Road Trip! October 27 - 29,
Talk about a lightning
strike concert tour! One thousand miles. Two Concerts. Three days. Four
musicians and twelve hours of music. Kathy packed
a great snack basket for the road. Dennis joined up after his night
shift repairing airframes and power plants and keeping
planes in the sky. We picked up Tim and sound gear in Salem for a
whirlwind tour in Tom's Phoenix flame red
cruiser. Dennis, in his first road tour with KBPR, proved himself a real
trouper. He didn't get to sleep on the road either and
by the time we finished the show Friday he had gone some thirty hours
without sleep and was positively hallucinating
One of the great perks of touring are the wonderful people we get to
meet and the places - treasures - we get to see. Friday night we played at
the Schoolhouse Cultural and
Heritage Center in Talent, Oregon. Friends, if you are planning a wedding or retreat or
conference get away or family reunion please contact Poppie. Immaculate
grounds, elegantly appointed rooms, charm,
history, and stories waiting in every room. We played an intimate show
for an enthusiastic audience in the Schoolhouse
auditorium. Poppie, herself a teacher of ballet, yoga, and movement,
danced in the back of the hall. She opened our
second set with a story of the history of the historic schoolhouse
followed by Tim's stately playing of John Hartford's
evocative tune, Presbyterian guitar, on the Martin guitar Poppie had
purchased in 1942 in a pawn shop.
We spent the night with the gracious hospitality of Gene and Cynthia
Bach in Tom's ancestral home of Yreka. (Special thanks from Kathy to Laura
for giving up her bedroom so Kathy could sleep under the "glow in the
dark" stars!) Got off to an early start heading
for Clearwater Lodge on the
Pit River. With some highway construction we only got a little lost and wish we could have
recorded the cell phone directions from the Forest Service: "Do you see
a mountain? A really big mountain? That's Mt.
Shasta. You want Mt. Lassen."
We love playing for weddings and this set a new standard for elegance,
good planning, sweetness, and comfort for all. Professional baseball
pitcher Adam Bernero (a home town Redding boy) and Katherine O'Hare
shared this very special weekend with family from
Ireland and a host of friends from throughout the United States. Irish
eyes were smiling as the lilt of Gaelic accents
filled the air. We found ourselves more than a wee bit carried along by
the buoyant happiness and affection shared by all. We
gave the bride and groom our own gift in song ("Take Me Out To The
Wedding") written just form them and joined in
chorus by all their well-wishers.
After we had stowed the sound gear and such we got to do what we rarely
get to do - just play some music - not a show - just our passion. We
settled into a little mezzanine above the reception hall and played the
night away. All the tunes we love from all the phases
of our lives and some by request of the bride and groom who cozied up
with us, snuggling backs to railings, so in
love, and creating such a wealth of sweetly cherished memories.
We were still playing when the last of the guests drifted off to their
rooms. It's not the first time the band has turned off the lights in an empty hall,
played one more tune, and gone off to slumber with the melodies of the
night still playing in our heads.
Morning breakfast was
wonderful communion with our new friends as they were overheard to ask
each other "Now would you be singing with the band
last night?" in their lovely lilts. After several fond
farewells, promises to stay in touch and thanks for lives that cross
paths, the band hit the road North and headed back to Oregon. What a
wonderful final adventure of the year before
going in the studio to record! (Review by Tom Tower)
October 14, 2006
There were 400 events listed
in the newspaper for this date. 93 of them were listed as musical
events. What a treat to look out from the stage and see that so many
folks had chosen to spend their evening with us! This was our first
concert with Dennis Nelson on board as our new tenor singing guitar
player. We discovered that not only is he a great musician, he's a very
funny guy! A note posted on a bluegrass listserve sums the event up
"What a great show Kathy
Boyd & Phoenix Rising performed on Saturday night in Mt Angel!!! Kathy's
very cool Eminence portable upright bass enables her to move even more
enthusiastically on stage. This delightful evening was filled with lots
of original songs. Tom Tower's song about Clatskanie, Kathy's hometown,
was of particular interest due to the town's annual summer bluegrass
festival. Tim Crosby's song about his grandmother's move to Colorado was
beautifully performed. And Dennis Nelson, who only has been with the
band a short 3 weeks, played and sung like he has been playing with the
band for a long time. If you get a chance to hear this energetic band,
do it...you definitely won't be disappointed. Hopefully, the band's
debut CD will be released in the Spring so everyone can hear their
music". ~ John Shafer
You just can't help but have
fun at this venue. Check it out at
We hope to be back soon!
September 22 - 24, 2006
One of the most beautiful
places in the state of Oregon is the site of the Tygh Valley Bluegrass
Festival. Producer Deb Holbrook got everything right, including the
incredible end-of-summer weather! We had a great time meeting new
people as we taught workshops and led the band scramble. Our Saturday
night show was a bittersweet performance with Tom O'Connor, who has
retired from the band to pursue his career as publisher of
Western RV News. Sunday we had a
riot of a time with special guest Alex Truax, and were pleased to be
able to introduce our new guitar player Dennis Nelson!
Special guest Alex Truax
channels "Elvis" on guitar. Kathy & Tom
teaching "Rhubarb Pie" to
the Dobro workshop students.
Our new lineup! (Dennis,
Kathy, Tim and Tom) Ya gotta love
those Check out the sign!
road side photo ops!
August 15, 2006
We are pleased that we are
going to have the opportunity to make some music with Alex Truax as he
sits in with us for a handful of performances. Alex is one of the
fastest rising stars in the Northwest bluegrass scene. Just as talented
on the guitar as he is on the banjo, he's just so darn fun to sing with
that we couldn't pass up the chance to share the stage with him. Catch
him at our Sunday performance at the
Tygh Valley Bluegrass Jamboree.
Tom and Alex do some banjo
dueling Kathy sits in with Alex and Sharing some
friend Eric as "City Council"
Tom plans his banjo attack
July 24, 2006
Tommy came through his
surgery with flying colors and is currently at home writing songs and
getting (literally) back on his feet.
Click here to
see read his "get well" messages sent by fans.
Click here to send a message of your own!
July 19, 2006
A group of dear friends came
together to celebrate banjo player Tom Tower as he prepares for hip
surgery on July 24th. Everyone was invited to autograph a shirt for him
to wear, and to trace their hands and write messages on a "healing
blanket". Tom plays percussion with a folk dancing troupe, and after
the leader taught us a dance she exclaimed that she had never led such a
beautiful dance. Not because the musicians could dance, but because
they could all sing while they were "attempting" to go through the
steps! The jammers closed out the venue, and Tommy went home feeling
quite loved and supported. Special thanks to Ian of
Equator Coffee for letting us
use his place of business for this event! Watch this site for news of a
monthly jam that may be starting there in the fall! If you would like
to send Tom Tower a message regarding his hip replacement,
click here. Thanks for your support of our dear friend!
Friends signed a
"healing blanket" Gifts and wishes went from the Equator
Coffee is a great place to
and special t-shirt for
Tom funny to the
serious jam and spend time with
July 15, 2006
We performed at a private
wedding in Newport, Oregon. What a beautiful weekend to spend at the
coast! We decided this was a fitting way to celebrate the anniversary
of the band as our first performance was at a wedding a year ago. There
were a ton of little ones there, who ran in circles and bounced up and
down on the dance floor all night. (Why does bluegrass have that effect
on children?). The grownups all joined in when we did an extended
version of "The Hokie Pokie". The groom had requested "Man of Constant"
sorrow, which Tom T re-wrote into "Man of Constant Fortune" with words
specific to the happy couple. The band autographed the beautifully
matted words and presented it as a wedding gift. The band performed a
tune (in Bb of course!) with the Scottish piper who had played at the
wedding ceremony. It was LOUD! Special thanks to Karl and Tracy for
inviting us to be a part of their special day. Here's wishing them both
a happy ever after!
ROAD TRIP! July 7 - 10,
We started out with a stop
at Cozmic Pizza in Eugene,
Oregon. What a fun and funky venue! Best pizza you've ever eaten! We
"opened" for a movie called "America: 100 Years From Freedom to
Fascism". Our biggest thrill was the folks who only caught a song or
two because they really came for the movie. . . . and ended up signing
up for our mailing list!
Spent the night in Roseburg,
where it was "Graffiti Days". Lots and lots of very cool cars! We got
to watch them parade off to wherever they were headed before leaving for
The Prospect Bluegrass Festival.
