As angels descend from the heavens, they must sound something like Laurel Brauns. If they don’t, they could hang out awhile to find inspiration from below in House of Snow, Brauns’ latest release. With vocals that range from angelic sweet to Patsy Cline strong, Brauns at times wanes only waiting to wail in her next track.
Waterfront Blues Festival Blues fans should mark their calendars for the 2012 Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival July 4 – 8 on the waterfront in downtown Portland. The festival features 150 acts and four stages, along with cool extras like “Blues” cruises on the Willamette, intimate “After-Hours All-Stars Concerts” in the Marriott Hotel Ballroom, and a fireworks display on opening night.
The Alialujah Choir was born in graveyard. The Lone Fir Cemetery in SE Portland to be exact. In 2008, Kate Sokoloff had an idea to raise money for the endangered property, and commissioned a compilation of songs by some of Portland’s most well-known folk artists called (D)early Departed. She invited Weinland’s front man and singer-songwriter, Adam Shearer to contribute. Shearer, a long-time mental health professional, was drawn to the real-life story of Dr. J. C. Hawthorne, who is buried at Lone Pine along with many of his patients.
Oregon is for music lovers, that’s no secret. As throngs of our nation’s hipsters flock to the world’s capital of indie-folk in Portland, the lines of local and national are blurred. The next two blogs highlight some the best Oregon albums of 2011. But don’t take our word for it. Listen for yourself. 1859 has provided a free track download for each album, so put ‘em on your iTunes, bring them along on your morning jog and let us know what you think.