They went by the name Humphrey, Hartman & Cameron for years. But it wasn’t quite right.
“It sounded like a law firm,” not a band, said Janet Humphrey, who sings and plays guitar in the group.
So a short time ago, the acoustic trio debuted a new moniker — Trillium-239.
And it’s a good fit.
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Tumbleweed is an important festival in the music community, because acoustic festivals are few and far between. It’s very cool that we have something like this here.
Janet Humphrey, Trillium-239.
Trillium is wildflower with three petals. The word also sounds like “Tritium,” a radioactive isotope, in a nod to the Tri-City area’s nuclear heritage.
Armed with the new name — and also a catalog of beloved songs — Trillium-239 will perform during the Tumbleweed Music Festival in Richland over Labor Day weekend.
The festival runs Sept. 2-4 at Howard Amon Park, put on by the Three Rivers Folklife Society.
“Tumbleweed is an important festival in the music community, because acoustic festivals are few and far between,” Humphrey said. “It’s very cool that we have something like this here.”
Trillium-239 will co-headline the Sept. 3 evening concert.
The trio has a long history with the acoustic music festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
Humphrey was the festival’s first chairperson, and bandmate Mary Hartman also has held the post.
They performed as a duo for years, with Michelle Cameron eventually coming on board.
Cameron plays cello. Hartman sings and plays guitar and banjo.
The group is known for its tight harmonies, and for a mix of deep and lighthearted original tunes.
Take the lovely Peace, Comfort and Courage, about finding hope in a world of “front-page violence, hateful news” where “mother mercy seems bound to lose,” and the laugh-out-loud Cleavage, about, well, “not the frontal kind.”
For Humphrey, creating music is rewarding and special. She likes the challenge of crafting and executing complicated harmonies.
What chefs do with raw ingredients, what artists do with color and paint — musicians do that with sound, she said.
The trio’s live shows are a good time — a mix of original tunes and covers, Humphrey said.
“We do some interactive songs, some sing-along songs,” she said. “I love to play. It’s inspiring. It’s fun.”
Trillium-239’s Tumbleweed show is at 7 p.m. Sept. 3. Michael “Hawkeye” Herman and Dan Maher also will perform during the concert.
The three-day festival kicks off Sept. 2 with a 6:30 p.m. show featuring local up-and-coming acts, including Barefoot Randy, Yamaree Bricker, Badland Nomad, Adventure Dirt Team and Metaphorical Lions.
Music continues Sept. 3-4, starting at 11 a.m. both days. The festival features indoor and outdoor stages, music workshops, a band scramble, a songwriting contest, an open mic stage, food trucks and arts and craft vendors.
Tumbleweed closes Sept. 4 with a 6:30 p.m. concert centered on the festival’s theme of “Come Together,” followed by a contra dance at 8 p.m.
All activities except the Sept. 3 evening concert and the Sept. 4 contra dance are free. The Sept. 3 evening show is $10 for general admission and $8 for teens and seniors. Children age 12 and younger are admitted for free. The contra dance is $8 for general admission and $5 for teens and seniors.
For more information on Tumbleweed, including the full schedule, go to 3rfs.org/tmf.htm.
IF YOU GO
What: Tumbleweed Music Festival.
When: Sept. 2-4.
Where: Howard Amon Park, Richland.
Cost: Most events are free, except for the evening benefit concert on Sept. 3, which costs $8-$10, and the evening contra dance on Sept. 4, which costs $5-$8.
More information: 3rfs.org/tmf.htm.