PFS opens our 2018-2019 Concert Season with folksinging favorites Mollie O'Brien and her husband, guitarist Rich Moore, who have for nearly 30 years quietly made it their mission to find, mine and reinvent other artists' songs. They are geniuses at the craft of interpretation in the way that great singers, since the beginning of popular American music, have made the songs of their era their own. As songwriters they add their own tunes to the canon of American roots music they inhabit and show us they're completely at home with their music.
Sometimes the story is just about the ordinary. No-big-bang, no-big-gig, no-big-promoter or writer hearing the band and telling the rest of the world. Sometimes the story is just about doing what you do and keeping at it. In the case of Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore it means 30 years of marriage, two kids, numerous day jobs, and making music together and apart. They met in 1981 at the Denver Folklore Center on April Fool's Day and married a few years later. At the time, they were involved in their own bands and working solidly all over Colorado - Mollie was singing with Prosperity Jazz Band, a vintage swing band which featured local luminary Washboard Chaz among others; Rich was playing bass with the rock-steady blues band, The Late Show. Within a year Mollie joined The Late Show, and they attracted notice outside the bar band scene and began playing Colorado blues festivals and concerts.
Grammy Award winner Mollie O'Brien became known to the rest of the world as a singer's singer when, in 1988, she and her brother Tim O'Brien released the first of three critically-acclaimed albums for Sugar Hill Records (Take Me Back, Remember Me and Away Out On The Mountain). Eventually, Mollie recorded five equally well-received solo albums (Tell It True, Big Red Sun and Things I Gave Away for Sugar Hill Records, and I Never Move Too Soon and Everynight In The Week for Resounding Records). Additionally, she was a regular on the nationally-syndicated radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion” from 2001 through 2005. She's long been known as a singer who doesn't recognize a lot of musical boundaries, and audiences love her fluid ability to make herself at home in any genre while never sacrificing the essence of the song she tackles. O'Brien has primarily focused her efforts on the fading art of interpretation and the end result is a singer at the very top of her game who is not afraid to take risks both vocally and in the material she chooses.
Husband Rich Moore has busied himself in the Colorado music scene for many years. While staying home with the kids when Mollie & Tim toured, he held a day job and continued to perform locally with a variety of Colorado favorites, including Pete Wernick and Celeste Krenz. Not only is Moore known to produce some of the funniest onstage running commentary, he's also a powerhouse guitar player who can keep up with O'Brien's twists and turns from blues to traditional folk to jazz to rock and roll. He creates a band with just his guitar and, as a result, theirs is an equal partnership.
O'Brien and Moore's first duet CD, a live recording titled 900 Baseline (Remington Road Records) was released in 2006. Their first studio project, Saints & Sinners (Remington Road Records), was released to nationwide acclaim in 2010. In January 2014 they released their followup, Love Runner (Remington Road Records). Both studio projects were produced by Lyons, CO ace arranger and bassist, Eric Thorin. All three CDs showcase their talent for unlocking the secrets to a diverse array of songs in authoritative yet very fun and unusual arrangements.
O'Brien and Moore let us know via their choice of material that they are not afraid to take risks. It's almost as if they're telling us that at this stage in their lives, they are at home with their musical selves - they can do whatever they want and they don't care if the rest of the world agrees with them.
PFS is privileged to welcome Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore to our
Please help with publicity: Download a poster by clicking its image and post in your neighborhood
Please help with publicity: Download a poster by clicking its image and post in your neighborhood
Saints and Sinners
Backstage at Mountain Stage
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October 19, 2018 -- The Kathy Kallick Band
awesome!!!” is how the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival describes the Kathy
Kallick Band www.kathykallick.com
Kathy Kallick (guitar), Annie Staninec (fiddle), Greg Booth (dobro, banjo), Tom Bekeny (mandolin), and Cary Black (acoustic bass) look forward to proving them right at every show! The KKB is based along the west coast, from the SF Bay Area to Anchorage, but their powerful mixture of original and classic music, mirroring their distinctive combination of traditional and contemporary sensibilities, has great appeal everywhere.
exceptional career includes winning a Grammy and two IBMA Awards, receiving a
Lifetime Membership from the California Bluegrass Association, co-founding the
internationally-acclaimed Good Ol' Persons and releasing five albums with them,
and collaborating with the country's top acoustic musicians -- including
her mighty current band. They are among the most dynamic and affecting groups
in contemporary acoustic music, playing a distinctive bluegrass-based music
that includes elements of folk, jazz, country, blues, and Cajun sewn into their
Led by one of the music's extraordinary composers and vocalists, the Kathy Kallick Band has nearly as much fun as the audience when performing. The material is compelling, the songs have lots to say, the tone ranges from humorous to bittersweet to soulful, the instrumental playing is electric, the vocals luminous, the presentation inclusive.
