THE LINE-UP: PROFILES AND SCHEDULE

THE LINE-UP: PROFILES, SCHEDULE
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FRIDAY: Title

FRIDAY, JANUARY 28

BLUEGRASS

COMMUNITY CONCERT

FREE TO THE PUBLIC
OREGON PACIFIC BANK - COMMUNITY OUTEACH CONCERT

TRUE NORTH DUO
5PM

7:00 PM - GROWLING OLD MEN


7:00 PM - GROWLING OLD MEN


The Growling Old Men really enjoy playing music together. Ben Winship (mandolin & vocals) and John Lowell (guitar & vocals) are both veterans of the Northern Rockies’ acoustic music world and have been performing and recording together since 1998. Together the duo presents a tight, yet relaxed set of original and traditional bluegrass songs, ballads, and tunes – informed equally by the music of the Appalachian hills and the western plains.

In concert the Growling Old Men are engaging and spontaneous as they make a big sound for two guys. Their shows include a blend of well-rehearsed material and few new songs hot off the press – they like to walk the edge of improvisational risk taking.  The duo strives to contrast simplicity with complexity; all with good tone and a warm sense of humor.

Festivals, concerts, and workshops have led these minstrels both near and far – from hometown cafes to A Prairie Home Companion, from Canada to the Shetland Islands. In 1998 the self-titled Growling Old Men was released, followed by Occupational Hazards in 2005. In addition to working as a duo, they occasionally play with their favorite fishing buddy, songwriter and bassist, David Thompson. And when in the UK, they frequently collaborate with Leon Hunt (banjo) with whom they produced (More) Growling Old Men: Shuttle Diplomacy in 2008.

Their CDs are truly a joint effort with the lead singing, harmony, songwriting and picking duties shared throughout. These have earned them rave reviews from fans, djs and the press alike. Says Dan Miller, editor of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, “The first Growling Old Men project is one of my all-time favorite recordings …. These masters of the guitar, mandolin, and harmony vocals have continued to hone their craft over the years – their vocals are tighter, and they speak to each other through their instruments with a smoothness, fluidity, and familiarity that magically occurs when musicians come to know each other so well they can read each other's mind. I could go on and on."

Ben Winship is a multi-instrumentalist and was a founding member of Loose Ties, with whom he performed from 1986 to 1996. In the words of Tim O’Brien, “Ben is one of the acoustic music scene’s best writers.” In addition to the Growling Old Men, he also performs with Brother Mule, the Fishing Music Band, and a local Dixieland band. Ben also runs a well-respected recording studio, the Henhouse, and his CDs and soundtracks have appeared in numerous documentaries and everywhere from MTV, ESPN, NPR, Sirius to the World Café and Car Talk – a testament to Winship’s versatility and broad appeal. Despite countless hours driving around with windows down and running a chainsaw, Ben’s hearing is still pretty good.

John Lowell has been a stalwart of the Montana bluegrass scene for the past 25 years. Fronting two of the region’s finest bluegrass bands, Wheel Hoss and Kane’s River, John has set a standard for rock solid guitar playing and great singing. “John Lowell is an engaging vocalist and a facile guitarist,” said Bluegrass Unlimited, adding that, “he is a great storyteller.” Lowell’s songs often show up on the bluegrass radio charts, having been covered by a growing list of contemporary bands: Valerie Smith, Front Range, New Vintage, Bryan Bowers, Bluegrass Etc. John has been featured on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, he has been compared to some of the finest guitarists in the business, and to a ham sandwich.

 

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8:30 PM - APPALACHIAN ROAD SHOW


8:30 PM - APPALACHIAN ROAD SHOW


Appalachian Road Show is a visionary acoustic ensemble, bringing new-generation interpretations of traditional Americana, bluegrass, and folk songs, as well as offering innovative original music, all presented with a common thread tied directly to the heart of the Appalachian regions of the United States. GRAMMY-nominated banjoist Barry Abernathy joins forces with GRAMMY-winning fiddler Jim VanCleve, fresh off his recent stint touring with multi-platinum country artist Josh Turner, as well as esteemed vocalist and mandolinist Darrell Webb, who has recorded and toured with Dolly Parton and Rhonda Vincent, among many others. The group also includes bassist Todd Phillips, an acknowledged legend in bluegrass music circles, with two GRAMMY wins and four GRAMMY nominations under his belt, along with 23-year-old “old soul” guitarist Zeb Snyder, whose fierce and versatile playing recalls Doc Watson and Norman Blake as readily as it does Duane Allman and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

“With this group, we want to bring to light the culture and lifestyle of the Appalachian music we grew up in,” says Abernathy.

