alternative press serving the lower columbia pacific region


Cedar Shakes plus guests Aug 22

CEDAR SHAKES are a local country band based in Nehalem, Oregon.  They released a beauty of a 4-song 10 in. vinyl record, RED RIVER this past spring, recorded in Austin,Texas. Cedar Shakes is fronted by singer/songwriter Travis Champ, a local poet who came into some coastal notoriety a few years ago with his poetry collection, Old Nehalem Road.

Nestucca Spit Press publisher and noted Oregon literary aficionado Matt Love published Champs work, but Champ himself set all the type for the book, on a hundred-year-old press, and bound all three hundred copies of the first edition print run. Upon hearing Champ at an Open Mic in Lincoln City, Love says, “It voiced the raw wet alienated stuff of what living at the Oregon Coast can do.” He immediately hooked up with Champ.

When or if the then 25 year-old Champ was writing songs at that time, not known – but similar to his well-tempered tales of a poetic Oregon coast, Champ’s sensibilities in songwriting are of equal rustic charm and country beats.

Cedar Shakes is Champ, joined by James Owen Greenan on drums and Jon Feeder on bass, (Rich Russell on the recording) – in addition to a lap steel/dobro player Landry McMeans to the recording.

Mostly medium paced tunes are Champs lovely country-style reveries, poems (not your standard country lyrics), sketches, vignettes — he does sing some about rodeos and Nashville, and in the tune Sandy Koufax sings:

The Air Force taught us all Vietnamese
So we could know our enemy
I found myself in 1970
A conscientious objector in Montgomery

A theme of boyhood memory, baseball and the fate of boys to war. Champs poems set to song, inhabit a masculine world, one that is shared artfully through old school country style.

The band Cedar Shakes is a good sound. Never overplayed in countrified zeal,  but sophisticated in the simplicity of shaping the components of a song. Tasty melodic bass interludes, hooks and emotive guitar chords are set against Champs semi-monotone, yet smooth and resonant vocals. Crisp rhythms trot along even in the slower paced tracks. The four songs on RED RIVER each stand apart and engage. The term catchy is not exactly what I’m looking for here– but that’s what they do, they catch you.

Catch the Cedar Shakes,  Monday, August 22, 8pm at the Hoffman Center Annex in Manzanita. Joined by The Black from Austin TX, and Josh Uithof. $5, 594 Laneda Ave.  (sorry folks, no photo, Shakes don’t do photos).

Musique en plein air!

MusiqueLOTS OF opps for music outdoors on the Coast. All FREE!

Free Summer Concerts in the Park!
Sundays at McLure Park, and Wednesdays at Fred Lindstrom Park, at 6pm (also known as Peter Pan Park 6th & Niagra).
FMI: 325-7275
7/13: Jason Jones
7/20: ANATiiZE
7/ 27: Lion Co
8/3: Jason Jones

McLure Park (Located at 8th & Franklin)
7/ 10: Lion Co
7/17: TBA
7/24: The Distractions
7/ 31: TBA

Washington Peninsula Waikiki Beach
Concert Series
Cape Disappointment State Park
Saturdays • 7pm
The Waikiki Beach Concert Series receives its name from the small pocket beach where the North Jetty meets the rocky cape. The amphitheater which serves as the setting for these folk concerts was designed as part of the Confluence Project, designed by architect Maya Lin of Vietnam Memorial fame. Go early. Play on the Beach.  Concerts are FREE. There is a State Park entry fee.
FMI: go to or call (360) 642-3029.
July 7: Low Tide Drifters
July 23: Kim angelis
Aug 3: Beltaine
Aug: 27 Lincoln’s Beard

Cannon Beach Concerts in the Park
4pm-6pm Bring a Picnic Basket
7/10 Smoke & Mirrors
7/17 Abbey Road Live – Beatles Tribute Band
7/24 Cherry Cherry – Neil Diamond Tribute Band
7/31 Mariachi Band
8/7 Chris Parker Band
8/14 David Valdez Brazilian Jazz
8/21 Everyday People
8/28 Small Town Bluegrass

High-Energy Acoustic Band The Whiskey Rebellion Returns to Astoria

Whiskey RebellionTHE ASTORIA-WARRENTON Chamber of Commerce and Liberty Theater present The Whiskey Rebellion in concert on SUNDAY, JULY 31ST AT 5PM. This band was a favorite performer for audience members of all ages and musical tastes at the Goonies 25th Anniversary Concert last June. The band is making a film of their “Live in Oregon” tour documenting their trip, with plans to enter it into Film Festival Circuits. Their last video won several awards. Come to the show and be part of the live filming experience!

The Whiskey Rebellion is an award winning five piece band from Central Virginia that plays high-energy acoustic music. Bluegrass, Influenced by many styles including folk, blues, jazz, and rock — skillful young picking and three part harmony vocals. According to Style Weekly Magazine, “Storytelling. Bank robberies, jail time, mill fires – the themes are familiar, but the lyrics are fresh and captivating.” Mary Simpson, fiddler and vocalist for the band, performed with Yanni on his 2011 North American Spring Tour. Watch their Goonies-inspired video at

$15 for adults and $12 for students/senior/military and available at the Liberty Box Office (503-325-5922 x 55) or through Tickets West (800-992-8499 or More information at or at (click Events.)

Naomi Hooley

Naomi HooleyGIRL WITH Piano. Naomi Hooley packed up her bags, and split Alaska in search of mecca, music, Portland, with her Newfoundland Hound Triton. She just finished her first CD, recorded by Rob Stroup of 8 Ball Studio. One must nod to Elton John, Carole King, and a gal from Alaska who can write a hell of a song on a piano. Now she’s fresh on the Mcmenamin Circuit. Check her out.

Thursday, July 21, 7-10pm, NO Cover. Sand Trap in Gearhart.

Brian Johnstone on Sundays

Brian JohnstoneBRIAN JOHNSTONE plays beautiful, authentic Flamenco guitar on Sundays at Sweet Basil’s in CB. Weather permitting, in the courtyard. Johnstone is loved in the region for his expressive playing, which also includes old jazz, blues and originals . . .  and none without a rustic, Scottish flair! Brian is also co-founding member of Northfork, a trio out of Nehalem with Crog (Craig Stokke) and Cindy Lindahl.

