In a pretty amazing coincidence, there are no fewer than three CD-release shows by local artists tonight in Central Oregon. (Four if you count Mai from Moon Mountain Rambler’s shindig at Three Creeks Brewing Co., in Sisters, but he’s working up to a bigger event in a few weeks, so he can wait.)
I know what you’re thinking: “I really want to support Bend’s local musicians and their artistic endeavors, but with three CD-release shows in one evening, how do I choose which to attend?” Make Local Habit, right?
Frequency is here to help you figure out which one best suits your taste. Below are links to more information on each, including articles I wrote for yesterday’s GO! Magazine (where you can also find the when/where/cost, etc.), the artists’ Web sites and, courtesy of these guys, one song from each album available for free download. (You may need to right-click and choose “Save As” to grab the MP3s.) Away we go:
Local guitarist and singer-songwriter Gary Fulkerson has a CD-release show planned for Saturday at Silver Moon Brewing. The guy was also one of my favorite interviews in a long time. For an hour, we talked about music, fear, doubt, triumph … and doughnuts. Here’s a taste:
“Emotionally and creatively, I felt as though I wasn’t really being true to myself somehow, and I wasn’t really expressing what I needed to express,” he said. “The combination of picking up the guitar (came together with) feeling completely stuck and reaching this pit, and at the confluence of those things, I started to write songs. So I sat down and I wrote this first song.”
That was more than two years ago. Since then , the songs have poured forth, and Fulkerson has compiled some of them on his new album, “Float and Scatter,” which he’ll celebrate with a show Saturday in Bend.
“It became a need more than something I wanted to try. It became a necessity,” Fulkerson said. “It was like, ‘I’ve got to just get something out. Something has to get out of me.’ And when I wrote that first song, it was as if I had released a breath that I’d been holding in for a century. And it was like, ‘I want another one of those.’ So I wrote another and another, and all of a sudden that doubt and question in my mind began to just melt away.”
I attended the Brandi Carlile concert on March 17 at Bend’s Tower Theatre and was pretty much blown away. Here’s an excerpt of my review:
Carlile focused on material from her 2009 album “Give Up the Ghost,” but also dug into her breakout record, 2007’s “The Story,” flanked (as usual) by longtime collaborators and identical twins Tim and Phil Hanseroth. On stage, the three are a soulful study in symmetry, constantly approaching and backing away from their microphones like pistons in a car engine.
They’re also pretty darn tight musically, as proven on a gathered-round-the-mic version of “Oh Dear,” the perfect Hanseroth harmonies on “Looking Out,” and the easygoing, ’70s-inspired chorus of “Late Morning Lullaby.”
But most of all, they proved it with an unamplified take on “Ghost” standout “Dying Day,” played on beat-up guitars at the edge of the stage to take advantage of the Tower’s top-notch acoustics. It was a jaw-dropping performance, a highly skilled jam session transported from some far-away front porch, and unquestionably the highlight of a night full of highlights.
You can see a bunch of photos of the show here, and you can read my whole review here.
Bendites Guy J Jackson and David Finch have a new album called “Odd Frost,” which features Jackson’s surreal poetry set to Finch’s improvised jazz. They’re doing a CD-release show Saturday at Greenwood Playhouse.
“My stories are generally pretty wacky-doo. There’s always some kind of hyper-real aspect in there,” Jackson said. “Bob Dylan’s kind of my big ol’ hero. He kind of walks the universe in his songs … and that’s what I try to do. I think, like, ‘OK, now I need a story about corporate life, and now I need a story about a chicken and his human friend.’”
Jackson said he has long been interested in working with musicians who can score his stories. In Finch, he found a willing and able partner. The two recorded the songs late at night, with no rehearsal. In fact, Finch often hadn’t heard the story before tape began to roll.
“We just started throwing out stuff. I’d say, ‘Give me the feel. Give me the tone,’ and we’d just record it,” Finch said. “It just kind of was magic.”
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Portland hip-hop kingpin Cool Nutz, a CD-release show for Redmond’s Ross Rogers, Bill Nershi and Scott Law return to town, Old Stone Church hosts the “Portland Indie Infusion” with The Dimes, Norman and Tortune, and The Dirty Words play McMenamins Old St. Francis School. And, as always, you can find more in our complete music listings.
Bearfoot will perform Saturday at Sisters High School for Sisters Folk Festival’s Winter Concert Series. Here’s an excerpt from my story on the band:
Bearfoot’s wings are fully spread on “Doors and Windows,” released last year on Compass Records. It’s the band’s first album with new fiddler/vocalist/songwriter Odessa Jorgensen (formerly of The Biscuit Burners), and it was Bearfoot’s first recording session powered by a record company. Compass exerted a little bit of welcomed influence, Hamre said.
“They kind of made us focus — which is good — more on radio play,” she said. “(They helped us) make the CD cohesive, where all the songs make sense together.”
Indeed, “Doors and Windows” is a wonderful and mature album, apropos of a modern-day string band that has grown up before the eyes of bluegrass nation. It’s jam-packed with toe-tapping melodies and gorgeous vocals, not to mention songs that keep one foot in old-time music and one in the pop-grass world that made superstars out of Alison Krauss and Nickel Creek.
Here’s an excerpt from my column on last weekend’s Grammy Awards:
(Pink) sauntered out clad head-to-toe in white, like some Star Wars princess. Snooze. But then she shed the robe (leaving her nearly nude), climbed into a long white sheet draped from the ceiling and performed a full-on acrobatics routine a few dozen feet in the air, half while dripping wet. And she never missed a note. This was no joke; I actually worried for her safety, but she nailed it. Maybe she was raised in the circus. I barely heard the song, but she deserves (credit) for her guts.
My recap of the rest of the show isn’t nearly as positive. Read it here.
Also in the music section this week: Cash’d Out pays tribute to The Man in Black, The Aggrolites open for Slightly Stoopid, singer-songwriter Emma Hill returns to town, Rise Up throws a Haiti benefit concert, Gary Fulkerson plays guitar at Velvet and local metal band Inimica leads a heavy bill at Players. And, as always, there’s more in our complete music calendar.