The Portland show is a celebration of a new album, the sixth for the Kathy Kallick Band and the 21st for Kathy. All of the previous KKB albums and their title tracks spent at least a year in the upper echelons of the National Bluegrass Survey (the Bluegrass Unlimited charts), and their most recent release, Foxhounds, was #1 on the 2016 Roots Music Report Contemporary Bluegrass Chart. The latest one includes six new Kathy compositions, along with their distinctive interpretations of “deep catalog” gems from the Cater Family, Bob Wills, and Bill Monroe.
Annie Staninec (fiddle, vocals) started playing bluegrass at the age of five, began performing professionally at the age of 12, and has since made her living performing, recording, and teaching internationally. She joined the Kathy Kallick Band in 2008, and has become an integral part of the band, inspiring many original songs specifically suited to her uniquely rhythmic and lyrical style. Annie brings boundless energy and a joyful spirit to every performance, and has delighted audiences the world over with her creative musicality and her winning smile.
Greg Booth's (dobro, banjo, vocals) path to the dobro was a winding road that started with the banjo -- and lessons from banjo legend Bill Emerson. After a few years, Greg's ambition turned to the pedal steel guitar and the last frontier, Alaska. A thriving music scene during the oil boom of the '70s and '80s gave him the chance to play as much as 7 nights a week (for 7 hours a night) for many years. That much time playing diverse music forged a style that is uniquely his own. When Greg finally picked up the dobro, he hit the ground running, winning the RockyGrass dobro competition after playing the instrument just one year.
Tom Bekeny (mandolin, vocals), who has been playing and singing with Kathy since 1996, is among the most adventurous mandolinists in music, creating thrilling solos as well as solid backup by using influences ranging from his thorough grounding in blues to his mastery of Jesse McReynolds'“split string” technique with nods to Monroe, Burns, Wakefield, and hisownself along the way. Tom is a veteran of Laurie Lewis & Grant Street and Done Gone, has appeared with Peter Rowan, David Grisman, and Jerry Garcia, and has been the fiddler in High Country, the west coast's premier traditional bluegrass band, since 1988.
Cary Black (acoustic bass, vocals) has been playing and singing with the Kathy Kallick Band since 2012. His inventive and melodic bass lines never get in the way of his perfect timekeeping, and he's pushing the band to new levels of creativity and drive.
“This is truly a band effort, and their sound is both traditional and unique. Kallick is a triple-threat as singer, songwriter, and masterful band leader; her band is top-flight and really delivers the goods.” - Robert C. Buckingham, Bluegrass Unlimited
Foxhounds - https://youtu.be/BQfxLTxNmKw
Baby Mine - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWAsiBmfnfM
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Friday, November 16, 2018 – The Honey Whiskey Trio
PFS welcomes the Honey Whiskey Trio to our November concert stage. This is their second appearance for PFS and their first featured performance in Portland. They are the ONLY opening act in recent PFS concert history to get an encore and a standing ovation after their set.
“Three sisters went to play and dance through golden rays of sunshine... ”
The Los Angeles-based Honey Whiskey Trio tells stories through song and stomp, highlighting the musical traditions of American Folk Music. Alumni of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach, Courtney, Ann Louise, and Christina began singing together in each other's living rooms as an emotional and musical release. In 2013, after seeing the impact of their music on the contemporary A cappella community, these sisters in song solidified their style as American Folk and picked up instruments to further enhance their vocally driven sound. Today their passion for music education, community outreach, and singing continues to drive them. They create, arrange, and explore music from the front porches, music halls, and hymn books of early America, sharing it with students, adults, and life-long music lovers across the United States.
