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Monday, October 24, 2011

Tonight in Music: Tyler Ramsey, Roger Daltrey, Big Harp

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 12:38 PM


TYLER RAMSEY, MBILLY

(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Guitarist Tyler Ramsey had already embarked on a solo career when he was asked to join Band of Horses in 2007. That arena-rock paycheck notwithstanding, Ramsey's solo stuff—particularly his just-released album on Fat Possum, The Valley Wind—is positively lovely, filled with sonorous reverb, gentle finger-picking guitars, lullaby-like melodies, and Ramsey's crisp, honest voice. The Valley Wind is full of all the gracious subtlety that Band of Horses can't afford to use, and Ramsey has tapped into a particularly elemental form of American music, all slow drifting clouds and endless horizons. The Valley Wind hints at the promise that Band of Horses showed on their debut—which, I realize, Ramsey wasn't a part of—but it also lives in that same realm of clarion tone and mountainous emotion shared by Damien Jurado, a masterful troubadour to whom I don't compare anyone lightly. NED LANNAMANN


ROGER DALTREY PERFORMS TOMMY

(Rose Garden's Theater of the Clouds, 1 Center Ct) Rock legend and lead singer for the Who, Roger Daltrey, visits Portland to sing the songs of his band's most famous work, the rock opera Tommy. Will the jaunty 67-year-old be swinging his mic stand around with reckless abandon, or scooting around on a Rascal croaking "Pinball Wizard"? Let's assume the former. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY


MARIA TAYLOR, BIG HARP, DEAD FINGERS

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Chris Senseney and Stefanie Drootin-Senseney are undoubtedly overachievers. In a brief three-year period, they've managed to juggle falling in love, planning a wedding, the birth of not one, but two human children, and forming a band with the subsequent release of an excellent debut record, White Hat, on a reputable label (Omaha's Saddle Creek, home to Stefanie's old band, the Good Life). The Los Angeles-based duo—performing under the alias Big Harp—runs the gamut of classic folk and country, combined with elements of soul, producing an all-encompassing species of Americana ushered by Chris Senseney's ambling and bluesy croon. How they find time to tour is another question entirely, but the band will be gracing Portland with its presence, presumably with their kids tucked in with the gear; don't tell the OLCC. RAQUEL NASSER

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