Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Gary "Gaz" Davis
All right! We're back!

We missed reporting on the day of arrival, or even on Monday, so here we go, two days later.

Sunday afternoon everyone was getting settled in.
With everyone I mean musicians of all ages. We're not a just a bunch of old guys and gals digging the Blues.
As I was unpacking my bag, a bunch of youngsters poured out of a van, and made their way into the dormitory.

Holy smoke look at the great line-up of artist faculty members for the 2017 Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival! Good thing Mary Hilts Parry sent a program PDF ahead of time. Figuring out who you want to study with can be difficult, what with so many tempting workshops.
Often it's a toss up.

At dinner time I joined illustrious dames Maria Muldaur and Eleanore Ellis. The latter (among others) introduced me to Piedmont finger picking way back in 2008, my first time "at camp".
I told Maria I was looking forward to taking her workshop. Of course she thought that was a good idea.  She said something along the lines, that no matter how well you play guitar, it's your voice that tells the story.

As usual on the first evening the orientation session at the Wheeler Theater gave all the faculty members a chance to introduce themselves, and to show us their chops and let us hear their sound. After that I'm sure many stayed up for jamming, but I returned to my room for a good night of sleep.

Happy Traum
Come Monday morning I took a walk on the beach before breakfast. The first workshop  I took was with Happy Traum. Check out his bio on Centrum's Blues Fest faculty page.

If your not at the Blues fest, and want to study with him check out his Homespun page. My work schedule being erratic, I found studying with inspirational guitar masters I met in real life at Blues Fest via their DVDs works out really well.


John Maxwell, Ethan Leinwand, Steve Maxwell
I thought I might play a couple of tunes at the open mic after dinner, but I wound up jamming with (from left to right) John "Gray Hound" Maxwell, Ethan Leinwand and John's brother Steve. You can find bios of John and Ethan on the faculty page as well.



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

David Jacobs-Strain Strums Slides Picks and Sings Live at Rainshadow Recording

FROM THE DESK OF EVERETT MORAN, OWNER & SOUND ENGINEER AT RAINSHADOW RECORDING:

Photo James Michael
About David Jacobs-Strain In 2001, I was in charge of booking the 5th annual Coors Roots of the Blues Festival in Denver. I wanted to give the opening slot to a young up-and-comer - someone with enough chops and soul to play on the same stage with the likes of John Jackson, Corey Harris, Del Rey and others. Mary Flower suggested a young, sixteen year old kid from Eugene Oregon. Well, David Jacobs-Strain most certainly had the chops to hang and an old soul to boot.

It is sixteen years hence and that prodigious, young bluesman has not only doubled in age but, arguably, has at least doubled in musical breadth. David has evolved from a myopic student of the blues into one of the finest singer-songwriters of his generation and, yes, he still has the chops to hang with the best. To wit, his newest record, due to release later this year was tracked at Sound City and mixed by Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Lucinda Williams). David is joined by an A-list of musicians including Jim Keltner, Viktor Krauss, Greg Liesz, and Larry Goldings. He is just one of these guys who is in his own class. A great singer and guitar player. ~Jorma Kaukonen Known for both his virtuosity and spirit of emotional abandon, David's live show moves from humorous, subversive blues, to delicate balladry, and then swings back to swampy rock and roll. It’s a range that ties him to his own generation, as well as to guitar-slinger troubadours like Robert Johnson and Jackson Browne.

"I try to make art that you can dance to, but I love that darker place where, in my mind, Skip James, Nick Drake, and maybe Elliot Smith blur together." 

David began playing on street corners and at farmers markets as a teenager and bought his first steel guitar with the quarters he saved up. Before he dropped out of Stanford to play full time, he had already appeared at festivals across the country, often billed as a blues prodigy, but he had to fight to avoid being a novelty act: I wanted to tell new stories, it just wasnt enough to relive the feelings in other peoples music.

David has appeared at festivals from British Columbia to Australia,including Merlefest, Telluride Blues Festival, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Bumbershoot, and Blues to Bop in Switzerland.  He’s taught at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch and, at fifteen years old, was on the faculty at Centrum’s Blues and Heritage workshop. On the road, he has shared the stage with Lucinda Williams, Boz Scaggs (more than 60 shows), Etta James, The Doobie Brothers, George Thorogood, Robert Earle Keen, Todd Snider, Taj Mahal, Janis Ian, Tommy Emmanuel, Bob Weir, T-Bone Burnett, and Del McCoy.



