Catch a Fire: A Benefit for the Victims of the Complex Fires in WA & OR

Catch a Fire: A Benefit for the Victims of the Complex Fires in WA & OR

Thu, August 14, 2014

Doors: 5:00 pm / Show: 5:00 pm

$10 • All Ages until 8pm

Thousands of acres burned, homes and livestock lost, lives transformed. Our friends and neighbors in both Washington and Oregon have suffered greatly from the recent complex fires. Portland musicians and artists have gathered together to help in the best way they know how - by sharing their music and art to benefit these victims. Catch A Fire is a collection of talented and caring musicians and artists looking for a way to make a difference. Catch A Fire and help our neighbors in need. All proceeds go to the Red Cross fund to assist areas ravaged by the fires.

HERT Trio
HERT Trio
This jazz group is comprised of Frank Huston, guitar - Dennis Elmer, vibraphone - and Matthew Rotchford - acoustic bass (www.bassface67.com) to form the HERT Trio. With a blend of both Latin rhythms and jazz standards, the trio also encompasses popular song into their repertoire that features a focus on good melody and easy listening. The HERT Trio approaches traditional jazz charts with a unique approach towards the listener that showcases the talents of all of these accomplished players. The groups forays into popular music selections reveal selections that one may not first associate with a Vibes trio, but the music is always engaging, emotional and dedicated to bringing you a good time..
Dylan Thomas Vance
Dylan Thomas Vance
Portland, Oregon lap steel slide guitarist, singer and songwriter Dylan-Thomas Vance brings an open-country pioneering spirit to his music which incorporates his extensive knowledge of jazz with elements of country blues, roots, folk, and Americana.

Born to a musical family in 1971, Dylan’s early childhood was alternately spent in the wilds of Yellowstone National Park and on a remote cattle ranch in the desolate serenity of Montana’s Cinnabar Basin. Always knowing that he would one day be a musician, Dylan began studying drums in fifth grade. By the age of 15 Dylan had graduated to the guitar, then at 17 he met, and began studying music with jazz bass player Rob Kohler in Bozeman Montana.

On the verge of moving to Boston to study at the renowned Berklee School of Music, Dylan received an invite to form a band with some friends in Portland Oregon - and Tao Jones was formed. Fueled by the grunge epidemic, Tao Jones quickly carved out a large following in The Northwest, toured extensively, released a CD on Elemental Records, and headlined many a Portland club alongside such acts as The Jesus Lizard, Tad, Sprinkler, Hitting Birth, and The Dharma Bums. However, in spite of Tao Jones’ success, rock-n-roll did not feel like home to Dylan.

Jazz came next. The Leroy Vinegar Quartet changed Dylan’s religion. Thara Memory’s trumpet became his preacher. Dan Faehnle became his teacher, and soon Dylan was both working as the guitarist for The Sweet Honey Dijon Bad Ass Jazz Quartet at the 1201 Club and Jimmy Mak’s, and majoring in music at Portland State University where he studied with great players and teachers of the jazz tradition including Andrew Hill, Jerry Hahn, John Gross, Darrell Grant, and John Stowell.

Though inspired by the acid jazz scene at Jimmy Mak’s, Dylan’s next project, The Groove Revelation, was closer to jazz-fusion. Between playing regular gigs at Jimmy Mak’s and touring The West Coast, The Groove Revelation self produced their first CD, The Arch Cape Sessions, which was hailed by The Oregonian newspaper as one of Portland's best releases of 1998. Yet again, in spite of the success of the band, Dylan began to feel a strong sense of disconnect with the music. Jazz did not feel like home, so Dylan left The Groove Revelation in search of his muse.

The turning point in that search came when Dylan had a slide bar made for him. What he thought would be a fun experiment changed his life. Here was the muse he had been searching for. Though her voice was undeveloped, Dylan knew he had found a conversation to last a lifetime. Dylan had found home.

