Eureka, Calif., was a bit toastier than Eugene when I spoke to Frank Hoier, the guitar force behind the band Crushed Out, along with drummer Moselle Spiller. Even though 42 degrees isn’t exactly summery, I could hear the sunshine in Hoier’s voice.
Eugene has incubated more than its share of strong performers who either studied at the UO (the band Oregon, jazz singer Nancy King, Portland Cello Project founder Douglas Jenkins) or won early acclaim here (Robert Cray, Curtis Salgado) and moved on to greener pastures. This month brings a few once familiar faces back.
When watching competitive music shows like X-Factor or American Idol, you expect the contestants are upstart performers. Often this is the case. However, when Seattle-based pop soul-singer Leroy Bell participated in the X-Factor in 2011, the other hopefuls likely didn’t realize what they were up against.
The Del McCoury Band, Punch Brothers, the Steep Canyon Rangers and ... Betty and the Boy? Josh Harvey (vocals, mandolin, banjo, harmonica) is the first to admit surprise that Betty and the Boy are joining the first-ever Mountain Song at Sea, a “best of bluegrass” cruise from Miami to the Bahamas.
Woven Hand’s David Eugene Edwards plays a different kind of Christian rock. The former frontman of 16 Horsepower deals in biblical imagery, writing in the antiquated language of the Old Testament, singing in a dramatic, fevered and shamanic baritone that recalls Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, Andrew Eldritch of The Sisters of Mercy or Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees.
The tunes from the California-based band He’s My Brother She’s My Sister are so sun-drenched and punchy it will make you want to burst out your front door in skivvies, popsicle in hand, and declare to the neighborhood that “Summer is here!”
If you’ve ever uttered the words “turn that noise off,” go ahead and stop reading now. If you have any doubt about whether or not you like metal music, and if you don’t align yourself with the hardest of hardcore metal heads — there’s nothing for you here, just move along. OK, am I alone with the true thrashers now? Good.
In the past few years, Eugene’s Baroque music scene has blossomed beyond the annual Oregon Bach Festival. This month boasts a trifecta of early music concerts performed as closely to the styles, tunings and instrumentation of what the original composers intended.
When Carolann Solebello — one of the original members of the Americana trio Red Molly — stepped down in 2010, it was decision time for the other two women. Should they recruit a new member? Continue on as a duo? Call it quits?
Canadian songwriter Rachael Cardiello’s 2011 EP, One for the Wind, is a quiet little affair, featuring the classically trained violist’s expressive voice against sparse string arrangements, waltz time signatures, old world acoustic songwriting and classic cabaret atmosphere.
There’s a certain sunny, sensual quality to Compassion Gorilla’s “gypsy fusion” beats that will vanquish the January doldrums and have you sashaying and samba-ing (can I get a one-uh-two, three-uh-four?) around the dance floor in no time.
When Jenny Scheinman draws her bow across her fiddle strings Friday, Jan. 4, she’ll be the least famous member of the trio she’s leading at The Shedd. The other two musicians have graced that stage often as composers/bandleaders themselves.
Go to a Casey Neill show and you never know what you might hear. One minute, he’s playing a Celtic-influenced folk song called “Paddy’s Lament;” next, an REM-esque country tune “Brooklyn Bridge;” and then, The Pogues-style punk rocker “Dancing on the Ruins of Multinational Corporations.”
Once upon a time, in the days when “greed was good,” anything homemade was synonymous with shabby. Growing up in the Reagan age, a stage filled with buckets, washboards, kettles, spoons and cigar box guitars would’ve seemed more at home on a street corner or back alley saloon.
Covering local music in Eugene for a few years now, I’m frequently gob-smacked by the amount of talent in this town. And coming up at Sam Bond’s on Dec. 23 is a bill that showcases three of the city’s finest up-and-coming young songwriters.