Saturday, June 6 at 8:00 p.m.Mbrascatu is a fusion of the cobbled streets and cafés of the Old World and the creative melting pot of Portland. The band is a group of talented musicians that draw from very different musical backgrounds to create a unique blend of sounds encompassing European and American roots.
Since the formation of the band, back in 2010, Mbrascatu, has performed extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest delighting many at the hottest music venues, outdoor festivals, bars, clubs and local radio stations.
If you are not one of the lucky explorers who has already discovered the magic of this band’s music, stop reading, hit play, and submerge yourself in the first song before reading any further. The band features impressive vocals, fantastic arrangments, making surprising use of banjo, ukelele, lap steel, viola, violin, bass, electric and acoustic guitar, and exhilarating drumming. The rhythm, which can be portentous, energetic and catchy, sometimes all at the same time, will get you dancing, the singing will resonate in your chest and the strings and drums will carry you away. Listen loud people!!
Whether or not the name and music of Redwood Son has yet hit the big radar, this year’s “Best New Artist” of the Portland Music Awards is on the rise. Boasting a 20 Song double-disc debut album titled “The Lion’s Inside” he brings a dynamic versatility that crosses the borders of their West Coast Americana with hook-laden Roots-Rock and Alt. Country, while maintaining an authentic Universal “Pop” vibe
“The first time I listened to Mbrascatu's self-titled debut, it was because I was expecting to hear music that was West-African-by-way-of-Portland. It was the combination of consonants, you see; they misled me. Because from the first notes of the first song, Mbrascatu is unmistakably Americana—acoustic guitar, fiddle, banjo—except that the lyrics, and the song titles, are all Italian. Singer/songwriter Andrea Algieri moved from Calabria, Italy, to Portland, where he joined forces with bassist Michael Doherty, also of Future Historians, and John Sabestinas, formerly of Sick Pony, who plays banjo, ukulele, electric guitar, and lap steel. The combination of vernaculars—old-timey folk and Italian crooner—has created indie folk's very own spaghetti western, with Algieri's baritone vocals playing lead heartthrob”. REBECCA WILSON.
The Portland Mercury June 28, 2012 about MBRASCATU's presentation at The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell, Portland, OR.
This is as good as it gets! Stellar musicians with a great sound. As good as any singing and picking I've heard in my thirty years in the music business. Do your friends a big favor, and turn them on to this band!"
BOB BROWN, OWNER / RANCHO NICASIO AND MANAGER / HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS
"My favorite band!" - JACKIE LOKEN, DJ AND HOSTESS OF “THE MOONLIGHT TRAIL”, KKUP 91.5 FM, CUPERTINO, CA
Always a favorite here...this killer acoustic music act has unique interpretations of grassroots Americana that will leave you breathless and thoroughly rocked.”
- "WEST COAST LIVE", KALW-FM, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO
""Fantastic guitar playing!"
- MIKE GREENSILL, "WEST COAST LIVE", KALW-FM, NATIONAL PUBLIC
"Boy, what a band, what a band! I’m so impressed every time I hear you guys! We’re looking forward to your next visit already!”
– SLEEPY JOHN SANDIDGE, HOST OF “PLEASE STAND BY”, KPIG 107.5 FM, FREEDOM, CA
Saturday, July 11, at 8:00 p.m.
No one delivers the goods quite like Houston Jones. The band's infectious mix of acoustic rock, bluegrass, folk, and country, driven along by the drumming of Peter Tucker, the guitar of Glenn Houston, and the soulful vocals of Travis Jones, are in ample supply on their latest effort, Queen of Yesterday. "... Queen of Yesterday, is in a class by itself." - David Wiegand, SF Chronicle.
While the members have always been virtuoso players and arrangers, it's the depth of Kee's songs that adds a defining element to the band. It has expanded the sound somewhat with some down-home honky-tonk on "Born in the Moonshine," some funk on "Mighty Red," and the experimental 11-minute "Roads to Dominion" which adds some middle eastern influences to a basic Texas rhythm. As always, Houston Jones remains one of the West Coast's most talented and entertaining bands.
Glenn Houston (lead guitars) has been voted Best Guitarist by the Northern California Bluegrass Society, is a past judge of the National Flatpicking Guitar Championship Competition in Winfield, Kansas, and was the founding lead guitarist of the Waybacks.
Travis Jones (lead vocals, guitar), began performing as a child accompanying his mother on gospel tours in the South. He honed his soulful delivery in his years as a child preacher in churches around his native Shreveport, only to throw down his bible when he saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan.
Henry Salvia (keyboards, accordion) has performed with the Johnny Nocturne Band, Bo Diddley, Rickie Lee Jones and Big JAY MCNEELEY.
