Tuesday, January 15, 2013
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 email@example.com 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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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge