Cahalen and Eli perform in house concert Feb. 6

Renowned Seattle duo Cahalen and Eli will appear in a house concert on Wednesday, Feb. 6, from 7-9 p.m. at the home of Paul Blackburn, 401 Montello St. in Hood River.

Cahalen Morrison and Eli West are two of the most innovative and subtle roots musicians today. Their music draws from old folk sources, but it sounds vibrantly alive.

Morrison writes songs that sound like a Cormac McCarthy novel: simple, beautifully crafted and seemingly formed from raw natural elements.

West brings jagged, angular arrangements based in bluegrass and old-time, but refracted through a 21st century lens.

Together, they tap the root of the old country and bluegrass duets. As the sparse landscapes of Morrison’s vocals reflect the warm glow of West’s voice, it’s clear that this duo was made to sing together.

Cahalen and Eli’s new album, “Our Lady of the Tall Trees,” beautifully shows off the power of great songwriting and musicianship. They’ve gained acclaim from the top echelon of roots musicians, with Tim O’Brien, Dirk Powell, and Aoife O’Donovan singing their praises over such standouts as the title track “Our Lady of the Tall Trees,” that album’s opener “Stone to Sand,” and their stripped-back cover of Townes Van Zandt’s “Loretta.”

Cahalen and Eli’s music sounds eminently familiar, drawing from a love of American roots music, but it also sounds entirely different and original. Gone are the twangy accents and the overplayed search for the “old, weird America” heard from many other musicians today.

Their music is built on the joy of the craft, made by hand by two young masters with love for the traditions but a bold vision for how the old sounds can fit into new soundscapes.

Cahalen and Eli developed an expanded following after their appearances at the Sisters Folk Festival in Central Oregon. Their tours have included both U.S. and European concert venues. The Feb. 6 house concert will be a special opportunity to hear them in an intimate concert setting. More information plus audio and video clips can be found at http://cahalenandeli.com/.

Seating is limited. Advance reservations are recommended, though walk-in guests will be welcome on a space-available basis. Contact Tina Castañares at tina.castanares@gorge.net to guarantee a seat. A donation of $15 per ticket (dedicated 100 percent to the artists) will be requested at the door.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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