Described as a “A world class finger-style guitarist and lap slide player” by Downbeat Magazine is Mary Flower. She’s won awards, is internationally known, and played to a room full of people hanging on every note Sunday evening at McMenamin’s Grand Lodge. With the help of Spud Siegel on mandolin, she played the title track from her most recent album.
Anastasia Gilliam and Zay Harrison joined forces in 2011 to become Butterfly Breakdown. They are very versatile with a vast repertoire of original songs and cover tunes ranging from R&B, Pop, Rock and Blues. In 2015, they were joined by keyboardist Fern Young, though she was on vacation this night, taking the duo back to their roots. As they played the Garage Door at McMenamin’sGrand Lodge, the sets consisted of 50% original material, with covers by the likes of Amos Lee, Marvin Gaye, Tracy Chapman, Louie Armstrong, Led Zeplin, Stevie Wonder and others.
In addition to a great variety of entertaining music, you should catch Butterfly Breakdown live someday for the equally entertaining story-telling between songs. I’ve capture an example for you. Enjoy!
We can think of several musicians who are from Portland and moved to Nashville. Jacob Westfall did just the opposite. I, for one, am glad he did. I describe him as a young John Mayer with greater range – both vocal and genre. Once he hits the stage, it’s not long before he captures your heart with a love song, then drives you to floor to dance it out.
Thursday evening, I caught the Jacob Westfall band (with Andrew Magnuson on guitar, on Dylan Sundstrom on bass and Mark Muusse on drums) at McMenaminsRock Creek Tavern. Check out the photos and the video I captured of a song from Jacob’s latest EP What If.
You know – oftentimes when I sit down with a band, I’ll admit I have already made many assumptions based on their sound or what I’ve seen on stage. I’m generally fairly accurate, but I’m also almost always surprised by something that comes up in conversation. Darren Linder of The Shrike was kind enough to sit down with me at Portland Cider House, and completely blow my mind in the best possible way. This extremely hard hitting band from Portland, Oregon is a group of friends who exemplify outstanding business skills, dedicate themselves to causes they believe in, and are developing an ever-growing friendship based fan group. Check out the audio interview for a nice look into the band, courtesy of Linder.
The Shrike has been playing as a band for about three years now, and have just released their second group of songs, an EP entitled Chase the Sun. The collection features aggressive female vocals by Jamie Lynn Summerfield, who also destroys faces with her intensity on the electric violin. I saw the band at the Portland Pride Kickoff party last year, and the band moves so much on stage that I had only a few photos where someone’s limbs weren’t completely blurred out by speed. Forget about getting a drummer pic! The songs range from pensive to confrontational, but all have the deep intensity and attention to dynamics that is characteristic of the band. The album, produced at Kevin Hahn’s Opal Studio, is a perfect portrayal of their attention to detail with sound.
Linder shared with me the origins of the band, as well as where they are now – a band that formed organically, by friends who would hang out at festivals, listen to the same music, and experiment with creating what they love. Now, he finds himself filling the role of booker, press agent and more. The entire band is focused on self-management, perhaps because it is composed of members who have success in their additional careers. Experience in life has caused the band to recognize what works and what doesn’t. What works for The Shrike? Sharing their music. Check out the blogs that have written about them. Watch their fan base grow at each event. They are on the move, and in the right direction!
The Craw (guitars), Roya Hellbender (bass), Darren Linder (drums) and Jamie Lynn Summerfield (vox and electric violin) compose this band on the rise. Chase the Sun, the new EP will be shared at an event March 31 at Analog Cafe. Kill Frankie opens, and The Slants (Band Who Shall NOT Be Named) release their new CD. The event will be epic, to say the least! Enjoy the interview and music, and hope to see you there!
Sonny “Smokin'” Hess has been playing guitar since the age of 8 and it wasn’t long after she started gigging. These days, she plays mostly as a trio with a drummer and bass. Lisa Mann is an award-winning bass guitarist originally from West Virginia who comes armed with several vocal styles.
I’ve been to several of their shows over the years and even though they have been gigging together for almost 20 years, this week was my first chance to see them share a stage. I was not disappointed. They got their Blues on, and shelled it out like crazy. If you missed it, don’t fret. (Pun intended.) They currently own the 4th Wednesday slot at McMenamin’s Grand Lodge in Forest Grove.