Tara Velarde is a young lady who’s been on my radar for a couple of years as she’s played McMenamins Grand Lodge many times. She went to college at Pacific University in Forest Grove, just up the road, so she’s quite at home here at the Garage Door. Tara can wear a lot of hats – singer, songwriter, teacher, actress, poet, (I could go on), and she brings it all to every show. She’s got some mighty talented musicians in tow as well, including Joe Deardorff (drums), Steph Landtiser (keys/backing vocals), and James Pierce (guitar).
Check the Portland Notes Calendar for an upcoming show, and listen to our radio stream as we’re playing lots of her music. A week ago, I captured a song we’re not playing and I hope you enjoy.
During a Portland snowstorm, what does one do? Well, if you’re Hayley Lynn, you go into a studio and record an album, taking with you bassist John Bruner. Not long after, Amy Håkansson (who plays the violin, banjo, guitar and the nyckelharpa) took her place in the band. The trio played to a room full of enthusiastic fans at McMenamins Grand Lodge Saturday night.
Though she doesn’t mention him as a influence, Hayley reminds me a lot of Jason Mraz, with her jazzy style and playful lyrics that can speed past you quickly when she gets wound up. The video I captured for you is not in that vain, but is a more introspective piece that held the crowd’s attention from start to finish.
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!