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!
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.
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!
Well, it was supposed to be an outdoor show last Thursday, but mother nature just didn’t cooperate. (In fact, this whole Spring has been either too hot or too wet, eh? I digress.) The good news about coming inside is we could enjoy the music in more comfortable surroundings. The bad news is Wil Kinky‘s big sound was a little overwhelming for the small room downstairs at the Grand Lodge. But, it didn’t matter – nobody went anywhere!
Wil was raised near Cornelius on Blueberry farm. He learned early on the value of hard work. He brings those values to his music. If you look at his show schedule, you’ll quickly realize this man isn’t idle much. That hard work and commitment to his craft really comes through. Most of Wil’s music during a show is original. He also tosses in several interesting covers from the Doobie Bros, Al Green and others.
Wil has mastered the art of making his guitar not sound like a guitar. I was amazed and the sounds he was able to create. None of it was noise for noise sake – all the effects were carefully crafted to paint the moods he intended. No doubt he will be playing near you soon. Be sure to check him out.
Sharing a pint or two with Kivett Bednar at The Portland Cider House on Hawthorne, I reminisced with him over our first musical conversations at the Portland School of Rock. We had been talking about our mutual passion to connect with an audience at their level, trying to read what makes an audience want to get up and dance – or simply get lost in the song. Both of us wanted to move people to have an emotional experience through music. Kivett has been on that journey throughout his life, and believes he has found partners to achieve his artistic dream. The Pining Hearts is the new project, and you can catch them this month at the Twilight Cafe! Playing with his partners Eddie Steele [Drums], Fabio Prieto Veiga [Bass] and the very charming Joshua Davis [Saxophone / Vox], the band creates an incredibly full and balanced sound that seamlessly crosses quite a few genres.
Kivett’s goal of connecting musically with audiences has been consistent. He’s been an instructor, a solo artist, a front man for his Land of the Living Project, in addition to having been a youth music instructor. His desire to be emotionally accessible and relatable was evident at every show as faithful fans made repeat appearances to dance and enjoy the experience. Kivett always managed to convey his personal experiences in a completely accessible and endearing way. He introduces songs with a bit of a history lesson – I always felt like I had gained some new gem of knowledge at every show. Now, the new project The Pining Hearts, is allowing the band to educate us about an entirely new genre! In the audio interview, you’ll notice that the music refuses to be labelled, and that’s absolutely wonderful. (There are references to Philly Cheesesteak and Chex Mix…)
The Pining Hearts is a Psychedelic / Blues / Rock band hailing from Portland, OR and Austin, TX. Eddie Steele of Entendre Entendre and Kivett Bednar from Land of the Living started sketching out the framework for a new act in the Summer of 2015. But the ball really started rolling when Kivett and Johnny Holliday happened to be sitting in together for Ed Cohen’s New Year’s Eve show at Slim’s Lounge in St. John’s, and decided they should jam with Eddie. The mix felt great, and when Johnny brought in Fabio Veiga, Cuban native and music school grad, they knew they had the makings of a band. Adding Joshua Davis on saxophone was an obvious choice to make the seemingly wide-ranging music genres blend together.The music emerging from the group ranges from patient and exploratory to dynamically emotive and exultant.