Tom Heinl

Night on the Town

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Saturday – Night on the Town

Not sure if this is good news or bad news… I’ll let you decide.  I just got wind that the owner’s of the Wetlands and The Pour House have canceled their live music for the next couple months.    Hopefully its temporary.  These 2 clubs share the same owner. The owner had a meeting with the managers and entertainment promoter and said there was to be no live music booked for July and August.   Hmmm… this can’t be good!

Tom Heinl

Last night was a pretty good night to hear live music… even if you didn’t go to the Country Fair.  There must have been something put in the water here in Eugene because I swear all night bands got started late. I know it’s part of the ‘job’ and all, guess it just leaves more time for drinking!
Over at Sam Bond’s Garage Tom Heinl stole the evening with his ingenuity, wit and a guitar.  I had never heard of Tom prior to last night.  But upon getting to Sam Bond’s, the place was brimming with folks who knew all the words to such Heinl classics as “Christmas Tree’s on  Fire” and “I’ve had Everything.”
Heinl’s voice bellows out much like Johnny Cash with just as much spunk and verve that you wouldn’t expect from a seemingly mild-mannered man.  Much like a lighted match Heinl explodes with originality when he sang a song written by Shel Silverstein about the father of a Boy named Sue. Talent is too short of a word to describe Heinl. It’s his uncanny ability to tap into the bloodstream of each of his listeners with lyrics that ring true in their thoughts.  Trust me, no one would admit to drunk driving in the day, but with lyrics from the Tom T. Hall song, “I Love”  ” I love clowns when they smoke. Funeral jokes, drunk driving in the day and TV trays.
I don’t think I have had so much fun watching a performer in over 10 years.  I did get a bit nervous thinking of just how Heinl comes up with his material… you know, the inspirational element.  Hope to, one day, get that question answered.

Jeff Martin

Another talented singer songwriter that is performing tonight at Cozmic Pizza is Jeff Martin. Touted as a “rising star” in the folk/american genre Martin, has only been playing guitar for about 6 years now and sounds a lot like a cross between Sean Mullins and John Mayer.  The naked emotion captured in his songs accompanied only by the six-strings he plays puts the listener between this man’s ears and heart.  Intimate in nature, Martin, puts down in verse what we mere mortals can only think…
“I used to move the clouds around with my laughter.  I used to cut the trees down with my walk.  I used to spit into the sea of disaster while she threatened to sink me like a rock.”  One of my favorite Martin tunes is “Why Do I” which talks about how in nature things don’t stress out, so why should we over seemingly natural events.
Martin opens tonight for the solo appearance of Willie McEachern of Dreamdog.  McEachern will be accompanied by Joel Narva.  The webiste at Cozmic Pizza says the show starts at 8pm, but I would call to double-check.  Congrats to Martin for landing a spot in this year’s Sister Folk Festival in September!
These two singer/songwriters, Heinl and Martin are just like you or me… it’s their perspective that they are able to write down and share with the rest of the world that makes their skill unique and memorable.

We very fortunate to be in a town that has the woof and warp of greatness.

I’ll see you out there!

Come to Diablos!

Night on the Town

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Friday – Night on the Town

After the short work week there is plenty of music to see tonight.  Think of tonight as a musical buffet offering everything from metal bands, to country outlaw punk and everything in between, including a thick slice of novelty songwriting for dessert!

The Eastman Band

First stop, however, is over at Goodfellas where the KNRQ Last Band Standing winner, The Eastman Band is performing.  I’ve read the hoopla and heard the buzz and I’m ready to see why these boys won last month’s competition.   This Springfield power trio of John Eastman, Jim Cuelar and Terry Brewer, while stylistically reminiscent of Metallica and even Pearl Jam create their own distinctive brand of metal, which is a perfect fit for their original songs like “Facebook Friend” and “Blood Suckin’ Bastards.”  Well crafted songs are as memorable as a one’s first kiss and well, metal or not, I”m up for hearing some good songs tonight.  No cover tonight with Happy Hour starting at 5pm and going till 8pm.  Rumor has it one of their drink specials tonight just might be jello shots!  Hooray!!