Sundays, 4-7pm at Sweet Basil’s. Happy Hour, 5-6pm: $1 OFF all glasses of wine, beer and all menu items.  $4 off bottles of wine! Wed-Sun. 271 Hemlock St. in Cannon Beach.

Benyaro at the VooDoo Room

BenyaroRecently frequented the VooDoo Room in Astoria? They’ve got a stage! And recently Ben Musser of Benyaro, has been hootin’ on it with various musicians, like Luke of Blind Pilot (who built the stage).  Benyaro is a 3-piece indie acoustic band (from out east) with Musser upfront, Bobby McCullough on stand up bass, and Meg Chamberlin on various accompaniment instruments, and all three hit the sonic atmosphere with expressive harmonies. In addition,  emotional electricity fills the room when Benyaro plays.

Expanding on gospel, folk, country, rock, blues, soul to beatboxing/house, Benyaro is in the eye of the music biz, (closing for The Avett Brothers, sharing the stage with Samantha Crain and the Midnight Shivers, and opening for Jill Andrews of the Everybodyfields), and in the arms of its audience. So refreshing is there LIVE performance – they bring new/bring back rhythm, soul, melody and big heart.

Sunday, July 24, 8ish. A very good choice at the VooDoo Room in Astoria.  And they gotta stage.

Tiller’s Folly – Canadiana-Americana

Tiller's FollyBRUCE COUGHLAN is a Canadian-born folk artist and musical ambassador of Pacific Northwest tales, and the founding member of Tiller’s Folly, a talent-packed, Celtic –influenced trio, on tour, and coming to the Liberty Theatre. In conjunction the concert celebrates an Astoria Bicentennial event with the Thompson Canoe Brigade’s arrival in Astoria. The Brigade members are paddling the entire Columbia River in honor of David Thompson- Canada’s #1 Cartographer and Explorer.

For the past thirteen years, through 1,000’s of performances Tiller’s Folly have spread their memorable blend of energy, history, musicality, romance, and just plain fun. With seven CD’s to their credit, Tiller’s continues to expand and refine their potent mix of Celtic influenced Canadiana, Americana ‘and beyond. In 2008, Tiller’s Folly added a multimedia component to their show including both modern and archival film footage and photography, including historical photos and songs about the Astor Party, Astoria and Fur Trading.

Tiller bassist/producer Laurence Knight brings to the stage over 30 years of professionalism. Laurence has performed, recorded and toured with many diverse artists, from Bo Diddley, The Sun Rhythm Section (Elvis’ first recording band), to  Loverboy, and K.d lang. Tiller’s fiddle player Nolan Murray is one of the most in-demand multi-instrumentalist, a multi-award fiddle champion and has recorded, toured and performed with numerous artists including Loretta Lynn, Ferlin Husky, Ian Tyson, David Frizzell, Rose Maddox, Brenda Lee, Irish Rovers, One Horse Blue, Randy Travis, John Fogerty and many others.

The Edmonton Journal (Oct, 2008) – “Tiller’s Folly is one of the tightest, and unflinchingly focused, folk bands in the nation.”

Saturday, July 16, at 7pm, Adults $20, Sen/Stud/Military $18. At the Liberty Theater. Box Office 503.325.5922 Ext. 55. Open Tues.-Sat. 2-5:30 pm & 2 hours before curtain.

Bayou Seco – A Musical Force of Nature

Bayou SecoKEN KEPPLER and Jeanie McLerie are Bayou Seco – a musical force of nature from New Mexico whose roots are deep in the Southwest but whose branches reach far across the world.  They have collected music from older traditional American musicians for most of their lives, focusing especially on Cajun music in Southwestern Louisiana and, since 1980, from traditional Hispanic, Cowboy, and Tohono O’Odham musicians in New Mexico and Arizona. They tour the Southwest and Europe bringing their enthusiasm for the musics, dances, and cultures they share.  Their performances are fun, absolutely infectious, high-energy and always celebratory.  Bayou Seco is a BLAST!

Their multi-instrumental kaleidoscope of finely-observed styles and techniques consists of fiddle, guitar, vocals, one and three-row diatonic accordions, five-string banjo, harmonica and mandolin. Jeanie McLerie sings strong and clear, and plays 5-string violins.  Ken Keppeler plays fiddle, banjo, and accordion, dances when he feels like it and sings to make you laugh.  Their repertoire includes old-time American, bluesy Western Swing and Mardi-Gras dance tunes, as well as traditional New Mexican folk music they have collected.  Their collections of folklore, especially Southwestern music, pays homage to some of the 20th Century’s greatest musicians, who have graciously shared their tunes and songs with them.  During the past twenty five years they have been learning from the old masters, composing new songs and tunes, and teaching others to play what they have learned. (‘Following in the Tuneprints’, UBIK 25). Their new release “Bouquet” celebrates their 30th year as a band.

Bayou Seco returns to Astoria on the heels of their 2011 Tour of the British Isles and Europe.  They are fondly remembered for their dances played at Netel Grange in the 80s and 90s. Often heard on KMUN’s Shady Grove with host Susie McLerie, Jeanie’s sister.  Jeanie has contributed much music to our community’s radio library, and has many friends in our area.  Her earlier recordings feature her singing/playing with the Harmony Sisters, and the Delta Sisters.

Morning Concert: July 23rd at 11am Bayou Seco LIVE on KMUN-KTCB Troll Radio Review, at Ft George Brewery.

Evening Concert is: Saturday July 23rd at 8pm, $10. the Arts and Movement Center at the corner of 11th and Harrison, Astoria, OR  97103.   Door opens at 7:30pm.

Q-JAZZ at the Bridgewater Bistro

THE BRIDGEWATER Bistro in Astoria begins a new offering this spring/summer season. Q-Jazz and Song Social invites the LGBTQ Community and friends the third Thursday of each month to enjoy the Basin St. Northwest Jazz Trio, complimentary apps, and piano bar hosted by friends and performance associates Dinah Urell and Walt Trumbull.