A prolific songwriter, Dylan's engaging performances and debut solo release combined with heavy touring began to yield national attention in 2003. In 2002, shortly after Vance's first solo effort, Cowboy Soul and Country Blues Vol. 1 was picked up for national distribution by Burnside Distribution, Vance was voted the region's best unsigned blues artist by The Cascade Blues Association. Dylan went on to become one of just over 50 artists culled from more than a thousand blues acts in 24 countries to compete in the prestigious 2003 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. While on a tour that took Dylan from his home-town of Portland, Oregon to legendary blues clubs in Kansas City and along Beale Street, Dylan's song "Old Man Devil" was picked up by the syndicated radio show, Blues Deluxe and aired on over 100 stations across the country. By the time the August/September 2003 issue of the world's largest blues publication, Blues Revue hit the stands with a commendation of Cowboy Soul and Country Blues Vol. 1 which stated, "Vance's starkly arranged compositions draw the curious ever closer... and his slide guitar playing is innovative"... Vance was already wrapping up production on his second solo release, Bittersweet.

On Bittersweet Dylan digs deeply into his musical heritage and emerges with his most personal expression to date. While he embraces a more traditional Americana/roots sound on Bittersweet, Dylan's love of the blues remains, along with his years of jazz training which course through the work, a subtly apparent and polished undercurrent. Proclaimed a "quickly endearing album" by Sing Out! Magazine, Bittersweet shows Dylan to be an artist matured, one who has honed his vocal and song writing skills and become the master of his own style on lap steel slide guitar.
The Martindales
The Martindales
The Martindales were first formed in 2001 when Kevin (guitar/lead vocal), Ted (lead guitar/vocal), Don (drums/vocal), and Jake (bass) began writing and performing guitar rock with elements of country, blues, surf, and rockabilly. Two CDs were produced: "Introducing The Martindales" (2002), and "Downbeat At Eight" (2004)---both, incidentally, are available at cdbaby. Ted left the band in 2005, and the lead guitar slot was ably filled by Pete. The band continued to perform in the Portland/Vancouver area, and eventually disbanded in 2007. Each member went on to pursue other interests, with varying levels of success. Then in late 2011 Don contacted Kevin to discuss 'putting the Martindales back together', but with a more stripped down sound. Pete agreed to rejoin on guitar, and Dave (Kevin's former bandmate from the Portland band 'Elk River TFA') joined in on bass. Thus the revamped Martindales began meeting weekly to discuss, rehearse, remember some of the old tunes, and write new ones. We are excited about the band and are hoping to meet some old fans and make new ones soon!
Colleen Raney
Colleen Raney
Portland, Oregon’s Colleen Raney is a gifted traditional singer who continues to establish herself as an authentic voice in folk music. Raney has recently released her fourth album, titled “Here This is Home” – produced in Dublin, Ireland by Aidan Brennan and engineered by Trevor Hutchinson (Lúnasa, The Waterboys) - to critical acclaim. Irish Music Magazine writes that Colleen is “among the best in her genre.” (Nov. 2013)
Colleen has toured extensively, both at home and abroad. Highlights have included The KVMR Grass Valley Celtic Festival, Winston-Salem Celtic Festival, Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts, and Seattle’s respected Northwest Folklife Festival, where she has been a performer since 1980. Her music can be heard on radio from Italy, to Ireland, to New York, to Hawaii, to Japan and all parts in between.
Colleen's open-minded and -hearted approach to her repertoire was inherited from, and instilled by, her upbringing in Seattle's celebrated Raney Family, steeped in step-dancing and song. She breathes new life into the old tunes, finding facets in the music that haven’t been heard before and performing in the company of gifted friends who illustrate both the most delicate and upbeat aspects of her winning style. It’s earned her a following both among longtime adherents of Celtic music and younger fans who are new to the genre.

Colleen is often accompanied by Portland luminaries Hanz Araki, Johnny B. Connolly, Cary Novotny, and more.

“Rarely is an artist as deeply entrenched in a musical niche as Colleen Raney able to present centuries-old music with an eye toward current and future listeners outside of the genre. By adapting and developing her voice, however, and by surrounding herself with a constantly-evolving ensemble of the best musicians the Northwest has to offer (Celtic-centric or otherwise), she manages to both credit her training and history, and stake claim as a serious presence in contemporary folk music.” Katie Presley, Bitch Magazine, January 2011

“Singing with a deep love for the tradition, and for the dark poetry of Celtic song, Colleen has been drawing new life from the old ballads and renewing our love for Celtic music.” Devon Leger, Hearth Music

“Raney brings a rich, hearty, and inviting voice - unmistakably American and without affectation or pretense - to her music.” Sean Smith, Boston Irish Reporter, May 2012