The Whopner County All Stars

Next musical dish tonight is over at the Oak Street Speakeasy where not only are the is Low Men performing but so are The Whopner County Allstars.  A cohesive group who are so much more than a typical ‘country rock’ band, but are a high energy with an infectious twang band, the Whopner County All Stars are a welcomed treat tonight.  Think old style country (Loretta Lynn and Merle Haggard) meeting classic soul stylings of Wilson Pickett and Dusty Springfiled.  Hope to score one of the button or stickers that the band gives out to all who attend their show.  The band consists of Gregg Vollstedt on vocals, guitar, lap steel, Sara Scofield on vocals and kazoo, Matt Alpert on lead guitar, Ken Howe on drum and J.P. Scofield on bass and vocals.  Their song “I’ll be with you Tonight” is my idea of a classic country song.  This is big band with a BIG sound.
Poking my head in at Luckey’s I just have to hear the My American Myth set.  Relatively new to the scene, just started performing as a band earlier this year, this band has some great hooks in their songs; both musical and lyrical.  In songs like “The Big Heartbreak” the musical hook you can’t get out of your head (I’ve been trying!) and is well complimented with slow melodic verses and a loud grunge-like chorus.  It will be terrific to hear this band in such an intimate room.
Last stop on tonight’s tear will be Sam Bond’s Garage to hear Portland’s Tom Heinl and see which “guests” show up to help promote his latest release With or Without Me.  I got a $5 for the cover and know the show will be good.  Heinl is a singer/songwriter who has the voice of someone like Tom T. Hall or Johnny Cash and the songwriting ability like no one else I’ve ever heard.  Who else would write the songs “Peein in an Empty” or “Three Way”?  In the song “Three Way,” a man asks his wife for an extra parter in bed and finds himself left out entirely!  You know this stuff happens in real life and Heinl has captured the moment in song.  Yes, it’s got an alt-country twang goin’ on, but OMG!  It’s hilarious!  Just like the other songs on this CD. — IHOP is a personal favorite -ed.

Tonight I pray that I don’t end up like the gal in photo for today’s column!  I will see you out there!

to sleep..perhaps to dream..

Friday – Night on the Town

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Friday May 20th.  Possibly the only dry weather night this weekend.  Some great events going on tonight including a couple of benefits like Slugsana’s Grand Party benefit for the School Garden Project at the McDonald Theater ($25 – 5:30 to 10:30pm).  Of course there is also Lauren Hill at the Cuthbert ($35+ 6pm) and Sheryl Crow at the Hult ($39+ 7:30pm) – big shows.

We find our entertainment needs running to a slightly more bent…bent.  Starting the evening off tonight with:

Meet the Band: Alternate Resonant – Comcast channel 29, 7:30pm – free. AR Sports possibly the best guitar sound you’ll ever hear live and a surprising, aggressive drummer. Check it out, see them live if you get the chance.

Then we’re moving on to:

The Tom Show: Tom Heinl – Sam Bond’s, 9:30pm -$5. Think of Tom as Robin to Dr. Demento’s Batman, the missing link from Saturday Night Live, James Earle Ray’s voice in a skinny white man. Tom’s talent is easy to overlook because of his resonant voice, impish humor, and funny songs like IHOP (personal fav), Pinto Squier and Three Way. You need to see him more than once to appreciate just how good he is. Also appearing are Carolyn Marks and Luther Wright.

If you’ve got anything left before ending the night with a Sweet Life drive by, catch a set at Black Forest from VanWenda, another unusual and entertaining band; Listen for “East Bound & Down” artfully rendered in all its redneck glory. And guess what – you know the words.

Prepare to be entertained.