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John Craigie: Keep It Warm 2022 Tour with special guest Goodnight, Texas

Soreng Theater

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Tickets starting at: $28.00

Portland, OR-based singer, songwriter, and producer John Craigie adapts moments of solitude into stories perfectly suited for old Americana fiction anthologies. Instead of leaving them on dog-eared pages, he projects them widescreen in flashes of simmering soul and folk eloquence. On his 2022 full-length album, Mermaid Salt, we witness revenge unfurled in flames, watch a landlocked mermaid’s escape, and fall asleep under a meteor shower.

After selling out shows consistently coast-to-coast and earning acclaim from Rolling Stone, Glide Magazine, No Depression, and many more, his unflinching honesty ties these ten tracks together.

The album comes from the solitude and loneliness of lockdown in the Northwest. Someone whose life was touring, traveling, and having lots of human interaction is faced with an undefinable amount of time without those things. So, he began writing new songs and envisioning an album that was different from his past records. The sound of everyone playing live in a room together was traded for the sound of song construction with an unknown amount of instruments and musicians—a quiet symphony.

Rather than steal away to a cabin or hole up in a house with friends, Craigie opted to set up shop at the OK Theater in Enterprise, OR with longtime collaborator Bart Budwig behind the board as engineer. A rotating cast of musicians shuffled in and out safely, distinguishing the process from the communal recording of previous releases. The core players included Justin Landis, Cooper Trail, and Nevada Sowle. Meanwhile, Shook Twins lent their signature vocal harmonies, Bevin Foley arranged, composed, and performed strings, and Ben Walden dropped in for guitar and violin plucking parts.

“Instruments were scattered around the theater and microphones placed in various spots,” he recalls. “It’s hard to say who all played what exactly.”

As such, the spirit in the room guided everyone. On “Distance,” warm piano glows alongside a glitchy beat as he softly laments, “I could lose you to the loneliness, vast and infinite. Then, there’s “Helena.” A jazz-y bass line snakes through head-nodding percussion as he relays an incendiary parable of a mother  and son in exile. He croons, “She said fire was how we’d make ‘em pay. As I ran across the fields, she would scream, ‘Light it up son’, uplifted in a conflagration of Shook Twins’ harmonies. Strings echo in the background as his vocals quake front-and-center on “Street Mermaid.”

Elsewhere, the guitar-laden “Microdose” beguiles and bewitches with an intoxicating refrain dedicated to a time where he “Microdosed for months and months, dissolve my ego in the acid.Everything culminates on the glassy beat-craft and glistening guitars of “Perseids” where he sings, “There’s always a new heart after the old heart. Maybe a new heart is enough.”

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Why you’ll love it:

Some people just “have it” when they’re on stage and John Craigie “has it. John Craigie is no stranger to our stage and we’re excited to have him back playing songs from his new album, “Mermaid Salt.” Plus, $1 from every ticket sold will be donated to Northwest Harvest.

Northwest Harvest build partnerships in communities across Washington to get food where it’s needed most. They provide an average of two million meals each month through their statewide network of 375 food banks, meal programs, and high-need schools. Northwest Harvest provides nutritious, culturally appropriate food to anyone in need, while respecting people’s dignity and promoting good health. Learn more here.

 

 

During this period, he explored the environment around him “from the Oregon coasts to the waterfalls” and read books about Levon Helm, Billie Holiday, and Ani DiFranco.

“I got time to silence all the noise and chaos of touring and look inward,” he observes.

Craigie had reached a series of watershed moments in tandem with Mermaid Salt. Beyond headlining venues such as The Fillmore and gracing the stage of Red Rocks Amphitheater, his 2020 offering Asterisk The Universe earned unanimous tastemaker applause. Rolling Stone noted, “tracks like ‘Don’t Deny’ and ‘Climb Up’ bridge a Sixties and Seventies songwriter vibe with the laid-back cool of Jack Johnson, an early supporter of Craigie, while Glide Magazine hailed it as “one of his best records. Perhaps, No Depression put it best, “For many weary and heavy- listeners hearted, the album might be exactly what they need. Along the way, he generated over 40 million total streams and counting, speaking to his unassuming impact.

