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!
John Reischman and the Jaybirds
“On the evidence of
Stellar Jays, John Reischman and the Jaybirds are in their prime as
contemporary bluegrass musicians capable of maintaining and extending the
music's legacy,” says Billboard.com. Bluegrass Unlimited magazine
describes tone-master and composer John as “one of the world's undisputed
masters” of the mandolin, a frequent accolade since his days with the Tony
Rice Unit and California's Good Ol' Persons. John went on to record two
outstanding solo albums and numerous sessions before forming the Jaybirds
in 2001 to release a self-titled debut album, followed by the Canadian
Juno-nominated Field Guide, and in 2005, The Road West.
Saturday, April 16, at 8:00 p.m.
Years of European and
North American tours, five critically acclaimed albums, two Juno
nominations and two Canadian Folk Music Award nominations...little wonder,
the buzz around John Reischman and The Jaybirds continues to grow. Like
the mandolinist at its helm, the group fashions a stylish, elegant take on
bluegrass that is at once innovative and unadorned, sophisticated and
stripped-down, happily old-fashioned, yet unselfconsciously new. To see
their live show is to believe it. A genial blend of story-telling and
side-show humor provides the backdrop to their studied performance of
original songs, instrumentals, and newly arranged traditional material.
Hailing from the variegated ranks of the
contemporary West Coast acoustic music scene, each of these 'birds has
certainly earned his wings: the list of projects they have contributed to
over the years is nothing less than a short list of acoustic power houses.
Together, their seamless ensemble work makes for one of the freshest, most
tasteful band-sounds on the folk and bluegrass circuit today.
says, John Reischman and the Jaybirds offer “clarity, energy, good
ensemble work, classy originals, and an adventurous approach” to the world
of bluegrass and folk music — along with engaging stage humour in powerful
live shows. They are what SingOut! calls “ thoroughly professional
ensemble with a rare ability to produce music that is simultaneously
traditional and contemporary . . . the Jaybirds are a band that continues
to hit on all cylinders.”
“Sally Barris has a voice like sparkling
crystal. You could have knocked me over with a feather the first time I
Her writing is from a deep, yet innocent, place and her point of view is
just a bit off center. I am excited for her, she is standing at the
beginning of her journey in this town, with all of it ahead of her. It
reminds me of the first time I heard Beth Nielson-Chapman or Nanci
Griffith. It’s going to be fun to watch.”
- Kathy Mattea
Saturday, May 14, at 8:00 p.m.
Sally Barris is an A-list Nashville songwriter who
has had songs covered by such top-level artists as Kathy Mattea, Martina
McBride, and Lee Ann Womack. Her song “Let The Wind Chase You”, recorded
by Trisha Yearwood and Keith Urban, received a Grammy nomination for vocal
collaboration in 2009.
While her writing
credits mightily impress, fans and peers are most captivated by her bright
spirit and expressive mountain soprano.
Dirty Linen says “Barris knows how to write lyrics that are as
forthright as a stream of clear water and how to support them with
melodies that share that quality”.
When Sally is not touring solo, she is known as
“Sister Waymore” in the power trio; The Waymores with Tom Kimmel and Don
In the last 3 years, the Minnesota native has
performed Mountain Stage, New
Bedford Summer Fest, The
Wildflower Festival and The Kerrville Folk Festival. Sally is currently
touring with her new cd “Wilder Girl”.
3 Leg Torso
"Daring, intelligent music!"
Lauren Ruth Wiener, Mongrel Music
Saturday, June 25, at 8:00 p.m.
Three Leg Torso formed in 1996 as a
violin, cello and accordion trio that came together with the humble goals
of creating a passionate and new sound for their instrumental trio and
having fun. Fun was had early on with a number of street performances that
the trio termed "Meestering". Over the following years the band expanded,
the principal composers, founding members Béla Balogh (on violin and
trumpet) and Courtney Von Drehle (on accordion) were joined by veteran
percussionist-mallet player Gary Irvine, the fastidious mallets-percussion
of Kyle MacLowry and the fiery upright bass player Michael Papillo. Their
original repertoire evolved into a combination of Modern Chamber music,
Tango, high energy Middle Eastern and Eastern European folk music, that,
coupled with a cinematic sense of musical storytelling, bridged the worlds
of serious art and popular culture. The group has been profiled on
National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and on Oregon Public
"3 Leg Torso is just about as creative as a group can get... music
that is evocative, varied, non cliché"
Joe Natoli, Jan Press