Category Archives: Noteworthy News


THIS WEEKEND and next week – Support youth music and meet some local band members at White Eagle and Alberta Street Pub!


White-Eagle-Youth-Event-4-05So much awesome stuff is happening in our world of music this week! We just finished an amazing all ages FREE concert at PDX Pop now over the weekend, and now we have a meet and greet Thursday night with Vortex Music Magazine and some crazy good-to-know industry people (RSVP at link to attend) . But, where I really would like to see everyone mingling this Saturday is at White Eagle for our monthly youth event. We’re really pulling this together by adding local bands as mentors, each playing a set and giving the youth some advice about the scene here in Portland and internationally. This month features Berahmand, headlining our show with youth bands Gaffa and 4 Day Moon. (AND…Wednesday 8/3 Niamn tapes a live show at PDX Spotlight…AND…Wednesday 8/10, Michael Hermes plays his new album at Alberta Street Pub for the Local Roots Live Show! ) There’s so much youth music happening – I am overjoyed and grateful!

White-Eagle-Youth-Event-4-02If you haven’t seen and heard Berahmand play live, this is an amazing chance to see the highest level of quality presentation and performance that our city has to offer. Come to dance, come to get some insight into the biz, grab a pale ale, and chat with the other musicians who show up to support. I’ve seen Berahmand at places like Doug Fir and The Star Theater – now, we present an intimate show, incorporating some of our local youth as guest players. This amazing set features original music, but also some cool covers especially for the youth event. We want to give kids access in every way, including to the roots of the music we make now. Expect some lovely dancy individualized covers of Ike and Tina Turner, Amy Winehouse, David Bowie, Rolling Stones, a psychy touch of Pink Floyd – and underlying it all…i’m telling you, the essence of Prince. White Eagle is the place to be on Saturday – Doors 11:30, show noon-2:30.

UNDERGROUND RISING – Vortex Music Magazine this month speaks to the importance of Portland’s unique edgy fringe music scene. Here are a couple of great examples:

White-Eagle-Youth-Event-4-03Gaffa is new on the scene, but the members Astrid Scherlie, Kendra Gruis, and Adam Jones are all youth vets from my original gang at School of Rock Portland. Jones was featured in at least one PDX Pop Now Band this past weekend, and is one of the most sought-after young drummers in Portland. Astrid is always a hit at shows with her striking look, intensity, and hauntingly gorgeous voice. Kendra and I have not had much of a chance to hang out, but I know her reputation as a skilled musician with a crazy good work ethic. Cannot wait to see them finally!

White-Eagle-Youth-Event-4-014 Day Moon has joined our stage once before, and was the most talked about band since we’ve started. With original pop punk tunes, and a grungy 90’s look, the band is fun to watch and impressive with their originality. Emily Schneider, front person for the band, is both gracious and deliberate with her stage presence. Punk? Yes. Accessible and relatable for all generations? Also, a big YES! Excited to hear what they’ve been working on since the last time we saw them.

White-Eagle-Youth-Event-4-04Please join us this Saturday for some incredible youth music performances with adult headliner, Berahmand and a whole gang of amazing pro musicians from Portland – $10 tickets are available online or at the door. (Student ID gets you in for $5) Working musicians, message me for an all-access pass – I can offer a few free tickets. After we pay our minimal expenses, all proceeds go directly to the bands. We want to furnish opportunities for instruments, merch, and training for youth, in addition to venue access. Thanks to our financial sponsors: Ole Latte Coffee, Stefanie Fisher/Windermere Real Estate, School of Rock Portland, and White Eagle Saloon. And a huge shout out to our media partners: PDX Spotlight, Vortex Music Magazine, and Teri’s Tunes. Meet us at the door! 11:30AM this Saturday at White Eagle – 836 N Russell St. Oh yeah! We have tee shirts!



McMenamins White Eagle Saloon and School of Rock Portland have joined together again to bring another fantastic youth event to our city! This Sunday, 3 young bands will blow minds and melt all-ages faces at a double EP release from 2:30-5PMNiamh headlines the show, playing on a fantastic bill with Jamie Iwata and returning guests Pedestrian Death Gang. Niamh and Iwata will celebrate the official releases of their new recordings at this incredible show. Please note: this show is SUNDAY 2:30-5PM – happy hour: a special time to highlight the new releases and allow the bands more time to showcase their music.

YOUTH-Double-EP-release-01We would like to thank all the partners who make these monthly events possible. Ole Latte Coffee and Stefanie Fisher/Windermere Real Estate have continued to offer both financial and physical support, along with John Guffey of School of Rock – who has continued to provide backline and stage management for the bands at every concert. White Eagle graciously hosts our events, donating the venue and providing helpful and enthusiastic staff. PDX SpotlightVortex Music Magazine and Teri’s Tunes PDX have offered amazing media support. Teresa Topaz Music has brought us information on tone and performance, courtesy of Guitar Center.