In the end, Craigie offers a sense of peace on Mermaid Salt.

Goodnight, Texas

Conventional wisdom says the two frontmen of a band shouldn’t live on opposite sides of the United States, butthat’s never seemed to deter Avi Vinocur and Patrick Dyer Wolf.

Goodnight, Texas is a tough-to-define storytelling folk rock band whose strength lies in unexpected sweetspots. Drawing their name from Pat and Avi’s onetime geographic midpoint (the real town of Goodnight in theState of Texas, a tiny hamlet east of Amarillo directly betwixt San Francisco, CA and Chapel Hill, NC), the five-piece band also exists at the center of its songwriters’ contrasting styles—via a 1913 Gibson A mandolin anda 2015 Danelectro Baritone Guitar, at the crossroads of folk and blues androck ‘n’ roll, in a place where dry witand dark truths meet hope and utmost sincerity.

The very top of 2022 brings the band’s highly anticipated fourth album ‘How Long Will It Take Them To Die’, a dark yet lighthearted shoebox of knick-knacks and newspaper clippings-perhaps reflecting on either the last two years of isolation, or the whole of American history. In true Goodnight, Texas fashion, complex but relatable characters and locations are still featured alongside stories of self-discovery, rowdy behavior and heartbreaking loss, but with a more honed sound. Thanks in part to the creative and performative talents of the permanent lineup Scott Padden (drums, upright bass), Adam Nash (lead guitar, pedal steel, violin) and Chris Sugiura (bass), we hear Goodnight, Texas in a more detailed and developed way. Where past Goodnight, Texas albums have traveled cross-country and throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, this new offering falls on a z-axis somewhere between the aurora borealis and six feet underground.

Of the album’s first single ‘Hypothermic’, singer and co-songwriter Avi Vinocur says: “Stories from different corners of the American past can often be dark and heavy. Our band’s music has always followed along, telling tales of fiction and non-fiction with sonic landscapes to match. Many of our past songs and albums had taken place in the American South, Northeast, Midwest, and Southwest-but I had written a story in my notebook of a character braving the frigid tundra of Canada by car, north toward the distant U.S. state of Alaska-through hallucinations, paranoia, and exhaustion-to escape something unknown. It matched the sinister sound of this strange heel-thumper I had been working with on guitar-and together they were a perfect pair. “Hypothermic” is the result-our attempt to tell stories of America’s furthest corner, under a darker headlight, and attempting to sonically capture the heaviness of not only America’s past, but its present.”

In March 2020, as the world confronted a new indoor reality, two long minutes of the GN,TX mainstay “The Railroad” found themselves in the intro sequence of the first episode of Netflix’s “Tiger King,” which shattered streaming records with 34 million views in 10 days.

Also in March of 2020, the band released its first live album: “Live in Seattle, Just Before The Global Pandemic.” Jonathan Kirchner recorded, mixed and mastered a weekend of October performances at Tractor Tavern that featured a newly expanded five-man lineup. GN, TX rookie Chris Sugiura brings precision and flair to the bass (and strong hair); grizzled veteran and former GN, TX bassist Adam Nash slides over to lead guitar and pedal steel where he can truly dazzle; extra grizzled veteran and former GN, TX bassist Scott Griffin Padden holds steady behind the kit, beating the hell out of the available objects with aplomb. In a strange and often dark time, here is a totem of life, and a great example of the raucousness and dynamics of the band’s live performance.

In 2021, Goodnight, Texas were invited by Metallica to contribute to The Metallica Blacklist, a collection of reinterpretations of their legendary 1991 album Metallica (the Black Album). Goodnight, Texas was the only band to cover “Of Wolf and Man” gaining praise from press and even Metallica themselves-they used the song over the PA following their live performances in late 2021.

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Soreng Theater