What a FUN festival! There
was a good sized crowd for this one day event. We performed two sets
and had a great time reconnecting with
The Earl Brothers from California. Saturday evening we did a set on
the front porch of the historic
Prospect Hotel (again, with the Earl Brothers) for the townspeople.
Ate too much wonderful food and had a great time.
Sunday Tim and Kathy snuck
out early to go feed the trout, only to discover that they were tromping
around on the wrong property! Luckily, no buckshot came their way and
they did finally find the pond. After a quick breakfast and a fond
farewell to our hosts Fred and Karen Wickman, we found a road to Klamath
Falls that none of us had ever been on before. Oregon really is a
We arrived in Klamath Falls,
Oregon and after checking into our hotel headed over the
The Ross Ragland Theater. WOW!
If one gig is worth a thousand practices, this was it. It's a beautiful
theater, run by a great group of very professional folks. The audience
was incredible, clapping along and laughing in all the right places from
the very start. Afterwards we got to meet several guests in the front
lobby. What a wonderful bunch of people support the arts in Southern
Ending the trip on the
highest note possible, we visited the Dynasty Restaurant that shared a
parking lot with the hotel they had put us up in. THE OWNER TOOK AWAY
OUR MENUS! They kept bringing dish after dish of amazing food from
their kitchen. . . . . stuff that wasn't even on the menu. Talk about
adventures in dining!
Day 4? We headed home and
talked about where we want to head next!
THANK YOU to everyone along
the way who made this such an amazing trip for us. We will never forget
any of you!
Tom and Kathy
grab a Tom T led the Prospect crowd in
a Sharing a laugh on stage at the
hitting the stage rousing bluegrass version
of beautiful Ross Ragland Theater
"The Hokie Pokie"
July 4, 2006
Best story from this gig?
When Tom Tower was gathering the children to do a bluegrass version of
"The Hokie Pokie". We decided we needed to get the adults involved too,
so Tom informed the crowd that "doing the Hokie Pokie has been
clinically proven to make you younger." A poor little 3 year old
immediately FROZE and refused to move for the rest of the song! If
dancing made her get younger she wasn't taking any chances! It was also
fun to recognize Keeper of the Flame Bill Gawlowski for his efforts in
bringing our music to Central Oregon. Thanks to Bill and everyone else
who are "Keepers of the Flame". We couldn't do this without you!
(Interested in joining? E-mail Kathy at
Bill and Cathi Gawlowski
were recognized for What a fun way
to spend Independence Day!
their outstanding service as
"Keepers of the Flame".
June 24, 2006
We had the honor of
performing the only bluegrass to be heard at the annual Packwood
American Music Festival. Packwood Washington is in
the Cascade mountain range on the slopes of Mt. Rainier. It's one of
the most beautiful places on earth! The
highlight of the festival (for us anyway) was when the Randy Oxford Band
needed an emergency fill-in bass player. Untuck
that bluegrass shirt, add sunglasses, and you have instant blues bass
player! Tim did a great job and we are now
forever bonded with Randy and his fabulous group of award winning
musicians (check out his website at
Tom captivates the audience.
Tim had a blast sitting in
Kathy takes Every band needs a "camp
cook". Tim's ours!
with Randy Oxford.
May 21, 2006
It was a hot and humid
Sunday in Keizer, Oregon when we stopped by to entertain at the annual
Keizer Iris Festival. We have to thank the crew at Uptown Music for not
only hiring us for to represent the genre of bluegrass at this event,
but for running the sound, providing the stage, and generally being just
a great crew to work with. We had a great time, but don't we always?
May 13, 2006
People kept filtering in to
the elegantly updated 100 year old church that is the Tualatin Heritage
Center with the latest news from the wreck on the highway: "Burning
Bus!" "Cars backed up to Salem!" "People just stopped and standing
outside their cars." We were on cell phones tracking the progress of our
bandmates from the south through the traffic mess. No human injuries,
but a high school band bus of instruments up in smoke. Here's a prayer
for the instruments. As each new member of the audience arrived the
relief and personal bonding continued to grow. By the time the two
southernmost members of the band finally arrived, the audience already
felt like first cousins at a family reunion.