“We immersed ourselves in our native culture by way of sound and further educated ourselves to our own roots, those which are found all throughout the Appalachian music we grew up with,” says VanCleve. Ready to share its authentic and fresh approach with the public, the band went into the studio in the summer of 2018 and recorded its debut album, Appalachian Road Show. The project landed three multi-week number one songs on Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay charts and garnered the band a New Artist of the Year nomination and Song of the Year nomination (“Dance Dance Dance”) at the 2019 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards.

Appalachian Road Show invites us to come and sit a spell on its porch as the band shares its dynamic musicianship through songs and stories emanating from the mountains and hollers of North Carolina and Virginia to the coal mines of West Virginia and Kentucky. On its eponymous debut album, the band delivers powerful songs that range from the gospel-esque “I Am Just a Pilgrim” and “Little Black Train,” to the reeling, kick-up-your-heels “Dance, Dance, Dance,” to the ballad of love and loss “Anna Lee.” “All of these songs came from the Appalachian Mountains and from the coal mining regions of Appalachia,” says Abernathy. “They confront topics such as logging, coal mining, trains, a sweetheart that took off, and so on. There’s something universal in the music and its expressed themes. There’s something for everyone.”

Abernathy, VanCleve, and Webb know it well as they were each born and raised in Appalachia. “I was 10 or 11 when I started singing in church,” says Abernathy, who grew up near the head of the Appalachian Trail in northern Georgia. His grandmother had a banjo, and despite being born with only one finger on his noting hand, he knew at the young age of 14 that he wanted to learn to play that banjo and Appalachian music. VanCleve, a North Carolinian by way of Florida, was gifted his first fiddle when he was six. His grandfather, a preacher, played acoustic music, as did his aunt, uncle, and father. By the age of twelve, VanCleve and his father were travelling all over the mountains of North Carolina and Southwestern Virginia, attending dozens of fiddle contests, bluegrass festivals, and old-time music festivals. Webb grew up in the coal mining country of West Virginia where he mastered old-time and bluegrass music through the influence of his father, a coal miner and bluegrass musician who passed away from black lung – an emotional topic which Appalachian Road Show tackles in its music.

“Appalachian music and its stories have been passed down to us, and we’re now passing our own interpretations of this to a new generation, while also shedding a reverent light on this culture,” says Abernathy. “We want to not only keep these traditions alive, but also honor the strong and dedicated individuals who made lives in the mountains over the past 200 years. Appalachian Road Show is meant to be more of a cultural experience rather than simply just a collection of songs. If we were to eventually be viewed as unofficial ambassadors of Appalachian culture, that would be an honor.”

With a full schedule of tour dates lined up and new music already in the works, Appalachian Road Show has big plans for the future. Abernathy, VanCleve, and Webb intend for Appalachian Road Show to become much more than just a concert, but to eventually grow into a full-on production and immersive experience, offering interpretations of culturally appropriate tunes, telling the stories behind the songs, offering visuals which support the emotional content of the songs, as well as offering new original songs which are born out of the emotion and spirit of traditional Appalachian music.

For now, Appalachian Road Show invites us into the music and stories of Appalachia’s culturally rich heritage. As they say, “It’s part of who we are. It’s natural for us. It is authentic. This music is so vibrant, and it has its own vitality and its own life, and we mean to carry that forward.”

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SATURDAY: Title, Button

SATURDAY, JANUARY 29

AMERICANA AND SONGS OF THE WEST

PRETTY GRITTY


PRETTY GRITTY
1PM


Pretty Gritty might be another duo emerging from a sea of female/male acts as of late, but there is nothing typical about these two. Sarah and Blaine have cultivated a sound that is both timeless and classic, yet they still succeed in bringing something fresh to the table, pushing rootsy-Americana sounds into an edgy, alternative space. These two have carved out a reputation as a must-see live act, allowing them to open for such acts as The Wood Brothers (SalmonFest 2016), Michael Franti & Spearhead (SalmonFest 2018), Chris Eldridge,Tim O'Brian, Tony Trischka (Charm City Folk & Bluegrass Festival 2013), Rod Picott, Lake Street Dive, Ben Sollee & the Kentucky Native and Joe Newberry.