Peter Tucker (drums) has deep Americana roots, having performed and recorded with wide array of Americana musicians, including Tim Hardin, Richie Havens, the Beau Brummels, Warren Zevon and Skunk Baxter. Peter was also in the original rhythm section of The Waybacks.
Part of what makes the group so effective is that it seamlessly blends instrumental prowess with tasty vocal harmonies.”
- ANDREW GILBERT, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWSo:
The Blackberry Bushes are a Contemporary Stringband from the rain-drenched forests of Olympia, Washington. They take a bluegrass instrumentation, draw from the deep roots of American folk music and add influences from Bluegrass, Appalachian old-time, Indie Rock, jazz, and pop. Virtuosic musicianship, compelling arrangements, quick wit, flying tempos, and heavy heel boot dancing are all elements of a live show that is joyous and vibrant with an intention to move the audience in their hearts and out of their seats. The poetic delivery of hypnotizing vocal harmonies and fresh songwriting sets The Blackberry Bushes Stringband apart. Acoustic Americana lovers are continually surprised and delighted by this new bouquet of players on the festival stage.
The Appalachian Mountains are the meeting place of the fiddle and the banjo, and musical culture permeates the entire length of the Mississippi River. Jes Raymond and Jakob Breitbach may have started their musical journey in the rainy bottom of the Puget Sound, but their work is infused with the essence of the homes they wandered West from. Joined by Daniel Ullom on the mandolin and Forrest Marowitz on the upright bass, The Blackberry Bushes draw from the deep roots of American traditional music to create a playful and resonant sound with both twang and sophistication. They are emerging as a band of artists whose Americana is honest and generous with an obvious love of performing, spot on chemistry, and a live show that truly aims to stir the spirit.
Jes’s songs connect the day to day with the muses of wonder, folk wisdom, earthiness, and impermanence. Backed by two, three and four part harmonies, she sings with joy and a desire for every person in the house to feel that she is singing to them. Jakob’s virtuosic fiddle improvisation and Daniel’s longtime immersion in bluegrass and old-time create a thrillingly potent onstage correspondence. Together with Forrest’s exceptionally sensitive and deeply grooving bass lines, they propel a song-focused band to expand outward in exploratory delight. Jes’s skillful flatpicking interlocks these soundscapes while the band simultaneously honors the genius of tradition and innovation.
“True North’s Pluck proves that you don’t need a big label or large budget to produce a fine album with first class sound. If you like your folk or bluegrass with a mellifluous edge, give True North’s Pluck a listen.”
— STEVEN STONE VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE****
Salem, Oregon’s True North play tunes so smooth they bring to mind bluegrass-pop artists like Alison Krauss and Union Station, as well as old country legends like Hank Williams, Sr. Employing all the musical specifics of the bluegrass genre, True North embarks on instrumental solos with earnestness and humility
– KIM RUEHL, WEST COAST PERFORMER MAGAZINE
****True North Elsebound : Quite outstanding blend of bluegrass-derived music from Oregon band with outstanding singer and writer Kristen Grainger. Her songs are first class and the band deserves attention.
___“AND THE REST” COLUMN IN FROOTS ONLINE BRITISH MAGAZINE. WWW.FROOTSMAG.COM JULY 2014
Saturday, September 26, at 8:00 p.m.
Hailing from Oregon’s beautiful Willamette valley, Americana-bluegrass quartet True North combines traditional bluegrass instrumentation with fat harmonies and folk-edged songwriting for a distinctive sound that is fresh, warm and memorable.
Fronted by vocalist and award-winning singer-songwriters Kristen Grainger and Dan Wetzel, True North is rounded out with two well-known Northwest bluegrass superstars Dale Adkins and Suzanne Pearce Adkins.
The band’s latest release, “Elsebound” (April 2014) has received very favorable reviews from music critics here and abroad and is currently in its 14th week in the Roots Music Report’s top ten (national folk charts), with a week at no. 1, rubbing elbows with big names like Nickel Creek, Ray Lamontagne and Sarah Jaroz. The album is currently number one in Oregon on Roots Music Report’s state-by-state charts as well.
True North’s performances exemplify the most compelling aspects of live acoustic roots music: intelligent songwriting, thoughtful arrangements, terrific instrumental interpretations by the band’s highly-skilled pickers, and vocals that alternately bring you to tears or raise ecstatic hairs on the back of your neck.
“Kristen [Grainger]’s vocalizing exhibits the intensity of a singer with breathtaking ability comparable to Laurie Lewis… The band is emerging in the Northwest as one of the most endearing and passionate contributors to the Northwest’s acoustic folk repertoire.
"Their craftsmanship and focus squarely put the emphasis on original material, deliberative arrangements, graceful guitar, and gorgeous vocals.”
JOE ROSSSTAFF WRITER, BLUEGRASS NOW
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. 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 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.
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."
Robert Ham The Oregonian July 03, 2013
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