An hour behind schedule but ready to make up for lost time, there was a
whoop and a holler and the first chords of Lonesome Mando Blues launched
the Kathy Boyd and Phoenix Rising show.
Through the music and the stories, improv observations like how
fortunate the audience had chairs certified comfortable for four hours
of city council use, the laughter, tears and sighs of our musical
emotional journey left no strangers by the time we said good bye with
Ain't Nobody Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone. Somehow it felt like the
historic photos surrounding us in the Heritage Center, photos which had
just been rescued from a dumpster the night before, set the tone for
honoring our traditions, sharing gratitude for these happy moments of
life, and looking forward to the chance to do it all again. That's our
music. That's our heritage.
Favorite quote from the audience: "We didn't know who you were and
thought fifteen dollars was a lot of money to ask. Now that we've heard
you, we would have spent a lot more!" (review of show by Tom
Special guest Alex
Truax and TomT. team Kathy and Tim having
way Tom O'Connor cuts loose with some hot
up for MORE
BANJO! too much
April 29, 2006
It was a glorious spring day
at Mt. Hood Meadows where we performed for hundreds of skiers all
afternoon. We had a wonderful time, were
incredibly impressed with the bluegrass knowledge of the listeners, and
had a great deal of fun announcing that even though
Rhonda Vincent may have the Martha White bus. . . we have the Black
Check out those heels in
the snow! There's nothing like playing outdoors in
the A section of the very enthusiastic audience
April 24, 2006
to read the article about us that appeared in this mornings edition of
The Oregonian. Special thanks to Rick Bella for interviewing us!
April 23, 2006
We were invited to film a
television special at the studios of the Tualatin Valley Cable TV
folks. What an experience! The one hour show will be aired all over
the Portland, Oregon area and if it turns out the way we hope we just
might have a DVD to sell! Special thanks to our emcee Mason Smith, our
hand picked audience members (it was a small studio), and to Dave Slay
our producer! We've already been invited to record a new show next
Just call him curious
Tommy! David F. Ashton III in the sound
booth Tim and Tom warm up in the glow of a
monitor (check out the flames!)
March 25, 2006
Check out Tim Crosby's
testimonial for Eastman Mandolins at
Next time you see him, be sure to ask him the HILARIOUS story about how
he ended up with his sponsorship package!
March 12, 2006
Rose City Park United
Methodist Church Loaves and Fishes Fundraiser
Approximately 80 people
turned out on this gray Oregon Spring day to enjoy some music while
raising money for the local Loaves and Fishes efforts. This was the
first time we tried out our new microphone configuration, and also
several new tunes. We had a wonderful time, and after the last song the
crowd made that sound that entertainers just live for. . Yup, they
Having too much fun while Tom O'Connor sings one.
January 8 - 9, 2006
River City Bluegrass
What a way to start the year! In the words of mandolin player Tim
Crosby, "HOW FUN WAS THAT"! The boys had the pleasure of hosting the
upper lobby jam on both Saturday and Sunday mornings. It turned out to
be a great way to meet folks and do some "bonding" with fellow bluegrass
enthusiasts. We played a set on the Cascade Stage Saturday afternoon to
an enthusiastic crowd, many of whom had not yet had the opportunity to
hear us perform. Special thanks to Chris and Chuck Palmer for extending
to us the invitation to be a part of this event! Check it out at
Rose & I had a great time at
the festival and we certainly had a blast "Jamming" with you all. Thanks
so much and it was nice to meet you, Keep on Pickin'. ~ Rose & Dave
It was great seeing you at
River City, I really liked the energy of the band, it looked like you
guys were psyched and having a lot of fun. And I heard your recording on
Uptown Bluegrass, I love
that song. Looks like Phoenix Rising is coming right along. ~ Doug W.
Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising-
I had never had a chance to see them play, and was very impressed. Lots
of energy, and great playing, and that little lady with her little
bass.... and her pink boots!! ~ Chip R.
All of that plus my first
opportunity to see Kathy and Phoenix Rising for the first time really
helped make the festival for me. ~ Jim K.
A cheezy moment on
The "official" lobby jam!
Kathy dances with Kathy got to sing on the
James King main stage with Rhonda!
Click here to read about other years!