Arrive at 8pm for complimentary appetizers and catch a sampling of Basin St. NW piano trio led by Chuck Wilder, featuring guitarist Dave Drury,  and bassist Todd Pederson. Urell and Trumbull dip into the American songbook, in solo and duo,  and open the mic for folks who would like to sing, in the vein of American standards, jazz and blues. Expertise not required. Old school piano bar culture, with a jazz twist – the soulful progressions of pianist Chuck Wilder as your back-up is a treat.

The event, now underway,  is proving to be a spacious and welcoming social gathering. Many expressed gratitude to Dana Gunderson for hosting the Qmixer for a number of years at the Cannery Cafe, destroyed in the Astoria, Dec 16 Riverfront fire. Owners of the Bridgewater, Ann and Tony Kitchner welcome the community, and look forward to the event growing as a permanent monthly mixer for the Q-Community.

Third Thursdays. 8pm-10pm. The Bridgewater Bistro is located at the Port of Astoria, 20 Basin St., 503.325.6777

From Finland – The Kauhava Big Band In Concert, Friday July 22

Kauhava Big Band

THE FINNISH American Folk Festival, Naselle, WA and The United Finnish Kaleva Brothers and Sisters Lodge #2, Astoria, OR present in concert Kauhava Big Band from Kauhava, Finland.

Kauhava Big Band was formed in 1986 by “gentlemen musicians” from all of the regions of Finland.  The band is comprised of five saxophonists, four bassoonists, four trumpets, an accordionist, pianist, bassist and a drummer.  The conductor is Jukka Lumme.  Soloists are Seinajoki (tango finalist), Erkki Mustikkamaki, and jazz soloist Helena Taijala.  With their black tie attire and nostalgic concerts, they bring big band culture to life, Finnish style. The traditional 18 piece big band program features lots of swing classics, evergreens and dance music. Kauhava BB also has a strong tango repertoire – and will be doing several tango tribute concerts at Finn West 2011 in Vancouver BC this summer.

Kauhava Big Band posterA correlating theme of the concert is “Kiel on Jaahyaiset,” which translates to “Farewell to My Lily of the Valley – a Finnish War Pilot’s Story”.  The story is based on an actual Finnish couple during WWII in Finland.  Olli Nieminen, the concert’s manuscript writer, wrote this story because his father was a pilot at Finland’s Air-Pilot School Base in his hometown of Kauhava, Finland.  Each year over 10,000 people gather at the base, during the Midsummer celebration, to watch an annual air show.  Olli states that the dramatic story is tightly connected to the music.  Some of the story will be translated into English and you do not need to be of Finnish decent to enjoy the big band sound.  Swing music is universal!
The United Finnish Kaleva Bros and Sis’ are dedicated to keeping the culture and heritage alive in the Columbia Pacific Region. The Kauhava Big Band in addition to its performance is also spending time in Astoria to get acquainted with the Finnish heritage here.  A reception to meet the members of the band will be held at the Fort George Brewery. This is a wonderful opportunity to commune with Finns and enrich cultural ties.

The performance begins at 7:00 pm, Friday, July 22, 2011 at Clatsop Community College’s Performing Arts Center, 588 16th Street, Astoria, OR.  Immediately following the concert a no-host reception will be held at the new Fort George Brewery Building.  The staff at the Fort George Brewery will be preparing a traditional Finnish Sausage meal.  Tickets for the meal can be purchased at the reception.

Tickets for the concert may be purchased at the door, Finn Ware (Astoria), Creative Flaire (Naselle), or by sending a check made out to FAFF, to Anita Raistakka, 92 Big Hill Rd, Naselle, WA 98638.  Adults $10.00 and students $5.00. This event is sponsored by One Five Six Bond Salon, Salon Verde and North Coast Mini Storage.

For more information  visit:, kauhava Big Band on You Tube or call 503.791.9156.

The Xploding Boys • Get a CURE fix

Xploding Boys
, Portland’s very own tribute to the Cure, on their west coast tour here in Astoria. Claimed to possibly be the longest-running Cure tribute band in the western hemisphere.  the project was started in 1999 as a side project by then-drummer and now lead singer thedrowningman.

Come dance to Fascination Street, Boys Don’t Cry, and more Cure classics with a band that is so close to the real thing it is spooky!

Doors open at 8pm featuring special guest DJ Wednesday. All ages. 17 and under $3. Adults $7. Friday, June 17, at the Astoria Movement Center, Corner of 11th and Harrison.

Chris Robley and the Fear of Heights • Rock Arranger!

Chris Robley and the Fear of Heights

Chris Robley and the Fear of Heights

Band frontman and as soloist, Portland now-veteran Chris Robley gets the thumbs up from NPR to L.A.Times. While his solo efforts compare to Elliott Smith, his backup band is an energetic rock force , of raw Beatle-esque arrangements, with use of chamber pop instruments; keyboards, trumpet, and glockenspiel!!!! Guaranteed to love.

Thursday, June 23, 7pm, Sandtrap in Gearhart, No Cover.

Hillfolk Noir • Spooky Toe Tappin

Hillfolk Noir

Fronted by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Travis Ward, Hillfolk Noir has been described as a dark, country-tinged, swampy-swingin’, hillbilly-delta-blues-ragtime word machine. The band calls it Junkerdash, but no matter the descriptor, you’ll find Hillfolk Noir’s psychedelic swamp-shack rags equally spooky and toe-tapping.

Hillfolk Noir has toured nationally and performed with James McMurtry, Built to Spill, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Neko Case, Justin Townes Earle,  Gourds, and more. Their unique roots gumbo has broad appeal, as evidenced by the disparate gigs they have played at everything from hipster clubs to square dances to folk music festivals.

Sunday, June 26, 8pm, Fort George in Astoria, No Cover.

Whiskey Puppy • Kick up your Booty Heels

Whiskey PuppyBOOT-STOMPING, mule-slapping traditional bluegrass and old time music. The Portland, OR trio brings energy, humor, and skillful musicianship to little-known songs and tunes searched out from the repertoires of the early Southern string bands. Whiskey Puppy have appeared to howling acclaim at bars and festivals all over the West Coast.

