FORT GEORGE BREWERY-ASTORIA
10/30 Cruise Control– Portland Or (Twangy Pop)
Cruise Control is a band of friends from Portland, Oregon who strum up their love for classic country music through a filter of power pop songwriting. (Think wholesome Carter Family harmonies meets The Velvet Underground, or The Louvin Brothers jamming with Dwight Twilley.) On their debut album, “1st”, the vocals weave sweet like threading sugar while acoustic rhythms give way to big-time choruses, blending twangy picking and fuzzy leads.
11/6 Reb & The Good News – Portland Or (Funk)
Reb & the Good News is a Portland based funk, world, and soul group that brings optimism and cathartic release to the dance floor. Catchy horn lines and sultry vocals soar over grooves that you can’t help but move to. Led by vocalist and guitarist Reb Conner, Reb’s love of rhythms from around the world bring the dance floor on a journey that’s full of surprises. Formed in 2021 in the middle of the pandemic, these songs reach for hope in a world under pressure. Reb believes that through feeling deeply and dancing together, we can face all that we’re up against in this life. She is supported by her partner, sax and keys player Leon Cotter, (a touring member of the California Honeydrops), as well as some of Portland’s heaviest hitters: Cyrus Nabipoor on trumpet, Ross Garlow on bass and Kirk Kalbfleisch on drums.
Reb & the Good News released their debut album “Wings” on May 11th 2021. This album is a culmination of a lifetime searching for Reb’s own voice in music. At 19, her love affair with music began by playing songs around a beach fire in her coastal hometown of Lincoln City. During a subsequent trip to Europe with a guitar, jazz was the music that most spoke to her, and she returned to the States to pursue an education. Reb went to music school at the age of 21 not yet knowing a major scale. With a lot of catching up to do, her education lasted all of 7 years, starting at LCC and finishing at the University of Oregon where she focused on Jazz guitar. Reb left her last collaborative project, High Step society in 2018, and moved from Eugene to Portland ready to tell her own story and bring her own aesthetic to life.
11/13 Waysides – Portland, OR (Country)
11/20 Jack Habegger’s Celebrity Telethon – Portland, Or (Alt Country)
Hailing from Portland, OR by way of Olympia, WA, Jack Habegger’s Celebrity Telethon takes a uniquely northwestern approach to alternative country. The band has made a name for themselves with wobbly synths, twangy harmonies, and Habegger’s plainspoken songwriting. He has assembled a stable of veteran players for the outfit that each contribute singularly to a band that is both comfortable and eccentric. Bandcamp chose their January 2021 EP “Oy Vey!” as a “New and Notable” release, featuring it on their homepage and describing it as a “sweet slice of introspective, homespun country-folk.”
11/27 Nick Delffs – Portland Or (Singer Songwriter)
Nick Delffs grew up in Mendocino County, a lawless stretch of coastline that’s hard to get to and, for many, hard to escape. Nick did — emerging in the early aughts as the frontman for Portland band The Shaky Hands, whose sharp, jittery rock was anchored by Nick’s quavering vocals and questing lyrics. The Shaky Hands were mainstays of Portland on the verge of a major shift, and they rode that shift a while, signing to Kill Rock Stars and touring internationally with some of the bigger names in indie rock. But a hiatus in 2011 became indefinite and Nick Delffs was once again cast into the world: working as a sideman, releasing solo records, doing manual labor, going deeper into his spiritual practices, and, crucially, becoming a father.
Becoming a parent can affect different artists in different ways. Nick rode that change with surpassing grace and maturity. 2017’s Redesign, his first full-length under his own name, reflected the transition. In “Song for Aja”, Nick touched on other concerns familiar to those who follow his work: love of the natural world; longing for spiritual and physical connection; the desire to suffer with meaning and exult with abandon, to embrace somehow the world in its maddening contradictions and find the unity at the core.
Childhood Pastimes, his second release on Mama Bird Recording Co., is both more focused and, despite being technically an EP, more ambitious. It’s a four-song cycle — one song with many movements or four songs that bleed into one another, depending on how you hear it — that can be viewed either as a personal journey or an archetypal passage of a human being through four discrete stages: roughly, the movement from childhood innocence into adolescent adventure (The Escape); the sudden immersion into a life of discovery and excitement (The Dream); the first experience of romantic love, followed by the onset of heartbreak, dissolution, breakdown of self (The Affair); the emergence into a new way of thinking, a fresh perspective that encompasses all the suffering and joy into a balanced whole (The Outside).
Nick plays nearly all of the instruments here and the result is a unified aesthetic, born ultimately of his deep-seated love of rhythm: the thrum and throb of the acoustic guitars, the percussive melodic bang of the elegantly-crafted piano lines, and always, always the insistent, driving drums, propelling the record, and the listener, on this journey as the four tracks bleed into one another, one body, one blood, one beating heart. The concept of four songs that are really one suite of music requires a sure hand, and Nick’s never shakes: the way the songs blend together while retaining their distinctiveness — from the poppy exaltation of “The Escape” to the cold intensity, almost like an acoustic Kraftwerk, of “The Affair” — shows a songwriter and musician who has fully grown into his powers.
Those who have followed Nick’s career may see this as a culmination of years and years of honing and fine-tuning his bountiful gifts, and wonder with delight what might come next. For those who haven’t listened to Nick before, Childhood Pastimes is the perfect entry point, a distillation of what’s come before and the promise of a new beginning.