Tag Archives: McMenamins Kennedy School

The Noted – Intentional Songwriting with Positivity!

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Daniel Work of The Noted stopped by this week to chat with Portland Notes about the band’s upcoming all-ages album release show at McMenamin’s Kennedy School on March 24. During the conversation, I was able to get some insight into what creates their seemingly universal appeal that crosses genres and generations. Daniel is an experienced musician, with decades of songwriting and performing to draw from. With The Noted, he feels that they have created a team that works together well, blends a variety of styles, and shares the same passion for sharing their music with audiences through albums and concerts. Finally, Daniel’s expertise and friendliness allows him to connect with music professionals all across the country, creating opportunities for The Noted to reach even more ears and hearts.

The-Noted-03Daniel has been working with the West Coast Songwriters for many years, and is currently the volunteer Director for the Portland Chapter. West Coast Songwriters is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization dedicated to the craft of songwriting, performing and connecting members with industry professionals and other musicians looking to collaborate. Through this organization, Daniel gives back to the music community by helping other songwriters perfect their craft. Through his years of songwriting, Daniel has gained, developed, and taught an appreciation of how to create, craft, and produce high-level professional music. The Noted produces commercial, mainstream songs with a vast level of diversity, and the band is excited to share their new project Not Far Away with the public at an amazing show on March 24!

The-Noted-02The album release is a FREE, all-ages event, to be held at the historic McMenamins Kennedy School, in the gymnasium! The Noted strives to keep their music positive and accessible to all. They write with the common threads of good solid pop music with complex undertones, while being dedicated to offering great diversity from song to song, and always staying positive and vibrant in their message. Testimonials on their webpage from audience members prove that The Noted are staying true to their intended goal – making people happy through music! Their songs have aired on over 250 radio stations worldwide, and their debut CD At This Moment, was chosen by ITunes editorial staff to be featured on their main page in 2013.

The-Noted-04The Noted’s members, Daniel Work, Jeff Koch, Mike Snyder, John Dwyer, and Angela Baldino all have different musical influences, different backgrounds, and different “day jobs.” But they’ve all consistently had their hands on instruments throughout their lives, and they come together to share their experiences with each other and their audiences. On this new album, each member might have a different favorite song – but they really love to see which songs connect most dramatically with the audience. It’s different at every show, because while all the music is positive and energetic, some messages speak to some audience members in a very direct way. This is intentional – The Noted write songs with intent and purpose.

The-Noted-01The idea of a free, all-ages concert is an excellent way to show the band’s wide appeal. Look for The Noted to appear on Portland Radio Project with Kivett Bednar and Nastacia Voisin on Wednesday, March 16. Then, come and see The Noted at their album release show on March 24 In their own words, “inspiring rock about love, life, and you”!

Jacob Westfall at McMenamins Kennedy School on 02-25-16

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Portland Notes stopped by McMenamins Kennedy School last night to catch Jacob Westfall‘s “Be Right Back” show. ​This is his last Portland show for a few months because he’s taking off for Nashville to hone his craft, do some networking, and see what’s next.

Jacob is a young man who seems much older and wiser than his chronological age, with a music background that started at the age of 7 when he began playing the piano influenced by his older sister’s music tastes. Actually, the entire Westfall family has varying degrees of musicality, and his father still plays guitar every day at home.

Jacob-Westfall-at-McMenamins-Kennedy-School-on-02-25-16-01Describing his music, Jacob says, “My music is a conversation with the audience—like I’m telling them a story.” He counts Ben Folds as one of his greatest influences and spent many an hour studying Folds’ albums and songwriting style. His soulful vocals have been compared to singers like Jeff Buckley and Sam Smith but with the character and songwriting style of John Mayer. With “more than a nod to Ed Sheeran,” Jacob’s solo performance is “animated by astute guitar and kinetic live looping.”

Jacob-Westfall-at-McMenamins-Kennedy-School-on-02-25-16-02Jacob’s musical talents are many. At 9, he wrote his first song, “Midnight Bloom,” about watching the Leonid Showers with his Mom, thinking that the stars looked like flowers. In 6th grade, he took up the sax, Grades 9 -11, trying to meet girls; he picked up the drums and bass guitar, and at 17, began playing guitar. It was at this time that his father gave him his prized Takamine which he plays to this day,

Jacob-Westfall-at-McMenamins-Kennedy-School-on-02-25-16-05Haley Johnsen, playing a solo acoustic set, opened the show. Family obligations prevented hearing her entire set, but having seen her many times, she put on a great show that was appreciated by the crowded room, and led to many album sales. Her lyrics speak of love found and love lost, feeling and overcoming pain, suffering and triumph. Haley was featured on American Idol in 2012, finishing in the top 24. After touring and coming home to perform locally, she gives back to the community by offering vocal and guitar lessons to children at the Lake Oswego School of Rock. Much like Jacob, she is in a transitionary stage, with open arms to receive that next direction for her music, while continuing to perform, and perfect her craft.

Jacob-Westfall-at-McMenamins-Kennedy-School-on-02-25-16-04Jacob played as a four piece band, joking that members; Dylan Sundstrom, Andrew Magnuson, and Mark Muusse are available for hire. He started off his set with “What If,” the title track off his latest album. His setlist included original material sprinkled with a few popular covers. His music touches on relationships gone bad, the need for love in this political climate, to an angry response to Kesha’s current trial against Dr. Luke in a #FreeKesha song. Playing many few favorites, “Second Chances,” a song that speaks to a romance, but could actually apply to getting a second chance at most anything in life, and the beautiful and heartfelt, “Lonely,” written for his lovely lady. Addressing a time when he was bullied as a child, is the anthemic, “Movin On.” With Andrew on Mandolin, and Dylan on upright Bass, the three performed a beautiful rendition of Lorde’s, “Royals.” Bringing Haley back onstage, the two of them performed a moving version of Elvis’, “Fools Rush In”, with the band joining them for the final chorus. This was the perfect song to end the set, but like all shows, the audience demanded an encore, so the finale was a rousing, “Blister in the Sun” by the Violent Femmes.

Jacob-Westfall-at-McMenamins-Kennedy-School-on-02-25-16-03In a recent conversation with Jacob, he reminisced about a time when his Dad told him that the latin roots of the word, enthusiasm, are God In Us, Jacob believes that no matter what “God” is to you, if you live your life with enthusiasm, you are going to be happy, and he strives to do just that. When you see a Jacob Westfall performance, you will get enthusiasm, passion, and honesty, along with a connection between this talented musician and his audience. He may be a young man, but he is an old soul in his convictions and talents. Portland wishes him a fond farewell, for now, because he will be back, and we will await his return with baited breath!