Friday, July 1, 9pm. A great band to see at the new Hazels in Astoria, at 14th on Marine Dr. No Cover.

The Mighty and the Misty: Waikiki Beach Concert Series – New 7pm time slot!

Mighty Ghosts

Mighty Ghosts

This year marks the sixth summer of concerts offered outdoors at Cape Disappointment State Park, near Ilwaco, Washington. The Waikiki Beach Concert Series receives its name from the small pocket beach where the North Jetty meets the rocky cape. The amphitheater which serves as the setting for these folk concerts was designed as part of the Confluence Project, designed by architect Maya Lin of Vietnam Memorial fame. There are six performances planned for the summer, one on each second and fourth Saturday evening of June, July and August.

June’s performances include two regional acts, regionally known MIGHTY GHOSTS ( play original Americana acoustic roots music, and open the season on JUNE 11, with the new time for shows (no longer 2pm, conflicting with the beach-crowds), starting at 7pm. JUNE 25, all-female Bluegrass Band THE MISTY MAMAS (, take the stage.

Misty Mamas

Misty Mamas at the Wheeler County Bluegrass Festival July 4, 2009. Fossil, Oregon. Photo by Bob Woodward.

If you’ve never been to a performance of the Waikiki Beach Concert Series June is the month to check it out. Washington State Parks are free for the rest of the month. Starting July 1st, all park visitors will be required to buy a $10 daily Discover Pass or a $30 annual pass. These passes will be available in the next few weeks, wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold in Washington, as well as at Cape Disappointment State Park. The concerts themselves are free due to the support of the Friends of the Columbia River Gateway. This non-profit group operates the gift stores at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and at the Carriage House near the North Head Lighthouse. They support a variety of special events throughout the year in our area Washington State Parks and are now concentrating their efforts towards restoring the North Head Lighthouse.

This summer’s concert series at Cape Disappointment State Park will continue to offer beautiful music in a beautiful location. Bring your sunglasses if you’re lucky and an umbrella if you’re not. Come early, play on the beach a bit and enjoy a picnic dinner. Stay late and enjoy the sunset with the sounds of folk music ringing in your ears. For more information about these concerts, call (360) 642-3029.

Music at the forefront of the 44th Scandinavian Midsummer Festival

ASTORIA SCANFEST 2011 is proof this longtime cultural celebration shows no signs of slowing down.

Stand-out music artists from the NW as well as the old country will ring in the bicentennial year with sounds of the ancient roots as well as the bloom of new Scandinavian music.

It’s a music packed weekend with many local/regional favorites and new comers!!!! Willapa Hills, Wilho Saari, Scandinavian Country, Double J and the Boys, and more.

Helen Blume and Harald HaugaardFeatured performers HELEN BLUME AND HARALD HAUGAARD from Denmark have several things in common; they both began their music careers as children, hail from musical families, and have taken Norwegian folk dynamically into a contemporary 21st century sound.

Haugaard is fiddler, composer and producer, and if you were at the 2011 Seattle Folk Life Festival you may have caught him. Helen Blume is one Denmark’s shining folk/pop vocalists, married to Haaguard, and together they are Helen Blume and Harald Haaguard Band. Both artists with lauded individual and joint careers, a plentiful music selection can be found on the web.

Fri., 17 6pm Arena Stage, Sat., 18 noon, 3pm, and 5pm on various stages.

MaiastraSwedish Folksters MAIASTRA, are Sofia Johansson (vocals, fultes, soprano sax and percussion), and Emil Brynge (vocals, octave mandolin, mandolin, guitar and violin). While Blume and Haarsguard offer a more pop/rock orchestrated sound, Maiastra is a beautiful minimilist sound, playful, yet accomplished musicians who dig deep into the roots of ancient Swedish music. Fascinating,  Emo-Ethno!

Friday at 4pm on the Arena Stage, 8-10pm in the Beer Garden. Sat: 12:30 and 5pm in the Exhibit Hall.

is an ensemble based in Eugene, OR dedicated to folk dance music from Norway and Sweden.  Founded by David and Claire Elliker-Vågsberg in 1999, most of the music is based on the authentic dance style of the area of origin. Gammaldans music (vals,  schottis/reinlender, masurka & polkas), and Bygdedans music (springars, gangars, polskar, & polsdans) as well as runddansere or turdans (“set dances”, usually choreographed), and various “mixers”. (Sounds like something out of Lord of the Rings.)

FossegrimenMany of the melodies that Fossegrimen plays have no composer since they have been handed down so many times that their only identification is the fact that they are “from” the playing of the last musician to teach the music to another musician.  Enjoy a variety of string instruments including fiddle, hardanger fiddle, nyckelharpa, guitar, mouth harp and bass violin.

For an up-close listen to this authentic music, David Elliker-Vågsberg, fiddle and hardanger fiddle, and Brian Wood, guitar, will perform a concert of Norwegian music Saturday afternoon.  Then Fossegrimen will play the music for the SATURDAY EVENING DANCERS’ BALL from 7 to 11pm on June 18.

Food & Vendor booths, Dancers, Dancing, the Coronation, Bonfire, a Viking Encampment, Beer Garden & More! A very user-friendly schedule avail: Clatsop County Fairgrounds, June 17 – 19, 3-Day admission pass: $7 General, $2 for 6-12, 5 and under FREE.

Violinist Kim Angelis at the Coaster • June 19

Kim Angelis
Violin Virtuoso and Composer Kim Angelis performs a concert at 3pm, on June 19 at the Coaster Theater in Cannon Beach.  The Astoria-based artist known admiringly in the region as the Gypsy Violinist, Angelis is an internationally acclaimed violinist who has successfully transcended artistic boundaries – the music is built on a solid classical foundation, but the inspiration flows freely from the Romany Diaspora of Eastern Europe, Russia, and Spain. Angelis’ brilliant compositions showcase the beauty, power, and excitement of her playing. Jean Bartlett, managing editor of Ink Notes, writes, “Angelis… literally sings each string like a gypsy poet. Through breathtaking cadenzas and tender passages. … it is her own composed music which constantly brings the audience to their feet because it is of earth and yet not.”