Both members utilize their multi-instrumental skills to sing, play stringed instruments and hold down back-beats, all simultaneously for a truly engaging experience. But they are not simply just entertainers. It is their mesmerizing vocal harmonies and beautifully crafted songwriting that really tug at the heartstrings and earn them life-long fans. The duo originally formed in Maryland in 2010, but after completing 2 (completely DIY) National tours, Sarah and Blaine decided to relocate to Portland, OR. At first they hit the streets, busking downtown, but it didn't take long for folks to take notice. Pretty Gritty are now playing at venues all over the Pacific Northwest. They have successfully completed several tours, covering ground all over OR, WA, MT, CO, UT and AK.

Pretty Gritty's self-titled debut album (2012) features the well known jam/festival scene artist, Keller Williams, as the voice of the devil on the track titled "Hellhound Blues." This freshman attempt won them 2 Indie Music Channel awards, Best Country Song and Best Folk Song.

In 2015, Pretty Gritty began their relationship with producers Fred Cannon & Paul Buono at Creative & Dreams Music Network (Nashville, TN) where they recorded their Lonely Road EP (released Feb 2016). Pleased with the experience, everyone decided to continue the relationship and return to the studio to record a full album, Seven Year Itch which was released in March 2018 and has been receiving rave reviews and radio play across the United States, Canada, the UK and other places throughout Europe.

"There is something simply divine coming out of Portland Oregon and it's the duo Pretty Gritty. Their release Seven Year Itch is a colorful palette of their songwriting and multi-instrumental skills. Sarah and Blaine have a sound that is a timeless treasure, they also succeed in bringing something fresh to the rootsy-Americana genre. Pretty Gritty is a flawless fit."
-Lou Flesh, No Depression Magazine

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GROWLING OLD MEN


GROWLING OLD MEN
2:15PM


The Growling Old Men really enjoy playing music together. Ben Winship (mandolin & vocals) and John Lowell (guitar & vocals) are both veterans of the Northern Rockies’ acoustic music world and have been performing and recording together since 1998. Together the duo presents a tight, yet relaxed set of original and traditional bluegrass songs, ballads, and tunes – informed equally by the music of the Appalachian hills and the western plains.

In concert the Growling Old Men are engaging and spontaneous as they make a big sound for two guys. Their shows include a blend of well-rehearsed material and few new songs hot off the press – they like to walk the edge of improvisational risk taking.  The duo strives to contrast simplicity with complexity; all with good tone and a warm sense of humor.

Festivals, concerts, and workshops have led these minstrels both near and far – from hometown cafes to A Prairie Home Companion, from Canada to the Shetland Islands. In 1998 the self-titled Growling Old Men was released, followed by Occupational Hazards in 2005. In addition to working as a duo, they occasionally play with their favorite fishing buddy, songwriter and bassist, David Thompson. And when in the UK, they frequently collaborate with Leon Hunt (banjo) with whom they produced (More) Growling Old Men: Shuttle Diplomacy in 2008.

Their CDs are truly a joint effort with the lead singing, harmony, songwriting and picking duties shared throughout. These have earned them rave reviews from fans, djs and the press alike. Says Dan Miller, editor of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, “The first Growling Old Men project is one of my all-time favorite recordings …. These masters of the guitar, mandolin, and harmony vocals have continued to hone their craft over the years – their vocals are tighter, and they speak to each other through their instruments with a smoothness, fluidity, and familiarity that magically occurs when musicians come to know each other so well they can read each other's mind. I could go on and on."

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MARY FLOWER


MARY FLOWER
3:30PM


Mary Flower’s immense finger picking guitar and lap-slide prowess is soulful and meter-perfect, a deft blend of the inventive, the dexterous and the mesmerizing. Her supple honey-and-whiskey voice provides the perfect melodic accompaniment to each song’s story.

An internationally known and award-winning picker, singer/songwriter and teacher, the Midwest native relocated from Denver to the vibrant Portland, Oregon music scene in in 2004. She continues to please crowds and critics at folk festivals, teaching seminars and concert stages domestically and abroad,  that include Merlefest, Kerrville, King Biscuit, Prairie Home Companion and the Vancouver Folk Festival, among many.

A finalist in 2000 and 2002 at the National Finger Picking Guitar Championship, a nominee in 2008, 2012 and 2016 for a Blues Foundation Blues Music Award, and many times a Cascade Blues Assn. Muddy Award winner, Flower embodies a luscious and lusty mix of rootsy, acoustic-blues guitar and vocal styles that span a number of idioms – from Piedmont to the Mississippi Delta, with stops in ragtime, swing, folk and hot jazz.