“Their sound is intoxicating... To simply classify this trio as folk, bluegrass, or jazz would be to do them a great disservice. What I hear is great music and what I see is great joy.” - Bluegrass Spin
“They always leave you sitting at the edge of your seat, waiting with bated breath for each new beautifully executed phrase. The women of HWT are also gifted educators, captivating their pupils with humor, grace and honesty, a unique and valuable combo.” - Lisa Forkish, Founder and Executive Director of the Women's A Cappella Association
The Honey Whiskey Trio CDs include: (1) Rye Woman, (2) Stories of Love, Death, and Spirits. They also won 1st place at the Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival in 2013.
Courtney Gasque Politano grew up on a horse farm in Vermont, a far cry from the fast pace of Los Angeles. She comes from a musical family, so when they weren't riding, someone was always practicing. Courtney received her Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Indiana University and her Master's degree in Jazz Studies with a concentration in Vocal Jazz from CSU, Long Beach. Courtney teaches pre-school through 8th grade general music, choir, and strings, and also maintains her own private voice studio. As a composer and arranger, Courtney focuses primarily on vocal music, in the folk and bluegrass tradition. She arranges for Honey Whiskey Trio, church groups and various choral ensembles.
Ann Louise Jeffries Thaiss was born and raised in Northern Virginia. In 2008 she made the big move out west and settled in Long Beach, CA. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. As a performer Ann Louise is a member of The Honeys and VoxFemina Los Angeles as is Courtney. Ann Louise teaches preschool music at Manhattan Beach Preschool and private voice and piano at The Lesson Lab in Long Beach.
Christina Wilson was born and raised in Southern California's inland empire, and now resides in Long Beach, CA. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance with a concentration in Jazz from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. As a performer she has sung with Pacific Chorale, VoxFemina Los Angeles, and Honey Whiskey Trio. She also currently performs with the a cappella group Hive and the band Neil Frances. As a composer and arranger, she has written pieces in classical, contemporary, and jazz genres for middle school, high school, and collegiate vocal ensembles in the United States. As an educator, she is part of the vocal faculty at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, and teaches alongside Courtney and Ann Louise through Honey Whiskey Trio's community outreach efforts.
Come meet and hear these amazing women on our stage. Advanced ticket purchase is strongly encouraged.
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Friday, November 30, 2018 – Legends of the Celtic Harp presents “A Winter Gift”
Three of the premier Celtic harpers in the world take you on a dramatic musical journey deep into myths, magic and fabled history with this most captivating instrument. Legends of the Celtic Harp is a blend of music and oratory, falling somewhere between concert and theater. It spans nearly the range of human feeling, from humor to tragedy, tenderness to rage, reality to mysticism, and more. The effects are powerful and exhilarating.
In “A Winter's Gift” Patrick Ball, Lisa Lynne and Aryeh Frankfurter step into a magical world of Irish and English literature, Celtic legend and traditional folk beliefs, and draw out tales such as A Child's Christmas in Wales, chapters from The Wind in the Willows, and passages from Shakespeare, William Butler Yeats, and Thomas Hardy, mingling them with beloved pieces of seasonal music.
All the music and stories touch on the central message of the Christmas/Winter season: Hope. Hope for something wondrous. Hope for a light in the darkness.
Patrick Ball (Wire strung Celtic Harp, Spoken Word) is one of the premier Celtic harp players in the world and a captivating spoken word artist. He has recorded nine instrumental and four spoken word albums which have sold well over a half million copies internationally, winning national awards in both the music and spoken word categories. Patrick's critically acclaimed concerts and solo theatrical productions have toured throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and England. His passion for the oral tradition of Irish storytelling and his love of the wire-strung Celtic Harp have made Patrick Ball one of the most beloved performers in folk music today.Patrick Ball is “an American master of the Irish instrument, a modern day bard.” -San Francisco Chronicle.
Lisa Lynne (Celtic Harp, Irish Bouzouki, Mandolin) is a multi-instrumentalist and performer who has gained worldwide recognition for her original music featuring the Celtic Harp. She is widely acclaimed for composing memorable and heartwarming melodies on the Windham Hill/Sony music labels that have repeatedly placed in the Top 10 and Top 20 on the Billboard New Age music charts. Lisa tours year round performing at large US festivals and performing art centers. Her work in Therapeutic music has gained recognition from NBC, CNN, Fox News Atlanta and numerous newspaper and magazine articles including Wall Street Journal. Lisa's music is heard throughout the award winning PBS special “Alone in the Wilderness,” amongst many other soundtracks for commercial television and independent films. “Lisa Lynne's music is quite possibly the most beautiful music you have ever heard” -Windham Hill Records.
