Festival music brings the heat
They say lightning never strikes in the same place twice, but don't tell that to Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts music curator Danny Schauffler.
Year after year, Schauffler brings in regionally acclaimed artists transcending genres to blow the roof off the festival.
This year is no different, and Schauffler is proud to announce a lineup of acts that will have you out of your seat and onto the dance floor.
The festival will feature two stages once again: the Main Stage sponsored by The Springs Living at Carman Oaks in upper George Rogers Park, and the Pavilion Tent sponsored by Umpqua Bank at the Lakewood Center.
Some highlights for the weekend will include Portland-based soul singer Ural Thomas and the Pain who will take over the Main Stage from 8-9 p.m. Saturday, June 22. Thomas became active in the '60s and '70s with a few singles that stood next to some of the all-time great funk and soul artists of those decades including James Brown, Otis Redding and Stevie Wonder. He opened shows for artists such as Redding and Mick Jagger, as well as played more than forty shows at the legendary Apollo Theater.
According to Schauffler, Thomas had a brush with success, but wouldn't compromise his band for any music label and quickly became disillusioned with the industry. He turned his back on the business and moved to Portland.
But Thomas never fully escaped the music scene. He would host weekly jam sessions with young artists at his home in North Portland throughout the years until, in 2014, he met local soul disc-jockey DJ Scott Magee and began collaborating on a project they released under Mississippi Records in 2016. Magee and Thomas put together and all-star cast of bandmates for their latest album — Thomas' debut, full length album — released in September of 2018. The album features Magee on drums, percussion, and backing vocals, Bruce Withycombe (The Decemberists) on baritone sax, Portland jazz scene fixture Brent Martens on guitars and vibraphone, Arcellus Sykes on bass, Steve Aman (Lady Rizo) on piano and organ, Dave Monnie on trumpet, Willie Matheis (Cherry Poppin' Daddies) on tenor sax, and Jasmine Rimmel, Joy Pearson, Sarah King, Rebecca Marie Miller on backing vocals.
Schauffler ran into Thomas at the Oregon Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony last October and the two connected. He's excited to be able to present a world-class soul musician and band such as Ural Thomas and the Pain to Lake Oswego, and it doesn't hurt that he's a really great person, Schauffler
"He's just a sweet guy, and a family man," Schauffler said.
Another highlight of the weekend will be Mario Carboni, the Honky Tonk Rebel with steel string guitarist Norman Hamlet on the Main Stage from 6-7 p.m. Friday, June 21.
Carboni is a former student of Schauffler's who has found success in picking up old band members from famous acts like Merle Haggard with whom Hamlet played for almost 50 years.
"Mario converted this '60s Greyhound bus into a travelling touring studio and he gets these old guys like Red Simpson from Buck Owens band and the last surviving member of Hank Williams group and gets them to record," Schauffler said. "He finds them in rest homes where he often performs because he just doesn't fit in Nashville, they don't want these old guys. He's putting together an album of all these guys before it's too late. So for the first time, we're bringing some real, old country to Lake Oswego."
Schauffler's also excited to bring Susannah Weaver, aka Little Sue, to the LO Festival of the Arts. Her latest album "Gold" is currently in the top 5 at Music Millennium. Catch Little Sue on the Main Stage from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 22.
You can see Portland jazz guitarist Dan Balmer from 1-2 p.m. Sunday, June 23, followed by festival favorite and local sax legend Patrick Lamb from 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Whatever your musical persuasion, Schauffler's got something up his sleeve for you, so check out the full lineup, grab some food and drinks, take a seat and get ready to enjoy the weekend.
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