Tag Archives: Americana

Jackalope Saints plays Ivory Crown at Doug Fir 5/6/16

Jackalope-Saints-plays-Ivory-Crown-at-Doug-Fir-FI

The Jackalope Saints make absolutely excellent music – I met with Clinton Herrick to check in and see what’s next for this bunch! Clinton, on Vocals/Guitar/Harmonica gives credit to his band, saying he’s the “least talented one in the group.” The funny thing is that all the members honor each other this way – the mutual admiration leads to inter-band instrument instruction, cooperative writing, and excellent communication. John Chap plays guitar, mandolin, banjo, and slide guitar. Clinton is grateful to John for all the training over the years. Jay Parshall plays bass and mandolin. Accompanied by Steven Schob on drums, Sharon Cannon on violin, David Celis on trumpet and keys and Lucas Alan on keys – the Jackalope Saints make it look easy…but it’s not. They’re just really, really good at what they do.

The Jackalope Saints are a mysterious bunch with a great story – what’s your favorite line from the story?

Jackalope-Saints-plays-Ivory-Crown-at-Doug-Fir-04JS Bio: Duplicitous, the wilderness speaks half-truths; it calls and goes silent. The Jackalope Saints’ stories are similarly mysterious. From the experience of singer-songwriter Clinton Herrick, the Saints’ music preaches the folklore of Wild America. Herrick’s imagery is elemental—wind and stone, bone and dust—but the lyrical detail guards more than it reveals. Sun-bleached teeth and a shadowed gunshot grow large in the listener’s mind. The imagery, however, only distracts from questions of substance: who, when, and where? But these are tall tales, ghost stories, the true experience of which cannot be found in fact.

Herrick has been drawn to this folkloric imagery since his youth. His grandmother gave him a jackalope postcard when he was ten. It’s still in his guitar case.

Traditionally associated with the American West, the mythical jackalope can mimic any sound. Cowboys around their campfires, echoes, would claim to hear the creatures singing songs back to them in the cowboys’ own voices. It is these uniquely American legends that continue to fascinate Herrick and inspire the Saints’ music.

This upcoming Doug Fir show on May 6th with SASSPARILLA and Water Tower – this seems like a dream bill for all three bands – how did you all come to find each other?

Jackalope-Saints-plays-Ivory-Crown-at-Doug-Fir-01Clinton: I saw both of these bands a pickathon (Sarsaparilla 2008 & Water Tower in 2010) after seeing them, i kinda fan-boy’d out on both bands. Going to a bunch of their shows around town and what not. We actually have been lucky enough to have shared the stage with both of them at this point over the years. This will be the first time we get to harness the amazing power of the two band in the same night though.

Is there another album coming soon? I’ve heard whispers…

Jackalope-Saints-plays-Ivory-Crown-at-Doug-Fir-02Clinton: Soon….. well….. we are going to start working on our new album within the next few months. I think what have learned during the course of the last 3 albums is, for every day you think it’s going to take to finish the album, add a month. BUT, i would love to have a new album out in early 2017….Jesus, that sounds so future.

What bands are you watching here in the NW?

Clinton: The Hill Dogs forever and always, Fruition is incredible…Eldridge Gravy and The Court Supremes are pretty darn amazing, and Nirvana has been killing it recently!

I hear you have a residency coming up at Al’s Den…any ideas about a theme at all?

Jackalope-Saints-plays-Ivory-Crown-at-Doug-Fir-03We are! The last week of June we will be hiding out in the basement! I think the theme of the week is COVER SONGS! In the past 5 years, we have successfully learned and performed 2 cover songs. We are aiming to blow that out of the water and have 1 new cover song for each night of the week at Al’s Dens. Each one of us is bringing a song to the table. It should be a good ol’ time.

That residency does indeed sound like fun – and I can’t wait for the May 6 Doug Fir Show! In the meantime, please enjoy the song “Only Phone Number” from The Jackalope Saints.

Westicana – The Way to Thrive in the West

Westicana-The-Way-to-Thrive-in-the-West-FI

What is Westicana? I proposed this question to Josh Malm Tree of Redwood Son, who gave me a straightforward explanation. However, I could tell that much thought had gone into this new idea, and I had to explore the possibilities!

Westicana-The-Way-to-Thrive-in-the-West-01Westicana is a genre of music, an artist collective, and an approach to musical vitality. In terms of genre, Westicana is “Western Americana”, which Redwood Son has absolutely established a solid home for here in the Northwest. Touching on country and folk and holding true to the genre of Americana, Josh’s music has certainly communicated the spirit of the expansive west , since being named “Best New Artist” at the 2011 Portland Music Awards. Redwood Son’s songs are a lovely mix of vintage instrumental tones, timeless lyrics, and contemporary approach to folk music. Josh’s idea of Westicana as a genre is very open and inclusive. As the idea continues to build momentum, I believe that we will see a very generous palette of musical styles being incorporated by partners in the Westicana Collective.

Westicana-The-Way-to-Thrive-in-the-West-02There is a spirit of adventure and danger connected to the idea of the “Wild West.” I first think of tumbleweed, gunfights, and long dusty rides across endless miles of wide open prairies. Then, I am led to consider the ideas of freedom, independence, and enduring spirit that brought pioneers to leave the comforts of civilization and establish homes for themselves in a generally hostile environment. The land was often unforgiving, work was never ending, and the entire effort was a gigantic risk. Salvation and success came to those who bonded together to build community. These communities of adventurous individuals are our pioneers, our ancestors – they held on tightly to their desire for independence and creativity, while creating a safe environment for all members to share ideas, build families and grow together. This is the emotional idea behind the Westicana Collective – made tangible by a group of musicians and music lovers who work together to build community based around a love of storytelling through lyric and melody.

Josh’s mind is always working on new ideas, and he shared a few with me. Westicana plans include many cooperative efforts between bands we already know and love. The collective will collaborate on shows and recordings, bring musicians together to meet and explore new ideas together, and assist in spreading the word about emerging artists. His love of bringing like-hearted individuals together is being fulfilled with the Westicana Collective.

Westicana-The-Way-to-Thrive-in-the-West-03This week in Westicana: Tonight, April 11 – a live premier of a new video at Lake Theater and Cafe in Lake Oswego, 7PM. Wednesday, April 13 – Westicana Wednesdays at Wild Hare Saloon in Oregon City. Join Redwood son and guests for songs and stories at 7PM. And, the Redwood Son release party this Saturday, April 16 at Mississippi Studios! Playing with Jaime Wyatt, Rust on the Rails, and McDougall – entry to this show includes a copy of the new CD from Redwood Son, as well as a healthy dose of the wild, free, independent spirit that is Westicana! Join Portland Notes at Mississippi Studios, doors 8PM, show at 8:30. Crimson and Clover Media will be in attendance to document the event, and this release show is Kelly’s pick of the week for Vortex Music Magazine!