King has released some great new music. For those who remember my interview with actor and comedian Rob Schneider when he was in Montana last February, Elle King is also his daughter.

I was there earlier this week for the Montana Electric Cooperatives Association Board Meeting BBQ and it’s an amazing place. There I met Larry Stewart who really transformed the old marina into what it is today. He literally built the whole site locally, moved 500,000 yards of dirt, had to fight federal agencies to make it happen, and more.

Larry Stewart: I took it all on the spot, all the rock. The stage is built from the power poles of the subdivision at the top. Lots of talented people, lots of help, great team, hard working guys. But the real singularity that I think of all this is that everything is created locally. Everything was designed on site. And yes, sweat and blood. It really is that simple.

Aaron Flint: How do you turn a sleepy little community like this into a centerpiece for great music and gigs?

Larry Stewart“Well, they say build and they will come but that’s not really true. You spend a lot of money, do a lot of publicity, expect people like you to show up and give you time on the radio. And then the main thing I think the real trick is to bring names that people are going to come to. I started with Jewel four years ago. It was a name that drew a crowd. I probably didn’t didn’t make any money, but it got people to come and see the place. I think people think Eureka- they come to a cow pasture with a trailer in the corner for a band. Then they show up and they say, ‘Whoa, that’s something.’ We have tried to create an environment that is worth visiting. Come. Have a great meal, a bottle of wine on the lawn and enjoy a show in this setting. It’s probably hard to imagine anywhere in the north -west.

Larry’s full interview will air Monday on the Montana Talks state radio show between 9 and 10 a.m.

Credit Aaron Flint

Credit Aaron Flint

Credit Aaron Flint

Credit Aaron Flint

State Senator Mike Cuffe (R-Eureka) took me out to Lake Koocanusa and showed me the Canada-US border, a short boat ride from the marina. Here is a view looking north from the marina towards Canada.

Credit Aaron Flint

Credit Aaron Flint

The folks at the Montana Electric Cooperatives Association enjoyed live music during the barbecue after their mid-year board meeting.

Credit Aaron Flint

Credit Aaron Flint

Credit Aaron Flint

Credit Aaron Flint

Credit Erik Maldonado, Bee Broadcasting

Credit Erik Maldonado, Bee Broadcasting

Check out the best-selling album from the year you graduated from high school

Do you remember the best album from the year you graduated from high school? Stacker analyzed Billboard data to determine just that, by looking at each year’s best-selling album since 1956. Sales data is not included until 1992, when Nielsen’s SoundScan began collecting computerized numbers.

In chronological order from 1956 to 2020, we present to you the best-selling album from the year you graduated from high school.

About Patricia Kilgore

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