May 29, 2012

Thx PDX (and Cottage Grove)

Once again, despite the incessant rain, we had a great Portland tour. Thanks to Wild Mountain Bell, we were even able to get a hike in during the 4 dry daylight hours of the trip. Monday started with our second visit to the Rock Bottom Open Showcase with Mountain Air Studios – one of the coolest open mics in the country, thanks to impeccable hosting (Rochelle Muzquiz) and sound (Mike Johnson), not to mention the brimming talent pool of Portland’s music scene. It’s an audience-voted competitive open mic, and we were honored to win it for the second time.

Tuesday, we tried busking downtown, but the rain was not friendly. We had an awning to play under, but the situation was far from inviting for listeners. Fortunately, we made a few brave friends that showed up to our Buffalo Gap gig later in the week. Not a complete bust. That night, we were at Yolo Lounge, a brand new open mic in a beautiful new nightclub. Here’s to hoping it finds its footing in such a competitive scene. The host, Wil Kinky, has a voice of gold gravel. I could listen to him sing PNnJ recipes and be perfectly happy.

Wednesday, we were at Rock Bottom again for our second round with the incredible Jordan Harris and his band Guy Dilly & The Twin Powers. His drummer, Christie Bradley, is such a badass cajon player and vocalist, and this time, she was playing while in her third trimester of pregnancy. Stunning amounts of skill in that band.

Thursday, our only outdoor show was rained out (go figure), but we were saved by our new friend Wil Kinky (small world). We joined Wil in South Portland at the Dublin Pub and even got to jam out some Rolling Stones with him after our set. It was a fun night. I recommend the fish & chips.

Friday, we played our main show with Ken Hanson at Buffalo Gap. Thanks to Ken for sharing the night with us. Once again, a great band (can everyone in Portland sing?). It was nice playing to a full room of new and old friends at such a welcoming venue.

Saturday, we headed down to our final show in Cottage Grove. On the way, we stopped at the home of our friends Susan and Tim in the picturesque little town of Coburg, OR. Their house is beautiful beyond description. It’s the kind of place that inspired the magazine Better Homes & Gardens. They served up a feast, replete with a vegetarian omelette for Megan. To cap off the dream, I even got in a brief nap. Heaven on earth. At night, we played the Axe & Fiddle, a venue that I have wanted to visit for over a year. It is a perfect listening room – smiling, helpful sound man and all (thank you, Seth). I look forward to building our Eugene following so we can continue to play this place.

Many thanks to Jimmy, Alexa, Megan and Erica for hosting us all week. Your hospitality makes our touring possible. To the Alberta girls – the weekly neighborhood pancake breakfast is a fantastic idea. We were stoked to play the first one ever!!! That will certainly be a mainstay of our Portland tour calendar. We’ll see you all again in a few months.

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