“Raney has an incredibly expressive voice – powerful, yet full of emotion” – Jamie O’Brien, The Irish Edition

“one of America’s best traditional voices.” – Tradconnect.com, Ireland

"Superb vocals." - Folkwords Magazine, UK

"A powerful and expressive voice." Folk Lantern, Netherlands
Cronin Tierney Band
Cronin Tierney Band
Singer / songwriter Cronin Tierney has released a number of wonderful recordings both as a solo artist and member of many varied bands such as Katjas Dream and St. James's Gate. Cronin's unique sense of melody and knack for finding a great hook, all serve his compositions well. Cronin's original music is often described as Beatlesque and drawing from the tradition of late 60's and early 70's rock-n-roll. Performing both solo and with a full band (the CTB), Cronin is joined by both St. James's Gate bandmates, drummer Dennis Elmer and Matt Rotchford (www.bassface67.com) on bass. Rounding out the sound is exciting guitarist Frank Huston. Frank brings a classic guitar-parade tapestry to Cronin's songs and we all add harmonies to complete the scene. In fact, one of the original tunes is called Harmony. A very fitting title as Cronin is so joyful to be sharing his original music with all of you. The band can also cover a wide variety of styles, but the focus is on Cronin's fun and original pop tunes.
cellotronik
cellotronik
Skip vonKuske is one of the founders of Portland Cello Project, a member of Vagabond Opera, and his work has been featured on hundreds of recordings. Both live and in recording studios, he is a go to cellist for singers and bands in the Pacific Northwest. Primarily known for his work as a cellist, Skip is a skilled multi-instrumentalist, and no where does he showcase that more than in "cellotronik". As cellotronik, Skip weaves together cello, mandolin, guitar, software instruments and programmed beats, to create sweeping gestures of sound. The Oregonian has referred to him as "a one man chamber ensemble".
Like a cross between a mural painting and a movie soundtrack,a cellotronik set is a journey through the heart and mind of this talented musician.
Sam Densmore
Sam Densmore
I’m a Portland based singer/songwriter named Sam Densmore; RIYL Wilco, Elliot Smith, Beatles, David Bowie, Neutral Milk Hotel. In summer of 2012, I released a CD and digital download of my double EP called “Ku Thar Tik - Sad Songs For A Sad World/Cat Years” to rave reviews, "Sam Densmore’s pleasant voice and smartly succinct songwriting make for a strong and impressive double whammy. Moreover, Densmore plays a mean acoustic guitar and never degenerates into mushy cliché at any point..."—Jersey Beat - Joe Wawrzyniak

In support of the album release, I performed over 140 shows in Oregon and Washington last year. My show is entertaining, professional, and appealing to a wide variety of audiences.
Jeremy Wilson
Jeremy Wilson
It has been said, by Courtney Love herself, that she first met her late husband Kurt Cobain at a Dharma Bums concert, at the now defunct legendary club Satyricon, in Portland, Oregon. Frontman for that Portland, Oregon outfit, which also featured The Decemberists' drummer John Moen, is Jeremy Wilson, a staple of the vibrant Portland music scene. And, just as Portland's music scene has changed over the years, so has Wilson, who has lived through - and weathered - the storms of the music industry the whole time. Which brings us to his forthcoming full-length, Empty Through Empty Space, his first true solo album (sans 2005's Independence Vol. 1: Demos And Out-Takes - a collection of demos and out-takes Wilson had recorded over the years).

But, to understand Empty Through Empty Space, you have to understand the road Wilson has traveled, both figuratively and literally.

We could go all the way back to 1982, when a 14-year-old Jeremy Wilson had formed The Watchmen (who would go on to be three-fourths of the band Dharma Bums), packing bars throughout the Willamette Valley of Oregon with a repertoire of over 250 cover and original songs. We could fast-forward to 1985, when members of The Watchmen (future Dharma Bums Eric Lovre and Jim Talstra) had graduated high school, and Wilson had not, so he formed the all originals-based, heavily R.E.M./Jesus and Marychain/Replacements-influenced Perfect Circle (which would feature future Dharma Bums' drummer John Moen, as well as two members of Wilson's post-Dharma Bums outfit, Pilot, with Patrick Gundran and Ric Johnson).

But, let's start the following year, 1986, when Wilson and Moen had moved to Portland and Perfect Circle had broken up. Honing their vocal style, which would be the trademark of Dharma Bums, Wilson went back home to Silverton, Oregon during the holidays to visit family. It was there he began hanging out, and jamming, with The Watchmen's Jim Talstra and Eric Lovre; the three of them wrote four songs, three of which ("Boots of Leather," "Hope of the Hour," and "Walking Stick") would find their way on Dharma Bums' debut, Haywire (and one, "Mother Found Out," would be released on a 4-track collection entitled Dumb: 4-Track Cassette Recordings 1987 in 2010 when the band reunited for the first time, following their disbandment in 1993. However, let's not get ahead of our selves).

With four songs written over the course of two days, Lovre, Talstra, and Wilson decided to form a band. At Wilson's suggestion, they added Moen, and Dharma Bums were formed. Soon they found themselves signed by Young Fresh Fellows' Scott McCaughey to Seattle-based indie PopLlama Records, releasing their critically lauded debut, Haywire, in 1987. With sell-out shows and laudatory press following the band wherever they went, prominent L.A.-based indie Frontier Records would soon sign the band, re-releasing Haywire as well as the band's next two records, 1990's Bliss and 1992's Welcome. Having toured the U.S. countless times, and a successful European tour, the band eventually broke up, sending Wilson to Costa Rica for three months to figure out what he was going to do with his life.

Returning to the states, Wilson immediately called ex. Perfect Circle alum Patrick Gundran and Ric Johnson to start a band and Pilot was born. Pilot would go on to record three full-lengths and one EP, getting signed to Elektra Records off the strength of their debut EP (1994's Fork For A Tongue EP), and recording a full-length for Elektra that would never see the light of day (1995's Hiss) due to corporate mergers and downsizing, which also saw label mates The Afghan Whigs and Violent Femmes being dropped.

Hiss, produced by Joe Chicarelli (Weezer, Frank Zappa, Tori Amos, Boston), and recorded on a $250,000.00 major label budget, still remains unreleased to this day.

Following this intense two year period, Wilson remained undiscouraged, borrowing money from family and recording Pilot's debut full-length, 1996's When The Day Has Broken, which was released on Portland indie T/K Records, the same label that had released their debut EP. And, much like the EP, the critical and commercial success of When The Day Has Broken soon found Pilot being courted by major labels once again. Eventually signing with Mercury Records (the experience spawned the song "Mercury Records Rep." on Independence Vol. 1: Demos And Out-Takes), Pilot once again hit the studio to record their next full-length.

Releasing Stranger's Waltz in 1998 via a deal Mercury Records had cut with indie Thirsty Ear Records, corporate mergers and label downsizing soon found the band once again, and the album would be Pilot's last.

Residing in Seattle, Washington at this time, Wilson decided to move back to Portland, Oregon following the disbandment of Pilot in 1999, and start on a solo record. An expansive record that would send Wilson through more trials and tribulations, not to mention too many false starts, the experiences were priceless and helped Wilson to his final destination. But, the delays were numerous. One such delay found Wilson working with longtime hero Pete Townshend's former collaborator, Raphael Rudd, on two records: a solo record Wilson would only demo and the Rhino Records released Pete Townshend and Raphael Rudd's The Oceanic Concerts, a collaboration between Townshend and Rudd, released in 2001, that finds Townshend singing a selection of The Who standards ("The Seeker," "Bargain," "Drowned," even the comical "Tattoo") as Rudd accompanies him on harp. While working on a record together, Wilson helped Rudd restore old cassette bootlegs to put the album together before presenting it to Pete Townshend, who wrote Wilson a handwritten letter to let him know what a fine job he did.

Following the dissolution of Wilson's musical collaborations with Rudd, Wilson re-grouped and began working on his debut solo album, Honey/Moon/Life. However, while working on the album, Wilson would face massive setbacks, starting with a joint business venture - a film company with Jacob Pander (of the Pander Bros.) - which would be a major curve in the road for him. However, it would lead to him building MastanMusic Studio, a recording and production studio, which he literally built with his own two hands and still owns and operates today. The profits from the video company, and tech skills he learned, would allow him to make films for other people, as well as himself, and produce other people's records, ultimately helping him in the end (both financially and artistically) - but delaying Honey/Moon/Life in the process.

