PFS Concerts now booking for 2017-2018

Unless otherwise noted below:
Concerts are held at Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church, 2828 SE Stephens Street, Portland, OR 97214.
Doors open at 7:00, concert starts at 7:30.

Colonial Heights Presbyterian is located between Hawthorne and Division. Stephens is one block north of Harrison.

September 15: Laurie Lewis and The Right Hands

Laurie Lewis

Laurie Lewis -- bluegrass fiddle champion, two-time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year and Grammy winner -- is one of the finest performers on any stage today. Acoustic Guitar calls her “one of the contemporary acoustic music scene's most skilled and enduring performers.” During the past two decades, Lewis has established herself as one of the best artists in bluegrass and American roots music. She weaves her songs into an entrancing and memorable mix of lively bluegrass, traditional, country, and folk. Laurie and her band, The Right Hands, perform with warmth and artistry.

Tim O'Brien said: “Lewis' true songs make this planet a better place. They help us grab what's important in our lives. Over the years her original voice has consistently carried the torch of tradition, beautifully updating it with a rare care and responsibility.” Her own songs, written with sensitivity and fine-tuned musical artistry, as well as her renditions of others' songs, leave listeners spellbound. Her famous version of Kate Long's ‘Who Will Watch the Home Place?’ confirms Utah Phillips' opinion that her “songs combine passion and sheer craft in a way you don't hear very often. Whatever country music is supposed to be, she's at the center of it.”

Lewis' love of nature reveals itself in many of her songs. Her CD Birdsong, a tribute to nature, prompted Wendell Barry to write in a letter to Lewis, “I am happy to count myself one of your admirers. ‘Haven of Mercy’ touches me right to the quick.” Lewis' frequent ventures into nature, whether hiking in the California mountains or rafting on a river, have inspired countless other memorable songs.

In 1974 Lewis helped found an all-female bluegrass band called the Good Ol' Persons. Early songwriting inspiration came from several sources but especially from Jean Ritchie: “I love her connection to the natural world”, Lewis explains, “and the way her imagery can pack a wallop with fewer words.”

Fpor more about Laurie Lewis, check out her website.

Right Hands

Lewis and her musical partner Tom Rozum (master mandolinist) have enjoyed a musical collaboration spanning more than two decades. In Lewis' words: “A huge part of my music is knowing that I have a partner and a voice like that to sing the harmonies... We tend to come up with arrangements together... He's just very musical, and not in a particular genre, which I think suits me really well because that's the way I write.”

Together with the other three talented members of The Right Hands (Sam Grisman, Patrick Sauber, and Brandon Godman), Lewis and Rozum delight audiences, gifting them with a varied program of musical styles, all arranged and delivered with exquisite musicality and heart.

Lewis has produced many recordings over the years, of her own and other artists' music. Her 2016 album, The Hazel and Alice Sessions, honoring and commemorating the musical partnership of Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard, was nominated for a Grammy award. In Lewis' own words, “I love being able to help people realize their visions and to utilize the skills I have picked up over the years helping others”. She also is known for mentoring talented young musicians.

In addition to performing and recording, Lewis teaches at camps and festivals nationwide, including fourteen years as director of Bluegrass at the Beach, in Nehalem Bay, Oregon.

Here is a sample of the music of Laurie Lewis, Tom Rozum, and The Right Hands. Another.

Laurie Lewis and The Right Hands will delight us all as they open, in grand style, the Portland FolkMusic Society concert season.

Tickets: $22 General Admission, $19 PFS Members, $11 ages 12-18 (under 12 free)

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Friday, October 20: Fine Company and Three Together

The PFS October concert presents a “double-triple”: two power-house trios bringing songs and stories ranging from old timey to modern popular music.

Fine Company Fine Company is the lead-off group. These Smithsonian-Folkways recording artists, Bill Murlin, Jim Portillo and Ron Dalton on guitar, banjo and bass, keep that old timey feel with rich vocal harmonies that extend into their new compositions. Bill is a long time PFS member, having served on the board, the Singtime Frolics and Concert Committees. He recently played a major part in the Smithsonian Folkways presentation of Roll Columbia, a new album of Woody Guthrie's Columbia River songs.

Jim fell in love with folk music as a kid in El Paso Texas while listening to Doc Watson on the radio. Lessons, open mics, playing with many friends and stealing licks from pickers like Wayne Henderson helped hone his skills. He's part of the Seattle Folklore Society concert committee.

Ron, who has the vocal range to sing bass or tenor, is by day a teacher in Edmonds, Wash. He wrote three of the originals on Fine Company's CD. He also sings with the Seattle group Burgundy Pearl.

Fine Company

Fine Company contributed two recorded songs to the Roll Columbia album. In Fine Company is the trio's first CD. Laurie Lewis, one of the leading ladies of bluegrass says, “Fine Company has a welcome air of love and dedication in their thoughtful arrangements and choice of songs. These are songs that beg to be sung, and Jim, Bill and Ron join their voices with obvious and infectious delight”.

Bluegrass star Kathy Kallick says that Fine Company evokes the folk-trio sound of the 1960s.

Three Together Three Together is the second part of this exciting double bill. Originally formed in 1997, the group consists of Doug Smith, Don Mitchell and Judy Koch Smith. They blend their voices and instruments for an evening of folk, pop and soft rock with an emphasis on harmonious FUN! They won the Peoples's Choice Award at the 2011 Florence Winter Folk Festival at the Oregon coast. They also were awarded the Lions prestigious Melvin Jones Fellow award in 2009 for outstanding service to non-profits throughout the Northwest by performing concerts for many worthy causes.

Doug is a nationally and internationally known finger-style guitarist who has performed for PFS before. He won a Grammy in 2005 for collaboration on the album, Pink Guitar, a tribute to Henry Mancini. He was the winner of Winfield's Walnut Valley Music Festival finger-style guitar championship in 2006.

Three Together

Don is the former Director of Instruction at the Emil Fries Piano Technology School in Vancouver, WA. He is an expert at vocal harmonies and music theory and plays the acoustic guitar along with many other instruments. Give him an instrument, and he'll quickly learn to play it.

Judy, who started playing flute in 6th grade, comes from a large musical family and brings her singing and instrumental abilities to round out this exciting group. Her CD Keep it Under 90 covers old favorites by Billy Holiday, Phoebe Snow and Van Morrison among others. on how music connects us.

Bringing these two groups together blends the love of the folk tradition with a fresh perspective.

For more information call (503) 267-8547.

Tickets: $18 General Admission, $15 PFS Members, $9 ages 12-18 (under 12 free)

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Questions, comments about concerts? Send e-mail to the Concert Committee.

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