YOUTH-Double-EP-release-02There is such a love of local music and youth here, but we still have much to accomplish – Music MillenniumFriends of NoiseSMART Collective, School of Rock , NW Music ExperienceEthosPDX Pop NowRock and Roll Camp for GirlsPROWUS and Youth Music Project are all leaders in promoting local youth and their musical dreams. Please join Portland Notes in promoting and supporting all-ages events, local youth bands – check out Vortex Music Magazine’s all-ages calendar for family-accessible concerts, and Youth Music Project for weekly and monthly ways to get involved. Suggest a band for the next showcase, come to our concerts with a friend. Just have fun with us.

YOUTH-Double-EP-release-03Next month, Portland Notes presents two fabulous all-ages events. July 2, Radio Hot Tub and Portland Notes present 5 amazing bands (including local favorite When We Met)  at Analog Cafe. AND!!!! July 30, White Eagle and Portland Notes present the very dancy, very cool Berahmand with special youth guests Miranda Jones, Kyle Bird, Gaffa, and 4 Day Moon.  Celebrate summer while school’s out! As for Sunday, come support 2 bands of students who are releasing original music with both local and international flair.

Spotlight on Local Youth – Jamie Iwata releases The Sun this Sunday!!


Jamie Iwata officially releases his new album this coming Sunday 6/26 at McMenaminsWhite Eagle’s monthly local youth showcase with Niamh and Pedestrian Death Gang. I’ve been following Jamie’s musical journey since he was a student at the Portland School of Rock. He was one of the school’s ambassadors and student mentors through their House Band program. I’ve often seen him advising younger students on how to achieve a certain guitar tone or going over harmonies until they were perfect. Jamie has an incredible attention to detail and an overwhelming desire to communicate through music.

Jamie-Iwata-releases-The-Sun-this-Sunday-01The job of a musician is not as easy as we would like to think. We see the performances, and we assume confidence, charisma, and an extroverted personality from what we see on stage. However, in many cases, true artists are thoughtful and quiet, sometimes reserved and doubtful about their ability to communicate clearly. Iwata has so far lived a life of grasping for both knowledge and expression, While attending college, he has written some beautiful prose dealing with life, disappointment, emotional pain, and the strength to overcome. Everywhere he has been, Iwata’s quiet and supportive presence has left the people in his life with the accurate impression that he is full of deep thoughts and good ideas.

Jamie-Iwata-releases-The-Sun-this-Sunday-02The Sun features a collection of introspective songs that feature Iwata’s pure and perfect vocals accompanied by creative and clear guitar work. A beautiful expression of his mind and heart, very honest and vulnerable – a peek into the mind of Jamie Iwata! At the show, Iwata will be joined by additional instrumentalists and will have some physical copies of the new CD available. For now, you can listen to Follow the River from the new album on Soundcloud. The album is also available on Bandcamp.

Jamie-Iwata-releases-The-Sun-this-Sunday-03Join us in celebrating this new season for both Jamie Iwata and Niamh, this Sunday 6/26 at White Eagle Saloon. Doors are 2:30PM, show 3-5. Special thanks to our sponsors Ole Latte, Stefanie Fisher/Windermere, White Eagle Saloon and School of Rock. A big shout out to our media partners Vortex Music Magazine, PDX Spotlight and Teri’s Tunes PDX! Thank you to all supporters of our local youth bands – these are the people who change the world!

Band photo credit: Annette Johnson

Portland Notes Launches an Online Radio Station this January!

Portland-Notes-Launches-an-Online-Radio-Station-FIYou know what I’ve always wanted? A radio station that plays 100% local music 24-7, with very limited commercials…a station that plays a variety of genres with a nice mix, so that I could listen to it in local restaurants, banks and stores. I don’t really want to hear DJ’s talking – just music…I’d like to be able to access audio interviews with the participating artists online, read about current local music news, have access to local music calendars, and know where to find my favorite bands around town. I’d love to be able to find links to artists’ music pages, and connect to their websites and blogs. Maybe I’d even like to be able to submit a new band I have discovered, and get them on the station for an interview…

Portland-Notes-Launches-an-Online-Radio-Station-03They say you can’t always get what you want – but who are “they” anyway? Portland Notes is creating the radio station I have always wanted! Paul Lankow, Teresa Topaz and I are currently curating music for the station, working around 6-8 hours a day from now until January 2017 to gather and listen to and catalogue all the local music we can find. We will be playing blues, folk, indie, rock, pop, bluegrass, country, soul, funk, R&B, and more.