In 2005, with the studio in full force and several engineering and production credits to his name, Wilson was itching to once again focus on his own music. To get his name back on the musical map, and get some recordings out there, he culled together old demos and out-takes of songs he had recorded over the years and released Independence Vol. 1: Demos And Out-Takes.

It was now time to re-focus on Honey/Moon/Life.

However, health issues would arise a short time later, once again putting the ill-fated album on hold. In 2006 Wilson would wake up in a hospital bed, after passing out in downtown Portland at a restaurant, on his way to a show to meet with friends. Diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a rare and deadly heart condition, he would have to put his music, and even the studio, on hold while he focused on his health.

With no health insurance and mounting medical bills from his diagnoses, and subsequent four operations (the last one as recent as May 2013), Wilson soon found himself being approached by other musicians, asking how he was handling the health problems with no insurance and mounting bills. Having literally lived through it, he soon started engaging in several benefit concerts to help his friends in similar situations. This lead to friends and musicians encouraging him to start his own nonprofit with the specific purpose of helping those like he and his friends.

In 2010 he formed the Jeremy Wilson Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit musicians' health and service organization dedicated to providing emergency healthcare assistance and improving the overall well-being of individual musicians and their families. In its first three and a half years it has given out $146,000.00 in financial emergency assistance to musicians and their families facing medical crisis.

"Working with the foundation, it is humbling," comments Wilson. "It is a humbling experience getting sick and needing people's help. Then there is humbling experience numberer two, which was being in contact with people that have similar, or much worse, situations than my own and working with them, helping them, and seeing these kindred, artistic spirits. Seeing these dedicated, hard-working musicians, who do it for the love and for themselves, but also seeing how we make art for each other, so we can feel more connected."

Meanwhile, in Wilson's personal life, he had very much fallen in love. But, when his girlfriend took a job opportunity in Florida and moved, Wilson jumped at the chance to help her move all her stuff cross-country. Deciding to take up residency in Florida half time, instead of having a purely long-distance relationship, Wilson and his girlfriend found Florida a nice change of pace (and weather).

Wilson couldn't be happier, though in the back of his mind he hadn't given up on his true passion, writing and recording his own songs. However, he was happy to put that all on hold in the name of love.

But, like many stories behind some of your favorite albums, there was heartbreak. The relationship didn't last and Wilson soon found himself embarking on a solo road-trip cross-country, heartbroken, as he traveled back to Portland, Oregon in his car.

Once back in Portland, Oregon, Wilson, who had used the journey to look inside and find himself, had a collection of photographs he had taken while on the road, all the memories, and a bunch of songs in his head.

Deciding the urgency to record these songs and put these feelings into music so he could deal with them was more important than picking up Honey/Moon/Life and finally finishing it, Wilson delved head-first into what would become Empty Through Empty Space, an album that tells the tale of his journey from Florida to Portland, the heartbreak, as well as the roads he had traveled from his musical beginnings up until the present.

"The album is a metaphor for an internal journey that is also going on as I was overcoming heartbreak and trying to grow and move forward at the same time. So every emotion was felt during this road trip, as I was writing these songs," he says of the experience. "I took the album title from a line in one of the songs, 'I'm driving on empty through empty space.' I could see change coming down the pike, inside myself, as I was driving, all the while processing all these emotions and thoughts I was having."

The twelve track album, which will be released in the spring, finds Wilson delving into influences such as Jeff Buckley, Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens, and Harry Nilsson, moving away from the heavy R.E.M. and even John Prine influences of all his previous work.

Described by Wilson as "epic minimalism," the album features, as the title would suggest, Wilson manipulating space as a vital instrument, allowing the songs on the album to breath and roam freely, sweeping soundscapes both epic and sparse, allowing the listener to re-visit the journey Wilson was on, as he traveled down dark, desolate rural roads as the wind crashed around his vehicle and the rain poured down on him, or as he let his mind wander, the car virtually on autopilot as it cruised down the highway, it's driver in a tunnel vision state of mind.

But, the album, while a new direction for Wilson, still features powerful elements of both Dharma Bums and Pilot.

"I think there is a little bit of the epic-ness of Pilot and some of the folk and organic rock of Dharma Bums mixed together on this album," Wilson says proudly. "All my past albums have been done on 24-track, 2 inch tape, and I decided to stick with that format with Empty Through Empty Space. It's still guitar-based, bass and drums-centric. The standard band formula. But, it's different in terms of the blend of rock and folk, in the way it's a more folk-centric album than anything I've done in the past."

