SOLD OUT: Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees featuring Brandi Carlile, Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, and Dave Matthews – Tickets – Aladdin Theater – Portland, OR – October 4th, 2017

SOLD OUT: Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees featuring Brandi Carlile, Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, and Dave Matthews

SOLD OUT: Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees featuring Brandi Carlile, Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, and Dave Matthews

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Aladdin Theater

Portland, OR

$75.00 - $150.00

Sold Out

This event is all ages

Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees featuring Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, and Dave Matt
Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees featuring Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, and Dave Matt
An intimate evening of acoustic performances featuring renowned singer-songwriters Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Dave Matthews, and special guests.

Produced by Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, in partnership with the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees is raising awareness and money to support expanded educational opportunities for displaced people through JRS's Global Education Initiative. Funds raised from the tour help refugees to heal, learn, and thrive. #WithRefugees
Steve Earle
Steve Earle
If you ever had any doubt about where Steve Earle’s musical roots are planted, his new collection, So You Wannabe an Outlaw, makes it perfectly plain. “There’s nothing ‘retro’ about this record,” he states, “I’m just acknowledging where I’m coming from.” So You Wannabe an Outlaw is the first recording he has made in Austin, Texas. Earle has lived in New York City for the past decade but he acknowledges, “Look, I’m always gonna be a Texan, no matter what I do. And I’m always going to be somebody who learned their craft in Nashville. It’s who I am.”

In the 1970s, artists such as Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck, Billy Joe Shaver and Tompall Glaser gave country music a rock edge, some raw grit and a rebel attitude. People called what these artists created “outlaw music.” The results were country’s first Platinum-certified records, exciting and fresh stylistic breakthroughs and the attraction of a vast new youth audience to a genre that had previously been by and for adults. In the eighties, The Highwaymen was formed by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings. Their final album “The Road Goes On Forever” released in 1996 began with the Steve Earle song “The Devil’s Right Hand.”

Steve Earle’s 2017 collection, So You Wannabe an Outlaw, is an homage to outlaw music. “I was out to unapologetically ‘channel’ Waylon as best as I could.” says Earle. “This record was all about me on the back pick-up of a Fender Telecaster on an entire record for the first time in my life. The singing part of it is a little different. I certainly don’t sound like Waylon Jennings.”

“I moved to Nashville in November of 1974, and right after that Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger came out. I was around when Waylon was recording [the 1975 masterpiece] Dreaming My Dreams. Guitar Town (Earle’s 1986 breakthrough album) wound up being kind of my version of those types of songs,” Earle recalls.

“This new record started because T Bone Burnett called me and wanted a specific song to be written for the first season of (the TV series) Nashville. It was for the character whose brother was in prison. So I wrote ‘If Mama Coulda Seen Me,’ and they used it. Then Buddy Miller asked me to write another one for the show and I wrote ‘Lookin’ for a Woman,’ which they didn’t wind up using. I’d been listening to Waylon’s Honky Tonk Heroes again, and I decided to start writing in that direction.”

The new songs include the gentle, acoustic folk ballads “News From Colorado” and “The Girl on the Mountain.” “Fixin’ to Die,” on the other hand, is a dark shout from the hell of Death Row. “The Firebreak Line” returns Earle to his pile-driving, country-rock roots. “You Broke My Heart” is a sweet, simple salute to the 1950s sounds of Webb Pierce or Carl Smith. “Walkin’ in L.A.” is a twanging country shuffle. The guitar-heavy “Sunset Highway” is an instant-classic escape song. And the deeply touching “Goodbye Michelangelo” is Steve Earle’s farewell to his mentor, Guy Clark, who passed away last year. “It was written right after me and Rodney Crowell and Shawn Camp and a few other folks had taken Guy’s ashes to Terry Allen’s house in New Mexico,” Earle says. “I was only 19 when I came to Nashville. Guy and Susanna Clark finished raising me. Guy was a great cheerleader for me.”