The passionate music of Kim Angelis has been featured on network TV, PBS, NPR, and during the 2000 Olympics, when world champion gymnast Kui Yuanyuan of China used Kim’s music for her floor exercise. For ten years, Angelis’ first CD, Violin Voyager, resided on the Taiwanese Billboard charts. The film Sweet Nothings features her music, which was nominated for Best Original Score by the California Independent Film Society and Best Score by the International Independent Film Tour. Her 1996 CD, Esperanza, was selected as a “Choice Recording” by Strings magazine and received a nomination by Just Plain Folks for Best Instrumental Album. Kim’s 2005 release, Gypsy’s Odyssey, made Top Ten lists from Santa Cruz, CA, to Herford, Germany. In 2007, her song, “Zingaro!” won Global Rhythm Magazine’s international songwriting competition. In 2009, the violinist’s music was once again heard throughout the international sports scene, as Junior World Champion gymnast Amelia Racea of Romania performed her floor routines to a Kim Angelis recording.

The Prophecy, A Gypsy’s Journey. 2011
Kim Angelis continues to breath life and soul into her majestic violin compositions. The Prophecy is 11 tracks, inspired by the Book of Isaiah., and each track on the CD, Angelis relates to a passage and to personal stories.

Recorded at Moody Studios in Los Angeles, and Big REd Studio in Corbett, OR, Angelis is joined by numerous instrumentalists, adding paino, clarinet , accordion, percussion, oud, her husand Josef Gault on guitar, and a second flemenco guitarist Ciro Hurtado.

Utilizing diverse instrumentation, and arrangements, Angelis brilliantly colors and enhances  the stories she tells through the single instrument, her voice, the violin.  Whether there was added arrangement,  or even the accompanying stories within the CD package, Angelis interprets the tale single-handedly.

The inimitable warmth and flair that project from her violin, dance, cry, and soar.  Each composition develops a strong and memorable theme, the violin leading the way.

However, the arrangements enhance and surprise. Track 2,  Seven Trees, beigns with a sultry clarinet, that then playfully chases  the violin through the tune. Track 5, Isaiah 53, is a beautiful duet between piano and violin, with the meanderings of the kanun (a zither type instrument). As well the piano enahnces the meloncholic, and highly expresive Track 8, Astoria Gloria —  here Angelis represents  the muted grey Astoria sky in a haunting reverie, and dynamically opens up the sky to silver light, with the virtuosic use of the bow.

Angelis will perform new works at the concert, accompanied by flemenco guitarist Josef Gault. Her lastest effort is a complex set of compositions, but never without the free spirit flowing, and the pieces that are the dance. Joining Angelis are belly dancers Jessamyn Grace and Erika McKay, of the Astoria Arts and Movement Center.  CD Purchase at
$10 Admission. 108 N. Hemlock, Cannon Beach. 3pm

MANAFEST Alternative Music Festival • Astoria, June 17–19

Astoria’s alternative music festival impresario is Nick Stephens. Stephens has been organizing music events the last several years, his mission to provide a venue for creative musicians and an all ages audience. He sites that his inspiration to create music gatherings of this nature draws from former Astorian creative/musician Jona Bechtolt who successfully produced his low key events called CATCH THAT BEAT, that attracted a good crowd of hipsters to the region, to enjoy a weekend of music making.

This will be a music-filled weekend in Astoria, where opera, Scandinavian Folk and alternative/rock music converge. MANAFEST will appear at Shively Hall, the Blue Scorcher, on the Astoria Sunday Market stage, and other locations TBA. Look out.

Now the music listings will look like this:

Friday June 17 • 5-10$ cover
Shively Hall 7pm-12midnight
1530 Shively Park Rd
• cat stalks bird (PDX experimental rock)
• Unicorn Denomination (PDX dancetech)
• I only draw monsters (Seaside local hard
• Unkle Funkle (Comedycore)

Saturday June 18th
Crossfades: 1331 Marine Drive, Astoria, OR- FREE 5pm
• Changeable Light Bulb (KMUN dj Jed, playing “wierdness”)

Saturday June 18 5-10$ cover
Shively Hall 7pm-12midnight
1530 Shively Park Rd
• Kites at Night (Astoria electro rock )
• Star Craving (Astoria funtimes)
• Saucy Yoda (PDX partycore)
• Mythological horses (Rock)
•  White Fang (Original Classic Rock)

Sunday June 19 • 8am-4ish
The Blue Scorcher, Tide Rock, Astoria Sunday Market Stage. FREE  SOUP.
• Leafeater (PDX powerpop)
• Davis Hooker (Chehailis,Triumphant folk)
• Geena Barker (Cannon Beach folk)
• Taylor Holmes (San Fransisco pop songs)
• Titan and the Pygmy (Sitar and drums songs)

More information about Sunday shows available at the 17th and 18th shows, and in forthcoming Manafest brochures available at the Blue Scorcher Bakery in Astoria.

The fund raiser for this festival is

Tthe facebook event page is

Brownsmead Flats CD Release – Strings & Yarns: It’s Vintage Flats!

The Brownsmead Flats

The Flats at Big Red Studio in Portland.

The Brownsmead Flats’ latest CD, Strings & Yarns, just out, is vintage Flats. A mixture of originals with a sprinking of traditional songs arranged by the band, the subject matter is local – politics, history, water and family. The album is dedicated to bassist John Fenton’s wife Carol, who died recently in an accident in Mexico. She also wrote one of the songs on the CD, Porch Swing. The CD’s cover features a photo of a tapestry that was presented to the band by a fan – hence the CD’s title, a reference to the cover tapestry and the type of music they play and instruments they use.

