The Quick & Easy Boys are a power-trio out of Portland, Oregon who creates their own blend of rock and roll. Imagine the Minutemen, the Police, and Band of Gypsies rolled into one.
Formed in 2005, The Quick & Easy Boys quickly made a name for themselves in Eugene, Oregon before relocating to Portland and becoming a renown nationally touring act. Their shows are an interactive party with electrifying stage antics and profound musical moments as the trio pours out every ounce of their energy, leaving nothing behind. The band has gained the reputation for moving a crowd all-night long whether it be a big festival or a tiny watering hole. Founding members Sean Badders on vocals and bass & Jimmy Russell on vocals and guitar play all the notes. Tyrone Hendrix joined in 2018 on percussion. The Quick & Easy Boys have continued to evolve musically…and audiences continue their enthusiastic calling of “Yeah Bud!” at every show.
Walter Trout and Provogue Records / Mascot Label Group will release Survivor’s Blues globally on January 25. Trout is no ordinary artist and this is no ordinary covers album. From the day he conceived the project to the moment he counted off the first song in the studio, he had a bolder plan for this release.
Trout shares. “I’m riding in my car sometimes, and I’ve got a blues station on – and here’s another band doing Got My Mojo Workin’. And there’s a little voice in me that says, ‘Does The World need another version of that song?’ So I came up with an idea. I didn’t want to do ‘Stormy Monday’ or ‘Messin’ With The Kid.’ I didn’t want to do the Blues greatest hits. I wanted to do old, obscure songs that have hardly been covered. And that’s how Survivor Blues started…”
Over the course of the last several decades, Walter Trout has been a prolific artist. He’s regularly released offerings from the studio, so this moment of offering a covers album is somewhat of a curveball. His 2017 all-star release, We’re All In This Together, shows no sign of burning out and continues to receive accolades and sales on a global basis, alongside four awards for Blues Rock Album Of The Year. He reflects, “It’s really overwhelming. How do I follow that up? I’ve always respected guys who went out on a limb, like Neil Young or Bob Dylan. You never know what they’re gonna come out with.”
This show is hosted by Sisters Folk Festival. Go to the SFF website for tickets.
For this show, Andrew will be joined by his Buried In A Cape recording band: Christian Sedelmyer, Eli West, and Clint Mullican. This cast of players have history with a list of roots music luminaries including Jerry Douglas, Bill Frisell, Tim O’ Brien and John Reischman, alongside their acclaimed solo projects.
You may be familiar with Andrew Marlin from his involvement with Chapel Hill, NC duo Mandolin Orange. As the songwriter for the band, Andrew has become known as a gifted lyricist, producing powerful yet subtle, thoughtfully crafted songs. With Mandolin Orange, Andrew has toured the world, gracing famous stages including the Ryman Auditorium, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and Newport Folk Festival, to name just a few.
Buried In a Cape, Andrew’s first instrumental solo release, debuted in September 2018. The album is an eclectic collection of his instrumental work, modeled after one of his heroes — John Hartford — who as legend has it, was buried in a Batman cape. The recording session for this project was scheduled on a whim at the Butcher Shoppe in Nashville, with Eli West (guitar, banjo), Christian Sedelmyer (fiddle), and Clint Mullican (bass). The compositions highlight Andrew’s skills as an instrumentalist, while showcasing that his writing skills are not confined simply to poignant lyricism. Although the tunes have been making cameos in Mandolin Orange sets, these winter west coast shows will provide an outlet to experience Buried in its full, instrumental glory.
With Buried, Andrew follows in the footsteps of his previous accolades with MO. The Mandolin Cafe said “Marlin joins his heroes as a mandolinist of note, and a talent for the ages,” while Red Line Roots praised the album saying, “Buried In a Cape is (in my opinion) the best record to be released in 2018. For those of you who are already fans of instrumental music, this will be your go-to for years to come. For those who are not fans of instrumental music, listen to this album and then I’ll say ‘welcome to the club’.”
The evening starts with local band Skillethead at 8:00, opening for Portland-based band — 2019 RockyGrass band competition winners — Never Come Down who weave Americana, Bluegrass and other styles into their beautiful and unique brand of music. Doors open at 7:00.
“If you never take a chance, you can never get it wrong … so you better take a chance before it’s gone.”
These lyrics from the song “Chances” on their self-titled debut album have become a mantra for the members of Never Come Down. As Joe Suskind puts it, “I suddenly had all these opportunities — hosting a weekly bluegrass showcase, meeting a publisher who liked my music and finding musicians who were writing, playing, and aligning their lives with their craft like me. We all felt the pull to take a chance on our music and each other. We’re taking a real swing at it.”
Earnest songwriting, dedication to craft, and genuine care for the music is at the forefront of what they do. “We never tell each other what to play. You can feel when the music is right.” It’s that feeling — that space Never Come Down creates — that has captivated audiences from the onset.
