Posts Tagged ‘Vieux Farka Toure’

The 10 best concerts of the year in Central Oregon

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

I’ve gone on and on about my favorite recordings of 2009 here and here, but live music is the backbone of any good scene. Here is a look back my 10 favorite shows of the past 12 months in chronological order, with excerpts from reviews already published in The Bulletin or on Frequency.

Moon Mountain Ramblers, Jan. 24, Tower Theatre

MMR

(The Ramblers) were terrific. Their arsenal of stringed instruments rang out crisp and clean. The mix was perfect, with percussionist Dale Largent complementing the pickers nicely. Vocally, the harmonies were shipshape, and I was surprised by guitarist Matthew Hyman’s strong voice. I didn’t realize he’s that good of a singer.

As for the set list, the band flitted back and forth between its favorite styles, from Hyman’s twangy ballads to bassist Dan McClung’s jazzgrass instrumentals to mandolinist Joe Schulte’s more rock-influenced numbers.

One highlight was my co-worker Jenny Harada’s song for her brother, Jason, who died last summer, called “Chasing The Sun.” I’m sure there were dry eyes in the house, but they weren’t mine. Another highlight was a new Schulte song built on a weird, ominous groove and featuring a wicked Largent drum solo, like old-time music meets heavy metal. A genre was born just then, I think: doomgrass.

We also got a raucous cover of the old Stealers Wheel hit “Stuck In The Middle,” a perfectly plaintive version of “Restless,” and what may be the Ramblers’ new signature tune, “Let It All Be Good.” In the latter, when Schulte sang “You’re dancing to our music till your toes start to bleed,” I scanned the wiggly bunch up front to get a glimpse of life imitating art.

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Some highlights from the Frequency Flickr pool

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Say, have you checked out Frequency’s Flickr pool? If not, I’d love it if you would. Or better yet, join the group and add your own photos of music being made in Central Oregon! Here are some highlights from what’s there now; be sure to click through to see the ones after the jump. (Photos were taken by me unless otherwise noted.)

Tuck And Roll at Deschutes Brewery!

tuck and roll

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July 24 in GO! Magazine

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Whew! It was kind of a hectic week around GO! Magazine headquarters, what with the uncertainty of Sugarland’s tour plans as we near their concert in Bend next week. But as of now, the show is on, and another GO! is out in the world. Here’s a look at the music stories it contains.

-The 2009 Bend Summer Concerts series at Les Schwab Amphitheater kicks off Thursday with an appearance by Atlanta-based country duo Sugarland. I didn’t get a chance to chat with them, so instead I wrote all about their Grammy-winning song “Stay.” If you’d like to hear it, go here.

-Most weeks, I get to write a concert review in a column we call Feedback. This week, I sing the praises of Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Toure, who put on a killer set at Munch & Music on July 16.

-The Deschutes County Fair kicks off on Wednesday, and it will host concerts by country singer Jake Owen on Wednesday and classic rocker Peter Frampton on Thursday.

-You’ve probably noticed, but the nightly offerings of Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom just keep getting stronger and stronger. This week, they have a slew of very different musicians in to perform everything from soulful pop to traditional bluegrass. (Silver Moon’s MySpace is here, if you’re interested.)

-It’s a big week at Bendistillery Martini Bar, too, with underground rappers Josh Martinez and Kosha Dillz doing shows on different nights, plus a mini-festival in Riverfront Plaza on Saturday and some other stuff, too. (Oh, what the heck, here’s the martini bar’s MySpace, too.)

-The Breedlove Guitar Co. is throwing a music festival, and although it technically begins on Thursday, the music doesn’t really start until Friday, July 31. Read about it here.

-This week’s local roundup features three gigs in unique places: The Sweet Harlots by the Deschutes River, Canaan Canaan at Dan Chavers’ performance studio, and Sagebrush Rock in the parking lot of Country Catering.

And hey, pick up the print version of GO! to check out the Area 97 Clubs page. There’s tons of other stuff going on!