Though the timing of the new release coincides with Astoria’s bicentennial, the only song written specifically for the big birthday is harmonica player Ned Heavenrich’s song, Shines and Glows, according to Ray Raihala, the band’s newest member, and the only Clatsop County native. Raihala wrote two of the album’s songs, Generic Historic Anniversary Song, where you can fill in any of the myriad anniversaries that we’ve celebrated recently or will in the near future, and Ballad of the Peter Iredale, celebrating one of those anniversaries, the 100th of the beaching of the Peter Iredale in 1906, on Clatsop Spit.

“The band has evolved to sing about historical happenings,” said Raihala, and the new CD contains many examples, including Heavenrich’s Recall, which tells about the recent recalls of several Clatsop County commissioners, and guitarist Robert Stevens’ The Vortex, which tells the story of a man who witnessed the selling of Fort Astor to the English during the War of 1812, went upriver to do some business, and came back to Astoria, only to find that the fort was now a brewery with the English moniker Fort George.

The band does an a cappella version of Long Beach, Washington resident Mary Garvey’s Astoria Bar on Strings & Yarns, highlighting the Flats’ tight harmonies, featured during their many local concerts. They use a single old-style microphone for voices on stage, which helps the band members to hear each other, and presents an interesting choreography for the audience, according to Raihala, as each soloist bends in for his part, while the others sink back.

The Flats’ fiddler, Dan Sutherland, who also plays mandolin and hammered dulcimer, wrote two songs on the new album, Sail Away Sister and Somebody’s Baby. The album is rounded out with a couple traditional songs, the ever popular Cotton Eyed Joe (with Over the Waterfall) and the sea shanty John Kanaka.

Strings & Yarns was recorded at Billy Oskay’s Big Red Studio in Portland, in four 12-hour sessions. Previous Flats’ albums were self-produced, so this one was quite a step up, according to Raihala. This is the Flats’ 5th album. Potluck was produced in 1996, followed by Rain in 1999. In 2006, they released two recordings. The first, Astoria, features numerous compositions that explore Astoria, its history and topics related to the Columbia-Pacific region. The second, Live at the Liberty, was recorded at the Liberty Theater in Astoria, as part of the Lewis and Clark bicentennial celebration.

The Brownsmead Flats started playing together when the band members all converged on Brownsmead in the 1970s as what Raihala called “young marrieds” who wanted to try out the rural Oregon experience. They came from Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan and California, built their own houses, and started families. The community had (and still has) frequent potlucks, and music was/is a big part of them. Though each of the band members had played in a band previously, none had really done what the Flats’ website calls “crabgrass”, a folk/bluegrass style centered on this area’s geography. The band’s first album, Potluck, took the name of the venue where it all began.

Strings and YarnsRaihala joined the band about 15 years ago. At the time the band formed initially, Raihala was on the road much of the year, eeking out a living playing in a cover band. When that band broke up, he started playing with the Flats more often, and still does.

All the band members have day jobs and practice typically one day a week. They’ve played at the Northwest Folklife Festival, the Tumbleweed Festival, the Pendleton Round-Up (right after 9/11), and opened for the Kingston Trio at the Liberty Theater a few years ago. In addition to the current members, pianist and guitarist Jennifer Goodenberger has played with the Flats in the past.

Raihala attributes the band’s longevity to the fact that they “enjoy the process, get along well, and love the creative expression in music.” He says, “We’re always on a point on the road; it’s a journey, not a destination.” Going on 25 years together, with no end in sight, the Brownsmead Flats should be around for a while.

Don’t miss the CD release party at (where else) Fort George Brewery on Saturday, June 4th at 8 pm. Other upcoming concerts include two Summerfest dates, June 18th and July 16th in Long Beach; the Astoria Sunday Market on July 3rd; the Ilwaco Timberland Library on July 28th; and one of the band’s favorite venues, McGandy Park in Lacey, WA on August 28th. Pick up the Flats’ new CD at Bach & Rock in Astoria, also:

Astoria Music Festival 2011 • June 17-24

Sergey Antonov

Cellist Sergey Antonov, Festival Favorite

BICENTENNIAL BEETHOVEN is the theme this year for the 9th Annual Astoria Music Festival. While the Columbia River shore was in raw transition, a place of hope for immigrants and pioneers, a place of loss to American Indians, one of the world’s most influential composers was creating the stirring Symphony No. 7, known for its expression of spontaneity, and a favorite work of Beethoven himself.  Written in 1811, Russian cellist Sergey Antonov, beloved returning festival artist, performs this ode to Astoria’s founding year with one of Ludwig’s most romantic themes and opens the festival on Friday, June 17.

A second theme stands out for AMF 2011. VOCAL EXPLOSION. And a third . . . AWARD Winners! This year the corridors of the Liberty Theater will fill with unadulterated vocal forte. Honoring the maturity of AMF, and its ever-growing respect for excellence in summer music festivals, 20 year Met vet, and one of America’s finest sopranos, and by all measures the embodiment of the Coloratura Diva, RUTH ANN SWENSON, makes a rare Northwest appearance. San Francisco Classical Voice describes her, “with technique to spare; power, agility, effortless projection!!!!!

Ruth Ann Swenson

Ruth Ann Swenson graces the AMF Stage

Ms. Swenson will appear in solo with the Festival Orchestra on Sunday, June 19 in a concert of Mozart and Mahler. Not to miss. In addition, in a mid-week music event at the CCC PAC,  Swenson and opera coach David Burnakus lead a rare public master class with AMF vocal apprentices, as they put the finishing touches on “The Marriage of Figaro.” (This year the Vocal Apprentice Program will return in July to stage the opera in OPERA FOR 5 BUCKS at the Astoria Arts and Movement Center.) The second part of the program will view the Academy Award winning film In the Shadow of the Stars, featuring Swenson and Burnakus in a behind-the-scenes view of the San Francisco Opera Chorus.  In addition to AMF formal classical performances, these sideshows, so to speak, bring accessibility, and shear fun to the festival music.

Angela Meade

Angela Meade, Richard Tucker Award Winner

The winner of the 2011 prestigious Richard Tucker award, is an up and coming soprano, born and raised in Centralia, Washington, ANGELA MEADE.  The operative guideline for the Richard Tucker Award is that it be awarded to an American singer poised on the edge of a major national and international career. It is hoped that the award acts as a well-timed catalyst to elevate the artist’s career to even greater heights, in addition to a $30,000 cash award. Previous winners include Ruth Anne Swenson and Rénee Fleming.