David Jacobs-Strain w/Bob Beach
Friday, March 17th, 8pm (Doors at 7:30)
Rainshadow Recording Studio
200 Battery Way, Bldg 315 (west side)
Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend
Tickets available at Crossroads Music and Quimper Sound Underground in Port Townsend or at davidjacobs-strainbrowntickets

UPCOMING SHOWS

3/16/17 3hattrio
3/17/17 David Jacobs-Strain
4/08/18 Luke Winslow-King
4/22/17 Steve James
4/25/17 Gurf Morlix
9/23/17 John Fullbright

All shows at Rainshadow Recording unless otherwise noted.
Tickets available at brownpapertickets.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

3hattrio Brings American Desert Music to Rainshadow Recording | Centrum Campus | Fort Worden

FROM THE DESK OF EVERETT MORAN, OWNER & SOUND ENGINEER AT RAINSHADOW RECORDING:

photo by Regina Pagles
3hattrio came to be when violinist Eli Wrankle was 15 years old. The group got together when Eli's family held a small recital in their home in Zion Canyon, in Southern Utah. The intend was to raise funds for Eli's high school orchestra to perform at Disneyland.
Afterward family friends, veteran musicians Greg Istock and Hal Cannon asked Eli if he wanted to jam. A classical trained violinist, he had never played music that way before, but agreed. 
When they finished jamming, he asked for more. 3hattrio was born purely out of friendship, localness, and musical chemistry. 

Their sound reflects the landscape they live in and the musical influences they are passionate about. From that came a first album, Year One that they described in literary terms as Magic Realism

Reviewers gone lyrical: 
  • "An ethereal magic that puts them in a field of one." ~Julian Piper (Acoustic Magazine).
  • "Desert chamber music." ~ Paul Kerr (Maverick Magazine).
  • The famous cowboy poet, Baxter Black, likens 3hattrio's music to a "profound Gregorian sagebrush chant." 
Check out a Utah original audio visual: Flight 

Whatever the label, one thing is certain: 3hattrio has tapped into the (musical) soul of the American desert, rendering it with a completely original, often mind bending musical approach.
If you ask most people what Western music is you are likely to hear the response, cowboys and Indians. 3hattrio has great respect for these genres but they also think there is more to the West and its music. Musicians like to identify with things larger than themselves. 
Music is often identified with place, like the Delta and its blues or mountain music of Appalachia. It can even be a city's music like New Orleans, Austin or Bakersfield. In the case of the 3hattrio inspiration comes from the deserts of southern Utah, thus, American Desert Music. 
The 3hattrio plays American Desert Music and they aim to create a new music which responds to the natural world of their sacred homeland near Zion National Park in Utah. Their songs are mostly original and even their old-time cowboy and pioneer songs have an unusual twist. The subject matter of the songs is often desert oriented, sometimes not. Mostly, they express the desert experientially from a daily-ness of watching light off distant mesas and hearing the way sound plays off sheer sandstone cliffs. Then they play music. They dont over-think it. Living in the same isolated place, surrounded by an inspiring landscape of red cliffs is what makes this group thrive.

The 3hattrio members live in a place that has a great and lasting indigenous imprint. They strive to acknowledge the cultural traditions of generations of people who have worked and lived on the deserts of the American southwest. They dont attempt to perform the music of the nomadic Native peoples who have lived here for centuries.

They are modern day settlers in a place where settlement is not all that old. 
Folklorist and musician Hal Cannon says: "From our vantage we are not all that different from other pioneers who came from diverse places to make community. From our varied musical backgrounds something truly American can be made out of the necessity to find sociability in an isolated place and to come with the intention to create something new."

Hal Cannon: voice, banjo, guitar. He's also a poet & cowboy music scholar. 
Greg Istock: voice, acoustic bass, foot percussion. He has a Caribbean music background and sings in a haunting and soulful style. Istock is a visual artist to boot.
Eli Wrankle, a classically trained violinist, started college this year at Southern Utah University and comes from a family of artists.

Since producing their first album, Year One, they released a second CD to critical acclaim, Dark Desert Night, followed by Solitaire in September 2016. 
Click on the hyperlinks for a recording journal plus CD details, lyrics and videos.


Who:     3hattrio
When:   Thursay, March 16th, 7pm (Doors at 6:30)
Where:  Rainshadow Recording Studio
             200 Battery Way, Bldg 315 (west side)
             Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend

Tickets Available at Crossroads Music and Quimper Sound Underground in Port Townsend or online at http://3hattrio.brownpapertickets.com.


Additional Info: (360) 301-09291 or centrumrecording@gmail.com


UPCOMING SHOWS

3/16/17  3hattrio
3/17/17  David Jacobs-Strain
4/08/18  Luke Winslow-King
4/22/17  Steve James

9/23/17  John Fullbright

All shows at Rainshadow Recording unless otherwise noted. Tickets available at http://www.brownpapertickets.c om.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Acoustic Guitarist Pat Donohue @ Rainshadow Recording | Centrum Campus | Fort Worden

From the desk of Everett Moran, Owner & Sound Engineer at Rainshadow Recording:


Grammy winning fingerpicker Pat Donohue's devotion to acoustic guitar has made him an American standard, as he echoes the tones of Robert Johnson, Blind Blake, Merle Travis or Muddy Waters. 
This versatile guitarists guitarist enjoys entertaining fans with intricate fingerpicking, easy wit, and nimble interpretations of old blues, swing, R&B and original tunes. For 20+ years he's been lead guitar player and songwriter for the Guys All Star Shoe Band on the NPR favorite A Prairie Home Companion. 

Now Donahue is touring the US, playing a variety of venues including Performance Halls, Coffeehouse series and in blues, folk and eclectic listening rooms. We're pleased to have him include our intimate performance space at Rainshadow Recording in Port Townsend.


