Great Northwest Music Preview

Welcome! The "Great Northwest Music Preview" is devoted to featuring the recordings and creative talents of the talented performers --- not to mention very special people --- who have worked with Cascade Geographic Society on our festivals, special events, and programs. The Society acknowledges the impressive work of these individuals, duos, trios, and bands, and thanks them for their unselfish contributions to our work. These talented artists can be seen at the Mt. Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days. A schedule of other events for this years festival is available for your review.   

LIST OF PERFORMING ARTISTS REVIEWED:

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Theresa Demarest & Good Company

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Arlene Hale

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Southern Nights

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Lyle Ford

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Bill Bloomer

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Dave Carter

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Carolyn Kardinal

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Pamela Jordan

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Paul Summers Jr

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Harrison 

 

 

Theresa Demarest & Good Company's
"Keiko's Dream"

Reviewed By Michael P. Jones

Theresa Demarest is a singer-songwriter from Portland whose style of music could be called "Neo-Folk/Jazz-Fused-With-Blues." The message in her music is creating positive change in the environment through music. And that means great music.

Demarest is an award-winning singer-songwriter who plays guitar, piano, and sings. She performs with an incredibly talented band called "Good Company." The release of their latest recording in September 1999, marks the third CD to their credit so far on Joshua Records, with more surely to come.

"Good Company" is comprised of the following collection of talent: Janice Scroggins on piano; Tim Ellis on lead guitar; Chata Addy on African talking drum and congas; Dennis Springer on saxophone; Myrtle Brown on vocals; and Linda Hornbuckle, who they refer to as the affiliate member, on vocals.

"Theresa Demarest & Good Company" performed at the "Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days" in 1999 on the "Great Northwest Music" stage. Their music proved to be not only show-stopping, but perfection at its best, as they put on a show that most of the audience will not forget.

Recently, these creative folks took some live recordings and fashioned the songs into a spectacular CD. These great songs were recorded by Dana Monroe and, later, mastered by Bob Stark. Ten of the 11 featured tunes were performed on stage at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts in September of 1996, while "She Alone" was recorded by Richard Mathis in 1992. The end result was their creation titled "Keiko's Dream -- Theresa Demarest & Good Company Live in Concert", on Joshua Records.

The title song of the CD, "Keiko's Dream", is dedicated to Keiko, the Killer Whale, who was rescued from a zoo in Mexico and taken to Newport, Oregon, for rehabilitation. Then Keiko was moved to a special sea pen located in his native waters in Iceland. This tune is an original instrumental piece that was written by Demarest and eloquently performed by lead guitarist Ellis, and is dedicated to this cetacean and evokes his song and his ultimate dream of being released.

"Keiko's Dream" is a great CD if you love superb vocals and music performed by some outstanding musicians. If you don't have this CD already, it's one that you really need to have. Also, don't forget about the others on Joshua Records -- "Bein' Who You Are" and "Moon Rising."

"Theresa Demarest & Good Company" is utilizing "Keiko's Dream" as a centerpiece of their recent tour. Proceeds from the sale of this CD goes to the Ocean Futures Society, which resulted from a merger between The Free Willy Keiko Foundation, Inc. and the Jean-Michael Cousteau Institute.

The "Keiko's Dream" CD is available at Music Millennium, Tower Records, Borders Books & Music, and Locals Only in Portland, Oregon. If you are on the Pacific Coast, it's on sale at the Words, Inc. store at the Cannon Beach Information Center. Or, you can order it directly from Joshua Records at P.O. Box 3132, Portland, Oregon 97208 for $13 (which includes shipping).

For more information on "Theresa Demarest & Good Company", phone or fax 
(503) 235-6072. Their toll free message phone is 1-888-771-6893. Or, visit their website at: http://www.theresacd.com or you can email them at Joshua Records at theresad@teleport.com to keep up on this exciting collection of musicians.

[SPECIAL PERFORMANCE NOTE: "Theresa Demarest & Good Company" has performed at the Cascade Geographic Society's 1999 "Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days".]

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Arlene Hale's
"Winter Rose"

Reviewed By Michael P. Jones

Arlene Hale is a folksinger who knows how to not only perform a song, but also how to write them. She's a songbird extraordinaire who brought a crowd halt in their tracks at the "Mount Hood Salmon & Mushroom Festival" so they could listen to this talented lady on the "Great Northwest Music" stage, and applaud after each and every song.

A member of the Portland Songwriter's Association, her songwriting talents come through loud and clear on her "Winter Rose" cassette. Hale's beautiful voice and superb guitar playing makes this a refreshing recording project that was worth all of the creative effort that went into this venture.

This cassette features Hale at her best. All the songs are great, particularly the title tune, "Winter Rose." With the outstanding Tracy Grammer (of the Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer duo) accompanying her on violin, this song has got to be the best of them all. The lyrics are literally captivating and absolutely refreshing. Or, as Hale writes in the liner notes: it represents "a symbol of faith and renewal, and a portal to the natural world where all happens in whatever time it is intended." Well put.

"Winter Rose" can be purchased from SeaByrd Music for $10 (which includes shipping). Send your orders to P.O. Box 756 in Oregon City, Oregon 97045.

If you enjoy listening to sheer talent, you need "Winter Rose" for your private collection. And, to learn more about Hale and her music, you can email her at arlene@easystreet.com or give her a call at (503) 656-8701.

[SPECIAL PERFORMANCE NOTE: Arlene Hale performed at the Cascade Geographic Society's 1998 and 1999 "Mount Hood Salmon & Mushroom Festival".]

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Southern Nights 
"Southern Nights: Volume 1:Americana"

Reviewed By Michael P. Jones

My response to the "Southern Nights" CD can be summed up in one simple, but actually very descriptive word: "Wow!"

"Southern Nights" is a trio that hails from the Portland Metropolitan Area and does things right -- or should I say "perfectly." Whether they are up on stage or in a studio, or just creating a package for their CD, they give their best and it comes through loud and clear.

This CD, titled "Southern Nights Volume 1: Americana," was released just in time for the New Millennium. The CD features thirteen outstanding songs, all new, that were written in 1999. Eleven of the tunes are written by Wayne Richards, with "Maybe" and "When We Were Young" co-written by Richards and Karolyn Laster.

 Just who are "Southern Nights"? They are Wayne Richards, Carolyn Laster, and Cheri Brown, three incredibly talented individuals who have been gaining recognition as their music increases in momentum.

The past several years "Southern Nights" have performed at the prestigious "Stormy Weather Arts Festival" on the Oregon Coast, with their performances seeming to dominate the "Great Northwest Music Stage" at the Cascade Geographic Society's increasingly popular "Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days" and at the "Mount Hood Salmon & Mushroom Festival." Wherever they perform, audiences all seem to love them. Perhaps it's their particular style of New Folk that features all original songs which seem to touch everyone. Perhaps its their blend of outstanding guitar work with beautiful harmonies that seem to invoke continuous reveries once they stop performing on stage, or when the recording halts, as in the case of this CD.

The "Southern Nights" trio consists of a blend of individuals whose talents appear to be seemingly unlimited. And, if the CD "Southern Nights Volume 1: Americana" offers any sort of proof to this truth with its New Folk mood that's harnessed with an interesting and strong dose of Countried flavor, then we can hopefully expect even more recording projects from them.

All the vocals were done by Richards, Karolyn Laster, and Cheri Brown, with Richards on guitar. However, assisting on "Southern Nights Volume 1: Americana" were a number of people who are not only talented musicians, but also great friends of the three who wanted to lend a hand in making this recording project a reality. They include Ken Brewer on fancy guitar, Arlene Hale on bass, Tracy Grammer on violin and mandolin, Mike Pearson on piano and organ, Dave Griffith on flute and wind synthesizer, Gary Watters on synthesizer and keyboard, Mark Evilsizer on percussion and drums, and Doug Fulton on harmonica.

The songs featured on "Southern Nights Volume 1: Americana" are nothing short of being great. Which one is the best is difficult to say, and surely will provoke some arguments since you have 13 to listen to.

"Soup Surprise," the lead-off song on the CD, is a good illustration of Richard's work as a songwriter. With clever lyrics accompanied by country-flavored music, not to mention an appropriate illustration of a can of "Soup Surprise" inside the accompanying song booklet, it's a great beginning to an impressive CD.

"Billy the Kid and Soup Surprise,
two pretty good answers to what otherwise
Would still be a mystery to me
Billy the Kid and Soup Surprise,
the rain on the sage and a pink sunrise
It may be everything you'll ever need."

"So Easy" is probably the best song, and it rightfully deserves this credit since it made it into the finals of the Portland Songwriters Association's "Showcase Finals." However, in reality it's still difficult to say, since there are so many great tunes that are featured on this CD.

"Maybe," written by Richards and Laster, as well as their other jointly-written song, "When We Were Young," are two other favorites from the CD. Both are possessed by lyrics that will be long remembered by listeners as thought-provoking poetry.

"Country Love" is equally as good as any other stand-out song on the CD. Written by Richards, this tune portrays love, Country love, that is, that is masterfully crafted with lyrics that are interwoven into some interesting Country-Folk instrumentation that accents the song's message of simple living and appreciating the love that goes along with it.

"Cause nothing's like the way
my baby she says hello
She's happy just to see me
comin' home
She smiles and says I love you
and the long day slips away
She's in every Country Love Song
that they play."

"Southern Nights Volume 1: Americana" was produced, engineered, and mastered by the person the trio describes as "the patient, gifted genius of Gary Watters aka Pat Doro" of Take The Lid Off Productions. An impressive recording project, Watters (or is it really Doro?) has captured this threesome perfectly on disc.


As for the packaging on "Southern Nights Volume 1: Americana," credit goes to Kathleen Williams and Jerry Elparin of Magic Glass Photography. Their artistically-fashioned graphics are accented by some outstanding photography that dominates with a brilliant photo of a set of steps that appears to cascade down into a garden-like setting, while the back is occupied by a a lone yellow school bus maneuvering along an obviously misplaced modern asphalt roadway that cuts across a Western Desert landscape, as if to leave its own misplaced mark on this particular patch of earth.

As for the trio that makes up "Southern Nights," you'd be hard-pressed to find nicer people. Forget for a moment that they are talented; Richards, Laster, and Brown are the kind of folks that remind you of being as pure as the wind-driven snow, making them three individuals for whom you want nice things to come their way. Well, their CD is one heck of a blessing for all of them.

