Posts Tagged ‘Reed Thomas Lawrence’

[Review / video] Rootdown, Reed Thomas Lawrence at Bend Spring Festival

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Frequency contributor Ethan Maffey checked out the Bend Spring Festival Saturday night and filed this report. Be sure to read all the way through and then check out the video Ethan shot of Eugene’s Rootdown:

This past weekend, the popular Bend neighborhood NorthWest Crossing hosted a scaled-down version of the typical seasonal downtown festival. From the looks of things on Saturday, the smaller festival seemed to be a complete success, and possibly the best indicator was the scheduled music that evening.

First to take the stage was local singer-songwriter Reed Thomas Lawrence, in one of his final Bend shows before his planned relocation to Los Angeles this summer. Still hanging on to a bit of the reggae-pop sound from his last album, the man they call RTL has clearly begun to incorporate more blues and traditional rock into his catalog. New and unreleased material was featured throughout much of his set and, though it was performed with a band put together only days earlier, easily Lawrence is ready for the big city.

After a free-verse introduction by RTL during his final song and a quick stage change-out, Eugene’s reggae/pop/rock band Rootdown — fronted by former solo artist Paul Wright — was ready to finish off the festival crowd and did so with surprising prowess. During Lawrence’s set, Rootdown bassist Jackson Michelson ventured in front of the stage and joined a lady who was enjoying the music with her own brand of dancing. Unsure of whether this represented the headlining band as dorky attention-grabbers or simple lovers of life and fun, I reserved making that call until their set … and it didn’t take long for me to get an answer.

While Rootdown’s music hasn’t pushed any envelopes or carved out brand new sounds, what it has done is present the genre with thoughtful accuracy and brilliant honesty. The performance of tracks from their latest album, “Summer Of Love,” delivered such upbeat messages and rhythms, most festival goers couldn’t help but jump in the air with pumped fists or split index and middle fingers, resonating the peaceful and yet energetic feel of the music. The members of Rootdown are genuine guys who love what they do, communicate that to the audience with every smile and perform each song with the kind of energy found at a Michael Franti concert. Their stage direction is tightly executed and they engage the crowd with charisma that shows off their charm. By the end of the night, I had become a big fan and unashamedly asked them autograph my CD.

If you missed this show, you can still catch an acoustic performance from Rootdown May 9 at The Kilns here in Bend, before they venture as far away as Alaska on their college campus tour … and I suggest you do.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, March 19th, 2010

First things first:

Tonight, there are a whole bunch of ways to help the people of Haiti in downtown Bend. The centerpiece is a concert at the Tower Theatre featuring David Jacobs-Strain, Rootdown, Reed Thomas Lawrence and Eric Tollefson. There’s also a pre-party before the show at the Astro Lounge, and an afterparty happening at the Liberty Theater. Get all the details by clicking here.

The Portland Cello Project will bring its blend of classical music and pop-culture know-how to McMenamins Old St. Francis School next week. I chatted with PCP founder Douglas Jenkins about the group’s repertoire, which features … well, just read on:

“If (audiences) leave with … a lot of confusion, I’m fine with (that),” Jenkins said. “Like, ‘Why did Arvo Pärt come after Britney?’”

Pärt is a contemporary, minimalist classical composer from Estonia. And, yes, “Britney” is Britney Spears, the pop tart-turned-tabloid star whose Grammy-winning 2004 hit “Toxic” is the most-requested song in PCP’s repertoire.

It’s that mishmash of a repertoire, combined with PCP’s classically-trained chops, that has made the group an unlikely breakout star on Portland’s overflowing music scene. According to, PCP’s material includes everything from Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Outkast to Bach, Beethoven and Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla.

In between, there’s Michael Jackson and Led Zeppelin, Pantera and Pink Floyd, ABBA and A-ha, plus Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses and Metallica, theme songs from films (“Star Wars”), television shows (“Star Trek”) and video games (“Super Mario Bros.”), Portland-based indie faves like The Builders and The Butchers, Weinland and Laura Gibson, and original tunes, too.

Intrigued? You should be. And you should read the whole thing here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Mark Schultz and Point of Grace, The Irish Rovers, Little Fish, Audiolized, The Autonomics, and a busy week at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom, including Nettle Honey, John Cruz and a “Herstory” open mic to benefit the Human Dignity Coalition. And you’ll always find lots more in our complete music listings.