Flower’s 11 recordings, including her  four for Memphis’ famed Yellow Dog Records — Bywater DanceInstrumental BreakdownBridges and Misery Loves Company — show a deep command of and love for folk and blues string music. For Flower, it’s never about re-creation. Her dedication to the art form is a vital contribution to America’s music.

“A world class finger-style guitarist and lap slide player.” – Downbeat Magazine

“There are few musicians in the genre bringing as much creative spark and low-key mojo to this century-old music…” – Acoustic Guitar Magazine

“Marries acoustic blues with touches of ragtime, folk, and jazz…the interplay is always interesting, often provocative, and sometimes breathtaking.” – Living Blues

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SATURDAY NIGHT


SATURDAY NIGHT 


KRISTEN GRAINGER AND TRUE NORTH
7:00PM

KRISTEN GRAINGER & TRUE NORTH is a folk-bluegrass powerhouse of terrific songwriting, lush vocals, and crazy-good instrumentalists. 

Fronted by singer-songwriter Kristen Grainger, the band is comprised of multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Dan Wetzel and Pacific Northwest bluegrass superstars Martin Stevens (mandolin, octave mandolin, fiddle, vocals) and Josh Adkins (upright bass, vocals), both formerly of the Bluegrass Regulators.

Kristen Grainger is making a name for herself as a crafter of great songs, winning the 2020 USA Songwriting Competition (folk) and taking second in Overall Grand Prize (all genres). She has collected accolades and awards at Telluride Bluegrass Festival (CO), Wildflower Arts & Music Festival (TX), IMEA (GA), Merlefest (NC), Kerrville (TX) and, together with Dan Wetzel, Wintergrass (WA). She also won the 2019 Local Roots Northwest songwriting competition (Portland, OR).

The band’s newest project, Ghost Tattoo, released in June 2020, made Folk Alley’s Listener’s Choice: Top Albums of 2020 (#12) and earned many excellent reviews.   (See Press )

Their 2018 release, Open Road, Broken Heart, debuted at #1 on the folk DJ charts for national radio airplay and stayed in the Roots Music Report’s top 25 all year. Their 2014 release, Elsebound, spent 25 weeks in the top 10 and was the 7th most-aired folk album of 2015.

On stage, the band deftly delivers the song-stories, mind-blowing harmonies and mad instrumentals of a band deeply rooted in traditional folk and bluegrass genres. As Folk World (UK) put it, “What comes over loud and clear is that one is in the presence of some seriously talented musicians.”

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____________________________________________________

 

KARLA BONOFF
8:30PM

Karla Bonoff has been described as one of the finest singer/songwriters of her generation. That description is not hyperbole.

Bonoff has enjoyed critical acclaim, commercial success, enduring popularity, and the unwavering respect of her peers. Karla has seen her songs become hits for Bonnie Raitt, Wynonna Judd, and Linda Ronstadt. Many of Bonoff’s ballads are classics.

Karla has continued to tour extensively, playing sold-out shows around the world. Hearing Karla’s moving vocals on her rich, expressive songs is like standing beneath a sparkling waterfall–refreshing, exhilarating, restorative. Experiencing them live can be transformative.

In 2019, Karla released her first new album in over a decade, Carry Me Home, a 16-song set featuring brand new recordings of Karla’s classics along with new songs by Karla, Kenny Edwards, and a cover of a vintage Jackson Browne tune, “Something Fine,” which Karla performed on the 2015 compilation, Looking into You: A Tribute To Jackson Browne. She was featured in the acclaimed Linda Ronstadt documentary: The Sound of My Voice, highlighting her friendship with Linda and as the writer of several of her biggest songs, including Grammy Winner, “All My Life.” Bob Lefsetz, a longtime fan, interviewed her for his popular podcast and dug deep into her history as a pioneer of the Southern California Singer-Songwriter scene, Trisha Yearwood’s new album includes a lovely rendition of Karla’s “Home,” Mary Sue Toohey of The Village on Sirius/XM hosted a performance & interview, and she was invited to sing on the longest-running radio program for acoustic music, Acoustic Café.

Fans and critics agree that Bonoff’s songs are timeless as are her recordings. Many prefer her versions live with instrumentation that is clean and spare, giving Bonoff’s voice room to work its emotional magic. As dynamic as ever in her solo shows, Karla is also available to package with various accomplished musical partners, including a new offering, “Home for the Holidays” with guitarist Sean McCue!

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