Wayne Richards is a singer/songwriter with his feet firmly planted flat on the ground as he reaches into everyday life and creates lyrics that most everyone can seem to identify with. He is a great guitarist who appears to literally invoke a kind of unique, quiet symphony with the music he creates.

Richards has a long tradition of performing, recording, and publishing. He is one of the founders of the "Portland Music Association".

A dedicated tunesmith, Richards has written hundreds of songs. One of his tunes, "So Easy," placed in the finals for the "Portland Songwriters Association Showcase," while "Blossoms of May" took second at the "Dallas Texas Songwriters All-State Gospel Competition."

Carolyn Laster is the second member of "Southern Nights" and is the primary promoter of her trio. She is also an accomplished writer and radio talk host who seems to be always in demand as a studio singer.

Laster is a national award winning singer who possesses an impressive range to her voice that has almost a magical quality to it. She was a member of a Regional Touring Champion Accapella Quartet and was invited to perform at the Arlene Snitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon and at the Superdome in New Orleans. But, her main talent clearly is when she is up on stage or in the recording studio performing as a member of "Southern Nights," capturing the songs with her beautiful harmonies or lead vocals.

Cheri Brown is the third member of the trio. An accomplished singer with impressive credentials, she was a member of the four- time Regional Champion Accapella Chorus in which her group was selected to perform in the multi-ethnic "Good in the Hood" production. She was also accepted as one of Portland Oregon's famous "Singing Christmas Tree" performers, and also toured and performed in Europe.

Brown is well-known for her beautiful vocals and perfect sense of timing, wonderful range, and world-class ear for music. She has opened for such entertainers as "Manhattan Transfer" as well as Roy Clark. Her role in "Southern Nights" brings an amazing range of experience and vocal gifts to the trio.

"Southern Nights" is a popular Northwest trio who can fill your musical needs with New Folk music that everyone should enjoy. With their beautiful harmonies and well-crafted songs, they're available for any venue wanting the best. With tunes ranging from the tender and sweet to love and sensitivity to the heart-tugging, not forgetting the toe tappin' to the get-out-on-the-dance-floor rhythms, as well as the just plain funny and slightly risquť, they perform all original music of the people.

This trio has now entered a new dimension for their music. Their CD "Southern Nights Volume 1: Americana" can now introduce new audiences to their original songs, as well as help to remind their ever-loyal followers that even when off stage their music can still entertain them.

The CD "Southern Nights Volume 1: Americana" is a must. To say the least it is impressive, from its great 13 songs to the captivating photography featured in its packaging. Clearly, if anything could best illustrate the talents and the professionalism of this trio known as "Southern Nights," it is this recording project that should create the mold for anyone willing to take to a studio and capture their music.

You can order The CD "Southern Nights Volume 1: Americana" by sending a check or money order for $15 (plus $3 for shipping) to: Green Swings Productions at P.O. Box 82267, Portland, Oregon 97282.

For touring and booking information on "Southern Nights", also contact Green Swings Productions by calling (503) 257-0643. You can even reach them via electronic mail at so_nights@yahoo.com or just be keeping your ears tuned in and listening to the sound of great music being carried out into the world by the wind; odds are it'll be the music of this talented trio.

[SPECIAL PERFORMANCE NOTE: "Southern Nights" has performed at the Cascade Geographic Society's 1998 and 1999 "Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days," and at the Society's 1998 and 1999 "Mount Hood Salmon & Mushroom Festival".]

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LYLE FORD
Self Titled: "Lyle Stephen Ford"

Reviewed By Michael P. Jones

Professional musicians in the Portland Metropolitan Area have paid more dues than people will probably ever know, as they struggle to get somewhere in their career. For over twenty years, the gifted guitarist and vocalist, Lyle Ford, has done his time performing in bands and duos, or just "by his lonesome" up on stage as a solo act.

Ford is a songwriter who puts poetry to music. Some refer to him as a folksinger, while other claim he really touches Country, and still others claim that it's Soft Rock. Call his sound what you will, no one can dispute that he is one of the best around these parts.

The twenty-year career of Ford is being blessed with a CD that should be a must-listen-to. 
If you're in the mood to hear real talent, both in the vocals and songwriting department, you need to give a serious listen to this self-titled creation called "Lyle Stephen Ford".

"Lyle Stephen Ford" is one of those CD's that features simply beautiful songs that you'll want to listen to in any kind of mood. With twelve of the thirteen featured tunes written by Ford, and the thirteenth co-written by Ford and Russ Fast Lyrics, the result is nothing short of great.

Ford, who studied music at Marylhurst College near Lake Oswego, Oregon, clearly has demonstrated his abilities on this CD. Not only can he write some darn good lyrics, but he can also write the appropriate music to go with them.

"Lyle Stephen Ford" should be on your shopping list for birthdays or any special occasion. It's a gift that most everyone can enjoy, for it is quality in every aspect imaginable; from songwriting to the back-up musicians, to studio work and the packaging. No one cut any corners here, and it definitely shows in the final product.

This CD is outstanding! And, the influences of other artists -- like James Taylor, The Eagles, Steely Dan, Don Henley, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Jackson Brown, and Elvis Costello -- seep through the tunes featured in this recording project. Ford is accompanied on his CD by a collection of some of the best musicians in the Portland Metropolitan Area. These include Dan Decker on bass and keyboards (who also produced and engineered the project); Gary Ogan, who played the drums and piano, as well as did some of the back-up vocals; Wayne Thompson on the Hammond B-3 and accordion; Ken Brewser and Tom Ellis on electric guitars; Lonnie Turner on bass; Darrin Clendennin on piano; Ron Stephens on pedal steel; Chata Addy on percussion; and back-up vocals by Kelly Vanacker, Tim Lamar, Christopher Morrisette, Mel Kubik, and Doug Fulton. John Purcell contributed to the majority of the arrangements.