Local benefits for Haiti taking shape

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

In response to the earthquake in Haiti, a couple of local benefit concerts seem to be happening. One is further along than the other, which means you can put one on your calendar, and you could potentially get involved in the other:

-On Sunday, Feb. 7, local humanitarian group Rise Up International will put on “Rise Up & Rebuild” at the Domino Room. Doors will open at 4 p.m., and the cost of admission is $5, with the money going to relief efforts in Haiti. The lineup, according to Rise Up’s Jesse Roberts, includes Person People, Larry and His Flask, Leif James & The Struggle, Haylee & Amanda, slam poetry by Manifestdestiny and Lakes, a mighty fine indie-rock band from California that put out on EP with a cover that always catches my eye in record stores.

-Fast-rising local singer-songwriter Reed Thomas Lawrence isn’t sure yet exactly what kind of Haiti fundraiser he’s putting together, but he’s working on something, and he’s aiming high, if his e-mail today is any indication. If you’d like to participate or help him out, write Reed at

Beyonce, Shakira, NOFX … and Reed Thomas Lawrence?

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Congrats to local reggae-pop-rock singer-songwriter Reed Thomas Lawrence, whose upward trajectory continues today with his appearance as a featured artist on MySpace’s Music homepage.

If you click that link and he’s not there, well, they rotate artists in and out, and you missed him. So here’s a screen shot for posterity:


Reed Thomas Lawrence’s Rothbury report

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Local singer-songwriter Reed Thomas Lawrence played a set of his good-times pop-rock for the fine people at the gigantic Rothbury music festival in Michigan over the July 4 weekend. Today, he filed a report about his experience on his blog.

Click here to read tales of mixed up hotels, forgotten guitars, and waiting for breakfast with the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh. All in a day’s work, eh?

And click here if you want the back story on Lawrence and his journey to Rothbury, as reported back in May right here on Frequency.

Which local act is playing one of America’s biggest music festivals?

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Reed LawrenceHa! How’s that for a tease of a headline?

The ol’ Frequency inbox received an e-mail yesterday from local singer-songwriter Reed Thomas Lawrence announcing that he has been chosen to perform at the gigantic Rothbury Festival, to be held July 2-5 in Michigan.

Joining Lawrence on the bill (or is it the other way around?) are The Dead, Bob Dylan, The String Cheese Incident, The Black Crowes, and a whole bunch more huge names. Visit Rothbury’s Web site to see the lineup … you have to wait for it to scroll down for a bit, but sure enough, there’s Lawrence’s name.

This morning, Lawrence told me the gig came about through his connection to Madison House Inc., a large booking and publicity company in Colorado. Madison House signed on as Lawrence’s booking agent last year, and began working to get him on the Rothbury roster about a month ago, he said. Last week, he got an e-mail confirming the gig.

“I was so excited, but it didn’t really sink in until, I think, the next day, when I was on the Rothbury Web site looking at all the artists, and they had actually added my name to the lineup,” he said. “It was kind of surreal, because here’s Bob Dylan at the top, and I’m like, ‘What!?'”

Lawrence is scheduled to play “toward the evening” on July 4, he said, which sounds like a pretty sweet spot. Often, new acts are stuck playing at noon on the first day of the festival, when most people are still setting up tents rather than listening. But no matter when he plays, this is a huge opportunity for Lawrence. A quick Google search turned up estimates that 40,000 people attended Rothbury last year. That’s a whole lot of ears.

I’m happy to say that we’ve been covering Lawrence for a few years now, beginning with his first album back in 2006. You can read more about him here and here, if you’d like.

(Photo courtesy Ben Moon.)

free Sunday shows at the Schwab

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

The lineup for the free Summer Sunday shows at Les Schwab Amphitheater has been announced, and it’s a mix of locals, artists that have played the series before, and new out-of-town acts.

The Sunday shows are popular because they’re free, they’re open to families (including dogs on leashes), and folks can bring food in and enjoy an afternoon of music and sunshine. Pretty sweet. Gates open at 1 p.m. and the music starts around 2:30 p.m.

And now, the lineup: