Posts Tagged ‘Bend Roots Revival’

Bend Roots Revival officially canceled

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Nine days after first announcing that the 2012 Bend Roots Revival was canceled (but then passing around a petition and hoping to work things out with their venue, the Century Center), organizers of the weekend-long celebration of local music and culture made it official last week: No Roots fest this year.

So, if you’re reading this, chances are good you now need something to do Sept. 27-30.

Want to catch up on the debacle story? Here are some handy links:

Bend Roots’ statement on Aug. 27 canceling the festival because of what it described as land-use disputes between the Century Center and the nearby bullet manufacturer Nosler.

Nosler’s statement on Aug. 28 saying it had no knowledge of the cancellation before it happened. (Just for fun: Here’s my rant in last week’s paper about the folks who went and yelled at Nosler before they knew all the facts.)

An hour later, Rise Up Presents, one of the groups that organizes Bend Roots, posted this statement saying it had contacted Nosler, found support for the event and that its next step was to appeal to Century Center to reconsider hosting the Roots Revival.

All along, this petition asking the city of Bend to allow events (and thus Bend Roots) to continue at Century Center was flying around.

–On Aug. 29, my colleague at The Bulletin, Hillary Borrud, published a good story on the subject that includes all sides and all the info — at least, all the info that the people involved would talk about.

–Finally, the final word.

Roots Revival organizers have already said they plan to bring the event back in 2013. Meanwhile, if you’re a musician based in Central Oregon and you have a local gig booked for Sept. 28-30, please be sure to leave a comment on this blog post with the details (venue, time, cost, lineup). I’ll be sure to get it listed in The Bulletin.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Every once in a while I look at the music section in GO! and am both proud and amazed at the amount of stuff we get to. We don’t get to it all, but we get to a lot.

This is one of those weeks:

-After years of opening for bigger names and selling out the Tower Theatre, Brandi Carlile is back in Bend Saturday to headline the Les Schwab Amphitheater. Opening act Blitzen Trapper is awesome, too. We talked to both of them.

-In Feedback, I went on a bit of a rant about online vigilantism, spurred by some of the stuff that happened on Facebook earlier this week after Bend Roots Revival organizers canceled their festival.

-One-man band Tony Smiley celebrates the release of his new album “Ticket to the Trip” with a show Thursday at McMenamins Old St. Francis School.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk, DJ Wicked’s all-vinyl weekend, Estocar and The The The Thunder at Silver Moon, nelo at Black Butte Ranch, Back From The Dead at Maragas Winery, Moon Mountain Ramblers at Elk Lake Resort, Dixieland Party Band and Friends in La Pine, The JZ Band, a very busy weekend at The Horned Hand and more!

Bend Roots Revival plays host to reunion of old friends after 50 years

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Local musician and all-around cool dude Joe Leonardi was reunited with some of his old buddies from his hometown of Valley Stream, New York a couple of weekends ago. The three men — who hadn’t talked to or seen their friend in nearly 50 years — found Leonardi on Facebook a few months ago and flew to Oregon to see him (and his daughter, Anastacia) play the Bend Roots Revival.

Here’s an excerpt of my story on the reunion, which ran in the Community Life section of The Bulletin on Sunday:

The guys arrived on Sept. 23, and — as close friends tend to do — slipped right into their old ways. Each man glows when he describes the evening.

Frank Ragone: “We sat down on Friday night and (had) a wonderful dinner. We sat at the kitchen table and told stories like it was yesterday.”

Albee Allstadt: “Forty-eight years had gone by and we picked up right where we left off.”

Pete Porri: “You pick it up like you are back in high school. It’s a pretty incredible thing.”

Joe Leonardi: “I was blown away. This floodgate opened of memories and just sparked all of these things that I totally forgot about. It’s been a trip. I’ve just loved seeing these guys.”

For the three friends who have been gathering for years, the feeling is mutual.

“It was a special bond back there (in New York) and that’s why we’re here. It was something that was unique,” Allstadt said. “Joe was very special to us, so when his name came up, there was no question we were coming.”

Left to right: Albee Alstadt, Frank Ragone, Joe Leonardi and Pete Porri.

2011 Bend Roots Revival: Day 3

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

(Find all our coverage of the 2011 Bend Roots Revival, including a preview of the event and recaps of all three days, by clicking here.)

As if it was determined to present a well-rounded microcosm of life in Bend, the Bend Roots Revival’s third day brought about much cooler temperatures and, with them, this town’s impressive collection of fuzzy, puffy, fleecy, downy jackets. I don’t know if it was the weather or some other factor, but the Sunday crowd at Roots seemed much smaller than I expected. Maybe I was seeing things wrong.

There was, however, a good-sized gathering around veteran folk singer Allan Byer on the Casey’s Corner stage when I showed up in the mid-afternoon. For 15 minutes, at least, Byer had one of the few spots on the schedule with no competing sets, which no doubt helped draw people in. But the guy also has been playing anywhere and everywhere in Central Oregon for years, and he has gathered a following, I’m sure. It’s easy to see why; Byer’s sound is soothing and tasteful, the perfect start to any Sunday afternoon full of music. I arrived just in time to capture one of his trademark Bruce Cockburn covers:


2011 Bend Roots Revival: Day 2

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

(Find all our coverage of the 2011 Bend Roots Revival, including a preview of the event and recaps of all three days, by clicking here.)

Sometimes it seems like my Twitter feed is full of nothing but Bendites who go to every single event in this town, floating from free concert to art walk to seasonal festival to bike race to free concert to art walk to seasonal festival to bike race to … you get the picture.

Yesterday, I felt like one of those folks.

My goal was to arrive at the Bend Roots Revival at 1 p.m. to see Franchot Tone play his disarming reggae-pop, but a last-minute errand put me in the car, driving across town at that time. Community radio to the rescue! I turned my dial to 88.9 FM, where KPOV was broadcasting live from the festival’s BIGS Stage, and listened to at least half of Tone’s set, including several originals, his sharp cover of the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” and a frisky funk jam by The Meters.

When I did finally arrive at the Century Center, I ventured first into the courtyard, where a growing crowd and competing noise from two stages made it feel a bit too chaotic. So I retreated to the Good Life Stage for some jazz guitar wizardry from longtime local Rich Hurdle. I’d never seen him before, but his casual style and laid-back sound was an ideal antidote to the hustle and bustle of the courtyard. Here’s his take on “Triste” by bossa nova pioneer Antonio Carlos Jobim:


2011 Bend Roots Revival: Day 1

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

(Find all our coverage of the 2011 Bend Roots Revival, including a preview of the event and recaps of all three days, by clicking here.)

Thanks to a previous commitment and then a last-minute decision to go see Subliminal play Nirvana’s “Nevermind” in its entirety (more on that later), I wasn’t able to make as much of the 2011 Bend Roots Revival‘s opening night as I would’ve liked.

I did scoot over to the Century Center in the late afternoon to catch a couple of bands. On the breezy Good Life Stage, local, all-female Americana trio The Prairie Rockets were playing a pleasant set that was perfect for the small Happy Hour crowd that had gathered. (By the way, how nice is that space? Wow. Kudos to Good Life Brewing for creating that little slice of paradise.)

I only had 30 minutes to split between the Rockets and Two/Thirds Trio, and during my 15 minutes with the Rockets, I heard them cover Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan, and a folk standard called “Rock Salt and Nails” that was written by Utah Phillips and recorded by, well, just about everyone else. Here it is:

(Sorry for the shaky camera work and cut-off heads. I was wrangling an 18-month-old while shooting both of these.)

From there, I wandered over to the Casey’s Corner stage for a band with one of my favorite names in town, the Two/Thirds Trio. They played this gig as — get this — a quartet, pumping out rubbery, robust funk and jazz that gave the festival’s rootsy Friday-night lineup a little urbane diversity. Here’s one of their jams:

I had to be home most of the evening, so I missed the Moon Mountain Rambler Family Tree party, Billy Mickelson’s Third Seven / Dela Project run, guitar master Brooks Robertson and some other stuff. Before heading over to Grover’s for Subliminal, I checked in hoping to catch Oh Sugoi! (I was told their light show was amazing), but they seemed to be running late. And after Subliminal, I stopped in again and found 75 people or so dancing to the electronic tonic of Flying Kites well after midnight. It was still unseasonably warm.

Today, the schedule really ramps up. Find all our Bend Roots coverage by clicking here.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Over the past six years, the Bend Roots Revival has grown from a small gathering of local artists jamming in and around Parrilla Grill and The Victorian Cafe to one of Central Oregon’s biggest and best music events and a vital celebration of local arts that takes over the Century Center for an entire weekend.

This weekend is that weekend. The Bend Roots Revival is back!

In today’s GO! Magazine, we’ve got everything you need to enjoy the Bend Roots Revival, including:

-A performance schedule that’ll be more helpful than anything else you can find, I guarantee it.
-A story about what’s new at the Revival, including new stages, new artists and a new partnership with Rise Up International.
-A quick look at five featured performers at the festival that you may not already be familiar with: Brooks Robertson, Aisea Taimani, Consider the Fox, The Woods and Flying Kites.

Enjoy it, folks!

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Hank Williams III returns to the Domino Room, Mare Wakefield plays a Windance House Concert and Pete Kartsounes brings his band to McMenamins (and Bend Roots)

Plus, my Feedback column makes its annual trek to Portland for the massive MusicfestNW festival, where highlights included Givers, Purity Ring, White Hills, Explosions in the Sky, You Am I and late-night poutine from Potato Champion. Click here to read my overview, and then look for more detailed reports on Frequency very soon.

Observations about the 2010 Bend Roots Revival

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

As the music writer at the local daily newspaper, it pains me to say this, but 2010 was a lost year for me and the Bend Roots Revival. Which is a major bummer, since I’m supposed to cover the local music scene, and there is no better celebration of the local music scene than the Revival, now in its fifth year on Bend’s west side.

Alas, these are busy times in my life outside work, and after wall-to-wall coverage of the 2009 festival, I just couldn’t spend as much time at this year’s event as I would’ve liked. I hope to make up for that next year.

But, I did swing by for a couple hours on Saturday morning, and a couple more hours on Saturday evening. Here are a few observations:

1) As far as I could tell, Century Center is an ideal venue for the Bend Roots Revival. There’s plenty of parking, and the single entrance/exit is a far better situation than the chaotic come-and-go free-for-all at the fest’s old home around Parrilla Grill and The Victorian Cafe. That alone must’ve been a major relief for organizers. Also, the Center’s courtyard is expansive and comfortable, but can be segmented in such a way to provide several distinct performance spaces. The two biggest stages have particularly nice set-ups. You wind down a wheelchair ramp to get to the outdoor B.I.G.S. Stage, where tall red walls tower on three sides, creating a very self-contained environment. And the indoor Century Center Stage is in a large, simple, concrete room set apart from the rest of the grounds by a door … y’know, because it’s indoors. The two biggest stages host the festival’s biggest, loudest acts, so it’s nice they’re about as isolated as they can be within the relatively tight confines of the Century Center’s courtyard.

2) That said, Revival organizers will have to find a way to reduce the “sound bleed” from the B.I.G.S. Stage next year. It is around the corner and behind some food booths from the Dave’s Garage and Casey’s Corner stages, but when a quieter artist is playing on one of those stages and a louder artist is soundchecking or performing on the B.I.G.S. Stage, the latter can easily overwhelm the former. I’m not sure what the solution is — perhaps just careful scheduling? — but it’s something to be aware of.

3) On Saturday morning, I wandered around the festival with my daughter, intent on seeing local artists I’d never seen before. In the spirit of Twitter, here are 140-character “reviews” of each:

Dan Shanahan: One of Central Oregon’s best-kept secrets, his slow-burning alt-country songs are terrific. Polish that band a bit and big things are ahead.

