Blackwater Railroad Company and Silas Jones (front left) play at the 30th annual Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament on Saturday, March 23, 2024 at the Deep Water Dock on the Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Delcenia Cosman/Homer News)

Blackwater Railroad Company and Silas Jones (front left) play at the 30th annual Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament on Saturday, March 23, 2024 at the Deep Water Dock on the Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Delcenia Cosman/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Good gathering, good vibes

It’s been a while since I’ve attended a good-old-fashioned social event — albeit this one was technically still for work.

Being part of the Homer News team has its various perks, one of them being that it gives me an excuse to get out and about and engage more with the community. As much as I enjoy relaxing in the peace and quiet of my home, sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that everyone needs other people.

The event area at the Deep Water Dock on Saturday, March 23, wasn’t too crowded, what with boats still coming in at the close of the fishing portion of the Winter King Salmon Tournament. The chill rain that started up late that afternoon also drove most folks under the tents set up for the day, so a relative few were still milling around in the open.

Despite the weather, the atmosphere was cheerful and energetic — an effect in no small part thanks to the local band that was playing on the main stage.

I’ve heard the name “Blackwater Railroad Company” around a few times, but I’ve never quite managed to listen to their music before. (If the band members are reading this, I offer apologies for my tardiness.)

I love discovering new music and adding an eclectic mix of genres and artists to my library, but I also have a habit of sticking to certain artists or curated playlists for long periods of time. It simply depends on what my brain is in the mood for, or on what kind of mood it’s in.

Luckily for me, being the one to cover the tournament was the boot I needed to pay better attention to some of our more local melodic offerings.

The music was good — to say quite literally the very least. It’s easier to just tell you to go look up the band and hear for yourself.

The small but dense group packed under the stage tent all danced together, and the band members themselves moved with their own music.

I got a kick out of watching the keyboardist in particular. He looked like he was having an absolutely fantastic time. It’s always so neat to see people derive such joy from music — especially if it’s their own.

Eventually the band took a break so the tournament organizers could use the stage for handing out the awards, and I got back to work. The excitement was almost as palpable in the air as the rain as the anglers pressed in closer to the stage to hear who won.

As I ducked around or underneath other photographers and dodged icy fish buckets to grab as many decent photos as I could, I made a mental note to look up Blackwater Railroad Company on Spotify later, and to figure out which vinyl to add to my Christmas wish list.

Seriously, go look them up. They’re pretty neat.

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