Earle is backed on the new album by his long time band The Dukes (guitarist Chris Masterson, fiddle player Eleanor Whitmore, bassist Kelly Looney, and new members drummer Brad Pemberton and pedal steel player Ricky Ray Jackson). “We did the Guitar Town 30th-anniversary tour last year,” he said. “And that was perfect to write the last of the songs for this record. Because I had the band out there with me, and we could try out some stuff.”

“Waylon’s Honky Tonk Heroes was the template for the new album. And I’ve always considered that record to be really important. I consider his Honky Tonk Heroes the Exile on Main Street of country music.”

“I knew when I wrote ‘Walkin’ in L.A.’ that I wanted Johnny Bush to sing on it. I’ve known Johnny since 1973 when I was playing a restaurant in San Antonio. Joe Voorhees, who played piano for Bush, and I were stoned and hungry, so we went to Bush’s and raided the icebox in his kitchen. We’re sitting there, and Joe goes white and says, ‘John!’ I turned around and there was a .357 Magnum pointed at the back of my head. So that’s how I really met Johnny Bush. Years later, he signed an autograph to me that said, ‘Steve, I’m glad I didn’t pull the trigger.’”

Steve Earle’s third duet partner on So You Wannabe an Outlaw is Miranda Lambert. The two co-wrote their vocal collaboration “This Is How it Ends.” “I learned from Guy Clark that co-writing might lead me to write some stuff that I wouldn’t write otherwise,” comments Earle. “The song is Miranda’s title, and some of the very best lines in it are hers.”

So You Want To Be An Outlaw is dedicated to Jennings, who died in 2002. The deluxe CD and the vinyl version of the album include Earle’s remakes of the timeless Waylon Jennings anthem “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way,” as well as Billy Joe Shaver’s “Ain’t No God in Mexico,” which Jennings popularized as well as Earle’s versions of “Sister’s Coming Home” and “The Local Memory,” songs that first appeared on Willie Nelson discs. Nelson is his duet partner on the new album’s title track.

Steve Earle has turned many musical corners during his illustrious career. He has been equally acclaimed as a folk troubadour, a rockabilly raver, a contemplative bluesman, a honky-tonk rounder, a snarling rocker and even a bluegrass practitioner. This definitive Americana artist has won three Grammy Awards, for 2005’s The Revolution Starts Now, 2008’s Washington Square Serenade and 2010’s Townes.

He is also the author of the 2011 short-story collection Doghouse Roses and novel I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive. Earle has been featured as an actor in two HBO series, The Wire and Treme, and on stage in The Exonerated. His film work includes roles in such respected features as The World Made Straight (2015), Leaves of Grass (2009) and Dixieland (2015). For the past decade he has hosted the weekly show Hardcore Troubadour for the Outlaw Country Channel on SiriusXM Radio and he is a longtime social and political activist whose causes have included the abolition of the death penalty and the removal of the Confederate symbol from the Mississippi State flag.