"It's still fairly epic and broad with all the songs, but even though it's epic, it's really sparse and has space. As open as they need to be," he furthers. "A lot of the album is live performances, both vocal and guitar-wise, as well as the rest of the band, and I think that's a neat aspect of it. I love the the limitations that analog recording puts on you, so the musicality of the album is coming from the artists and not through tricks of the trade Also, the subject matter, like on previous albums, is very self-reflective. But, I hope there is some optimism in some of these songs that feel fresh in a very sincere way."

Highlights on the album, for Wilson, include "The Whisper," "A Softer Calling," and "Hey, Jerry!," the latter featuring one of his favorite choruses he has ever recorded.

"I love the horn section and the chord changes on the chorus," he says with a smile. "Plus, the lyrics, 'everything comes and goes, ebbs and flows,' is very meaningful. That is a major theme of the album."

"A Softer Calling" really resonates with Wilson because it features his two core band mates, guitarist/backing vocalist Dylan-Thomas Vance and bassist Matthew Rotchford, adding the missing touch to a song he was originally unsure of.

"The harmony notes that Matthew and Dylan are singing against my vocals just resonates deeply with me. It was the missing element to the chorus that I was looking for. They did it spontaneously."

Wilson heavily credits Rotchford and Vance for helping make his new batch of songs, and the album, come to life.

"The Arco bass playing, which is a bowed bass style, is featured prominently on the album, which is all Matthew," he says. "Also, the masterful lap-slide/fingerpicking guitar playing of Dylan, it's all over the album, across the board. Their minimalism, their subtlety, and their masterful command of their instruments helped make this record. Matthew and Dylan create some of the most beautiful musical beds that I could have ever wished for with my compositions."

Besides his two core band mates, the album features many of Wilson's friends helping him flesh out the album, including all three Dharma Bums members, with drummer John Moen on a good portion of the album, and the entire band on the track "I Can't Bury You," a sweeping hybrid of guitars and folk elements, culminating in a song best described as space-rock-folk.

"Each time a different group of friends would come in and help add something to the album," Wilson says of the experience. "The horn players or the choral group, they just took the ideas and took them to a higher plain than I expected. I am so grateful to the musicians who played on this album. Who seriously seemed to be inspired by what they heard in the studio. That is one of the biggest, and best, things about this album for me."

Wilson, who's songs have previously never featured female backing vocalists, loved the fact that some of his friends came in and sang on the record, adding a different angle to them, and symbolically adding the voice of an antagonist to his stories.

Now, with the album complete, and ready for release, Wilson looks back on it with pride - and anticipation to see what his fans, new and old alike, will think of the record.

"Before I recorded note one, I knew that I wanted there be a lot of space in this album. I didn't want every nook and cranny of the soundscape to be filled, I wanted there to be empty space," he says, listening back to the completed album. "When you allow things to resonate and don't fill every note, you can let things breath. I didn't want a bass note or drums to fill everything. I really appreciate how producer/engineer Sean Flora agreed and facilitated that vision and idea."

Further commenting on the organic nature of the record, Wilson is quick to point out that, "we didn't do any old school double or triple tracking of guitars or vocals. We allowed each part to do it's part. We didn't want to clutter up the sound. I love the tone and openness of this album. We submitted the tracks at negative 12db, so that the mastering process could really be done on the tracks that we recorded analog, because they deserved a real mastering job."

Everything, from the mastering on back to the way they recorded certain instruments was deliberate, says Wilson. "I wanted there to be a sense of ominous and I wanted certain instruments to play certain roles in the presentation of the music. So, for instance, when you hear the low-end drums that almost sound like timpani, that represents the ocean and sky, in earthly movements. The very locked-in rhythm of my acoustic guitar, it was consciously meant to be the road lines, the dividers of the road underneath the car, the rhythm of the way the car would swallow the lines of the road, as it was driving forward. The soaring guitar parts were meant to represent the soul on it's journey. We wanted to consciously make a record that you would listen to while you were on a road trip."

Looking back on the actual road trip, and comparing it to previous road trips and tours he's been on, Wilson states that, "even though I've traveled every mile on every major interstate in the United States, I've never taken before such a long drive by myself. I was deeply moved by the open road, the open sky, and the setting sun. The big night skies of the open dessert. The storms that I was traveling through."