Angela Meade will be featured in the festival season’s concert production opera selection, Verdi’s “Il Trovatore.” She is joined by principal and founding member of the festival and foremost American baritone Richard Zellar, (whose gutsy rendition of “Bill” from Carousel at AMF 2010 blew everybody joyously away). The duo, which performed last summer in Portland’s Washington Park have Oregonian critics steering audiences to this coming AMF performance.

VERDI’S IL TROVATORE tells of Gypsies, love triangles, unrelenting revenge and many a familiar opera theme, not excluding the ANVIL CHORUSThe North Coast Chorale will do the honors, as well the Coast’s favorite baritone Deac Guidi plays the role of Ferrando. Go early, at 6:30pm – Robert Kingston of the Portland Opera delivers a preview on the work. Go earlier and enjoy a Happy Hour Concert, ($10), featuring violinist Roy Malan, Ian Scarfe, piano and friends for Gypsy-inspired music. Saturday, June 25.

Richard Zeller

Baritone Richard Zellar

Astoria’s Music Festival Director Keith Clark is a busy conductor who graces the AMF stage with his conducting as well as his unmatchable charm and prowess when it comes to educating audiences in performance previews – bringing a fresh and always timely context to the works. This year due to his schedule, qualified stand-ins will continue the tradition, so important to Clark in expressing the connection to classical themes and to the significance of keeping symphonic music alive and well in the 21st century.

So important that Clark and last year’s AMF production of WOZZECK are semi-finalists in the new AMERICAN PRIZE, a national organization with a mission to bolster small company opera performance and conducting. AMF and Clark are the only West Coast candidates in the opera division.

The formation of the The American Prize,  is based on excellence, not restricted to famous names, or any single city on either coast, or the most prestigious companies, but according to its chief judge David Katz is based on “talent, love of the art, hard work and commitment that makes the difference.”

In 2009, AMF saw a noted 15% in ticket sales. In 2010, a 20% increase in sales. And in 2011, an unprecedented increase in pre-sales. It has steadfastly become a summer opera opportunity par excellence on the west coast, while other opera companies are taking a rest.

BeethovenPresident of the Board of AMF LEENA RIKER is happy to report these numbers. While funding is always the challenge in the arts, it is the people behind the organizations that either make it work, or it doesn’t. This is Riker’s third season. Riker is the person who makes sure the singers are coming, she is the business backbone behind the scenes. An all-volunteer position, Riker in her 70’s, proves that life experience is of the utmost value.  In addition to a gracious commitment of time and care for this festival, you can’t really put a price on that.  A collective operatic BRAVO to Ms. Riker for doing the hard work so that we can all reap the benefits of this amazing musical feat that occurs every June.

Ticket sales don’t pay the piper for any festival, but then again, they speak loudly to benefactors. And quality of performance speaks loudly to audience. This is why ticket buyers and critics are catching on to AMF. This publication puts the music festival on the cover every year. Yes, the publisher is a biased music lover – a biased music lover who voraciously encourages you to get some tickets. You have two weeks not to screw-up.  Live orchestral music is on the up, as is acoustic music of all genres, and people dancing! Despite our new dependency on a different kind of lit screen – lets hope it’s our new version at a chance for more freedom to experience “human” potential, and that “art”remains our essential.

Handel and His Mad King • Sat June 18
This promises to be an exciting evening as AMF 2010 tenor John Duykers returns. Duykers memorably portrayed the Captain in AMF’s Wozzeck, and is a prominent American operatic tenor, known for his work in modern and contemporary opera. Duykers career has involved testing the waters on new projects.
One of his most celebrated roles was that of Mao Tse-Tung (an extraordinarily testing part) in the 1987 world-premiere of John Adams’ Nixon in China, which was televised (winning an Emmy Award), and recorded (winning a Grammy Award).

The Mad King

John Duykers is The Mad King

AMF 2011 Duykers brings to the stage, EIGHT SONGS FOR A MAD KING. This is a staged theater piece for singing actor and instruments. Composed in the 70’s by Peter Maxwell Davies, it was written specifically for a South African actor who specialized in advanced vocal technique. It requires the performer to sing in both bass and alto registers as well as produce a vast range of other sounds. In essence, to express madness. In an interview with Davies, he stated it was not a piece that he had considered for additional performances, and thus the work has probably not been performed too frequently. The inspiration behind the piece was a musical box, with which George III (who did eventually die through a long mental illness), had reputedly tried to teach his birds to sing. Classical reviewer Robert Hugill describes it as a music-theatre piece that gives a visceral thrill in performance.

Also on the performance roster for the eve, is music by Handel, (the Kings favorite composer) with SOPRANO AMY HANSON, ORGANIST JULIA BROWN and the North Coast Chorale; Music from Solomon and Samson and Organ Concerto in F Major, (a virgin instrument to AMF 20011).  A Prelude show at 6:30pm features Amy Hanson singing English Lute Songs.  Featured concert at 7:30pm at the Liberty Theater.

Joanne RideoutON the Road with Mozart: An Evening of Words and Music
Thur. June 23
Coast Community Radio’s Joanne Rideout tells the story of “Mozarts Journey to Prague, ” a romantic fantasy depicting the composer and his wife on the way to the opening night of Don Giovanni. Funny, moving, the story paints a picture of Mozart’s creative genius – it heights and depths. The work is based on Edward Morike’s masterpice of German Literature. Joanne is joined by soprano Amy Hanson, Baritone Deac Guidi and the Festival Chamber Players. 7:30pm at the CCC PAC. Tickets are available at the door, $15.

Too Much Coffee Man • The Comic Book Opera
Tues. June 27
Its back – with a refill!  AMF 2010, Too Much Coffee Man stole the show, as they say, and charged up even the decaf drinkers in the audience. Comic book author SHANNON WHEELER collaborated with opera composer Daniel Stevens Craft, and debuted the work to sold out audiences at the Portland Center for Performing Arts in 2006.  Since then there has been a sequel, and for those who attended last years performance, there’s more. The brilliantly funny comic chamber opera is certainly worth a second cup, sequel or not. (and yes, we find out what happens to the hot Barista).