Earle has collaborated on recordings with such superb talents as Sheryl Crow, The Indigo Girls, The Pogues, Lucinda Williams Shawn Colvin, Patti Smith, Chris Hillman, The Fairfield Four and The Del McCoury Band. His songs have been used in more than fifty films and have been recorded by such legends as Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, and Joan Baez, Carl Perkins, Vince Gill and Waylon Jennings (who recorded Earle’s “The Devil’s Right Hand” twice).
Patty Griffin
Patty Griffin
The first quiet piano notes of the title track of Patty Griffin’s new album, Servant Of Love evoke a sense of mystery. “I want to live by your ocean/Moved by the waves/No one can see.” Go further into this haunting, jazz-steeped meditation, and that sense turns into a spell. With lulling piano, fathoms-deep bowed bass and improvisational trumpet floating above like a swooping gull, Griffin conjures the call of the depths in literal and metaphorical terms (“words from the deep, calling to me…”) and invites us on her odyssey to answer that call.
Very much in the traditions of American transcendental writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, and mystical poets like Rumi and Rainer Maria Rilke, Patty Griffin grounds her themes of love and mystery in the experience and rhythms of the everyday, the stuff of life. Servant Of Love takes on big ideas, but does so in the vernacular of folk tales, blues cants and jazz gestures. Griffin’s characteristic expressive vocals—equal measures passion and poignancy—and her potent songwriting blur the lines between the personal, the spiritual and the political. These songs move and persuade while they dive deep.
In case we think a pilgrimage into mystery is some esoteric undertaking, Griffin pulls us by the collar down into the greasy juke joint of songs like “Gunpowder,” where the most craven desires of the human animal hold sway. “Robbing cradles and the graves/Just realistic, not depraved.../…Draining rivers till they’re dry/I just like to, I don’t know why.” Explore the human heart, Griffin seems to say, and you will find darkness.
Not limited in scope to mere romance, these songs reveal how love underpins all our human movements—our passions, our desires, our mistakes, our neuroses, our greed and our good alike. Griffin embeds her exploration of love in the real, as in “Good And Gone,” an elemental folk song with blues in its DNA. It is Griffin’s powerful reaction to the shooting by police of John Crawford, an innocent man shopping in a Walmart. “I’m gonna make sure he’s good and gone/Gonna make sure he’s good and dead…/…Gonna make sure he knows his place/Wipe that smile off his face.” Never a writer to oversimplify, Griffin implicates more than just a man; she implicates the society which creates such a man. “Rich man has his money/What can a poor man claim?.../…Pawns of another rich man’s game.”
Even in songs which seem to speak from the personal, the connection to broader concerns abides. When, in the intimate “You Never Asked Me,” she cries out, “It was an exercise in catastrophe/It was a dance of destruction/…A flight of fragile wings,” she’s not just talking about a single relationship, but about love’s effects in the world. “Polar ice caps below and above/Conquered and claimed and ruined for love.”
Over nine albums, Patty Griffin has proven herself a writer of uncommon perception, with a genius for character-driven story-telling. On this, her tenth, she brings that genius to bear on her over-arching themes. The same trans-migrated soul seems to inhabit the characters in these songs, all different, yet all walking the same beat, speaking from the same source: the storyteller herself, of course, but also, the album suggests, a greater source. A source we reject at our peril. That melting polar ice cap in “You Never Asked Me”? That’s no metaphor. That’s the real world consequence of our spiritual deficit.
As Servant Of Love travels through different musical terrains—folk and blues, rock and jazz, ancient sounds and modern—a spare, organic quality persists. Patterns and reccurence weave through the album in small ways and large: the drone of open tunings, modal riffs and bluesy moves, images of nature. That lonely trumpet. They create a sense of sonic return that buoys Griffin’s larger message: Love persists. In the dark, in the mud, in disaster, in the sun, there love is. An elemental force.
While any song on Servant Of Love stands alone, each a vivid gem mined from a rich vein, together they create an emotional arc of unusual depth. Patty Griffin might take us into the dark, but she doesn’t leave us there. Instead, she brings the mystery into the light, and by the last song, “Shine A Different Way,” a joyous, tuneful paean to surrender and rebirth, we feel we really have traveled her road with her. Now we end by the sea where we started,, with “…the moon and the glistening waves,” a little more ready, perhaps, as Rilke said, to “live the questions.”
*****
Patty Griffin is a Grammy-Award winning artist who has achieved great acclaim for her songwriting as well as her powerful voice. Her first two albums, Living With Ghosts and Flaming Red are considered seminal albums in the singer-songwriter genre, while Children Running Though won Best Album and led to her being named Best Artist at the 2007 Americana Music Awards. She won the Grammy for Downtown Church, her 2010 gospel album. Her songs have been covered by a myriad of artists including Emmylou Harris, The Dixie Chicks, Joan Baez and Bette Midler. She was born in Old Town, Maine and resides in Austin, Texas.
Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris
The title song of Old Yellow Moon may be the concluding track on the first official album-length collaboration between Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, but it actually represents a starting point for this long-anticipated project, produced by Brian Ahern. These two old friends and occasional band mates, Harris explains, “were picking songs as we sat around Brian’s big kitchen table, with his extraordinary microphones hooked up to the computer just to make a demo. We would pick a key or toy around with an idea just to make a sketch.” Harris was going over Hank DeVito and Lynn Langham’s “Old Yellow Moon” with Crowell for the first time, but their impromptu performance together was so naturally emotive that Ahern decided to build a track around it. “That’s a kitchen table recording. Brian later brought in Lynn to play the piano; she had a certain feel that only she could do to really honor the song and the reading we had given it. We added a few other things and it became the title track.” Harris pauses to consider this before declaring, “I love the way records get born!”