Aryeh Frankfurter (Celtic Harp, Swedish Nyckelharpa, Cittern) is a renowned Celtic harper and world traveling multi-instrumentalist who went from virtuosic progressive rock violin to intricate Swedish folk and Celtic music. He began with classical violin at the age of three and went on to explore various ethnic and international musical genres. Aryeh taught himself to play a variety of bowed and plucked instruments and, most recently, the rare Swedish Nyckelharpa. His uncommon approach to the Celtic harp and folk harp repertoire and his many critically and commercially successful albums have established him as a musician, recording and performance artist of extraordinary talent. “Aryeh Frankfurter is amazing” -San Francisco Chronicle.
Music Sample: “A Winter Gift”
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Friday, January 18 , 2019 – True North
“True North plays 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.” – Kim Ruehl, West Coast Performer/No Depression
Americana quartet True North is a Pacific Northwest band playing live acoustic music with lush instrumental and vocal performances deeply rooted in traditional folk and bluegrass. Their songs are intelligent and memorable, their harmonies right where you want them. Their music fits into an Oregon landscape of trees and mist, where the natural world has not yet been paved over.
Fronted by award-winning singer-songwriters Kristen Grainger and Dan Wetzel, True North is rounded out with two Pacific Northwest bluegrass superstars Martin Stevens and Josh Adkins.
The band's newest project, Open Road, Broken Heart, after receiving great reviews, debuted at number one on the Folk DJ Charts for national radio airplay and has continued to stay in the top fifteen for the past six months on the Roots Music Report. Their 2014 release, Elsebound, received very favorable reviews from music critics here and abroad, spent 25 weeks on the Roots Music Report's top ten (national folk charts) and was the number seven folk album of the year. On stage, True North exemplifies the most compelling aspects of live acoustic roots music: Storied songwriting, mad instrumental skills, and vocals that alternately bring you to tears or raise ecstatic hairs on the back of your neck.
Heart Shaped Rock
Be Here Now
Kristen Grainger (vocals, ukulele) is making a name for herself in song craft, collecting accolades and awards at Wilflower! Arts and Music Festival, IMEA, Telluride, Merlefest, and Kerrville songwriting competitions. Her delivery is deceptively light and simple, with undertones of darkness and perhaps a bit of hope.
Dan Wetzel (vocals, guitar, resonator guitar, octave mandolin, banjo, and ukulele) provides direction for the band. His instrumental skills give the band its drive. He plays both flat-pick and finger-style guitar and has won a national songwriting contest.
Martin Stevens (vocals. fiddle, mandolin, and octave mandolin) has been a fiddler since childhood. He has won several state and regional prizes in the Old Time Fiddle community and is one of the founders of The Bluegrass Regulators.
Josh Adkins (vocals, upright bass) was also a member of The Bluegrass Regulators. His groove is solid and his approach attentive.
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Friday, February 15,2011– Tish Hinojosa
“Cultural Swing is one of the 50 greatest Texas singer-songwriter albums.” - The Houston Chronicle
“Simply put, Hinojosa is a first class songwriter” - Chicago Tribune
Singer-songwriter Tish Hinojosa was born in San Antonio, Texas, the youngest of 13 children born to Mexican immigrant parents. Hinojosa discovered her singing voice in high school and moved on to a career as a singer-songwriter of folk, country-western and traditional Mexican music with a little pop thrown in for variety.
“I'm not a cowgirl, I'm not that Texas!” says Hinojosa. “I didn't even know country music until I was in my 20s and was hired to be a backup singer by Michael Martin Murphy.” Murphy took her under his wing and encouraged the young performer to pursue her singer/songwriter muse by moving to Nashville in 1983. “That's the reason my early music is more country. And that's why my records really vary. I've made two all-Spanish records, some bilingual children's records, some are more country, some are more folk. It all comes back to my upbringing as a Texan but not a country girl” explains Hinojosa.
