All posts by Paul Lankow

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.

Rebecca McDade at Primrose and Tumbleweeds

From her bio, we learn this about Rebecca McDade: This twenty-one year old Scottish singer-songwriter has been making music on both sides of the Atlantic for as long as anyone who knows her can remember. Her childhood was spent jumping back and forward between Scotland, Ireland, and Oregon, and with music always as a constant, this young musician has been able to craft songs which reflect all the corners of the globe where she has called home.

She was kind enough to swing by Primrose and Tumbleweeds over the weekend with her guitar. I enjoyed as she took the time to talk about the origins of the songs she played, including those she didn’t write. In addition to be a gifted songwriter and talented musician, she has a wonderful sense of humor. I managed to capture a little of that, along with some music, in this video (shot in a very dark room!). Enjoy!

Freak Mountain Ramblers @ Grand Lodge on 2016-07-08

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As part of the McMenamin’s Great Northwest Music Tour the Freak Mountain Ramblers returned to Grand Lodge for another stellar show. They have been with the tour from the beginning (at least 10 years) and are invited back every year. They showed us why Friday night as they parading their wide assortment of music ranging from classic pop & rock, modern pop and Rock, and (their specialties) country and swing (which they often combine). This has got to be the most versatile band in the Northwest. These guys know how to fill a dance floor and there are a lot more shows coming up on this tour so I hope you can make one. In the mean time, have a look at some photos from Friday night.

Jon Koonce quartet @ Grand Lodge on 2016-07-07

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I’ve seen Oregon music hall-of-fame’r Jon Koonce play solo and with bands, but this was the most up-beat I’ve heard him. You see, he was scheduled to play with his quartet outdoors. Not expecting rain, what they had in their back pocket was a slough of rock-n-roll songs. Instead of trying to change it up, they went with their plan, at the garage door venue in the basement of McMenamin’s Grand Lodge. While the music was plenty loud, it was well mixed and I stayed for the whole show.

Jon always delivers a good show, even to a very small crowd (you could count the sets of ears on one hand). The Thursday night music is new this year at Grand Lodge, and it’s not well socialized. Jon and the boys played hard. The dueling guitar solos were outstanding!

Pretend Sweethearts at Rock Creek Tavern on 2016-07-02

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Pretend Sweethearts is a duo of singer/songwriters/multi-instrumentalists based in Atlanta who play a wide range of music from roots to blues to folk to country. Brianna Blackbird and Drew de Man met while studying music therapy here in Portland. In the course of writing songs together, releasing recordings and touring like crazy, they became “real” sweethearts. I have been a fan for a while and was glad to catch up with them for the first time last night at McMenamin’s Rock Creek Tavern. They were joined by their friend Rochelle Muzquiz handling the percussion duties.

Bri was born and raised in Portland, so this summer tour brings her back home. Drew is from Georgia forming his first band No River City in 2001, spending six years recording and touring. He is wildly talented on the guitar, she sings like a bird, and their mix of music will keep you engaged for hours. They’ve got a few more Northwest dates before they fly away, so check them out if you can.

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