Soulful Sundays with Scott Brockett and Rob Rainwater

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Portland Notes spent an early Sunday evening at Alberta Street Pub for the Soulful Sunday concert with the Scott Brockett Trio and the Rob Rainwater Trio. This all-ages show featured some amazing soul, blues, folk, and rock music that was at times quiet, others rockin! It was also a benefit concert to help raise money for the Tim Ellis Medical Fund. Tim is well known in the Portland Music Scene and beyond. He has performed with and recorded for some of the biggest names in the business and has built his professional reputation on his commitment to excellence and a relentless work ethic. He also owns the well known, Kung Fu Bakery Recording Studio. In December 2015, Tim was diagnosed with Advanced Melanoma. To help offset the mounting medical costs he is incurring, the Portland music community has banded together with fundraising concerts to raise monies to help Tim and his family with these costs. Scott and Rob wanted to do what they could to help so they organized this one at Alberta Pub.

Tim-Ellis-Benefit-01Rob Rainwater opened the show with Steve Hale on bass/backing vocals, and Max Tarpley on drums. Rob has a lot of new music which he hopes to release as a solo album later this year. His songs straddle the Blues and Country genres, with a folk/rock edge. Alternating between acoustic and electric guitar, he plays those Blues guitar riffs particularly well. He closed his set with two new songs performed solo because they’re not yet ready to hand over to a backing band. The touching, “Yesterday,”was written after reading divorce rate statistics, and in the song, the couple is trying to work it out. Rob has a busy performance schedule as a solo artist, as well as with “The Whiskey Darlings,” a project he has with Michele Van Kleef. He also has the popular Sunday radio show, “Songs from the Source” on Portland Radio Project from 1-3 p.m.

Tim-Ellis-Benefit-02Scott Brockett closed the evening backed by father/son duo, Cory (bass) and Jared Knowland (drums). Theirs is a sound that combines the emotional impact of soul with the grit and energy of pop-rock, sprinkled at times with some great funky beats. Scott’s songs are personal, often about love, and played with passion. The three seem to really enjoy performing together, laughing and appreciating when they go off into unknown territory during a song with a result that makes them proud. The band played a couple of fantastic renditions of covers, “Use Me,” by Bill Withers, and “Sittin on the Dock of the Bay,” by Otis Redding, that had the audience singing and cheering along.

There will be future Soulful Sunday concerts so be sure and check out Alberta Pub’s calendar to find out when the next one will be. The audience clearly enjoyed this one, and the music was hard to beat; a perfect way to end the weekend!

My Brothers and I – Don’t Dream Alone

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With a new album release and an 11 stop tour going on now through the end of March, you’d think this band might want to sit back and relax, but NO! Their dream is expansive, and it’s carrying their audiences and fans right along. My Brothers and I will never dream alone! Portland Notes was invited to attend soundcheck and the concert at their March 3, Mississippi Studios tour kick off, and we were impressed by what we saw and heard. This band is on the rise – check out the podcast to hear about their debut album, their first full-length tour, and the challenges of balancing fame with…finals…and flip-flops…you’ll also hear what originally inspired the band to unite, and what they are planning for the next few months.

My-Brothers-And-I-02Don’t Dream Alone features 11 beautifully produced, soulful yet dancy songs, that are impossible to avoid singing along to. The album is available on Itunes now…but wait! There’s video! The Dream video is a beautiful tribute to the value of relationship, and the corresponding “making of” video explains why – the participants, band members, and producers are all friends, living out this musical dream together. Granted, their newest video, was just released on USA Today, and featured on the hit television series Pretty Little Liars (Season 6, Episode 19).

My-Brothers-And-I-01Their tour is going well, even better than anticipated! According to manager Kyle Kuhns of XX Artists – advance tickets are selling extremely well, even in cities the band has never previously visited. This is not surprising, given their success on Spotify – with several hundred thousand listeners, the word is spreading, and dreaming alone is no longer even an option. So much attention so fast might overwhelm a band, if they weren’t deeply connected as brothers and friends – this project is a labor of love, and it is sweeping audiences off their feet in a major way! Front man David Wurgler is somehow managing to balance a series of engaging performances with studying for his college finals, which take place immediately upon his return! Their stories are personal, the connection with the audience is real – it’s what we are all wanting from our favorite artists!

My-Brothers-And-I-04David (lead vocals), Scott (drums), and Erik Wurgler (bass) are actual brothers, who play alongside childhood friends Jordan Roach (guitar) and Johnny Iliyn (keys). The band is finding the value of collaboration – working with experts to get their message out. Alex Steininger, of In Music We Trust, along with Kyle Kuhns, are making sure the mates connect with people who want to help them. The band gives a HUGE shout out to their resident technical genius, David Iliyn, Johnny’s cousin. Knowing who to turn to has really propelled the band to greater heights.

My-Brothers-And-I-03Portland Notes was honored to spend time behind the scenes with this outstanding new band- the conversation with the group was so entertaining and informative – we know you will enjoy learning about this band of brothers – My Brothers and I!

Mogo Music Festival – Relive the moment!

