January 04 2013
Posted in by WYoussi
First off is Andina Restaurant (http://www.andinarestaurant.com), where I play solo every Monday night. I begin with this gig, as it is my longest-standing residency. I've been performing at Andina for close to 8 years now, give or take. Andina is a family-run Peruvian restaurant located in NW Portland's Pearl district, down the block from a warehouse where I worked in the late 80's/early 90's, before it got all fancy down there. Andina is well known for their food, a mix of traditional and nuevo Peruvian dishes which are consistently elegant, interesting and excellent. They also treat their musicians very well, and have been a feather in my cap for a long time. I'm there every Monday form 7-10pm, playing solo in the bar -- mostly jazz and swing.
Second is The Parish (http://www.theparishpdx.com), located a few blocks north of the great Powell's Books, also in the Pearl. I play there every Sunday from Noon-3pm for their Creole Brunch. The Parish is the second restaurant from the fellas that brought you EaT Oyster Bar on N. Williams. The food! The food! I think I must have been from New Orleans in a past life, because I can't get enough of beignets, creole shrimp, gumbo, jambalaya and sazeracs. The Parish does all of this so well, and it's an oasis for those with a longing for the Crescent City. Every Sunday, I'm there with my Trio playing old jazz, country, spirituals and folk musics.
Thirdly, we have the Secret Society (www.secretsociety.net), located on NE Russell near Toro Bravo and the Wonder Ballroom (and Russell Street BBQ -- ). Originally one of the older African American Masonic halls, it was taken over a few years ago and turned into a classy music venue and bar. The bar itself is one of those places that invites intrigue, with lots of dark corners, while the music venue has a large oak dance floor with natty red velvet curtains and church pews along the walls. And the food is fantastic! I'm there every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month with the Portland Playboys from 6-8pm for a free, all-ages, western swing happy hour. We've been getting bigger and bigger crowds out to this one, and it's cool to have a gig where our friends with young children can bring them out to dance and run around and generally get all loco.
Fourth, we have the Ringside Fish House (http://www.ringsidefishhouse.com), which is downtown on Park Ave. This is my newest regular gig, and I perform there several times a month as a duo, usually with my buddy Brent Martens. The Ringside has a very justified reputation for it's food -- it's steaks and it's seafood. They also have a great happy hour. This is a great gig to catch if you want a relaxed scene with great food and watch the game, as we perform in the bar.
Fifth, we have The Landmark Saloon (http://www.landmarksaloon.com), Portland's home for honky-tonk, western swing and general and sundry crying-in-your-beer type music. They have a BBQ stand in the huge outdoor patio and damn good music 7 nights a week. Woody, with Pendleton blankets hanging on the walls and George Jones on the stereo, it's like a little bit of Austin TX right here in the Northwest. The Portland Playboys are down there every 3rd Friday of the month from 9pm onwards, playing our little black hearts out for your drinking and dancing pleasure.
Lastly, There's the Gold Dust Meridian (http://www.golddustmeridian.com), in SE on Hawthorne and about 32nd. This is a good old-fashioned Portland bar, dark and shadowy, with great art on the walls and remarkably good food. They also have cocktails served in fishbowls, which is a plus if you go for that sort of thing. Plus, they have a slammin' happy hour. I kick things off at the GDM most Wednesday nights at 8pm, and play til' 10pm.
There's lots of other venues I perform at, just not on a weekly basis -- the Box Social, McMenamin's Edgefield, Tony Starlight's. I never play at a place that doesn't treat their staff or their musicians well. After you've done this sort of thing long enough, you can tell pretty quick if the folks running the joint are straight up and cool to work with/for. I recommend all of these places without reservation (though you might need reservations... sorry, I had to.). Hoping to see you out at one of the shows, and thanks for supporting local music. PK