Midnight Honey at McMenamins Grand Lodge

Revitalizing the R&B-Soul genre with an attitude that is both sweet and sassy, Midnight Honey delivers and evening’s entertainment you’re not likely to forget. Up front are Shelly Rudolph and Bre Gregg, a pair of powerhouse singers who flaunt a wide palate of lush harmonies and an undeniable sister-like chemistry. In addition to a sultry arsenal of original music, they have a unique catalog of covers to bring to the stage.

Thursday evening, the weather was perfect for the crowd to hear a Shelly Rudolph original, “Ripen Me” on the lawn at Pat’s Corner.

Ed Haynes at Grand Lodge on June, 8 2017

What a joy it was to be among a handful of people at The Garage Door on a Thursday night. This is the first year McMenamins Grand Lodge has had regular bookings outside of Friday and Saturday, and people are still catching on. For those of us who have, we get to enjoy personalized and intimate shows.

After hearing his song “Banner Day” (as played on Portland Notes Radio) I was looking forward to catching The Ed Haynes Show. I was *not* disappointed. The man is talented, clever and witty, and he loves to make people smile. Check out this video, then make plans to check Ed out live!

Lynn Conover and Lowell J. Mitchell at Grand Lodge on May 21, 2017

Lynn Conover and Lowell J. Mitchell are both 20+ year veteran Americana folk alt-country roots musicians. A few years ago, they released an album together, Lynn Conover Live with Lowell J. Mitchell which I encourage you to pick up. You can even name your price! In the mean time, get a little taste from this video shot last weekend at McMenamins Grand Lodge.

Avalanche Lily – EP Release May 27 at Valentine’s!

I’ve been introduced to each member of Avalanche Lily separately over the past few years. Not surprising, since each member is also part of at least one other local band that I follow. I was so honored to have Cyndy, Ramune and Drew sit down with me to talk about their combined project and the upcoming EP release this Saturday at Valentine’s. They’ll be playing with Shed Incorporated and Vibrissae at the intimate venue, where the band is at eye level with the audience. In the audio interview, the band talks about show strategy, the visualization of the music, and a completely unique writing/compilation process.

Avalanche Lily is what I would call an intentional band. Cyndy calls herself a “collector of songs”. She’s responsible for bringing songs that she’s heard and loved in her travels. She finds that Avalanche Lily challenges her to take these songs and adapt them for this band, sweeter and softer and with room for all three members to add their vocal textures. Ramune also writes and brings songs to the band, again – knowing that there is a feeling, perhaps even more than a sound, they are looking for. This is sometimes achieved with the addition of unusual instruments or by Drew bringing subtlety, dynamics and variety to the percussion. The band is excited about the depth of the music flowing organically from the members.

The sound of the EP is designed to create a casual and relaxed emotional response. Meant to invite the listener to just relax and enjoy the sound, while feeling comfortable and cozy and leaving the opting to tuck in for a deeper experience if desired. Creating this simplicity and accessibility in the studio was also intentional. It was a choice to keep the sound free of unnecessary layers and modifications. Avalanche Lily will give you the same experience live as in the recording – a feeling of being welcomed and accepted as a friend. I loved Drew’s visual description of the music. He actually sees and projects color as he drums. After listening to the EP only a few times, I could sense that there was indeed a visual element to the way the music comes together.

 A Conversation with Kelly Jones

Check out the interview, listen to a sample of the music, and join us at Valentine’s on May 27 for a change to hear Avalanche Lily play through the EP. Cyndy is creating some exclusive and very limited handmade merchandise that I cannot wait to get my hands on! This band has a vision, and they make their vision accessible to all of us. They describe themselves as “salty and sweet.” I would add “savory and a little bit addictive.” Music is also available on their website and on CDBaby for advance listening.

Avalanche Lily’s “Astronaut”

Shelly Rudolph at Hotel Vintage on May, 13, 2017

Shelly Rudolph has been singing, performing and composing for over twenty years. Her projects have embraced soul, jazz, blues, R&B, reggae and pop. Music has taken Shelly all over the United States and the world. Ensembles have ranged from intimate duets to Jazz Orchestras and most everything in between. She is currently among the busiest vocalists in Portland.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Shelly in the past as a volunteer at Portland Radio Project. Last weekend, I got a chance to just sit and enjoy one of those intimate-duet shows at Hotel Vintage with pianist Ramsey Embick. She performed a wide range of music, and the number that brought a little tear to my eye was Skylark. Enjoy the video.

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