The Whiskey Darlings – Live Sessions Album available now!


Rob Rainwater and Michele Van Kleef, each very active in the local music community, have come together to create a project based on a common love of thoughtful, emotional stories and incredibly tight harmonies. Finding a bond over the music of Simon and Garfunkel, this duo has created beautifully conceived lyrical songs with a comfortable, familiar feel. The Whiskey Darlings are quickly creating fans and friends all over the Northwest and beyond!

The-Wiskey-Darlings-Live-Sessions-01They’ve recently submitted their new song “Why, oh Why?” To the NPR Music 2016 Tiny Desk contest. The Whiskey Darlings have booked a variety of shows over the next few months – and they’ve been written up in The Starlight Music Chronicles and featured in an article on Portland Radio Project.

The-Wiskey-Darlings-Live-Sessions-02Both Rob and Michele are show hosts at Portland Radio Project, where they support and encourage local musicians to pursue their musical dreams. Michele hosts the Monday Music Muse show at 11 AM on Mondays, while Rob is the host of his own show, Songs From the Source, on Sunday afternoons at 1PM

The-Wiskey-Darlings-Live-Sessions-04Listening to the album, I am moved by the longing, sadness, hope, and connection that I hear in the lyrics. Even Rob’s harmonica carries such a strong sense of emotion, that it is impossible to miss. Though Rob and Michele have only been working together for a short time, their harmonies sound like they grew up in the same house as children. Perhaps that is due to Michele’s extensive background as a harmony singer, but I also give credit to the strong friendship that is so visible between these two musicians. The harmonies on “Moonlight Falls” give me goosebumps every time I hear the song!

The-Wiskey-Darlings-Live-Sessions-03You can purchase their album, Live Sessions on ITunes. Check their calendar for upcoming shows! They are just delightful in person, performing surprise covers, and interacting with the crowd in a most amusing way. Two very real people who perform some touching and memorable music…The Whiskey Darlings!

Your Face is a canvas! The art of makeup!


The-Art-of-Makeup-01I had the pleasure of chatting with Kiwi (Sha’Kiah Johnson) at the Clackamas Nordstrom M.A.C cosmetics counter on what Instagram says is her birthday – whaaaaaat? Happy birthday to a true artist! Kiwi is a gorgeous woman naturally, but check out what she can do with her own look on her instagram page! The interview below gives an insight into how the cosmetic artist views their canvas (your face).

The-Art-of-Makeup-04I brought my daughter in for a 1930’s vintage makeover last month, and the transformation was incredible, taking her from a perfectly sweet looking teenager into a classic vintage beauty.. I have always held that makeup is a very high form of art, because the cosmetic artist is already working with a naturally painted canvas. Finding ways to enhance and bring out features in such a way that gives the subject more confidence and pleasure in their own appearance – well, it’s art and psychology and communication!

Because of the insane variety of options offered, M.A.C. provides consultants like Kiwi to help select the right colors, and formulas of foundation, blushes, powders, shadows, lip, and nail lacquer choices. The experts can apply makeup in a variety of general styles, or can customize your look for a special event.

The-Art-of-Makeup-02M.A.C. cosmetics is a special line of products designed with dramatic and theatrical intent – strong vibrant colors created with quality for long-lasting wear. I’ve done stage makeup for several rock shows, and this is my go-to cosmetic line. I also have sensitive skin, and M.A.C. has always been kind to my face.

The-Art-of-Makeup-03The company is not just about outside beauty – they have a recycling program, offering a free lipstick in exchange for six empty M.A.C. product containers. They also support local organizations helping people dealing with HIV through their Viva Glam program. The Clackamas Nordstrom M.A.C. department works directly with Our House of Portland.

Thanks so much to Kiwi for sharing her experience with us at Portland Notes! I’m always so impressed by what these artists can do!

RAW! Natural Born Artists Showcase in Portland : Signature Event

RAW-Signature-Event-FIRAW-Signature-Event-01Tonight in Portland at the Roseland Theater, artists representing every possible genre in the industry gather together in one place to celebrate the creativity we are so blessed to experience in the northwest! RAW Natural Born Artists presents: Signature! Expose yourself to local art in the form of music, fashion, performance, hair, makeup, visual art, accessories, and photography – super cool place to be! Portland Notes will be at the event, gathering interviews and visual documentation (fancy word for selfies with artists!) Live music by When We Met, Cellar Door, and Mitch Gonzalez. 21+ event. Fashionable/Cocktail attire. Tickets are $15 via presale. $20 at the door – Bar is CASH ONLY. Doors at 7PM.