"Lyle Stephen Ford" is a Portland project throughout, but not only in respect to the musicians. It was recorded and mixed at Sound Impressions by Dan Decker and John Gates. It was mastered by John Gates at Super Decker Audio, all located in Portland, Oregon. The record company putting out the CD is MDR Records, also of Portland.

The tune "Broken Hearts," written by Ford and Fast Lyrics, is one of my favorites. Its lyrics are beautiful and speaks to depth of trying to get over the break-up of a relationship, and the struggles that one must endure: 

"Broken hearts don't mend completely
They ache a good long time
I wish the past would leave me alone in my sleep
I wish the future was a friend of mine..."

"New Modern Man" is another great song for this CD, and is about our endless pursuits in life that keep us always on the move. Ford's lyrics are near-haunting and easy for one, in this day and age, to identify with: 

"I know this highway like the lines in my face
I'd do this my way if I could stay in one place
But the wheels keep turnin'
And my life's not my own..."

My favorite song, even though this CD is filled with them, is "Exploding Cigar". The piano work by Clendennin is outstanding, which complements the beautiful guitar work by Ellis.

"Goodbye My Heart," along with "Runaway Heart," are tunes you'd expect to hear on the radio. The song sung by Ford and Mel Kubik, "Everybody Here (In This Place)," is also very much worthy of airplay. These have a Top 40 appeal to them yet, the kind of brilliant lyrics that one would expect from a serious songwriter like Ford is always present.

Other noteworthy tunes by Ford that are featured on this CD are "Voice Like a Ghost," which possesses some outstanding poetry-like lyrics, and the beautifully-worded "Sand and Sea Motel." "Devil Misses Heaven" another standout features Ford playing a lone nine-string guitar with backing vocals by Ogan, whose talent really shines throughout this recording project.

"Lyle Stephen Ford" is available at Tower Records in Portland and Beaverton, as well as at all locations of Music Millennium. It is also available at Locals Only.

Or, you can call MDR Records direct at (503) 287-3975. You can also order by mail by writing: MDR Records, 1920 N. Vancouver, Portland, Oregon 97227. The cost is $15 for the CD, or $10 a cassette, with a $3 shipping charge. All major credit cards are welcome.

[SPECIAL PERFORMANCE NOTE: Lyle Ford has performed at the Cascade Geographic Society's 1998 and 1999 "Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days".]

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Bill Bloomer's  
"Temple Dogs"

Reviewed By Michael P. Jones

Bill Bloomer is a guitar-totin' singer-songwriter who has the knack to write and sing straight "from the heart". With words from his garden of creativity, this is his debut CD titled "Temple Dogs".

"Temple Dogs" was produced by Robert Brown and features twelve captivating, and thought-provoking, songs that were written by Bloomer. The CD clearly reveals the talents of this tunesmith, who has been a finalist in the "Portland Songwriter Association Annual Competition" twice.

Bloomer is a world traveler who has played his music in a variety of venues. This includes clubs in Mexico and even in the subways in and parks in France. These experiences have helped him with his songwriting he said. And, whenever he needs to, he'll reach back into his recollections and fit these antic dotes into the words of his tunes.

"Some songs just seem to write themselves" said Bloomer, matter-of-factly, talking about tunes on his CD such as "If Wishes Were Like Horses".

"Some songs just jump out of the swamps at you," explained Bloomer further. "Then there are those that you have to pull out by the ears."

Bloomer moved to Portland, Oregon from San Miguel De Allende, in Southern Mexico. Armed with a 1930 Gibson acoustic guitar (an extremely rare LOD model), he sought out the necessary nurturing from a friendly environment that all songwriters need when they start to get real serious about their music. For this singer-songwriter, the result was "Temple Dogs". 

The songs depicted on "Temple Dogs" run the gammet from Bruce Cockburn, Tom Waits, and the late Steve Goodman, not to mention hints of other notables. However, some people may even hear Bob Dylan intertwined into the style of Bloomer, who is actually hard to "pigeon-hole".

"Temple Dogs" is a CD that entices one to seek sustenance in New Folk music. With words that grip the heart and challenge one's own intention in life, this is a top-notch project that grapples with creativity at its best.

Interestingly, it wasn't just the singer-songwriter accompanying his superb songs with his 1930 Gibson guitar, but some very talented friends. Joining Bloomer on "Temple Dogs" are some of the best musicians from the Portland Metropolitan Area. Tim Davis was featured on Spanish guitar and acoustic lap guitar; Jason Noice on rhythm guitar and violin; and Ron Shaffer on rhythm guitar.

Bloomer even went one step further by having the winners of the "Kerrville Music Festival" perform on "Temple Dogs". These individuals, who traveled from Oregon to the State of Texas to take home the honors, added a special touch of musical class to the CD. On piano and Hammond organ was Dave Carter; on violin was Tracy Grammer; on acoustic guitar was Eric Hester; on harp was Paul Summers Jr.; on drums and bass was Mike Damron; Robert Rude on bass and a variety of guitars; and Ben Wertheimer on hand drum.

