Posts Tagged ‘Harley Bourbon’

Harley Bourbon unveils “Old Empty Bottle” tonight

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Harley Bourbon is, from left, Casey Cathcart, Collin Rhoton, John Forrest and Maxine Roach.

Local roots-rockers Harley Bourbon stopped by the office last week and dropped off a copy of their new album, “Old Empty Bottle.” Not one of those fancy-pants official versions with cover art and a track list and all that stuff … we’re talking the whole thing on one 40:43 minute track on a blank CD that says “Harley Bourbon” and “mastered” in black-marker chicken scratches.

I popped it into the computer, and laughed when this came up:

Apparently, according to the database that iTunes uses to identify CDs, “Linnea Bradley” also released one 40:43-long track at some point called “Smoking Cessation.” New Age, no less.

I went ahead and imported the CD. I’ll fix the info … eventually … maybe.

Anyway, this little bit of metadata confusion is especially funny because of Harley Bourbon frontman John Forrest’s voice, an gnarly cocktail of sandpaper and glass shards. Please note that I have no idea if Forrest has ever smoked a cigarette in his life. But he sounds like he has smoked them all.

Regardless, he’s blessed with the pipes for this kind of music; think Paul Westerberg, Shane MacGowan, Bobby Bare Jr. But the most obvious point of reference is Ben Nichols of Lucero. Like that guy, Forrest delivers perfectly and consistently coarse vocals without mangling his memorable melodies. And like Nichols, he’s backed by a mighty fine band. The other three Harley Bourbon-ites — bassist Casey Cathcart, drummer Maxine Roach and guitarist Collin Rhoton — are a well-oiled unit, adept at bashing out a mix of punk-folk, outlaw country, rockabilly and hardcore twang that’s catchy and well-crafted, but also hefty and rough around the edges.

Short version: “Old Empty Bottle” is packed top to bottom with strong songs and strong performances. It’s a heck of a listen. And if you get out and about tonight and end up at McMenamins, you can buy a copy from the band. They’re playing Father Luke’s Room at 9 p.m., and it’s $5 to get in. (Next door in the movie theater, a tribute to The Band called Across The Great Divide — including Gabe Johnson, Tyler Mason and an all-star lineup of other locals — will play at the same time with the same cover charge. Find more info on McMenamins’ party plans here.)

Here’s a taste of “Old Empty Bottle,” a song called “Won’t Be Lonely” … enjoy.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Last winter, the Jazz at the Oxford series had a terrific inaugural season, bringing a handful of regional jazz veterans to Bend and selling out each of its 13 shows.

Tonight, the series kicks off its second season, which features an expanded schedule and headliners with higher profiles, including award-winning jazz-pop vocalist Diane Schuur, who’ll play three shows at The Oxford Hotel over the next two days.

Here’s Schuur doing “Today I Started Loving You Again” from her new album “The Gathering,” a collection of country covers.

Shuur’s show tonight is sold out, but there are still tickets available for both Saturday performances. Last week, I got her on the phone and spoke with her about her own artistic freedom and the session for “The Gathering.”

“I think the consensus is that people have confidence enough in me and in my direction to give me their blessing and say … ‘If this is what you want, girlfriend, go for it,’” Schuur said. “I’m glad I’ve got the versatility and the voice to be able to do that because a lot of people unfortunately get stuck in a rut where they’ve got one style and that’s basically what they’ve got. I consider myself very fortunate.”

Even with dozens of albums under her belt, the “Gathering” session was the quickest in Schuur’s career, she said. It took one day to record and another day to polish up with overdubs and other tweaks. That was it.

“Once I got going, I just kept going, like the Energizer Bunny,” she said with a laugh. “(These songs) just really got into my soul.”

I hope you’ll click here and read the whole thing. Be sure to read about Jazz at the Oxford’s origin, success and upcoming schedule on the right side of the page!

The L.A.-based funk/soul band Orgone brings their cool, retro vibe back to town Monday night. My colleague David Jasper spoke with a couple of the band’s members about Orgone’s upcoming plans.

“We had a break in September and October, and we finally grabbed some time to work on some new material,” he said. After playing on the annual Jam Cruise in January, Orgone plans to use the shore leave to record a new album. “We’ll have a record done for March. We’re real excited about that.”