She returned to Taos in 1985 and recorded her self-release cassette Taos to Tennessee (later re-released in 1992 and again in 2001). 1988 brought not only a move to Austin, but also the release of her first major-label album, Homeland with A&M/Americana. This was one of the first uses of this term for American roots music. Culture Swing followed in 1992 with Rounder Records. It was named the Folk Album of the Year by the National Association of Independent Record Distributors. Hinojosa was signed by the Warner Bros. label in 1994 and released Destiny's Gate the same year. She later recorded more diverse projects through Rounder Records, including the album Frontejas, which spotlights Texas/Mexico border music, and Cada Nino, a bilingual children's album.
In addition to an active recording and touring schedule, Hinojosa has appeared in multiple televised broadcasts including three separate appearances on Austin City Limits, the 1998 Alma Awards in which she was an honoree, and on multiple TV shows in Europe where she has toured extensively. She has performed by invitation at the White House for President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. In the mid-1990s, Hinojosa took a four-year break from recording and focused on her social interests, including work with bilingual education, immigration, and migrant farm workers' rights. She served as spokesperson for the National Latino Children's Agenda and the National Association of Bilingual Education; she was active with the United Farmworkers of America. “My song ‘Something in the Rain’ is about the plight of farm workers and their exposure to pesticides. They're receiving the worst we can dole out just so we can have food on our tables. It's not just Mexicans – a lot of new immigrants find themselves starting at the bottom, doing the dirtiest labor for the least pay” says Hinojosa. The album After the Fair (2013) has the Spanish-language version of Woody Gurthrie's song ‘Deportee.’ A song that's been covered many times since he wrote it in the late '40s. “There are other versions in Spanish,” says Hinojosa, “but mine has a particular twist because it's sung from the perspective of the workers. The story has never died.”
With a trailblazing career and more than a dozen albums under her belt, Hinojosa in 2005 decided to move to Germany for love. After spending nearly a decade mostly out of the spotlight overseas, Hinojosa returned to Austin, not just to rebuild her career but also to mend a broken heart. “The journey hasn't always been easy,” she says. “These are our life's adventures. Sometimes we hit it good; sometimes we hit it bad.”
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There are few singer-guitarist duos anywhere more talented and entertaining than Nina Gerber and Chris Webster. Each is expert in her own area – Nina's guitar magic and Chris's beautiful and versatile voice. It seems as if they are able to present any type of music and bring something new and delightful to it: they draw from original songs and covers, soulful ballads, rockabilly, jazz, pop and of course sweet, heartful folk.
Sometimes the truest and most direct communication requires no words. The proof of that lies in hearing Nina Gerber free styling on guitar.
Nina began to gain fame accompanying the great Kate Wolf on mandolin and guitar, taking solos that grabbed the audience's attention and made Kate smile. Since then, Nina has only grown in popularity. Her guitar work has enhanced the work of such artists as Karla Bonoff, Greg Brown, Terry Garthwaite, Nanci Griffith, Lucy Kaplansky, Laurie Lewis, Mollie O'Brien, and Rosalie Sorrels.
Nina's presence and artistry draws you in. Her music flows from an honest heart, and expresses itself with a kind of integrity that demands respect. If you have not heard Nina play before, be ready to accept her gifts and take them into your heart. If you have heard her before, you already know what we're talking about.
“Nina Gerber is one of the leading guitarists of our day.” - Auburn Journal
Chris Webster is a folk, soul, blues and jazz singer of particular talent. Her voice is filled with passion, tears, and hope that transcend genres. Her intensity quiets every room and her sly sense of humor brightens the way.
At one time a member of Ray Benson's swing band ‘Asleep at the Wheel‘, she has also performed with Americana artist Jackie Greene, Jennifer Berezan, Ferron, Scott Nygard, and her sister, opera singer Cassie Webster. Her song “Shake on it” was recorded by The Band, and in 2006 Chris was awarded the Gibson Guitar New Musician Award for best new singer-songwriter.
“Chris Webster's voice is wondrous -- deeply expressive and full of everything from the sensual to the spiritual. She doesn't so much sing a song as bring it to life.” - Oakland Tribune
Together, Nina and Chris present a show that will entertain, amuse and amaze you, and finally move you.
Websites: Chris Nina
Wild Ride I'm Driving Bye, Bye, Blackbrid There's Something in the Water
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