And opening for them: A collection of Central Oregon’s finest bluegrass pickers have decided to bring their living room jams to the people as Skillethead. Drawing repertoire from the bluegrass tradition while interspersing original tunes, the group offers banjo-driven, vocal harmony-laden, good-old American music with a twist. Members include Joe Schulte (Moon Mountain Ramblers, Popcorn), Garret Miller (Larkspur Stand), Benji Nagel (Honey Don’t, The Spoilers), and Aaron Moore (CJ Neary Band, Derek Michal Marc).
They are pungent, not subtle. The people who are experiencing them are well aware that they’re doing something wrong, but the self-medication takes, more times than not, and they’re able to withstand it all. They fall into problems and rarely, if ever, claw their way out of them. It’s just one black hole of issues swirling around them, stinking up the place. Kevin Blackwell, the lead singer for the dirty bluegrass band out of Portland, Oregon, encapsulates the general character who calls these songs home, on “Mary Celeste…All this misery keeps great company. It’s the liquor cabinet that takes a hurt.
Ring in the New Year with a flashback to the Roaring Twenties! Wear your finest to slip into the Speakeasy mentality and dance to fabulous local band,
Started in the Summer of 2014 by Lucas James and Riley Winslow, Company Grand is a 9-piece exhilarating band that performs a range of Rock & Roll, Blues, Funk, and Rhythm & Blues originals – along with a wide array of covers.
Lucas and Riley provide exciting, and eccentric song writing, and electrifying musicianship on keyboard and guitar, respectively. Later, Haley Jordan joined these two on the song writing front, rounding out the bands sound, and adding jaw-dropping lead vocals.
Their rhythm section is rounded out by Tyler Cranor (Bass), Patrick Ondrozeck (Drums and Keys), and Mesham Jackson (Drums and Percussion). All three studied music at universities across the country, and combine their diverse musical backgrounds to create the most exciting dance grooves you’ll hear. Our horn section consists of Keemun Senff on trumpet, Dan Flagg on Trombone, and Steve Prazek on Sax and Flute. Again, all three are university trained and have played in orchestras and bands for decades. The combination of all of these talented and diverse musicians come together to create the unforgettable experience that is Company Grand.
Portland Oregon junkbox blues duo HILLSTOMP is infamous for digging through the dumps and forgotten backwoods of American music, recycling traditional elements into a refreshing and distinctive brand of do-it-yourself hill country blues stomp. North Mississippi trance blues, a bit of Appalachia, and a dash of punkabilly come clanging and tumbling from assorted buckets, cans and BBQ lids, all drenched in rambunctious slide guitar. Somehow it works.
Despite their homemade instruments and novel approach, Hillstomp is no novelty act.
Hillstomp’s memorable live performances tap into a magic that cannot be rehearsed, converting outlaws and traditionalists alike from skeptics into preachers.
“Castro’s aggressive, inspired attack on vocals and guitar is phenomenal.” –Washington Post
Whether he’s squeezing out the deepest blues or playing the funkiest soul grooves, legendary blues and soul giant Tommy Castro knows how to ignite a crowd. Over the course of his still-unfolding career, the guitarist, vocalist and songwriter has released 15 albums ranging from horn-fueled soul and R&B to piping hot blues to fiery rock ‘n’ roll. He’s performed all over the world, earning countless fans with his legendary, sweat-drenched, exhilarating live shows. Castro’s band, The Painkillers—bassist Randy McDonald, drummer Bowen Brown and keyboardist Michael Emerson—have now been playing together over four years. After hundreds of live shows, they have coalesced into one of the telepathically tightest units Castro has ever assembled, making them one of the most in-demand live roots music acts performing today. Billboard says the band plays “irresistible contemporary blues-rock” with “street-level grit and soul.”
Kacy & Clayton
“We were raised on cattle ranches where we learned how to play traditional country music because that’s what everyone wanted to hear.” The music Kacy and Clayton make is inextricable from where they grew up. They sing about the kind of people you’d find in Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan (population very few). The hills, barns and remoteness of the area are in these songs, with a bittersweet acknowledgement that this music has taken them far from home.
Kacy Anderson and Clayton Linthicum’s new album Carrying On follows the international acclaim for their previous records Strange Country (which Q magazine called, “A beautiful album that nudges a classic past into a brave future.”) and 2017’s The Siren’s Song (described by Uncut as “Ageless and beguiling. A classic record for this or any other time.”)
Their sound is equal parts homespun, coming from a family and community where playing music is an ever-present part of social gatherings, and the rare country, blues and English folk rock these second cousins obsess over and collect. For Carrying On, Clayton cites as influences: Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete, Hoyt Axton’s My Grif in Is Gone, Cajun fiddle music, and the steel guitar of Ralph Mooney, who played on many of the records that defined the Bakersfield country music scene of the 1950s. Sixties psych has also woven its way into these new songs; Kacy enjoys telling people that they live 250 km from the mental hospital that coined the term ‘psychedelic.’