It was nearly 40 years earlier, in 1974, when Harris first heard Rodney Crowell. At the time, she was also sitting at a table with Ahern, then based in Toronto, who was tasked with producing her first solo recording for Warner Bros. Records following the sudden passing of Gram Parsons, Harris’s singing and touring partner. They were auditioning song demos, but the session wasn’t going too well, Harris remembers: “There was nothing that appealed to me. I would listen to a whole song and Brian finally said to me, ‘You know, Emmy, you don’t have to listen to the entire song, you’re going to know right away, it’s going to pop out at you.’ At the end of the day, Brian said, ‘I have one more thing, a songwriter I haven’t even heard. I signed him on the recommendation of somebody whose opinion I value.’ So, as I recall, we listened to Rodney, both of us, for the first time. The first song was ‘Bluebird Wine,’ and from that first bar of music, I just knew. It was the bomb. Brian immediately tried to get in touch with Rodney, who was on a plane. We were finally able to hook up in Washington, DC, where I was living at the time, and he played me ‘Till I Gain Control Again,’ and I knew my instincts were right.”

A year later, as Crowell recounts, Harris was passing through Austin, where the Texas native was then living, and offered Crowell a plane ticket to Los Angeles. Crowell went on to become rhythm guitarist and harmony singer in her now legendary Hot Band—many of whose original members joined Harris and Crowell in Nashville for the Old Yellow Moon sessions, along with such guests as singer-guitarist Vince Gill, violinist Stuart Duncan, and Little Feat keyboardist Billy Payne. Crowell soon landed his own solo deal with Warner Bros., releasing his Ahern-produced debut, Ain’t Living Long Like This, in 1978. Harris would quickly be recognized as one of the finest young song interpreters on the nexus of country, folk, and rock, and Crowell himself would become a sought-after songwriter, producer, and performer, whose work would be covered by Johnny Cash, the Grateful Dead, Etta James, and Bob Seger, among countless others—and continue to be treasured over the years by Harris.

The spirited “Bluebird Wine” became the opening track of Harris’s 1975 Top Ten country debut, Pieces of the Sky. Ahern and Harris insisted they revisit it on Old Yellow Moon, but Crowell had misgivings: “I said, ‘Come on guys, I wrote that when I was 21 or 22, somewhere back then, I can do better.’ So I went home and rewrote the first two verses because, you know, the writer’s best friend is revision. So I revised those first two verses and I said, ‘Okay, that’s a little more in keeping with my sensibilities now.’”

Adds Harris, “The meat of the song is the same but he took the writer’s license of being able to change a little bit that he felt reflected his life now. It’s the same song musically, and the spirit of the song is the same—it’s a joyful song. Being joyful at 20 or being joyful at 60, it’s still joy.”

The passage of time—time well spent, time misspent—is a recurring motif on Old Yellow Moon, especially on Matraca Berg’s heartbreaking “Back When We Were Beautiful” and Crowell’s own preternaturally wise “Here We Are,” which Harris had originally recorded in 1979 as a duet with George Jones. Harris says, “I love that song. And even though I had done it with George Jones, it seemed to fit this project. It can be a song about lovers, about a relationship, but this record for me is all about friendship.”

As with “Here We Are,” Old Yellow Moon offered Crowell an opportunity to perform self-penned compositions he’d never gotten around to recording himself, like “Bull Rider,” which his former father-in-law Johnny Cash had cut back in 1979. “Bullrider” has an almost cinematic clarity to it, drawn from Crowell’s own young life in Texas, which he also addressed in a 2010 memoir, Chinaberry Sidewalks: “Growing up in Texas, we rode bulls the way inner city kids played basketball. It’s just part of the culture, part of the rhythm of our lives. I always loved the language of the rodeo. There’s a poetic tone to it. I remember writing that song and wanting to capture that.”