The lesson of this record, and his experiences leading up to this record, are reflected in the lyrics to the song, "The Whisper," where Wilson sings, "The greatest gift I ever received came from the hardest bargain," something that holds deep significance for Wilson.

"As hard of the life experience I was going through at the time was, I do feel I came out on the other side of the experience more grounded and focused, but it came from a lot of heart and psyche ache, if you will."

But, in the end, he's happy to report that, "I had more fun making this record than I've had making any record previous."

"I don't always like to admit that you need tragedy and adversity to spur the creative process, but this album is a bit of a testament to going through hard times, and getting back to the music," he says with a smile. "It was so nice to come back to the music. To come back and process it all, having gone through a difficult thing and having a collection of new songs that really do help."

The ease and relaxation he felt making this record with his friends shows, both in the songs and the performances.

"Through everything, I've always kept the thought that the glass is half full, and taken the journey to the end. I love turning life's lessons into songs that not only help me personally through something, but that might actually touch someone else and bring language and ideas to their life. I never want to become jaded."

"My life had been on hold for seven years," recalls Wilson. "At the same time, it was moving forward at lightning speed. All because of a congenital heart condition that, four surgeries later, has dominated my day-to-day life. Today I'm finally healthy, running a successful non-profit helping other musicians though medical emergencies. And I'm still working as a musician out in our community. I feel as optimistic as I ever have. Making music these days is a pure joy. Even though I have to work at it, it's something that really flows out of my veins and from my heart. And, to tell the truth, I just love to sing, more than anything else in the world. Also, I absolutely love it when people want to come celebrate music with me."

"No matter how much we want to destroy the ones and things we love, we really do need each other. That's where lines like in 'Let A Poor Man Beg,' come from. When I sing, 'I let new friends hold me up,' even through they were strangers, they were people, and I let them hold me up throughout the process. And I made a lot of new friends because of it. This record is a testament to friendship and love, and how with the help of those around us, we can persevere."

With his outlook on life being, "To fear no change and try to realize that whatever life throws at you is what you're meant to experience," Wilson can't wait to release Empty Through Empty Space out into the world. He hopes his life-altering experiences, which he put to music, will be a life-enriching soundtrack for others that resonates with the miles.
Hanz Araki
Hanz Araki
The path of a musician is often unpredictable. One wouldn’t imagine that six generations of mastery of the Japanese shakuhachi would lead to a career in Celtic music, however that is exactly how it played out for accomplished flute player and traditional singer Hanz Araki. The son of Irish and Japanese parents guaranteed a household with a broad spectrum of musical influences.

His maternal grandmother, born in Clare, traveled with her mother (Mary Gallagher, also a Clare woman) across the Atlantic, landing first in Canada and making a second long journey across North America before arriving in Seattle, WA. There, she was joined by her husband Samuel (from Achill Isl. Co. Mayo) who had stayed behind to finish his post in the Irish Coast Guard. His maternal grandfather’s family are Campbells who settled in the hills of Jackson Co., NC. from Co. Tyrone in the late-18th century after having been displaced from Glasgow, Scotland decades before.

Hanz’s father is shakuhachi grandmaster Tatsuya Kodo Araki, the fifth generation to inherit the name Kodo, one of the most important names in the world of traditional Japanese music. “Hanz” is short for “Hanzaburo,” the name of his great-great grandfather who developed the notation used in shakuhachi music even to this day.

In April of 1988, Hanz began his apprenticeship with his father, to make his professional debut in August of that same year. Colleagues of his father likened Hanz’s playing to Kodo IV, despite the two never having met. Hanz continued studying under his father, and taught at his father’s alma mater (the prestigious Keio University in Tokyo), as well as making concert appearances throughout Japan. In 2009, in a private ceremony in Tokyo, the title of Kodo VI was conferred on Hanz as is customary in the tradition.


Upon returning to his hometown of Seattle in 1992, Araki and a group of close friends with a shared love of Irish and Scottish music started a band called The Whyos. The discipline, techniques, and mechanics he learned on the shakuhachi translated very well to the penny whistle and the Irish flute. Seattle being home to respected stalwarts like uilleann piper Tom Creegan and fiddler Dale Russ gave Hanz no shortage of guidance in his exploration of traditional Irish music. Celtic music became a single-minded focus, turning songs and tunes of Scotland, Ireland, and England into a second language. His uncanny grasp of Celtic music, both instrumental and vocal, quickly led to opportunities for touring across the United States and Canada, the UK, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, and an annual tour of Japan.