The band played the Volcanic Funk Festival in Bend last summer, but the recording break may mean it’ll be a while before Orgone brings its energy back to Oregon. And though it may be cold outside, it’s likely to get hot in The Annex.

“It’s 110 percent adrenaline-fueled dance party,” Rios said. “The band’s definitely going to get sweaty; it usually carries over into the people. It’s basically high-energy, no holds barred. We just kinda come full force and come to take no prisoners.”

You should read the whole thing by clicking here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Jerry Joseph plays his gritty rock ‘n’ roll at gritty Players Bar, Calling Morocco blends pop, rock and twang at The Sound Garden, a bunch of DJs and MCs gather at the Domino Room for Orbital: A Journey Through Sound, and local experimental cellist Third Seven plays at The Horned Hand before taking off on tour till spring. Plus Allan Byer, Harley Bourbon and lots more in our “Going Out” listing.

[Photos] Opening night at The Horned Hand

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, there are 12,000 words below about Bend’s newest art-hangin’ / clothes-sellin’ / music-playin’ / beer-drinkin’ space, The Horned Hand, which I introduced you to right here.

Still, I am going to add a few of my own.

Cobbled together inside the old Repeat Performance building at 507 N.W. Colorado Ave., the venue’s official opening is tonight, when California folk-rocker The White Buffalo performs (9 p.m., $7 advance, $10 at the door). But there was a sort of soft opening last night, featuring music by Harley Bourbon and Boxcar Stringband, beer by Boneyard Brewing (and cans of Old German), and food by The Codfather, a new cart in town that sells fish ‘n’ chips out of a huge red double-decker bus parked just outside The Horned Hand’s roll-up bay door.

The decor is exactly what head Hand Wesley Ladd described when we met last week in what was then a barren, rectangular box. It’s eclectic, full of found objects and thrift-store bargains. Hubcaps, animal horns, interesting art pieces and vintage signs cover the walls, and they’re all for sale, Ladd says. A couple racks of clothing sit along one wall below a stereo system and projector, which last night ran the 1973 cult film “The Holy Mountain” silently on the opposite wall. (It was really, really weird.)

The bar appears to be a couple of kitchen counter slabs draped across several large barrels. The “bar stools” are kegs with pillows on top. Seating is available across the room in both old molded plastic school chairs (one had “Room 126″ scrawled on the back) and bench seats from automobiles. There’s a picnic table up front. It’s just to the left of the stage, which looked to be about a foot tall.

Both bands were great. I had never heard Harley Bourbon before, but they’ve got Lucero’s sandpaper-throated alt-country down pat. I look forward to seeing them again. Boxcar Stringband swings, baby, swings. (Their CD-release show is tonight, by the way.) The place was rockin’ as I approached around 9:45 p.m., and Ladd closed the bay door at 10 p.m. out of respect for the neighbors. The Horned Hand got a lot hotter after that, and pretty soon its crew was cranking up fans in the corners to keep the air moving.

Overall, I’d say it was a successful first night. I’d guess 100 or so folks came through, maybe a bit more, and many seemed to know each other, fueling the feeling that this wasn’t a brand new spot in town, but a longstanding neighborhood hangout. I was talking with local graphic designer and rock ‘n’ roller Dana MacKenzie, and he said “It feels like this place has been lived in for a year.” Or maybe he said eight years. I don’t know. It was loud. Either way, I couldn’t agree more.

Around 11:15 p.m., I headed out the door to find Ladd shushing a group of folks on the front lawn whose chatter was growing louder. That kind of thing is nice to see, and it’s a smart way to go. The Horned Hand has tremendous potential to be a vital cog in Bend’s nightlife and music scene, if it can navigate the hurdles that any business like it faces: red-tape headaches, annoyed neighbors, apathy on the part of locals. I hope it clears all of those and whatever else comes its way and sticks around for a good, long while. You should, too, and you can show your support starting tonight.

To the photos! (Sorry for the quality. I am not a great photographer and conditions were challenging.)

Note The Codfather's double-decker bus just outside the bay door.

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