In spite of the fact that Bloomer utilized a number of guest musicians, he thankfully avoided the mistakes that many singer-songwriters tend to make in recording. "Temple Dogs" did not rely upon the typical studio tricks of over-tracking and computerization, but retained the necessary "acoustic lifescape" that he strived for and succeeded in projecting into each and every song featured on "Temple Dogs".

The tunes of "Temple Dogs" demonstrate Bloomer's talents not only as a musician, but as a sincere tunesmith. "Xmas in St. Petersburg", "Thinkin' Bout You", "Little Each Day", and "Tender Loving Ways", "Starting To Like", and "Yucatan Getaway" are excellent. "Milltown", "Good Ol' Days", "Phenomenon", "St. Susanna", and "Temple Dogs" are real standouts. And, yet, there is something really special about "If Wishes Were Horses" that should make this most everyone's favorite.

Bloomer's "Temple Dogs" is great treat for music lovers, but he is also a treat to hear live in person. In 1998 and 1999 he was one of the featured singer-songwriters at Cascade Geographic Society's "Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days" and at the "Mount Hood Salmon & Mushroom Festival".

Two of the songs on "Temple Dogs" have already won awards from the Portland Songwriters Association's latest national contest. In December of 1998, he won the Folk/Acoustic category for his song "Milltown", while the tune "Yucatan Getaway" won the "Country/Americana" category.

"Temple Dogs" is a must for anyone seeking a good CD that provides thought-provoking listening enjoyment. The CD is for sale from the stage wherever Bloomer is performing in the Portland, Oregon or other states. In addition, you can even order it by mail by sending $16.60 (which includes shipping and handling), directly to: Bill Bloomer, 1809 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, Oregon 97214. 

[SPECIAL PERFORMANCE NOTE: Bill Bloomer has performed at the Cascade Geographic Society's 1998 and 1999 "Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days", and at the Society's 1998 and 1999 "Mount Hood Salmon & Mushroom Festival".]

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Dave Carter's  
"Snake Handlin' Man"

Reviewed By Michael P. Jones

One of the best recordings that has come out of the State of Oregon for a long time, not to mention the Pacific Northwest, is "Snake Handlin' Man" by Dave Carter. This eleven-song CD features a collection of tunes from one heck of a tunesmith. He is a talented individual that could be labeled as a Folk musician, but really can't be easily "pigeon-holed". This is because he reaches out to a large, diversified audience. Dave is surely one of the best singer-songwriters not only West of the Rocky Mountains and I'm sure you'll agree once you've given a listen', far beyond.

Carter's release of "Snake Handlin' Man" signifies his serious approach to his craft. He has moved far beyond the comforts of the stage -- which he masters most brilliantly -- and is now displaying his talents on the airwaves for anyone who cares judge his talents in the quality of the presentation of his music and lyrics in this splendid recording project.

"Snake-Handlin' Man" is a great CD, but it's not unique in respect to Carter, because when he hits the stage all of his performances are great, appreciable, and definitely not easily forgotten. Undoubtedly this recording project clearly "mirrors" the incredible talents of this singer-songwriter.

This CD features the talents of this multi-award-winning singer-songwriter and is a must for anyone who appreciates a refreshing approach to "life's music". Whether it's "The River",
"Where She Sleeps", "Long, Black Road into Tulsa Town", "The Promised Land", "Texas Underground", "Snake-Handlin' Man", "Cowboy Singer," or any of the other tunes written and performed by Carter for this project, you'll become a fan if you are not one already.

Carter's career as a singer-songwriter has just begun, but he's already won some major honors. He was awarded the "Best Contemporary Stylist" by the Portland Songwriters Association in 1998; won First Place in the "American Songwriter Lyrics Contest" in 1998; named "Entertainer of the Year" by the Portland Songwriters Association in 1998; and won First Place at the "Sisters Folk Festival Songwriting Contest" in 1998.

As for his stage appearances, Carter has traveled the highways and back roads throughout the country, performing in festivals and clubs and gaining an impressive reputation as a brilliant tunesmith and entertainer wherever he goes. And, as more and more audiences discover his talents and identify with the timeless, sensitive stories which he tells through his songs, the demand for his music will continue to soar.

Already, Carter has opened for an array of top acts. This includes Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, and Ian Tyson. He even was picked up once while hitchhiking by the one and only Merle Haggard who wished him the best of luck in this unpredictable world of music.

Carter's music seems to take on a life of it's own. The songs appear to reach out to the listener and gradually, if not quickly, pulls them into the threads of the tune, where they find themselves pleasingly haunted by the songwriter's lyrical and musical messages.

All the songs of Carter seem to tell the stories of the American people. Everyone everywhere will be able to identify with the tunes, whether they've all traveled the same or different roads. There is something about the words and the way the music is presented that seems to be able to filter through the distractions of our everyday lives and find its way into the fabric of our conscience.

"Snake-Handlin' Man" is one CD that you'll gladly add to your music collection and should never tire of. It represents one of those recording projects that reflects life's living tapestries as reflected in the various moods, lyrics, and music served by Carter.

Carter's "Snake-Handlin' Man" is sold for $15 throughout the Portland Metropolitan Area or from the stage wherever he is performing. And, to find out more about him and his music, you can reach him directly at (503) 228-2319 or by email davidc@teleport.com. Or, you can write him at Number 40, 25 N.W. 23rd Place, Suite 6, Portland, Oregon 97210-5599.

[SPECIAL PERFORMANCE NOTE: Dave Carter has performed at the Cascade Geographic Society's 1997 and 1998 "Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days", and at the Society's 1997 and 1998 "Mount Hood Salmon & Mushroom Festival".]

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Carolyn Kardinal's
 
"Oregon Glory"

Reviewed
By Michael P. Jones

What does one do if they love a state for its natural beauty and wildness and wants to let other know how they feel, but they don't know how to appropriately express them self? Well, if you have a lot of musical talent, you'd write a bunch of great songs, record them, and put the creation out as an album so the world could enjoy it. Well, this is exactly what Carolyn Kardinal of Cherryville, Oregon, has done.

Kardinal's tape, titled "Oregon Glory", features twelve great songs that should appeal to all members of the family. Written in the western foothills of Mt. Hood in her home at the historic Village of Cherryville, the collection of original tunes captures her thoughts and feelings about this great state that she loves.

The songs of "Oregon Glory" allow one to carry the state's forests, beaches, and mountains in your pocket. Available on both CD and cassette, Kardinal celebrates the spirit and uniqueness of Oregon's natural beauty,

On "Oregon Glory", Kardinal plays the guitar, violin, and synthesizer, and sings lead vocals on the songs. A former teacher at schools in the Centennial School District, as well as in Springfield and Lake Oswego, she also sang professionally in the Bay Area where she recorded three albums between 1989 and 1994.

"Oregon Glory" makes Oregon's infinite beauty come alive and should be on everyone's "want list" especially if you want great music that seems to place you - you swear - smack dab in the middle of an Ancient Forest, and even makes you believe you can actually taste the salty air of the Pacific Ocean, or see the breath-taking view from a vista of the Columbia River Gorge.

After Kardinal released her album, she didn't bother slowing down. Instead, she took to the stage performing her beautiful songs from "Oregon Glory" wherever she could find an audience. She has been featured at the "Mt. Hood Salmon & Mushroom Festival", "Pioneer Harvest Feast", "Mount Hood Public Lands Clean-Up", "Christmas Along the Barlow Trail", and other events and gatherings, including a rally against the new "Federal Timber Salvage Law" that was held in late-Autumn of 1995.

You can order "Oregon Glory" at any Music Millennium store, or by mail from CRK Music, 52120 S.E. Cherryville Drive, Sandy, Oregon 97055. CD's cost $15.00 and audio cassettes sell for $10.00. For further information you can call Kardinal directly at (503) 668-8804.

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Pamela Jordan
"Standard Procedure" 

Reviewed By Michael P. Jones

Pamela Jordanís personal story as a struggling singer/songwriter is similar to a lot of people trying to 
make it in the music business, except that she may really 
one day accomplish this seemingly impossible dream in some fashion with her particular style of Pop-Jazz. Her captivating vocals and Blessed with an outstanding singing voice that some people classify as "angelic jazz" or just plain "better-than-good," Jordan has the ability to take her music and blend it into the vastly different audiences that hear her perform. From "Art-in-the-Park" in Cannon Beach to the "Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days," whether itís Jazz or Folk, no matter how varied and diversified her audiences are, she easily wins them over.

Jordan is a favorite amongst critics. They have described her singing as "honey-hued, meltingly sensual, arresting, sensitive, and powerful." Yet, whatever term you choose to use, she has a special way of interpreting a song that provokes even more special descriptions.

People regularly compare Jordanís voice to a lot of outstanding singers. This includes everyone from Pop singers Sade and Desíree to the legendary Jazz vocalist Sarah Vaughn.

Jordan seriously put her talents to work in the recording studio. The end result being her first CD, "Standard Procedure," an eight-song collection of Jazz songs that she easily mastered with internationally-renowned guitarist John Stowell.

Jordanís "Standard Procedure" was blessed to have Stowell on guitar, especially since he is on the road traveling beyond the confines of the United States. His unique style and masterful command of the strings bonded to hollowed wood, makes him and his special sound highly appreciated.

The Jordan and Stowell collaboration on "Standard Procedure" is nothing short of refreshing. This CD should be a must for most anyone who loves darn good music, even those who may not even realize that that they really can appreciate the contemplating sounds of Jazz.

From the splendid tunes of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" to "The Nearness of You" and the "Devil May Care," you are won over by the haunting-like lyrics and accompanying guitar work. The sound of Jordan and Stowell is similar to the magic that one gets from a star-infested sky that seeming The images conjured up by "Embraceable You," "Never Let Me Go," and "O' didnít Know What Time it Was" are an interesting byproduct of these two songs, and, perhaps, are the best on the "Standard Procedure" CD. Clearly, this is what you get with good talent.

The songs "My One and Only Love" and "Round Midnight" are beautifully-perfect. The partnership of master Jazz guitarist Stowellís nimble fingers and Jordanís unique and refreshing voice, leaves one wanting more and more.

Jordan has a winner with this special CD of Jazz standards. The familiar sound of the eight featured tunes clearly invokes those past memories of the listener of which there is no escape. Brilliant! Simply brilliant! You can catch Jordan on stage throughout the Portland Metropolitan Area, where she has carved herself an impressive niche as a "Jazz chanteuse," performing at clubs and coffeehouses, entertaining her audiences with both standards and her own special original songs. She is also the featured vocalist for the "Woody Hite Orchestra" and "Dr. Tís Big Band Orchestra."