Imzadi Tribal Music: A gentle, colorful collective that uses didge, drums and more to concoct an aural offering to the spirit of your choice. Plus belly dancers!

Michelle Van Handel: Jazz singer’s originals waft thru the room like an aromatic cocktail, complete w/ tiny umbrella. The soundtrack to a perfect island night.

Robin Jackson: Smooth & soulful, set to smartly picked acoustic guitar. Dig the French vocals, too. She’ll whisk you to a cool club somewhere cosmopolitan.

4) I returned to the festival on Saturday evening not necessarily to watch Mosley Wotta and Empty Space Orchestra perform, as I’ve seen them both a lot, but to take in the scene. I’ve heard that there were lots more people at this year’s Revival than in past years, and I’m sure that’s true. Given the very different venues and layouts of the Century Center vs. Parrilla/The Vic, though, it was hard to make that comparison, at least for my feeble mind. I will say this: There was a mob of folks out to see MoWo headline the B.I.G.S. Stage, a thick crowd of at least a few hundred that stretched from the stage all the way to the back. I shot some video, but it’s very dark so … I don’t know, maybe if you squint you can get a feel for the throng:

No matter what you can or can’t see in that video, the point is this: There was a really good vibe at Bend Roots Saturday night. It was a different vibe from last year’s Saturday night; last year’s Saturday night felt embryonic, unexplored, on the edge. Last year, during the Ruins of Ooah -> Mosley Wotta -> Empty Space run at the end of the evening, the excitement was palpable. The air crackled with buzz. It felt like we were standing on the head of a match just as it burst into flame.

This year, the buzz was still there, but it was a little more seasoned and a little less spine-tingling. Don’t misunderstand: The value and importance of hundreds of people gathered to celebrate local art and hear local music was huge. It was like a physical embodiment of all the next-level success that Central Oregon’s musicians have enjoyed in 2010. But at last year’s Roots fest, it felt like folks were stepping out of their comfort zone, tentatively dipping their toes into the local-music water. This year, it was clear they’d spent the past year learning to swim, and they dove right in.

Bend Roots Revival ’09 was the event’s last year as an under-discovered gem, finding itself, learning to walk. In 2010, with a new home, better organization and artists onstage who’d achieved a higher profile, Bend Roots hit the ground running, ready to race into a bright future.

Stream the Bend Roots Revival on KPOV

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

If you’re like me and can’t spend all day at the Bend Roots Revival (find our coverage here), you can stream a lot of it thanks to Bend’s community radio station, KPOV (which is also a major sponsor of the event).

Click here to stream!

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Leif James performs at the 2009 Bend Roots Revival.

It’s Bend Roots Revival weekend! Our town’s foremost celebration of local music (and other arts) moves to a new home this year, the Century Center at the corner of Century Drive and Commerce Avenue, just behind the old Brightwood Mill building. This week’s GO! has all the info you need to enjoy the festival to the fullest:

–A story on Roots founder Mark Ransom, Century Center owner Dave Hill, and how the two came together to give the event a new home
–A full schedule of performances
–A breakdown of the lineup, including when and where you can get the best bang for your buck, depending on what kind of Roots experience (rootsy, rockin’, eclectic, kid-friendly, etc.) you want

Bend Roots isn’t your only solid option tonight, either. Over at the Domino Room, agit-punks Against Me! will bring their arena-ready pop hooks and deadly earnest outlook on life to Bend’s disaffected youth. To quote a friend of mine: “The idea of standing around with a bunch of kids that think they can change the world with their ‘zine sort of bums me out.” Me too! But the idea of going and pumping my fist along with songs like this one sounds totally awesome! Anyway, read my colleague David Jasper’s take on the band’s career(ism) by clicking here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Blind Pilot plays the PDXchange Program at the Tower Theatre, a bunch of local teen bands are going to play a benefit at CAT6 Video Lounge, and Redmond High School hosts an ABBA tribute! Need more options? Check out The Bulletin’s complete music listings.