In May 2016, Pat Donahue released his new recording, Blue Yonder. You'll find solo tracks on the CD, clever new original songs as well three new instrumental numbers. On some cuts he's accompanied by members of the Prairie All Stars who were also members of the Guys All Star Shoe Band. 

His performance at on the Centrum Campus on March 3rd provides an extraordinary opportunity to hear an American Master up close and in an intimate setting. 

Join your host Everett Moran at the Rainshadow Recording at Fort Worden!

Who:    Pat Donohue
When:  Friday, March 3rd, 8pm (Doors at 7:30)
Where: Rainshadow Recording Studio
            200 Battery Way, Bldg 315 (west side)
            Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend

Tickets: http://patdonohuept. brownpapertickets.com
Info: (360) 301-09291 or centrumrecording@gmail.com


UPCOMING SHOWS

3/3/17    Pat Donohue
3/16/18  3hattrio
3/17/17  David Jacobs-Strain
4/22/17  Steve James

All shows at Rainshadow Recording unless otherwise noted. 
Tickets available at http://www.brownpapertickets. com.



Friday, August 1, 2014

Teens & Young Adults Soar at PT Workshops & Blues Fest

It's heartening to see how many teens and young adults are participating in the workshops and jam sessions. They're all over the Centrum campus, boys and girls with or without guitars, players and singer, engaged in conversations about music, and who knows what. Some of them I've seen before. A lot happens in six years, they've grown literally and in their craft, they're on to something good, and they know it.

As is the case every time I come to the Blues Fest I'm a little overwhelmed the first few days, but eventually I settle into a pace that's comfortable. Sometimes I skip a period, go for a walk on the beach, take a nap, or practice in my "cell"by myself. Every night there are jam sessions in the dorm, in the hallways, in people's rooms. There's a curfew now, no all nighters allowed, at least not in de dorms. what happens elsewhere I don't know. I'm sure the kids do. I did when I was their age.

My old bud Everett Moran was doing sound at the McCurdy Pavilion for Maria Muldaur and her Red Hot Bluesiana Band. Hanging out with Ev off stage left was just the right place for me, old stage hand that I am.

Tonight and tomorrow night it's Blues in the Bars in Port Townsend proper.
Centrum's Acoustic Blues Show Case on Saturday afternoon is going to be too, follow the link, and take a listen. All of that'll bring a lot of folks to town, glad I've got a place to stay already.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Finding Your (Other) Voice in Workshop with Maria Muldaur

Looking at the Port Townsend Blues Fest's impressive Faculty line-up in the Red & Blues book I'm thinking how difficult it can be for newbies to make up their minds what to do and whose workshops to take. The first year I was here, that would've been 2008, I got nervous just looking at the schedule. Didn't want to miss a thing. You'll be running on empty pretty soon if you follow that track.

Be selective, focus on your priorities, and add some adventurous twists and riffs, and give yourself a break. There's no failing in keeping your sanity by going for a walk on the beach or hiking up the hill. Take in Public Art hiding between the trees, and read Sam Hamill's poetry chiseled for all to see. Look for wildlife, birds, coyotes and deer abound.

The above advice comes from Wesley Snipes via my wife. El Double Tee Double U ("Listen To The Woman," what Snipes' character tells Woody Harrelson's in White Men Can't Jump the movie that came out the summer after she and I got married).

Yesterday, I joined Maria Muldaur's workshop. 
Maria teaches two blues vocal classes, “Women Be Wise and Also You Guys” developing a blues repertoire that fits your voice AND “Finding Your Inner Blues Voice”, singing the blues with authenticity. Her pianist Chris Burns will be on hand to support the class.
We were all encouraged to sing a few lines from a song, I'll get back with you which one she chose for the gals, and which one for us guys. I may not remember the titles, but I do remember my surprise when I turned into a crooner the second time around. My voice strong and loud and, well, a gal I know from a Centrum Blues Intensive said I sounded kind of like Frank Sinatra.

Frank, eh? I've heard that before. My wife said the same thing. She said I ought to sing more without the guitar, so I can focus on strengthening my voice, and do some Rat Pack songs, cause it seems to be in my genes, or at least what I grew up hearing.  Go figure.

What did I tell you? El Double Tee, Double U. Sing! Or if you're a singer the same must be true for you, take a different kind of workshop, you may surprise yourself, find another voice than the one you thought you had.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Embarrassment of Riches at Port Townsend Blues Fest 2014

Yes, I'm back. Not that I haven't been at Fort Worden since 2011, I've taken a few intensives that I didn't report on here, but I'm finally back for the Blues Fest and settled in my solitary cell at the dorm.
Solitary, yeah, right ;-)

As long as you can hear your next door neighbor tune his guitar (no co-ed on my floor) and here the guys in the hallways jam, solitary is an oxymoron. And that's fine by me, I'm here to connect with, and learn from other musicians.



Centrum's Blues Program's Manager Mary Hilts made sure we all have our little Red & Blues book, and man its overwhelming to see who all are here, and what we can pick up by being in any of these artists' workshops.

Not sure yet whether I'm going to schedule the whole week, or play it by ear.
Puns intended where ever applicable.