In a career spanning twenty-five years, Araki, now a resident of Portland, Oregon, amassed an impressive body of award-winning Celtic music albums, including a series of seasonally-themed albums released in 2012. A project to collect, remix, and remaster recordings of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather is also currently in production in Japan.

Festival appearances include the Austin Celtic Festival, the Maine Celtic Celebration, the Missoula Celtic Festival, KVMR Grass Valley Celtic Festival, Milwaukee Irish Festival, Bumbershoot, Celtic Connections, and over 20 years of performances at the Northwest Folklife Festival. Hanz has also been invited to perform with the Seattle Symphony, at the Gates Estate, and for the Japanese Consul General.

In October of 2014, Araki will be releasing a new, full-length album titled Foreign Shore that features eleven songs and tunes in the Irish and Scottish traditions.
St. James's Gate
St. James's Gate
St. James's Gate, is one of the Northwest's most popular and exciting Irish bands, with a unique sound that spans many traditions, genres and styles. Performing everything from traditional, popular and original compositions, St. James's Gate has been lighting up stages with fiery Irish music for over a decade now. The band includes; Cronin Tierney on guitar and vocals, Griff Bear on fiddle and vocals, Matthew Rotchford on acoustic and electric basses (www.bassface67.com) and vocals, Dylan-Thomas Vance on guitar and vocals and Dennis Elmer on the drums. The group performs as a trio, quartet or quintet. The band has performed in a myriad of performances from festivals to stunning resorts, summer concerts, corporate parties, private celebrations to some of the most livliest pubs throughout the Pacific, most notably the Kells Irish Pubs. The band has released 2 live discs, the self-titled, “St. James’s Gate”, also recorded at Kells pub, and “Station to Station”, recorded live on the air for KBOO-FM. The latest recording is the long-awaited studio effort, entitled “We’ll Be Right Back.” The band continues to perform fantastic events including the most successful 5/10/15k event in the Northwest, the Shamrock Run; the Rhythm on the Range series at Sunriver resorts, and memorable New Years Eve performances at the amazing Bandon Dunes Golf Resort for over 10 years now. A new release is scheduled for 2015.
The My Oh Mys
The My Oh Mys
The My Oh Mys are a 5-peice rock band from Portland Oregon. Formed by the unholy alliance of really short people, really tall people, one normal sized person and one REALLY hungry person and forged in the blazing fire of handfulls of gigs in front of at least a few folks we aren't directly related to, The My Oh Mys play rock music for the people with no regard to decibel level, grammar, or proper stage-attire.

The band consists of Jeff Baxter, Anders Bergstrom, Tom Nunes, Bones Caragol and Ezra Holbrook, all former or current members of some of the NW's most beloved bands (The Decemberists, Jive Talking Robots, Triclops Organ Trio, Rob Stroup & the Blame, The Minus 5, Curtis Salgado, The ForReals, Jeremy Wilson, Dr. Theopolis, Redray Frazier). We are currently preparing to release our first full length record "A Howl Against the Wind" in the spring/summer of 2013 with shows/tour dates to follow.
Bahttsi
Bahttsi
This band is to music what chickens are to cuisine. Or is it that Bahttsi is to chickens what music is to cuisine? Perhaps that’s closer. This group is about having a great time, supporting each other’s original music experiments and did I mention having FUN? “ GOOMBAHTTSI” has performed in a number of clubs, festivals and celebrations. Do you like original music? Do you like mandolins on steroids? How about Bluegrass Beat Poetry, Aliens and open ended musical mayhem? If your answer is all of the above, then Bahttsi is for you. In fact we’ve always been for you, the listener. The group is comprised of Griff Bear on fiddle and mandolin, Marc Viznick on bozouki and keyboards, Dylan-Thomas Vance on lap steel and guitars, Matt Rotchford on basses, Mark Burdon on drums and the always surprising Greg Scholl on guitars and trombone. Get ready dance floor!
Venue Information:
The Secret Society
116 NE Russell
Portland, OR, 97212
http://secretsociety.net/