Having toured almost nonstop for the last two years, Carrying On was conceived and honed on the road and recorded immediately after a jaunt across Western Canada, mostly as live takes with the minimum of overdubs – the songs having been tried and tested before audiences each night. The album was produced once again by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and Uncle Tupelo fame, at his Loft studio in Chicago. The result is a sharpening of what Mojo magazine summed up as “A beautiful mix of Kacy’s crystalline vocals and Clayton’s inventive, deep-groove country guitar.” And a greater attention to detail in their songwriting; with narrative tales of loss, regret and yearning alongside vivid portraits of the Northern Great Plains and its isolated inhabitants.
The songs “The Forty-Ninth Parallel,” “The South Saskatchewan River,” “Providence Place” and “That Sweet Orchestra Sound” were all written with local settings in mind – with the latter a tribute to the rural dance bands of the area, who referred to themselves as ‘orchestras.’ One such band, the Romansky Orchestra from Fir Mountain featured Kacy’s Grandpa Carl in their line-up when he was in his teens. Of Carrying On, Jeff Tweedy said “When I first heard Kacy and Clayton, I was struck by how much detail and nuance they had absorbed from what sounded like a large swath of my record collection. When I told them that they were as good as the artists they were drawing from, I’m not sure they believed me. On this record I don’t hear those influences as much as I hear them taking the things they love so intimately and telling their own story. I think they’re a truly great band.”
“Our songs for this album are inspired by rural living of the past and present, highlighting the toll that urban dwelling can take on first generation kids moving out of the country into the city,” explain the duo.
“Fantastic song-writing, heartfelt singing, organic arrangements, stellar musicianship.” WRCT, Pittsburgh.
Bend-based singer-songwriter Alicia Viani’s self-titled debut album release. Viani, accompanied by Mark Karwan, Benji Nagel, Pete Kartsounes, and Scott Oliphant, shares thoughtfully penned songs with tenderness that becomes familiar throughout the record. Each of her songs is commanded by a voice that feels entirely human, turning moments of deep complexity and heartbreak into warm country-folk that finds easy paths into the heart. No matter who the speaker is in her songs, Viani’s sincere vocals paint them to life. Viani tackles complex current events such as the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and racism, but all in the gentle form of a personal story to invitingly navigate typically-avoided topics. The songs are wholly absorbing as they carry the listener from one private world to the next, each imploring to be discovered. www.aliciaviani.com
Opener Pete Kartsounes is an award winning singer-songwriter, flat picker, and cutting-edge musician’s musician. He has spent over two decades bringing his voice and guitar to stages all over the world. After 19 years submerged in the Colorado bluegrass scene sharing the stage with bands such as Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass and Yonder Mountain String Band, Pete now resides in Bend, OR spending most of his days writing, teaching guitar, song schools, and touring as a solo act. Pete continues to push the boundaries of the eclectic world of acoustic music.
Join us for this very special concert during the Sisters Songworks weekend featuring our retreat instructors: Beth Wood, Anna Tivel and Tom Kimmel.
Texas-raised, Oregon-based singer-songwriter Beth Wood has labored in the world of independent music for 23 years, morphing from a young, classically-trained, folk-tinged singer-songwriter to a wailing southern rock band leader to a college-circuit coffeehouse sweetheart to a well-respected nationally-touring poet and troubadour. Through all of these incarnations, Wood has remained true to herself and to her artistry; she has done it her way. Out of that fierceness and commitment to her craft comes a canon of work that cannot be denied. Wood’s eleven independently released solo albums and one duo album (Stand and Sway) have gained her a fanbase that is loyal and true, and her creative work has earned her the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Award and the 2019 Oregon Book Award Peoples’ Choice Award for her poetry book Ladder to the Light.
Singer, songwriter, entertainer, poet and teacher Tom Kimmel is all of these things and more. In demand as a songwriting teacher and lecturer, Tom offers workshop instruction tying the creative spirit to the nuts and bolts of composition. For the past 30 years, dozens of Tom’s compositions have been recorded by luminary artists, including Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Randy Travis. A soulful, funny and inspiring performer in his own right, Tom tours and teaches widely. He’s released seven solo albums, published a book of poems, and he’s as vibrant and creative as ever in his sixth decade of music making. A self-described “closet poet” until the publication of his collection The Sweetest & the Meanest, Tom has been a featured writer at book festivals and writing retreats, and his poems have been published in a number of poetry and literary journals.
Portland, Oregon based Anna Tivel reaches for a thread of understanding with her music, that moment of recognition, of shared experience. There are thousands of miles on her touring odometer and each town is a tangled web of heartache and small reasons to believe. She gravitates toward the quiet stories of ordinary life: A homeless veteran sitting on a bench to watch the construction of a luxury hotel… A woman wondering about the life of the daughter she had to give up for adoption… Someone changing shape, someone falling in love, someone all alone.
With four full-length albums, Tivel continues to touch on a common human thread. Her newest album The Question was recorded mostly live at Hive studio in Eau Claire, WI, engineered by the esteemed Brian Joseph (Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens) and produced by drummer and multi-instrumentalist Shane Leonard. NPR called it “one of the most ambitious folk records of 2019.”