Jordanís reputation as a superb vocalist is steadily growing. She was selected from 700 contestants as a finalist for the "1999 Lilith Fair Opening Act Contest." She also won the "Portland Songwriters Association 1999 Annual Songwriting Contest" for her original tune, "The Fall of Love," which won the Pop category. Jordanís second CD is due out sometime this summer. Titled "The Fall of Love," her refreshing Pop-Jazz style should accent her superb songwriting abilities which continue to make her a favorite amongst audiences.

Promotions for Jordan are being handled by John DeLance and Mitchelmore of BlueSpot Productions. They can be reached by writing 9220 S.W. Barbur Blvd., Suite 119, Portland, Oregon 97219. Or, by calling (503) 704-2583. For additional information on Jordan and to learn more about her music, write to  john@bluespotproductions.com   For booking information on Jordan, give her a call at (503) 833-7379. Or, you can contact her by email at pjjordan1@aol.com

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Paul Summers Jr.
"Brag's A Good Dog" and "Juggling Butterflies"

Reviewed By Michael P. Jones

Paul Summers Jr. is a singer-songwriter who specializes in promoting and sharing good music: his own! His Soft Alternative Rock tunes speak of the elements of life that all of us face; they are tunes that conjure up emotions that everyone has, but are probably too busy to stop and take notice of. This ability is clearly the art of a true tunesmith.

Summers has taken his music from the recording studio to the wide open road, performing in clubs, coffee houses, and concerts, and anywhere else where there's an audience. And, now with two CDs to his credit, he's even more determined to share his creativity with people who want to listen to both a gifted and energetic performer and a prolific songwriter who writes from the heart.

The story of Summers' struggle in the music business is similar to most other musicians: one heck of a lot of miles donated to the pock-marks of too many highways and back streets; living out of suitcases in dingy hotel rooms or anyplace he could toss his bedroll; and entertaining what has become a blur of people's faces in his audiences that, he cannot remember their names, only their reactions to his songs.

It's been a lot of years and many thousands of miles since Summers began traveling that unpredictable and the no-one-said-that-it-would-be-this-hard road as a professional in the music business. Today, having recorded two CDs featuring his original songs, there is a renewed sense of purpose to take to the road once again and hawk his creative wares. And why not, since his career is continuing to steadily build.

Summers comes from Las Vegas, Nevada, although you wouldn't believe this with his must-be-an-Oregonian mannerism and sincerity. Having come from a place that he describes as "culture-barren" and "synthetic" with all its glitz and glamour, he made the best of it and honed his skills as not only a musician, but as a tunesmith.

The Vegas nightclubs opened up opportunities for Summers and his music, especially when he began playing in the larger venues. He has opened for "Little Feat", "Devo", "Crash Test Dummies", and "The Smithereens", as well as "Matthew Sweet". At the 3,500 seat Hard Rock Hotel, he broke-in the audience for the legendary "Al Green".

In spite of Summers' success in Las Vegas, he soon realized that his original music would never get the support that his hard work should one day reap. So he headed out for the more artist-friendly Pacific Northwest, taking refuge along the Willamette River in Portland, where his creative juices not only flowed, but his stage personality blossomed. Revitalized by the rain that turned the landscape green, and the changing seasons, Summers' talent soared. The result was a revitalized confidence in his music, and a determination to share his songs with a variety of audiences.

Today, Summers is absolutely committed to his career as a singer-songwriter. He's an artist extraordinaire whose passion to his music and his down-to-earth approach to this way of life is illustrated in the CD "Brag's A Good Dog" and his latest recording "Juggling Butterflies", with his "Paul Summers Band".

The Northwest inspired Summers to write more original songs. These became a special 13-tune collection called "Brag's A Good Dog". This CD, whose title was taken from an old saying of his father, sent him on the road touring and showcasing his original songs. Two years passed, 1,400 copies of this recording sold, and radio stations in 22 states gave it airplay.

"Brag's A Good Dog" provides a full menu of the songwriting talents of Summers. With a voice often resembling that of Tom Petty, the lucky thirteen songs that are featured are as refreshing as a street poet's special collection of verse.

"You Deserve My Love" is a notable song, with a straight-forward message of music accented by a violin that's uniquely inserted in just the right places. "Spoiled Generation", with its folksy presentation and Bob Dylan-like harmonica makes this a notable traveling song that takes the listener on a journey. "Wayward Potion Blues", with its lyrics written in first-person, is also notable with it's brilliant harmonica work. The magic of the slide guitar in "Caught In The Maze" is refreshing. The title tune, "Brag's A Good Dog", an instrumental, demonstrates that Summers is master of the Folk guitar.

One of the main highlights of the CD "Brag's A Good Dog" is a song entitled "Doubts". This tune offers a lingering array of guitar mastery with haunting lyrics. It is not only brilliant but most assuredly addictive. Of all the thirteen offerings by this singer-songwriter on this CD, this best represents the talents of this artist.

When Summers returned from the road to Portland, the experience clearly had nurtured his song writing talents even more. Next came the "Juggling Butterflies" CD which featured his latest songwriting direction, which he calls "ultra-honest personal tales that reflect my experiences, conclusions, and abilities as a singer, lyricist and guitarist."