Portland-Notes-Launches-an-Online-Radio-Station-01The goal of this project is to offer a 24 hour stream of all local music with very limited commercials (to pay for bandwidth and artist royalties) and minimal talking. The station will be accessible from our existing website, where visitors can make comments, access show calendars, submit new music, read articles, and listen to podcasts with local musicians. We are teaming up with several local media outlets to provide the most updated calendar information, recordings of live local concerts, and podcast interviews with local artists. Look for content from Vortex Music Magazine, Local Roots Music from Northwest Artists, PDX Spotlight, School of Rock, McMenamins White Eagle Saloon and School of Rock, just to name a few.

Portland-Notes-Launches-an-Online-Radio-Station-02So…for the next few months, we will be writing fewer articles, attending fewer events, and not be as visible on the scene. That’s because we are creating and building something wonderful! If you would like to submit an artist, please send WAV files or download code to No explicit lyrics, please. If you’d like to help in any other way, please let us know your areas of interest!

Wilkinson Blades Home – album release at Secret Society, Saturday June 11!


Those of you who know me will know that I am a huge fan of real classic rock. There’s just something about the aggressive nature of the instrumentals combined with heartfelt lyrics that speaks to my heart directly. Wilkinson Blades has been speaking to me this past week, with their new album Home. I absolutely had to interview the songwriter, Steve Wilkinson, because I had a few questions about the significance of what seemed to be very intentional and meaningful word choices…”Home” is a very strong one-word statement – and the album is indeed a homecoming in several ways. Wilkinson shared some of his personal story with us, and described how the formation of this band is itself a homecoming. The arrival at the new sound is also “home” for now – a real down-to-earth rock record that inspires a second, third, and fourth listen. Is it deep? Yes…but, can I understand it -also, yes! For me, that’s the very essence of rock and roll – it’s both relatable and emotionally challenging at the same time.

Wilkinson-Blades-Home-album-release-at-Secret-Society-02The writing process for Steve Wilkinson is interesting. The man’s brain is very active, and observations, events, and ponderings are all gathered inside – more than he knows what to do with sometimes! The solution is to express himself in song. Wilkinson has lived his life thus far in a search for both knowledge and expression. He’s looking over the experiences he’s had from childhood to present – then opening up and sharing himself with listeners in a truly vulnerable way. The music comes from an honest desire to process and share struggles and successes. Perhaps someone can identify, and perhaps that will cause a deep and personal connection with the music. That’s every honest musician’s hope, and certainly a longing that rings true with Wilkinson Blades’ Home. Wilkinson recalls the first musical experiences with his father, now deceased. He vividly remembers riding around in his dad’s car as a kid, listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, and thinking how cool it would be to make such magical sounding music. But as he pondered this he wondered why the lyrics were so dark. Now, as an adult and accomplished storyteller, he understands that sometimes music is a great way to get that stuff out in the world….kind of “community therapy of sorts.” To this day, Wilkinson still is a fan of the band, and appreciates the psychedelic stylings of Wilkinson Blades’ guitarist Grant Cumpston. Though Wilkinson has been the primary songwriter up to this point, he recognizes the expertise and combined experience of his bandmates – the sound may continue to evolve, as the band leaves themselves open to go where the music guides them.

Wilkinson-Blades-Home-album-release-at-Secret-Society-03Wilkinson, so far, remains the main songwriter, having written these songs originally for a solo recording project. When asked to play live, Wilkinson returned to what he knew would work. A band of men he has known for years – Portland natives, musicians to their core, and above all – friends and musical truth-seekers. Rock music is authentic and timeless. It makes no apologies for speaking truth – and the songs that endure are ones that cross generational boundaries. Steve Wilkinson has a firm grasp on this with the new band – for they are not actually new…

Wilkinson-Blades-Home-album-release-at-Secret-Society-01The members of Wilkinson Blades are a band who have known each other and grown alongside each other as musicians for years. Singer-songwriter and guitarist Steve Wilkinson, vocalist and guitarist Grant Cumpston, drummer Jon Beyer, and bassist Johnny Huck had all played together as the band Gravelpit starting in the 1990’s. As often happens with bands, members move, start other projects and families, and end up not being able to continue as a group. Wilkinson had to keep writing, because he kept having experiences and processing events. He recorded his songs as a solo project. When Wilkinson was asked to perform his new recorded music live, he drew on this trusted solid musical base, and added players as the music called for it. The addition of Rich Landar on keyboards completes the core group, who now are already considering their new musical endeavor. The band operates well together – letting the music speak for itself is the key. The feeling is different from the Gravelpit vibe, as the current project seems to have found their unique sound. This Wilkinson Blades sound may cross more genres in the future, but the core sound will continue to be recognizable.

The new album release will be celebrated this Saturday, June 11, at The Secret Society. Joining the band will be The Redeemed and Monica Nelson with John Alan Naylor. Tickets available online. You can find out more about the band on their website, Facebook page, and Reverbnation page. For contact information, you may reach out to Alex Steininger at In Music We Trust, In the meantime, Wilkinson and the band have given us permission to share “Highway Sign” with you in advance!