Too Much Coffee Man

Too Much Coffee Man is in for a refill!

Too Much Coffee Man, is a caffeine-addled Superhero-Everyman who’s in love with his barista. Trouble brews when Espresso Guy, a cynical opportunist, also makes a play for the ambitious but frustrated young barista. The characters must resolve the age-old dilemma: Can coffee and relationships co-exist?

Accompanying the trio of performers is a trio of musicians; piano, string bass and clarinet. The score is refreshingly modern, and quirky. STACEY MURDOCH ( a former AMF opera performer), embodies the anxious-ridden, over-the-top Coffee Man with continual internal dialogues on love and insecurities, (sporting a very large mug on his head and red lycra body suit). Murdoch is a talented singer with a healthy set of pipes and dollops of comic genius. Its one thing to put on a ridiculous get-up, and another to give it life.

A treat this year for comic book enthusiasts, author Shannon Wheeler will be in Astoria for the performance and will sign copies of Too Much Coffee Man. AMAZING STORIES Comic Book Store in Astoria will have fresh copies in soon. Wheeler is also currently up for a 2011 EISNER COMIC BOOK AWARD.

7:30pm, CCC PAC, 16th & Franklin, $15.

Kid Classics 4 Kids •  Sat., June 18, June 25
Family Concert and Troll Radio Review Radio Broadcast
Musical stories for kids of all ages hosted by Debbie Twombly and featuring Astoria Music Festival musicians, the Troll, Stinky Toadwort, and the Troll Radio Review Theater Troupe. Broadcast live on Coast Community Radio, KMUN and KTCB. 11:00am. Both dates. Clatsop Community College Performing Arts Center. Free admission with a contribution of canned goods to the Clatsop County Action Food Bank at the door.

Chamber Music At the Churches •  Sun., June 19, 26
Enjoy short informal recitals of chamber music at Astoria Historic Churches at 11:30pm. FREE and post concert refreshments. First Presbyterian Church, 1103 Grand, and First United Methodist Church , 1076 Franklin, respectively.

This year the Music Festival honors Steve Forrester, Publisher/Editor of the Daily Astorian and leader in the Liberty Theatre Restoration. This is a tradition closing AMF, with music and dinner, this year to be held at the Bankers Ballroom following the Beethoven X3 Grand Finale Concert on Sunday, June 26.

AMF Tickets and Full Schedule
The AMF office in downtown Astoria is located at 1271 Commercial in Astoria. 503.325.9896. You can pick up a brochure with a full schedule of events to help you pick and choose events. SINGLE TICKETS are available ranging from $15 – $35. FIRST AND SECOND WEEKEND PASSES are available – these are Best Seat Tickets for 3 events, $80. A Platinum Card includes ALL 9 EVENTS including the Awards Dinner, $250. Festival Gold, ALL 9 EVENTS $175.

Tickets are available through the Liberty Theater Box Office, Tue. – Sat., 2pm – 5:30pm, 503.325.5922, Ext. 55, or on the web, For more info go to:

North Head Lighthouse Benefit Concert with Radio Cowboy

Radio CowboyThe North Head lighthouse is in need of restoration.  For 113 years, this iconic tower has stood watch on the northwestern headland of Cape Disappointment.  As the primary, outer coast lighthouse it has served to guide mariners safely into the mouth of the Columbia River.  Over the years, the marches of time and the elements have left their indelible marks on the lighthouse, and now its service to us must be returned.  The North Head lighthouse needs our help.

The Keepers of the North Head Lighthouse formed in 2009 to insure a steadfast vigil and sound legacy for the lighthouse.  The Keepers have been promoting awareness, raising publicity and spearheading the movement to restore the North Head lighthouse.

SATURDAY, MAY 14TH, the Keepers host musical trio, RADIO COWBOY, at the Columbia-Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco, WA.  All proceeds from the concert will go to the restoration of North Head. 7pm, $10.00 suggested donation.  Refreshments will be provided and also available by donation.

RADIO COWBOY includes national FROGTOWN recording and touring artist Heather Christie, Emmy-Winning musician Philip Pelletier, and San Francisco based singer/songwriter David Miottel. Radio Cowboy combines sounds inspired by artists like Joni Mitchell, Rickie Lee Jones, Gillian Welch, Counting Crows, Emmy Lou Harris, Mark Knopfler and Dead Can Dance, creating a harmony loaded, atmospheric twang that everyone enjoys.

FMI: Steve Wood, Cape Disappointment State Park, (360) 642-3029,

Colleen Raney

COLLEEN RANEY is recognized as one of the finest singers in the Northwest Irish music scene. Grown on traditional Irish culture, singing and dancing with both her family and the respected ensemble Magical Strings.  Now based in Portland, Oregon, Raney fronts a powerhouse group of Northwest Irish musicians including mandolin whiz Zak Borden and guitarist Casey Neill.  She brings a voice that to reach to the back of the pub, a band to bring you to your feet, and a love for the poetry of Irish song.

Raney’s debut album Linnet is produced by Hanz Araki and recorded by Ezra Holbrook  (The Minus 5, The Decemberists, Dr. Theopolis).  Gathering a veritable who’s who of celtic music.

Sunday, May 22, 8pm, Fort George Brewery in Astoria, NO Cover.

Colleen Raney


CornmealA high-energy bluegrass quintet steeped in American roots and folk music. Cornmeal has been going strong for ten years, with three albums under their belt and the stage shared with many a national act – this is the band, if you could pick, to play at your hootenanny!!

Friday , May 20, 7-10pm at the Sand Trap in Gearhart, NO Cover.

Basin Street N.W.

Basin Street NWOKAY. LIVE Jazz at the Bridgewater Bistro in Astoria, every Thursday night. Chuck Wilder pianist, Dave Drury, guitar and Todd Pederson on bass. 6:30 – 8:30pm. Wine, dine, aps . . . and groove.  NO coincidence, 20 Basin St.