Thursday, February 27, 2014

Eugene Women in the Blues hold March 8th Womenspace Benefit at Cozmic

Vipertoons Productions and The Eugene Weekly present Eugene Women in the Blues, a benefit for Womenspace, at Cozmic (199 West 8th, Eugene, OR.) on International Women’s Day, Saturday, March 8 from 6 - 11 p.m. The benefit will feature Eugene area blues musicians and bands including Deb Cleveland with The Vipers, Gaye Lee Russell, Joanne Broh, Barbara Healy, Lynda Duffy, Darcy Lee Gribble with Heavy Chevy, Matrisha Armitage with Bajuana Tea, the Fiddlin’ Big Sue Band, Janie Smith, and Naomi Debacker.

For more than ten years, powerful, gospel-trained vocalist Deb Cleveland has performed with the no-nonsense, straight-up blues band, The Vipers, including a European tour.  She also performs soulful, swinging, jazzy blues and funk with her own Deb Cleveland Band.

Dynamic singer and charismatic entertainer Gaye Lee Russell performs with the Badass Band.  Joanne Broh sings upbeat blues with some rock for spice and splash of funk with the appropriately named Joanne Broh Band.  Deb Cleveland, Gaye Lee Russell, and Joanne Broh are all previous winners of the Rainy Day Blues Society’s Rooster Award for “Best Female Blues Vocalist.”
Barbara Healy’s soulful vocals and lyrics have ignited West coast stages and radio waves for more than thirty years.  Her fifth CD, Shades of Blues, was released last year with her band, Barbara Healy & Her Groove Too Band.
Explosive, sultry vocalist Lynda Duffy performs R & B and blues with the richly blended Americana band Barefoot Leroy.  Darcy Lee Gribble performs with the rockin’ blues and soul band Heavy Chevy.  Matrisha Armitage is one-half of Bajuana Tea, a duo combining old and new school in a way that and captures audiences with creative originals and classic covers.

The Fiddlin’ Big Sue Band, comprised of Sue and Tom Hunnel and Janet Nelson, has been performing their brand of good old time music for more than three decades.  Multi-instrumentalist Janie Smith has performed with numerous area bands over the last 35 years and currently plays saxophone with Heavy Chevy.

Womenspace believes each person has the right to live a life free from violence and fear of abuse. The agency’s mission is to prevent domestic violence in intimate partner relationships in Lane County and support survivors in claiming personal power. One in four women and one in seven men will experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetime. Locally, one in three police call outs are domestic violence related. By providing support and resources to survivors of intimate partner violence, educating the community and working together, Womenspace knows we can decrease the rate of domestic violence and create a healthier and safer community for everyone.

Advance tickets for $10 are available at Cozmic, CD World, and House of Records, or online here at  Tickets at the door are on a sliding scale of $12 to $18 with a suggested admission of $15.  The show runs from 6 pm to 11 pm.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Introducing Gordon Kaswell

Besides being an active Eugene-area music teacher, Gordon Kaswell is a multi-instrumentalist (electric and acoustic guitars, piano, keyboards, bass guitar, hand percussion) in a range of styles (blues, folk, rock, swing). He’s also had success as a songwriter and composer.

Gordon Kaswell has been playing guitar for more than 40 years. He began his musical education as a private student of the piano, and went on to apply the music theory and concepts he learned to the guitar. He performed in clubs in Boston, MA, and Rochester, NY, before moving to Eugene. He performs locally on both guitar and piano, and plays the electric bass guitar, keyboard synth, and hand percussion as well.

At the 2001 Worldfest Film Festival in Houston, Gordon earned a Platinum Award for composing, performing, and recording the world beat musical score for the documentary film, "The Passionate Harvest" (on the subject of international coffee culture and agriculture). "Java Roads" is his soundtrack CD from that film.
 "The Performer," a song he co-authored, has been featured in made-for-TV films on ABC ("A Murderous Affair") and Cinemax ("Desire"), and performed on Saturday Night Live.  The song’s also been covered by several noted jazz singers.  It's featured on "Love is Blue," the 2004 CD release from Blue Note Records jazz singer, Jackie Allen. A member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) since 1988, Gordon also has created custom music for numerous commercial clients, including Symantec, Bellissimo Media, and States Industries.

Since 2007, Gordon has been teaching guitar at The John G. Shedd Institute, where he offers instruction in folk, blues, rock, and swing jazz acoustic and electrical guitar, as well as music theory.

"I give my students the skills and techniques they need to play and enjoy the guitar, while gradually introducing musical concepts that will enable them to understand what they are doing and express themselves creatively in whatever styles and genres they prefer. I believe my teaching style closely matches my performance style which can be summed up as ‘relaxed and personal.' I am here for my students – to help them reach their individual musical goals in a relaxed and supportive environment."
In this video, Kaswell shares what it is like to mature as a musical artist. Also, check out Gordon Kaswell’s Reverbnation page to learn more about his traditional American and British fingerstyle acoustic, rock, classic and contemporary blues, swing jazz, and world beat music.
Vanessa Salvia of the Eugene Weekly offers: “He has built an impressive performing career, but Kaswell is also known among his peers as a talented composer.” 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Introducing Chico Schwall

For the latest installment about Lane Musician Collective members, I'd like to introduce you to Chico Schwall. Folksinger, multi-instrumentalist and songpoet William "Chico" Schwall believes there IS enough to go around and we CAN figure out how to make it work.
Instrumentalist and singer, traditional musician and songwriter, his music is a genre-defying tightrope walk over Folk Music Falls. He has sung at labor rallies, traveled with Northwest Touring Theatre, played in pit bands, done "side man" gigs in the studio and on stage, directed folk music camps for kids and played gigs of every stripe in half a dozen states. 
Chico's newest CD, "Then What's It For?" draws on blues, gospel, mountain music, Irish tunes and international acoustic sounds and puts his original songs and tunes among gems and classics from all over.

When he's not traveling, Chico fans the flames of discontent in Eugene, Oregon and teaches Everything with Strings at the Shedd Institute for the Arts.

"When I was a kid at recess time," says Schwall, "I'd go over to the place where the older kids did the high jump and the pole vault in gym class. There were two hollow metal posts set in the ground, with holes drilled in them for the pegs they used to hold the bar at various heights. When the wind blew those posts were like two giant randomly tuned flutes, singing as the wind blew across the holes. I could sit in the sand pit and listen to them until the teacher called me in off the playground. Always changing, always beautiful. I'm surprised everybody wasn't over there listening." 

To see a video of Chico Schwall performing "Mayn Rue Plats,"click here. It was recorded in February 2009 at Folk Alliance, Memphis, Tennessee. Videography is by Tom Weber. And here's Chico singing and playing "What I Know About Love."