You may know Riley Downing from his work with acclaimed New Orleans combo the Deslondes, or perhaps from his similarly rootsy and wide-ranging catalog of songs with the Tumbleweeds – indeed, the Missouri-based singer-songwriter’s ability to set gripping, evocative narratives within soundscapes that weave together country, blues, folk, r&b, bluegrass, rock, soul and whatever else catches his ear is something that, once you hear it, is hard to shake free from. The same goes for that voice – deep, dusty, and drawling, it’s an instrument that can stop you in your tracks with its character and expressiveness, as well as through Downing’s knack for laying out complex emotions in plainspoken, direct language.
Bart Budwig is a son of Idaho, a cosmic country crooner, a rousing trumpet player, and cryin’-style soul singer. His music is made up of seemingly incongruous parts; thrum & strum country rhythms, jazz guitar melodies, R&B vocals. When Bart sings he draws out words into meditative mantras, whole note neologisms that keep you hanging on until his raspy voice trails off in a ragged edge.
Kassi Valazza has a viscous, light gold voice. It swirls around in your head like whiskey in a snifter; vaporous, and intoxicating. Her lyrics drip down the inside of your skull. Musicians with Southwest origins dependably bring a languorous relaxation – the slow pace, a defense against the oppressive heat of the high desert– and a grim sense of gravitas, having walked among the bleached bones and arid landscapes.
Catch ‘Liberty Theater Presents’ every 3rd Thursday at Fort George Brewery. 6-8pm in the Courtyard, never a cover!
WHERE: Courtyard at Fort George, 1483 Duane Street Astoria, OR 97103-5637 Map