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Okay, so not everyone will be able to remember where they were on November 20 and 21, 2015…but I know I remember! Portland’s first mogo Music Festival was taking over Dante’s Portland and the Star Theater. I was on stage introducing some fantastic new local artists and some well-loved veterans. It was a weekend to remember, and hopefully to be repeated!

mogo-festival-2016-02Jason Fellman, of J-Fell presents, is well-known for his unparalleled influence on the Northwest cover and tribute band scenes. But Jason is a true fan of original music as well, being a songwriter himself. He was able to easily put together two nights of local original artists at two venues, creating a nice flow between acts, and keeping the weekend affordable. The idea was to introduce Portland audiences to 20 original local bands across a variety of musical genres, drawing listeners together, opening minds, and building bonds of friendship and musicianship that would help to propel these bands and fans throughout the following years.

mogo-festival-2016-03The promotion of this new event was novel – 10 weeks of radio promotion with in-depth band interviews, learning the influences of the music, and playing brand new music on Portland Radio Project’s Rock Block Show. Kelly Jones, Luke Neill, Teri Briggs, and Paul Lankow interviewed, photographed, and wrote articles for the bands – discovering new favorites along the journey, and finding out that mogo meant more than just a chance to play for large audiences – mogo was the embodiment of community among Portland musicians.

mogo-festival-2016-01Join us on Portland’s Playlist on Portland Radio Project this week, as we explore the successes and opportunities presented by this new local music festival. We will recap the adventure, and hear some of the exciting music that was premiered. Gene Rowan, from Acorn Sound Production House, also joins the discussion to talk about his favorite mogo moments. Show airs live Wednesday night, 7-9 PM 3/9/16 on www.prp.fm.

LOCAL YOUTH MUSIC SHOWCASE ANNOUNCED! 4/9/2016 at McMenamins White Eagle Saloon!

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Imagine being 16 years old, dying to learn about how to play live music and express yourself through original songs you’ve been working on since you were 12…you’ve gotten your friends together, begged your parents to soundproof the guest room and let you set up a drum kit…you get up early and do homework so that you can rehearse your music after school. You’re a responsible student, with respectful friends who clean up after themselves. Your parents think you’re pretty awesome and want to support your musical endeavor. This all sounds great – so where’s the issue?

Youth-Music-Showcase-2016-06Youth-Music-Showcase-2016-01Where can you go? A few local venues are stepping up here and there, but it’s a challenge to see a show, much less play a show in Portland. Most of our fantastic local music venues are 21+ only, and it’s completely understandable. A bar makes money by selling alcohol. A bar gets shut down by mishandling an all-ages crowd. The risks of allowing students to see or play live music at a bar are many, which discourage most venues from taking a chance on even the best of our young musicians.

Youth-Music-Showcase-2016-05A few venues have stepped up to show their support of our next generation of local artists – S.M.A.R.T. Collective is dedicated to youth shows. Youth Music Project in West Linn teaches classes and hosts all-ages jams, karaoke, and showcases. School of Rock Portland and School of Rock Lake Oswego hold classes, shows, and showcases regularly. But young musicians are desperate for more opportunities to show what they’ve created…enter McMenamins! The White Eagle has graciously offered to host a fantastic event, and are in full enthusiastic support of our first line up of local youth musicians!

Youth-Music-Showcase-2016-04I’ve personally attended all-ages concerts at McMenamin’s Mission Theater, Crystal Ballroom, Edgefield, and The White Eagle – they are doing their best to create ways to highlight young artists. The venues are not usually open to students for evening shows, so be sure to double check before planning your evening, of course – as most shows cater to 21+ crowds exclusively. However – we are really impressed, because the White Eagle has really come forward to offer a great opportunity to young musicians at the upcoming Saturday, April 9, Local Youth Music Showcase! With the support of our wonderful local sponsors, we hope to create an ongoing series of events that will prove the value and viability of supporting local youth in music.

Youth-Music-Showcase-2016-03Rock signs, fist bumps, and shout outs to all those who have helped in planning this premiere event: Premier Motorsports, Stefanie Fisher Real Estate, Ole Latte, SkateTracks Radio, PDX Spotlight, Vortex Music Magazine, Sounds of PDX, Teri’s Tunes PDX, School of Rock USA, and McMenamins! We are so excited to hear these bands! School of Rock House Band will be joined by 4 Day Moon, Black Sand, Pedestrian Death Gang, Jack Mortensen Music, and Michael Hermes.  Come join us for good music, good food, and above all – good friends! Check out the band links for info and some music!

Youth-Music-Showcase-2016-02McMenamins White Eagle Local Youth Music Showcase #1 happens this April 9, Saturday 12-2:30, doors at 11:30. Tickets available online at www.cascadetickets.com or at the door. $10 adults, $5 students, and free to age 5 and under – good fun for all!

 

The Faints (formerly The My Oh Mys) at Grand Lodge on 03-05-16

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McMenamin’s Grand Lodge threw a 94th birthday party for itself Saturday by having live music all day, sometimes in more than one location. One of those locations was outdoors, under tents in the sometimes-driving rain. After reading their bio, I was looking forward to checking out The My oh Mys (soon to change their name to The Faints).

The-Faints-at-Grand-Lodge-on-03-05-16-01This 6-piece band (with the recent addition of a background singer) is made up of former members of bands like The Decemberists, Jive Talking Robots, Triclops Organ Trio, Rob Stroup & the Blame, The Minus 5, Curtis Salgado, The ForReals, Jeremy Wilson, Dr. Theopolis, and Redray Frazier. The strong pedigree shows as there music is tight, melody-driven rock with 4-part harmonies that is easy to listen to but not predictable. When they broke out a ballad, they were *so* gorgeous I just melted, not an easy feat in 50-degree temps with the wind blowing through.

In the Spring of 2013, they released their first album “A Howl Against the Wind“. They return to the studio soon to begin work on their second. They treated us to some first-time-performed titles. I’m here to tell you this is going to be a great album! In the mean time, their next show is Thursday, March 17, 8PM at Doug Fir.

Sharing local artists with Portland and the world