For Crowell and Harris, a professed “song hoarder,” Old Yellow Moon was a platform to showcase songs they’d each been aiming to record or revisit for years, country-oriented tunes, especially honky-tonkin’ numbers, that also figured, one way or another, in their shared history. As Harris notes, “All these friendships, all these beautiful threads came together on this record, a lot of it without any particular thought.” Opening track “Hanging up My Heart,” which features a harmony vocal from Gill, originally appeared as the title tune to the lone country album made by Sissy Spacek in 1983 and produced by Crowell, in the wake of Spacek’s Coal Miner’s Daughter success. It was written by Hot Band member DeVito, who also co-wrote “Black Caffeine” with musician-engineer Donivan Cowart, another fellow traveler on this decades-long journey. Says Harris, “We had always loved ‘Black Caffeine’ but it was one of those very strange demos that always had intimidated us. But I think we nailed it.” Crowell was a big fan of Kris Kristofferson’s 2006 album, This Old Road (he says he “lived inside that record”) and suggested cutting the more rueful “Chase the Feeling.”

The delicate waltz of Allen Reynolds’ “Dreaming My Dreams,” made famous by Waylon Jennings, is a highlight of the disc but hadn’t even been on the pair’s original wish list. They were referencing it as they rehearsed another song, and Harris finally asked, “Why don’t we just do it? Waylon’s version of it is one of the most perfect records ever, but to make it a conversation between two old friends, I think that it adds something; it takes the song to another place, which you always have to do when you cover a song that already has a place in musical history. I think Rodney and I could really bring something to it, and Brian’s production is gorgeous. It doesn’t hurt to have [guitarist] James Burton on it too.”

Harris also brought in E Street Band singer-guitarist Patti Scialfa’s lovely “Spanish Dancer” from Scialfa’s underrated 1993 Rumble Doll collection: “It speaks to something very central to the female experience; it’s so beautiful. I had it on my list of things to do for years, and I thought it never was going to happen. I kind of reluctantly brought it to the table. I felt, maybe I’m over the hill, maybe I can’t give it the proper reading at this time in my life, but I think some things are universal so it doesn’t really matter. You never stop yearning for certain things, no matter what age you are.”

Getting back into the studio with Harris, says Crowell, “feels the same as it always had. We were young and foolish and that was lovely and the world was all out in front of us. Then you go on. Emmy and I have always been close over the years, but she went down one road and I went down another, and we’d intersect on occasion. But when we finally got together, it was as if no time had passed. We’re blood in that way.”

Echoes Harris, “We’ve always said from the first time we sat down with two guitars and our two lead voices, sitting on the floor of the studio and singing Don Gibson songs, just messing around, that we would do a record together someday. It seemed inevitable, but nothing is really inevitable if you don’t take the time to say, ‘All right, we’re going to do it.’ It was always something that was going to happen. I’m glad it’s happening now, at this point of our lives and our careers.”

Old Yellow Moon is full of fond memories and deep connections, but it is very much a document of where the ever-evolving Harris and Crowell happen to be right now, as musicians and as friends. As Crowell puts it, “The truth lies in the fact that neither Emmy, as far as I can tell, nor I come to a day’s work with any self-congratulation. Whatever we’ve done before was only the beginning. It’s just like, okay, let’s make a record. Isn’t it great that we can make them? And that’s when the songs come into play. If the songs are good, you get to lay it on the line and deliver a performance worthy of the song, and if you come up to snuff enough times you got a record. And anything other than that is precious. I guess that it’s a commitment to the art of the song so we can give it to an audience and it can become theirs.”
Dave Matthews
Dave Matthews
Brandi Carlile
Brandi Carlile
A critically acclaimed Seattle folk/Americana singer, Brandi Carlile received her first-ever GRAMMY® nomination for ‘Best Americana Album’ for 2014’s The Firewatcher’s Daughter, which was also her highest charting album to date.

Look for her next studio album to be released in February 2018.