Think Oregon

laura gibson, la grande, oregon artists, eastern oregon

Laura Gibson’s New Album

Laura Gibson’s shows are entrancing. Maybe this is because they lack the explosives and theatrics that so many musicians turn to once they realize they’ll get more attention with antics such as taking their shirts off. Instead, Gibson’s quiet poise and confidence generally arrest her audiences into silence as she flawlessly picks her way through intricate patterns on her guitar and sings in a steely, crackling soprano.
Gibson performed a special early CD Release show at Mississippi Studios in Portland, Oregon last Friday, February 3, for her new album “La Grande.” This early show was added at the last minute since her late show sold out. She made her way through most of the tracks from her new record and, with help from her full backing band and a vintage microphone, she was able to actually recreate many of the studio sounds. She also threw in a few oldies and a solo version of “In the Pines,” an old folk song made popular by Nirvana in the 90s.
Both her live performance and her new record go in new and expansive directions for Gibson. True to its name, “La Grande” feels like it could have been recorded in an old creeky house in Eastern Oregon that has been frozen in time since the 20s. A host of famous musicians, including two members of the Decemberists and Joey Burns from Calexico, add haunting, country-jazz textures. The overall effect is music that could be the soundtrack to a pre-Depression era cocktail party.
The only critique is that sometimes Gibson’s jazz-tinged vocal styling feels a little forced, possibly in an attempt to distance herself from the generic singer/songwriter label. Overall, “La Grande” should be added to the music collections of all Oregonians who love folk music, and are interested in songs written about the state.

allison-hotel-lodging-willamette-valley-oregon-travel-wine

Best Lodging in Willamette Valley Wine Country

When visiting the Willamette Valley’s wine country, often the hardest decision isn’t where to go tasting or dining but where to rest your head after all the sipping and supping. Sure there are a few inexpensive motels around, but with several distinctive and romantic accommodations, why not make it a more memorable experience? Here are some of my favorites:

2011-Winter-1859-Oregon-s-Magazine-cover-525-x-629

What is Your Favorite 2011 Cover?

Four 1859 covers adorned newsstands in 2011. Which was your favorite? Click here to cast your vote now!

erincole-bigsky-albumcover

Best Oregon Albums of 2011

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.

ty burrell, southern oregon, oregon celebrities

Ty Burrell, Modern Man

ABC’s hit-com “Modern Family” is a brilliant and funny commentary on upper middle-class suburbia told through the antics of three related families. Ty Burrell plays Phil Dunphy, the geeky but cool dad in the typical suburban family, married to an over-caffeinated, underappreciated wife, whose father and gay brother live with their respective families (and heightened drama) in nearby homes but vastly different worlds.

2012-Winter-Central-Oregon-Bend-Mt-Bachelor-1859-Cover-Shoot-Ski-Mum-2

Winter 2012 Cover Gallery

After testing numerous concepts for the winter 2012 cover, 1859 creative director, Aimee Jameson, remembered the ‘Ski Mum’ VW Bug a couple of weeks before at a coffee shop. Carol Mergenthaler, and her Ski Mum-mobile were about to become cover models.

Winter-2012-Oregon-Ventures-Dave-s-Killer-Bread-Dave-Dahl-in-pile-of-bread

Dave’s Killer Bread

Dave Dahl is remarkably composed as he recalls the decades when addiction and depression ruled his life. His résumé at one point was a rap sheet chock full of crime and drugs. But even more remarkable is the way he turned his life around. Today, as the president of the Dave’s Killer Bread juggernaut, Dahl’s story of redemption has become intimately intertwined with the bread he makes—in fact, a bit of his story is on the package of every loaf.

2012-winter-oregon-coast-outdoors-pacific-city-salmon-fishing-dory

Oregon Dorymen and the Best Season that Never Happened

In the early and mid 1970s, hundreds of dory fishermen set off from Pacific City in a quest that generously produced fishing legends. Ray Monroe had been there then, alongside his father and grandfather. As a young man, Monroe was one of the 300 or so commercially licensed salmon fishermen sailing dory boats out of Pacific City to harvest the bounty for which the Oregon Coast is renown. The old salts recount stories of making thousands of dollars in a single haul, full of fish, prized for its fight, profit and taste.

Winter-2012-Central-Oregon-Bend-Ventures-Oregon-Adaptive-Sports-mono-skier

Oregon Adaptive Sports

This was not what Kendall Cook had in mind when he dropped out of the University of Oregon in 1993 to be a ski bum. When he was visiting a friend who was teaching adaptive skiing in Breckenridge, Colorado, an instructor left, and Cook filled the spot, helping people with disabilities learn to ski a different way. Cook had grown up ski racing in Montana, but had never taught skiing and didn’t even know any skiers with disabilities.

2012-Winter-Oregon-Interviews-Ventures-Willamette-Valley-Oregon-State-University-Food-Innovation-Center-Sensory-Scientist-Ann-Colonna-close-up

Oregon’s Most Sensory Woman

Somewhere between living in France, mastering Julia Child’s ‘Turducken’ and earning degrees in biochemistry, chemistry and mathematics, Ann Colonna made a life-change that blended her love of science and food.