Saturday, October 24 at 8:00 p.m.
There's no shortage
of artists attempting to capture the raw, authentic sound of the 1920s and
'30s, but no one is doing a better job of it in this modern age than
Jerron Paxton. Heck, it could even be argued that the 24-year-old musician
was actually born to be the current ambassador for acoustic blues and
Appalachian folk, right down to the affliction that gave him his famous
nickname: Blind Boy. Like two of his artistic idols, Willie McTell and
Lemon Jefferson, Paxton is legally blind, losing most of his sight by the
time he was 16. True, he can get around on his own for the most part, and
it is a little curious to find him highlighting his vision problems as a
connection to bluesmen of the past. But his playing and spirit come from a
place of such passion and reverence that it is easy to forgive the
convenience of his stage name.
Paxton comes by his love of the music
honestly. His grandparents and many of his neighbors in Los Angeles were
transplants from the South, bringing with them plenty of old records and a
deep knowledge of traditional blues, Creole and Cajun songs. Steeped in
that history, Paxton started playing fiddle and banjo in his teens,
mastering both of those before moving on to guitar and piano.
criticize Paxton for playing the part a little too strongly. Beyond simply
billing himself as Blind Boy, he dresses and acts like a bluesman
transplanted from some dusty Mississippi porch of the past to the 21st
century. He has a penchant for vests or overalls worn with dress shirts
buttoned all the way to the top, and lays on the hokum humor a little
thick between songs, even if he does let a few modern references creep
into the mix.
But, again, as New York Times critic Ben
Ratliff wrote in a review of one of Paxton's performances in 2010, "If
you're good enough, everything else falls into place."
Paxton certainly is that, and for fans
hungry for an authentic blues experience, he's one of the most popular
traditionalists around. Quite a coup considering that he has very little
recorded material available for consumption. His reputation has grown
almost entirely by word of mouth and with the help of a few dozen YouTube
clips of his live performances.
July 03, 2013
Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton
Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton (born January 26, 1989) is an American
musician from Los Angeles. A vocalist and multi-instrumentalist,
Paxton's style draws from blues and jazz music before World War II and
is influenced by the likes of Fats Waller and "Blind" Lemon Jefferson
Originally from the Watts district of Los
Angeles, Paxton's grandparents moved from Louisiana to California in
1956.These southern roots would have a somewhat strong influence on
Paxton as a young boy. After spending time listening to his hometown
blues radio station, as well as the old Cajun and country blues songs
his grandmother used to sing, Paxton became interested in these early
sounds, developing a breadth of knowledge pertaining to such music along
the way. He began playing the fiddle when he was twelve, only to pick up
the banjo two years later. As a teenager, he began to go blind, losing
most of his eyesight by the age of 16. Since his childhood, he has added
piano, harmonica, Cajun accordion, ukulele, guitar, and the bones to his
musical arsenal, although the banjo was his first serious instrument.
In addition to blues and jazz, he uses these instruments to
play Ragtime, Country blues, and Cajun music.
In 2007, Paxton moved to upstate New York to
attend college and soon after began playing gigs in and around
the Brooklyn area. Although not signed to a record label, he continues
to play old-time, blues, and roots festivals throughout the United
States, as well as various shows opening for old-time string bands
including The Dust Busters.
Paxton's talent and contributions to acoustic
earned him comparisons to contemporary artists such as Taj
to groups such as the famed Carolina
he is one of the few contemporary African-American banjo players touring
Saturday, November 28 at 8:00
For over 10 years, Kathryn Claire has been a force
in the celtic and folk music scenes in the Pacific Northwest. Her diverse
musical career has spanned a wide range of genres and she has been an
integral part of many music projects. From her early days with
Eugene-based Irish/punk pub band, Toad in the Hole, to co-founding and
fronting Portland based all-star band Circled by Hounds with Matthew
Hayward-Macdonald, to her extensive and award-winning collaboration with
Hanz Araki from 2010-2013, Kathryn Claire has continually been evolving as
a singer, guitarist and fiddle player. Her deep love and respect for
traditional music has long been a driving influence, and those roots are
evident in her music.
Kathryn has released 4 solo albums of original
music over the past 10 years, and is completely at home both the roll of
front person or side person. Her charismatic presence and infectious smile
have made her a favorite at venues and festivals around the world. She has
toured and performed extensively in the US, Japan, India, Holland, Belgium
Over the past year, Kathryn has been honing a
unique sound that draws from her diverse musical background. The sound is
energized, inspired and eclectic, yet there is a distinctive sound that is
"There is something magic that happens when the
five of us play together. There is a deep and abiding sense of respect
that is shared between us, and our diverse backgrounds complement each
other beautifully, making for a fresh sound."
Zak Borden has put down roots in many musical disciplines. In
his late teens, he fell in love with bluegrass music. As it does for so
many, that fertile American hybrid introduced him to a world of other
styles: from the country soul of The Band to the lilting traditions of
Ireland; from modern string band takes on Thelonious Monk to the
syncopated rhythms of Brazil. However, as a performer and educator he
soon came to find that it was really just passionate, well-played and
interesting music that he loves; Music that connects and tells a story.
Zak's shows employ nimble picking on guitar or mandolin and a deep
baritone voice that leaps easily into a clear, high tenor.
and the Dream Band
Henson's band, Sneakin Out, has played various stages with Pink Martini,
on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and also has opened for K.D. Lang and
graced the stage of Carnegie Hall.
Allen Hunter has
been playing live and recording with Portland area songwriters and bands
for the past 20 years and has been touring internationally for the past
10 years with LA-based band, Eels. He has also recorded with the Eels on
Vagrant Records, Michael Dean Damron & Thee Loyal Bastards on Rosa
Records, Black Angel, James Low, Alan Charing, The Vibrasonics, and Jim
Mesi to name a few.
With an upbringing
split between the hills of Appalachia and the heart of New York City,
Ara Lee's dichotomous childhood made for a unique musical education. Ara
cut her teeth fiddling and singing in the folk and gospel traditions of
Tennessee, and then lived a second life in New York as an R&B and blues
soloist, studio and commercial vocalist, and back-up singer. In her
current incarnation as a singer-songwriter based in Portland, Ara's
powerful, soul-infused vocals combined with the simplicity of acoustic
folk create a style uniquely her ownone that has been perhaps best
described as "Soul-folk-tribal-funk-heathen-gospel butter."
Cello like you have never heard it before.
|Saturday January16 at 8:00 P.M.
Starting with a bang and never stopping, Dirty
Cello features the virtuosic cello stylings of Rebecca Roudman, one of
the San Francisco bay area's most exciting cross-over cellists. Dirty
Cello takes you on a wild tour of up-tempo music featuring down home
blues, Eastern- European dance music, a bit of bluegrass, and some
With a truly unique voice, Dirty Cello presents
a high energy performance of everything a cello can do. Having wowed
audiences in numerous tours throughout the U.S., plus acting as cultural
ambassadors to China and working the European festival circuit, Dirty
Cello has a unique voice that’s resonated around the world.
Dirty Cello presents a clap along, danceable mix
of music that puts a unique spin on common genres. Whether wailing out
the blues with virtuosic skill, getting toes tapping with some gypsy
jazz or flying through wild music, the Dirty Cello band presents a show
that fans and critics have described as, “Amazing!” and “Inspiring."
As classically trained
musicians who also love to rock out, the Dirty Cello band puts on a
unique performance that shows a whole new side to the cello. Think B.B.
King meets Yo-Yo Ma.
A rockin' band, a sexy
cello player and an exciting stage presence make Dirty Cello a band that
brings in the crowds and leaves them wanting more!