Category Archives: Notable Performances

Show reports

Youth Showcase photo album from Saturday 5-28-16

The Second White Eagle Youth Showcase this past Saturday was a huge success – thanks to all who came out to support youth music. Special thanks to Ole Latte Coffee, Stoller Family Estate Winery, School of Rock, John Guffey, and White Eagle Saloon for giving us the financial, staff, and equipment support to continue offering these great show.

Please join us next month, Sunday 6/26 for a double EP release from Niamh Music and Jamie Iwata with Pedestrian Death Gang

All photos were taken by Annette Johnson, You may contact us for her information.

Heartwood – Heartwarming Music to be released May 27!


The scene on a memorable Thursday night in April 2016 was intoxicating from start to finish – I was lucky enough to catch Jack Dwyer before he began his mid-week residency show at McMenamin’s Al’s Den. Then, I hopped on a bus down to Portland City Grill for their delicious Happy Hour and saw a rainbow flirting, then fully displayed, then doubled – all within an hour!


Grabbing my umbrella, I flew back to Al’s Den to catch Jack’s show…whew! Just made it! And then came Gordon Keepers and Elisabeth Pixley-Fink with their duo EP release: Heartwood! The rainbow paled in comparison to the natural beauty these two created with their perfectly blended vocals. The room literally vibrated when they gently slid from some chords into unison or vice versa. They sang as two people with one voice, one breathing pattern, one manner of phrasing. Perfectly in tune in every way!

Heartwood-Heartwarming-Music-03Elisabeth and Gordon opened up with her singing alone over his bass playing. The contrast between her pure high tones and the deep resonance of the bass completely silenced the rest of the room. Then, they quickly moved into more animated pieces, adding drums and mandolin, inviting the audience to stomp, clap and dance along. Staying true to folk roots, Heartwood reflects the spirit and ambience of Portland, Oregon, and the Northwest. Every song on the CD references something we can all relate to: naturally occurring tangibles like water and dust, or natural feelings we’ve all had. The music is in and of the Great Northwest, with songs that reference even specific intersections in Portland. The song “Burnside and 17th” was about a spot within very easy walking distance of where we sat to hear them perform it!

Heartwood-Heartwarming-Music-01The songs are based upon themes we can all identify with – coming from a variety of emotional birthplaces. Gorgeous vocals blend beautifully with classic instrument choices. The EP was engineered by Evan Mersky at Red Lantern Studio in Portland. Joined by string genius Jack Dwyer on electric guitar and mandolin, and Sam Weiss on fiddle, the combination is absolutely stunning.

Heartwood-Heartwarming-Music-02What a lovely night – I wasn’t expecting to hear anyone other than Jack and his band. Gordon and Elisabeth’s Heartwood was a treat, and I’m so happy that I was able to hear this fresh project! You can find the band online at Facebook or on Gordon’s homepage. Look for the new Heartwood CD, available for pre-order on Earthwork Music’s website.



Co-Host Cruz Yates

We were incredibly impressed by the performances on Saturday at the White Eagle Local Youth Music Showcase! Many thanks to our sponsors, supporters, hosts, bands, and all the fantastic audience members who showed their appreciation and encouragement! Please enjoy the  photos taken during the show. Feel free to add your comments!

School of Rock House Band

Jack Morrtensen Music

Black Sand

4 Day Moon

Pedestrian Death Gang

Michael Hermes

The Hillsboro Symphony Winter Concert


In my real life, I don’t pay much attention to classical music, symphonies or Shakespeare. For the most part, I just don’t understand them. So, it would naturally follow that the last place for me to be was the Hillsboro High School Theater on Friday, March 18th, for the Hillsboro Symphony‘s celebration of Shakespeare. The truth is, I was looking forward to the show for weeks because I knew I would hear great music, and learn a thing or two along the way.

The Hillsboro Symphony is a group of local musicians and support people who enthusiastically give of their time and talents in order to share their love of music with the community. Most of the members are older, as you would expect, but as I looked over the group, I saw several student musicians as well. Bravo!

When you attend a performance (and I hope you do) you will see pretty much what you would expect. What you might not expect is the performance beginning with a something familiar like Greensleeves, then to be taken on a journey of what else a full orchestra can do. Along the way, conductor Sharon Northe (now in her 13th year) will turn around, grab a microphone and explain why the next selection is significant, or maybe something special to listen for during the piece.

The Spring concert is just around the corner – Friday, May 6th. In addition to the music and presentation being accessible, so are the tickets. Just $10 for adults, $8 for youth and seniors and kids under 12 are free. Tickets are available at the door or in advance online or at MIR Music in downtown Hillsboro. Make plans to be there!

Yonder Blue CD Release at Laurelthirst


As reported in an article published March 15, the country band Yonder Blue was having a CD release a few days later. Portland Notes was thrilled to in attendance last night (Saturday, March 19) at The Lauerthirst Public House. One of the things that made this evening special is your $10 at the door not only get you *in* to see the show, it got you *out* with the “Hey Love, Hold On” CD in your hand!

Yonder Blue is a trio of singers fronted by Terri Lynn with background vocals by Michele Linn & Katie Lou Ellen. Last night they were backed by the band Tin Silver (who recently enjoyed a CD release of their own!) The room was full of loyal Yonder Blue fans and they were treated to a great show.