All posts by Paul Lankow

Mary Flower at McMenamin’s Grand Lodge on April 9, 2017

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.

Butterfly Breakdown at McMenamin’s Grand Lodge on 4-1-17

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’s Grand 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!

Jacob Westfall Band at McMenamin’s Rock Creek Tavern

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.

This Sunday, you have an opportunity to catch Jacob (and his awesome band) play a show at the Wonder Ballroom with The Junebugs and The Pearls. Just $10 in advance, $13 at the door. https://t.co/CexC2WB6cS

Thursday evening, I caught the Jacob Westfall band (with Andrew Magnuson on guitar, on Dylan Sundstrom on bass and Mark Muusse on drums) at McMenamins Rock Creek Tavern. Check out the photos and the video I captured of a song from Jacob’s latest EP What If.

Sonny Hess and Lisa Mann at Grand Lodge

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.

Groovy Wallpaper at Grand Lodge

A subset of the Will West band is Groovy Wallpaper. This duo describes themselves as “the deep juggernaut of thunder that is Don Henson (Typewriter, glockenspeil, xylophone, djembe, various iphone apps) and the looping mastery of Skip vonKuske (cello, guitar, mandolin, iphone, and loopstation)”. During their show last night at McMenamin’s Grand Lodge, they played everything from Bach to Hendrix, plus some engaging, original groove-pieces. If you’re looking for a show that lacks predictability (not even *they* know what’s going to happen!) then get out and see these guys. They are on the McMenamin’s train, with frequent stops at Edgefield Winery.