Backed by a band, the "Juggling Butterflies" is special and reveals this singer-songwriter as a gifted performer whether it's in the studio or in a live performance. And, while reflecting on this latest recording venture, Summers describes the finished product as "ever-evolving", and whose "songs seem to playfully dance around the balance beam which ties good to bad; pain to joy; intuition to insensitivity; wisdom to carelessness."

Guest artists who appear on "Juggling Butterflies" include the following: Michael Keith Fouts on drums and percussion; DARA Quinn on keyboards and piano; Mike Dillon on conga drum and bongos; and Mike D on bass guitar. Summers plays guitar and harmonica.

Notable songs on "Juggling Butterflies" include: "Elizabeth", featuring Latin-influenced guitar work that takes you south of the border; "Cold Feet" with its haunting lyrics; and the beautiful and thought-provoking Folk Rock tune "What U Wish 4", whose words are accented by the sound of a fleeting harmonica.

Both of Summers' CDs can be purchased at Music Millenium and Locals Only. You can also order them directly from Summers by contacting him at: Autonomous Records CD, P.O. Box 56104, Portland, Oregon 97238-6104. 

"Brag's A Good Dog" sells for $15 (which includes shipping); "Juggling Butterflies" sells for $10 (which includes shipping); or both CDs for only $20 (which includes shipping). Or, you can take your chances by tracking him down at performances in clubs, coffeehouses, and festivals at just-about-anywhere along the West Coast and throughout the United States, and purchase them directly from the stage. 

Summers will also be one of the featured performers at the year 2000 "Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days". Be sure and stop by the Musician's Table during his performance to purchase your copy of the CD's.  

For additional information about Summers and his music, you can call him at (503) 285-1558. And, be sure to check out his website at www.mp3.com/pauljr to download songs and for other information such as tour and performance dates, or contact him via email at JamPAULjr@aol.com for updates. You can also get on his mailing list, which has grown to to over 800 interested listeners from around the U.S.A.


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Harrison 
"Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1"

Reviewed By Michael P. Jones

The music of Harrison, formerly Andi Harrison, is superb. A master of the guitar and of the craft of songwriting, he is a musician to keep your eyes on and your ears tuned to.

The music of Harrison seems to fit a lot of categories. Perhaps it's because his approach appears to mix the unique styles of Bowie, Prince, and Nirvana, that adds to the confusion. Yet, some people will call it Pop, while others call it New Folk or Folk Rock, while still others call it Rock or Alternative Rock. And, with this artist's musical influences running the gamut from Mozart to Eddie Van Halen, you can probably call it whatever you like, but just be sure to refer to it as being "darn good!" because it is.

Harrison is an outstanding songwriter, guitarist, and arranger, not to mention producer. This combination has resulted in three impressive CD's featuring his original tunes. "Butterflies and Demons" was released in 1996 as his debut album, "Evolution" in 1998, and his latest effort "Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1".

The music that has resulted from Harrison's hard work has made him a national recording artist, and rightfully so. His original songs have been played in many states including: Oregon, Washington, Montana, Arizona, Vermont, Missouri, Idaho, Florida, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, Georgia, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, and California. Over 70 radio stations have introduced listeners to his thought-provoking tunes.

Harrison's original song, "Close To You", from his "Butterflies and Demons" CD, reached number three on the charts in October of 1996. In fact, from that debut album, he was able to place three songs on the charts. Due to his past successes, deejays nationally welcomed the release of his next recording project, "Evolution". In June of 1997, his "Spoke In the Wheel", from this new CD, climbed to number one.

Harrison's "Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1" has been taking him on the road. This special project grew out of requests from his fans of his solo tours to have something to take back home with them. When he finally emerged from the recording studio the result was a quality CD featuring eleven of his original tunes. "Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1", like his performances, features tunes that are lively and thought provoking. A few notable songs are "Butterflies and Demons", "Spoke in the Wheel", "Loud As Thunder", "Gloomy Tuesday", and "Deep As Your Heart".

Audiences at concert halls, colleges, fairs, resorts, and clubs are entertained each year by Harrison. He performs at least 150 shows a year throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. If you'd like to listen to Harrison's CD's, keep your ears tuned to the radio throughout the Pacific Northwest, where his tunes are receiving airplay. Or, better yet, purchase his CD's. "Butterflies and Demons" and "Evolution" as well as "Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1". 

Harrison will be performing his special brand of music at the Cascade Geographic Society's 16th Annual Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days. The festival will be held at Mt. Hood Village, 6500 East U.S. Highway 26 in Brightwood, where, for three days, top-notch singer-songwriters like Harrison will be performing selections from their original CDs. Admission and parking are free.

Harrison is represented by Nosirrah Entertainment Corp. of Hillsboro, Oregon. 
They can be reached at www.musicpromotions.com or www.harrisoninfo.com or 
by calling (503) 693-4642.

You can ordered Harison
's CD's from any music store through Burnside Distributors.  Or you can order any or all of these directly from Nosirrah Entertainment Corp. by sending your check or money order for $14.95 (plus $1 for shipping and handling) to: 2459 S.E. Tualatin-Valley Highway, Suite 243, Hillsboro, Oregon 97123-7919. For multiple orders, please call (503) 693-4642.

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