RAW-Signature-Event-02Here is some information about RAW taken from their website and Facebook page – we will have our impressions for you after the event, but I can tell you now that I am extremely excited. Portland has so much to offer in the way of art. RAW wants to unite artists all over the world, by focusing on excellent local artists in every participating city.

RAW:natural born artists is an independent arts organization that hand-selects and spotlights independent creatives in visual art, film, fashion, music, hair & makeup artistry, photography, and performing art.

RAW-Signature-Event-03Every other month, our RAW Directors in cities across the world hand-pick and spotlight local artistic talent in visual art, fashion design, film,music, performance art, hair & makeup artistry, and photography through local eclectic RAW events. With artists from all genres in each showcase, RAW events come together to form an amazing one-night circus of creativity.

To provide independent artists within the first 10 years of their creative career with the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity. RAW ventures to provide the platform for these artists be seen, heard, and loved.

RAW showcases indie talent in visual art, film, fashion design, music, performance art, hair and makeup artistry, and photography.

RAW is a fun and alternative way for artists to showcase both to their local community and the world-at-large.

We are not your average art show. We are loud, colorful, creative, and all about our artists. We are RAW.

RAW currently operates in over 60 cities across the United States, Australia, Canada and the UK!

RAW-Signature-Event-04What can you expect when attending a RAW Showcase? You’ll experience an independent film screening (usually a short, webisode or music video), a pop-up gallery featuring several independent visual artists and photographers, fashion shows from up-and-coming local designers, live musical performances, vendor booths featuring local artisans and accessories designers, and live performance art. You’ll get a little taste of everything. Combine all this creativity with drinks, fun, and good company!

To learn more about the RAW experience, you may visit their What Is RAW video. To get a sneak peek at the participating local artists, check out SIGNATURE: RAW’s Portland event happening tonight!



With our focus on local youth musicians this month, and a special concert on April 9, Portland Notes has decided to highlight a few local bands that are working hard to pave the way for student and youth bands in the northwest. One such active and diligent band is headed by my friend Jack Mortensen!

Spotlight-on-Jack-Mortensen-Music-03I know I’m revealing both my age and my motherly weaknesses here – but I’ve been watching Jack grow from a student musician into a stellar performer and mentor, and I’m insanely proud of what he’s accomplished. Jack was a student at the Portland School of Rock when I began visiting there in 2011. Already an outstanding bass player at that time, he was a cornerstone of the school’s ambassador House Band. Performing note-for-note covers all over the city at high profile events, Jack was always a responsible and respectful representative of School of Rock’s commitment to mentorship and extended musical learning. I personally know many students who have been personally taught and encouraged by Jack.

Spotlight-on-Jack-Mortensen-Music-01Jack Mortensen took advantage of all the school had to offer, making the most of lessons and show rehearsals and performances, teaching incoming students, volunteering at summer camps, and participating in the National School of Rock All Star Program. He toured the country with School of Rock’s All Stars in 2014 and 2015, playing at exclusive events with other handpicked student musicians from across the United States.

Spotlight-on-Jack-Mortensen-Music-02The best news, though – Jack hasn’t just excelled at learning and performing! He’s been writing his own original music, and has formed a band with some of the most amazing youth musicians in Portland! He has released an album, Interceptor -he’s performing at local events, and will be featured in our upcoming Youth Music Showcase at McMenamin’s White Eagle on April 9, along with the School of Rock House Band, Black Sand, 4 Day Moon, Pedestrian Death Gang, and Michael Hermes. We hope you enjoy the music, and (if you haven’t already met…) really hope to introduce you to Jack in person next month! Interceptor is available for purchase on Jack’s website.

The Insomnia Sessions

The Insomnia Sessions - FI

My friend Ivan Camacho and I served together for a few years on a church worship team. Knowing about my love for all kinds of music, he invited me to an “Insomnia Session”. The Insomnia Coffee Company is a wildly-popular, locally-owned coffee shop in Hillsboro. I’ve been there many times to hear a wide variety of music over the last several years.

Since 2014 this group meets every 1st and 3rd Thursdays at the Insomnia Coffee location at 53rd and Baseline in Hillsboro from 7-9 PM. The sessions originated from a need to provide an opportunity for local acoustic musicians to gather and share music together. There are a few similar group sessions in the metro area, this is the only one that’s been around for 2-1/2 years in the Hillsboro area.

The owners and staff of Insomnia have been very supportive of the group and the music they make. The group consists of musicians with various backgrounds, including school teachers, retired individuals, professional and amateur musicians, all with a passion for Celtic / Americana music.

The group is open to interested musicians to come and participate. They typically play reels, jigs and waltzes from The Portland Collections, vols 1-3. If you’re interested in bringing some music, they would love will give it a shot. You can reach Ivan at and (503) 816-9857.

Sharing local artists with Portland and the world