It has been a good year in local music. In fact, one could make a convincing argument, as I may here, that 2010 has been the best year for local music in Central Oregon. Maybe it's the decline in bigger name acts coming to town or the fact that local artists can work on their craft rather than bother with pesky day jobs.
Who knows. But what's certain is that this region has never been home to this sort of musical talent, whether that means acts that are touring the country, like Larry and His Flask and Sara Jackson-Holman or bands that have attracted massive local followings and are now establishing a presence in Portland and beyond, like Empty Space Orchestra and Mosley Wotta. Then, there are the local shows that have brought out as many, if not more, fans than more established touring bands. And, of course, we can't forget about the Bend Roots Revival quadrupling in size and awesomeness.
This weekend might seem like a slow one for live music, but thanks to our thriving local scene, it's actually set to be an epic celebration of Bend's talent, thanks to the Central Oregon Homegrown Music Review. Now in its third year, the Homegrown Music Review, which takes its name from the local music program on local eclectic rock station Clear 101.7, is bringing in the usual suspects from the scene, and a few lesser-known acts for the charity show. The Homegrown Music Review on Friday night once again benefits Bend's Ronald McDonald House, a non-profit organization that provides services and lodging to children suffering from medical problems or other hardships, as well as their families.
Tim Schroeder, who many know from his shred-tastic guitar work in bands like the Bond Brothers and Eric Tollefson and the World's Greatest Lovers, has been a key figure in the local music scene for much of the last decade and has watched the talent level in Central Oregon blossom during that time. Now, he serves as the Review's musical director.
"We're blessed with such amazing song-writing talent in Central Oregon, and to be able to put on a show that highlights so many artists is really an amazing process," says Schroeder, "The fact that we can raise awareness and funds for such a profound cause only reinforces what this community is all about."
This year's lineup includes bands with massive local followings like Moon Mountain Ramblers and Mosley Wotta (we promise, we have no policy about putting that name in this paper on weekly basis, it just sort of happens), but also brings to the stage a couple of standbys from the Sisters songwriting community in Dennis McGregor and Brent Alan.
On the folky side of things, there's Erin Cole-Baker, who has earned a loyal following for her solo work in the last year and Shireen Amini, who although often an accessory in other local bands, also possesses some of the more innovative songwriting skills in the region. In addition, Tim Coffey and Kat Hilst, who've begun making appearances around town with their guitar and cello alterna-country duo. The only non-Central Oregon act on the list is Potland experimental hip-hop act, Hurtbird, a trio that combines rock and roots sounds with a rap twist.
If you're late to the local music party, that's OK. It's been a good year, sure, but it's likely to only go up from here and this show would be a good jumping off point if you're just now discovering our local talent.
Homegrown Music Review
7pm Friday, November 12. Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St. All ages. $12/general admission.