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Oregon State University presents Andrew Bird and Jimbo Mathus on the next installment of the College of Liberal Arts’ American Strings series on Tuesday, May 12 at 5 p.m.
The webcast event is hosted by OSU Director of Popular Music and Performing Arts Bob Santelli. Each segment of American Strings is comprised of a conversation and music by successful artists from a variety of genres, making for a one of a kind opportunity to appreciate and know better the great American music tradition.
Andrew Bird is an internationally acclaimed musician, songwriter and composer who has released sixteen records. He has performed around the world at festivals and at renowned venues including Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and Walt Disney Concert Hall. A TED Talks presenter, a New Yorker Festival guest, and an op-ed contributor for the New York Times, Bird also made his professional acting debut in the cast of Fargo’s fourth installment, which premiered on FX in the fall of 2020. Bird’s 2019 album, My Finest Work Yet, was nominated for Best Folk Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.
Jimbo Mathus is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for his work with the gold and platinum-certified swing revival band, Squirrel Nut Zippers. The group toured extensively throughout the 1990s, including performances for the 1996 Summer Olympics, The Tonight Show, Late Night with David Letterman, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and more. Since the early 2000’s, Mathus’ career has included work for Buddy Guy and Elvis Costello, and a vast collection of solo projects that have led to his music being heard on Shameless, Ray Donovan and more.
In many ways, Mathus and Bird are the yin and yang of contemporary roots music. Mathus hails from Mississippi and Bird grew up in Chicago. Mathus was self-schooled by an inquisitive nature and being around other musicians. Bird formally studied music at Northwestern University. Music brought them together 25 years ago, and an equal devotion to their craft and mutual respect for each other as musicians has nourished their long friendship, resulting in numerous collaborations. Now, after a near 20-year hiatus from working together, the Mathus and Bird duo have been at it again with the March release of a new album, “These 13.”
Written and produced from 2018 through 2020, These 13 captures “the warm first-take feel of two old friends having a fine old time” (MOJO). Mathus and Bird co-wrote every song through an exchange of voice memos, verses and ideas. Working with producer Mike Viola they recorded the LP live to tape, playing and singing from opposite sides of a single microphone.
Join us for a live, intimate conversation where Santelli talks to the duo about their friendship, the fun they had together in the making of this album, and the poignant story behind its opening track, “Poor Lost Souls.” Bird and Mathus will also share some of their music in a pre-recorded video they made just for American Strings.
Free and open to all. Register for link to view on Zoom
Repairing the Breach – Northwest
a fund-raiser for Project Voice
Folksingers Annie Patterson & Peter Blood, creators of the popular songbooks Rise Up Singing (the Blue Book) and Rise Again, are doing a “tour” of virtual singalong concerts inspired by the Poor People’s Campaign. Project Voice, the Oregon/Washington immigrant rights program of the American Friends Service Committee, will be the beneficiary of this event. All are invited to join in song and spirit via Zoom while supporting the work for immigrant rights.
During this time of COVID, Pedro Sosa, director of Project Voice, has continued to build leadership and resiliency in rural immigrant communities through virtual education and training. Many immigrants fill roles as essential workers. Many have also suffered the devastating loss of jobs and homes due to the pandemic and the summer wildfires. Pedro has helped organize crucial mutual aid and COVID education outreach to these communities.
Please visit the website to purchase tickets, and learn more about the musicians and Project Voice. Ticket sales will be shared between the musicians and Project Voice. There is also a link to donate directly to Project Voice.
The Gothard Sisters are a dynamic musical group of three sisters who play contemporary Celtic music. Through 10 years performing, touring and writing music together, the optimistic style of their music and performances continue to resonate with their fans, building a loyal international following.
Their latest all-original album release, Midnight Sun, reached #6 on the Billboard World Music charts as the highest ranking debut on the chart. The Gothard Sisters have performed in venues large and small all over the country, including a concert at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium stage in Washington DC, performances with Disney Cruise line in Europe, a 20-city concert tour of Japan in 2019 and appearances at music festivals and performing arts venues nationwide.
Blending Celtic, folk, classical, world and northwest musical influences, the Gothard Sisters bring songs to life with violin, acoustic guitar, mandolin, bodhran, djembe, octave violin, whistle and vocal harmonies, creating music that is “vivid, inspirational and captivating.” (Tim Carroll, Folk Words Review 2018)
Writing and recording near their home in the Pacific Northwest between touring nationally, the band has released 7 albums and has performed over 1,000 live shows over the course of their career.
Golden Bough’s first European performances were in the streets and small folk clubs of Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Holland and Switzerland in the early `80’s. These simple beginnings soon led to major tours of European cities and a recording contract with a top European folk music label. Other activities that Golden Bough has been involved in over the past several years include peace marches in cities all over Europe protesting the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, musical presentations for tens of thousands of elementary school children and events for human rights, religious freedom and drug rehabilitation.
Since their inception, Golden Bough has become a popular and in demand group on both sides of the Atlantic, gaining critical acclaim and enthusiastic support from folk fans wherever they perform. Blending their voices in pristine harmony, they back themselves on an array of rare and more common acoustic instruments, including; Celtic harp, penny-whistle, violin, octave-mandolin, mandolin, accordion, guitar, harmonica, recorder and bodhran. In the recording studio, as well as on stage, Golden Bough captures the essence and joy of traditional folk music and captivates listeners with the uniqueness of their original compositions. With songs and instrumental pieces ranging from ballads to lively jigs, reels and sing-alongs, Golden Bough provides an atmosphere in which the listener can enjoy unique entertainment within and beyond the boundaries of traditional folk music. Their music is well received and enjoyed by audiences of all ages.
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TO MARCH 8, 2022
The Wailin’ Jennys
One of today’s most respected folk groups, The Wailin’ Jennys are touring for their most recent release, Fifteen. This long-awaited follow-up to Bright Morning Stars finds the trio bringing their passion and stellar musicianship to a carefully curated collection of some of their favorite songs, including tracks by Tom Petty, Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton. For members Nicky Mehta, Ruth Moody and Heather Masse, Fifteen celebrates a 15-year musical partnership that has created three award-winning, Billboard-charting studio albums and one magical live recording and brought them a loyal worldwide fanbase. Steeped in the artistry and elegance that has defined their career, Fifteen presents The Wailin’ Jennys at their very best. Produced by The Wailin’ Jennys and engineered by Joby Baker, the album also features additional musicians Richard Moody (Ruth’s brother), Sam Howard, Adrian Dolan and Adam Dobres. Highlights include their moving interpretation of Emmylou Harris’s “Boulder to Birmingham,” their update of Paul Simon’s “Loves Me Like a Rock” (from a women’s point of view) and songs by Jane Siberry, Warren Zevon and Patty Griffin. There’s also a gorgeous full-band acoustic version of Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers.” They also do an achingly beautiful a cappella version of Dolly Parton’s “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” that resonates as a call to hope in these troubled political times.
NPR wrote of their last Newport Folk Fest appearance, “The Wailin’ Jennys are more than just impeccable bluegrass harmonizers; they’re also terrific bandleaders who give their traditional roots music a sense of real reverence.” It’s this respect for their craft, as well as the Wailin’ Jennys heartfelt, impeccable vocal performances, that has cemented the trio’s reputation in folk and roots music circles.