Photo: Vieux Farka Toure at Munch & Music

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Toure was tremendous at Munch & Music in Drake Park Thursday night. It’s not that often that you see a band that has this much skill and this much fun at the same time.

Guitarist Vieux Tarka Toure, center, is flanked by two of his band mates. Sadly, I do not know their names. Photo by Ben.

Guitarist Vieux Tarka Toure, center, is flanked by two of his band mates. Sadly, I do not know their names. Photo by Ben.

July 10 in GO! Magazine

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Today, the regular Friday post about what’s in GO! Magazine’s music section doubles as a motherlode of free, downloadable music, thanks to some generous bands. Let’s get right to it, shall we?

-Elliot is a group of five local guys who play sweeping, positive rock music, and they’ve provided Frequency readers with a song for download that you can’t get anywhere else (except, of course, by buying their album “Rocketships”):

Download Elliot, “Sideways”

-My plan was to interview fast-rising African guitarist Vieux Farka Toure for a story this week, but conflicting schedules got in the way. Instead, you’ll have to settle for a track from “Fondo,” his acclaimed new album:

Download Vieux Farka Toure, “Fafa”

-Colorado bluegrass combo Head for the Hills will be busy Sunday, playing an outdoor show in the afternoon and an indoor show in the evening. Check out a couple of their songs right here:

Download Head for the Hills, “Hornet’s Nest”
Download Head for the Hills, “Harvest Moon”

-The Summit Saloon & Stage is gettin’ funky tonight with The Pimps of Joytime, and gettin’ rootsy on Thursday with Taarka. I have a Joytime song for you, but I’m running into some technical issues, so you’ll just have to visit the band’s MySpace and listen to “Bonita” there.

Also happening this week: Jade’s Jazz Festival in La Pine and a great underground hip-hop show at Bendistillery Martini Bar featuring Mine+Us and DJ Hoppa.

Not happening this week: The Itals at the Domino Room. There is a blurb in GO! about this show, but the show was canceled after the section went to press.

All the MP3 downloads above are free to anyone. However, the articles linked can only be viewed by subscribers to The Bulletin’s Web site. If you can’t see them and you want to, you’ll either need to subscribe or pick up a copy of today’s paper.

Local music news

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

I’m in Portland for a couple days, so please forgive me if the blog seems a bit quiet. I’ll make up for it when I get back to Bend. For now, a few local notes:

-If you were hoping to spend an “intimate acoustic evening” at the Tower Theatre with roots-pop singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile and you don’t already have your ticket, you’re out of luck; the show is sold out. Tickets sold out in less than two weeks, according to promoter Bret Grier, which around here is pretty fast.

-The Sisters Folk Festival is now accepting entries for its annual Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest. The winner will take home $750 and the five finalists will perform during the folk fest, set for Sept. 11-13 in Sisters. Entrants may submit up to three songs and must submit by July 31 through SonicBids. Click here to learn more about how to submit song files. (By the way, the folk fest’s lineup is already looking pretty sweet: Peter Rowan, Todd Snider, Alison Brown Quartet, Kelly Joe Phelps, Blind Pilot, The Belleville Outfit, Susan Werner … wow!)

-A new event called Jade’s Jazz Festival appears to be getting off the ground. It’s planned for July 11-12 in beautiful La Pine, and according to the Web site, performers include Nina Callaway, David Patrone, Ed Criss, Blues Quarter, Bellavia, Lino and Detour: Jazz. We’ll have more info in an upcoming GO! Magazine, of course.

-Finally, the acts playing at some of the summer events are starting to trickle in. Some of these are confirmed, some aren’t, but are probably safe bets: The Virginia pop band Carbon Leaf will headline The Bite of Bend June 21. The rest of the lineup is stocked with local acts and it looks like this. Folk legend Joan Baez will perform at the Athletic Club of Bend on Aug. 16 as part of the Clear Summer Nights concert series. Pollstar has fusion guitarist Fareed Haque slated for Munch & Music on July 9, and the Web site of the fine Malian singer Vieux Farka Toure has him playing Drake Park the following Thursday.