Website designed and maintained by
Photos and Fun Stuff 2009
It was a night for a "boys make good and come home" celebration as all three of the gents in the band hail from the Salem, Oregon area. Our evening at The Grand Theater began with a photo shoot for the cover of the new CD (due out March 2010) and ended with an impromptu engagement party for Tim's daughter and her brand new fiancé. In between it was an absolute joy to share both new music and beloved favorites with the enthusiastic hometown crowd who braved the weather to join us. We especially appreciated seeing so many veterans in our audience. We are humbled by your sacrifices and were honored by your presence. The Grand is an absolutely magnificent venue and we encourage you to visit it often for their various events!
Tim's daughter Claire and her brand new fiancé accept The wonderful and enthusiastic crowd made this show a joy! Kathy enjoyed getting to show off Tom and a couple of young fans
congratulations at the mercantile table.
her new dress.
September 25 - 27th
What a privilege and honor to have been invited to perform at the 10th anniversary of the Tygh Valley Bluegrass Festival! It was an absolute treat for the band to actually stay in one spot for three days and have the opportunity to visit with people, hang out and relax. In addition to our stage duties we taught workshops, led the band scramble and presented the annual slow jam. . . . which just gets bigger and better every year! We traveled to the festival with photographer Cleve Friedman, who proved to be an interesting and able conversationalist, and camped next door to emcee George McKnight, who is a wonderful "after hours" host. The audience was appreciative and it was great fun to see folks running around in their KBPR baseball caps. There were heartwarming moments, lots of laughter and the feel of a "family reunion" throughout the entire weekend. It was the best way possible to wrap up the summer festival season! Special thanks to Steve and Marilyn Fine for watching over our mercantile all weekend and to George McKnight for the pictures!
Leading the annual slow jam is always great fun We are so proud of our slow jammers and all they learned! Our Saturday night show was high energy
excitement for the festival guests
We previewed our upcoming gospel We love meeting people at the mercantile table! How many men does it take to jump start the banjo
CD to the delight of the crowd players van? All of them apparently!
Who would have ever guessed how much fun going back to school could be? We inaugurated the University of Portland's lunch time concert series. We discovered their beautiful, acoustic dream of a recital hall with more baffles than most recording studios, spacious stage, dream of a sound system ( though it was hardly necessary) and the happiest, keenest listening, and most enthusiastic audience of musicians, singers, budding composers and staff members we have ever met. They laughed at punch lines we didn't know we had, they danced in their seats, and they absolutely ROARED their approval of everything the band did. From the laughter of Bigfoot Jubilee to the tears of Dennis's heartfelt My Little Brother to the swingin' double-entendres of Kathy's Rhubarb Pie, we shared a musical and emotional journey with our new friends at UP. Special thanks to Kathy's sister Shannon Ryan (a UP alumna) for running the mercantile after the show so we could have an opportunity to visit with our new fans!
What a wonderful venue to perform in! Soundman Mark takes a break behind the We had just as much fun as the audience did! Bass players come
mercantile table in all sizes! This gent
plays in the UP orchestra.
When we were invited to provide the music for a BBQ and Bluegrass benefit for The Children's Relief Nursery we knew it would be fun (we ALWAYS have fun!) but had no idea what a beautiful location Elk Grove Vineyards was. It is absolutely breathtaking! The Roosevelt Room was specifically designed for acoustic events and the food was delicious. Tom once again turned on the charm and got folks involved in "The Hokey Pokey" and a "Virginia Reel" to work off their dinner. We had the opportunity to sit with the guests when it was our turn to eat and enjoyed their stories and getting to know the kind of people who support such a worthy cause (would you believe Kathy's husband and one of the folks at our table were both on the island of Truk in 1968? Have you ever even HEARD of Truk?). The band had such a good time that we continued to play until the clean-up crew was ready to go home!
The view from where we played. That's A LOT of grapes! It was a night of laid back fun for the band. Looking a different direction from our performance room.
Some weddings are small, intimate and private. Some are family affairs. Michael and Stephanie's was a celebration for an entire community. We had the privilege of joining the wedding party on the fourth day of their ceremony and even then, they were the dancingest, spontaniest, gratefullist folks we've had the joy to see. They are dedicated to green, sustainable, organic and vegan alternatives to the corporate food machine and ethically committed to worldwide food justice (www.eatyouryard.com). We enjoyed their cornucopia of fresh picked buffet treats including a green kale smoothie and raw vegan wedding cake. They are putting their community and spiritual values to work in a business called Eat Your Yard that assists urban dwellers in starting gardens and getting veggie patches growing where parkways once hosted only yellowed grass. The entire wedding party sang along with the "Rutabaga Boogie" we wrote just for the happy couple based on the sweet notes they had written about each other. Tom called a spirited Virginia Reel and the wedding party clogged, whooped, spun, twirled, and do-si-doed for an hour till everyone had their turn to "sashay down". As we packed and loaded our gear the drum circle was just starting up to drive the party on till dawn. What a treat for the band to have the opportunity to be a part of such a "grass roots" celebration!
This crowd LOVED to dance! Family and friends shared their talents. Tom was in his element all night long! We had just as much fun as the guests.
What a gorgeous day to travel to the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem to help celebrate Oregon's 150th birthday. It was one of those performances where it all comes together. . . the stage was wonderful, the sound was phenomenal, the audience was in the mood to party, and the band just had a marvelous time! We swapped stage time with Bob Manning & the Honky Tonk Roadshow. . . . and immediately became fans! Bluegrass and Western Swing make one outstanding combination as the folks who hung out at The Spirit of Oregon Stage found out. Of course, no trip to the fair is complete without eating the kind of food you just can't get anywhere else, so we ended the day with a trip through the food court. Special thanks to all the folks who worked so hard to throw this amazing birthday party. . . and decided to make Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising a part of it!
Beautiful weather, wonderful stage, great sound and an audience ready to party made our job easy and fun!
We found ourselves smack dab in the middle of the annual Nike Hood-to-Coast Relay as we made our way to The Huckleberry Music Festival located at Mt. Hood Village near Welches, Oregon. It was pretty amazing to watch the 12,000 folks who signed up to run 197 miles from Mt. Hood to Seaside. We had a great time enjoying the buffalo and elk burgers, the multitudes of vendors, and oh that evening crowd! Their enthusiasm was every musicians dream! Highlights of the day included members of the fan club showing up in "Tom Tower African Apparel", a reunion with singer-songwriter Tony Graham and the lady who called her Dad on her cell phone just so he could hear "Rhubarb Pie" live!
Pre-show clowning around Billie and Robert show off their "Tom Tower attire Even Dennis got into the African brother look! Hittin' those harmony notes
The first annual Santiam Canyon Gospel Bluegrass Festival was an afternoon and evening of great music, reconnecting with friends, and a glimpse of just how this event is going to be a wonderful addition to everyone's bluegrass summer calendars. The band hadn't seen each other in a few weeks, so our day began with an extremely high-energy practice. After grabbing a quick lunch, off we went in search of the town of Mehama, Oregon. After only two wrong turns, we arrived just in time for Tim to teach a fiddle workshop while the rest of us set up the mercantile and greeted our friends from The Kate White Band and Dewgrass along with our host Darrell Gulstrom. What a treat to get to meet the gang from Simple Gifts along with several audience members who had never seen us before. Highlights of the day were the opportunity to be the backup band for emcee Mason Smith as he sang "The Rocket" and an amazing finale where the entire audience came and stood in front of the stage and sang along!
Sunshine and good times on a lovely August day in the Santiam Canyon outside Mehama, Oregon. Dennis sings harmony to
emcee Mason Smith.
Even with the extreme temperatures in the state of Oregon, record crowds showed up for the 2009 Newberg Old Fashion Festival. The shade provided by the huge trees in Memorial Park made for a pleasant Sunday setting to enjoy good music. The day started off with our friend Charles Patton. . . . it's almost becoming a tradition for his upbeat gospel rock sounds to proceed us at this festival on Sundays! Even with onstage sound issues and Tom's "Sweet Dark Angel" finally saying ENOUGH to the crazy heat fluctuations our instruments have been through lately we had a wonderful time and enjoyed getting to visit with our host Jon Holt and the various crowd members who came to chat with us. This is one of the loveliest festivals around and we were honored to have been invited back for a second year appearance!
Charles Patton get the crowd going The best part about Memorial Park. . . the shady stage! Dennis cools off between sets What a wonderfully responsive crowd!
July 20th (just for fun...the road home)
It was time to head home from our "State of Jefferson" tour and what better way to celebrate our success than by taking a day to be tourists! We took some time to visit beautiful Crater Lake, had a roadside picnic somewhere along the back roads of Oregon, and generally just took the day to relax and be ourselves. Best moment of the day? A group of tourists asked Tom to take their photo on the wall at Crater Lake. Tom IMMEDIATELY went into a Russian persona, and never broke character (the rest of the band just stayed out of his way!). We could all imagine those ladies getting back on the bus and spending the next several hours discussing just where that nice man was from!
Tom orchestrates a photo op for a group of tourists at Crater Lake Kathy and Dennis just hanging our and relaxing Roadside lunch Tom and Mark (our soundman) chased an
ice cream truck through the streets of
Keizer for a final treat of the tour
Sunday found us scooting across California's beautiful Siskiyou County on our way to Klamath Falls, Oregon for an afternoon show benefiting the Klamath Basin Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. The concert took place in the acoustically phenomenal BBC Auditorium and was attended by the type of crowd that bands dream about (they REALLY listened and were not shy about showing their appreciation!). No one really wanted to leave the air conditioned space after the show, so we're pretty sure we had the opportunity to chat with everyone in attendance. Afterwards it was off to the local microbrewery for dinner with our hosts and dear friends Ben and Fran Coker and THEN. . . . . . we were hosted for the evening at the Crater Lake Bed and Breakfast in Fort Klamath, Oregon. Wow! We jammed on the porch with the Coker's until the insects drove us inside, then jammed away for many hours more. The next morning we were treated to a breakfast fit for royalty and had the opportunity to get to know fellow guests Bob and Gerri Jensen (who were on their honeymoon!).
What a beautiful place to play! At dinner with hosts Ben and Fran Coker Check out that pickin' porch! With B&B host Janet McNeil
Saturday found us in the wonderfully shady city park of Etna, California for the Scott Valley Bluegrass Festival. Wow! What amazing bands! What fabulous work by their volunteer committee! What an outstanding turnout! It was great fun to meet new folks and reconnect with old and dear friends. We had as much fun watching the other bands as we did performing. It was an amazing day of great talent where each band was very different from the others. It was an eclectic mix that offered something for everyone, and the crowd ate it up (we had an encore at 10:00 in the morning!) Special thanks to Betty Stealman for watching over our mercantile all day and to Charlie from Sawmill Road for the strawberries! We hated to leave this one. . . . . but had to head off for our next engagement. (THANK YOU Chuck Nelson for the photos!)
Dennis plays some serious guitar Great stage, great audience, great day! Our original songs were very well received
Friday night found us in Klamath River, California where the temperature was hovering at 108 degrees! This show was a real treat as it was an appreciation dinner and fundraising event for the Klamath River Fire Department. (Talk about a group that deserved to have "Burning Down the House" dedicated to them!) It was so much fun meeting everyone, letting them feed us way too much, and having the opportunity to sit with a group of teenagers after the show and watch the hordes of bats fly out of the attic to eat the insects while we visited. Our hosts for the night were Gene and Cynthia Bach, who make a habit of housing wayward bands as they pass through the Yreka, California area.
Smiling in the heat wave! Everyone was so warm and friendly. High energy entertainment for an appreciative
It was a treat to get to hear their stories. audience.
First stop on our "State of Jefferson Tour 2009" was a blast from the past for Kathy as we performed in the beautiful band shell at the city park in Myrtle Creek, Oregon as part of their Summer Concerts in the Park series. For many years this was the site of the Myrtle Creek Bluegrass Festival, where Kathy both performed and emceed. Special thanks to the Roseburg Chapter of the Oregon Bluegrass Association for manning our booth (yea Liz!) and for coming out to hear us. Our hosts for the night were Mark Nelson and Annie Dempsey. Their home is an absolute "candy store" for musicians, with something unique and interesting to make music with in every corner!
What a wonderful stage to perform on! Sandy Hails from the Roseburg OBA chapter enjoys We love chatting with folks at the mercantile!
the music with her son.
Sternwheeler Days in Cascade Locks, Oregon was, by band vote, one of the the top three beautiful scenes we’ve played to. The audience was absolutely terrific. They listened and sang along (which means they have put in homework hours since almost all our songs are originals). We had many surprise visits from folks we have met along our travels or who have discovered us on line or on air. As we were setting up one of the voters in the “Name Tom’s Banjo” contest approached to let us know she had voted for “Dark Angel” and wanted to give Tom’s banjo a closer inspection. At times we felt like we were in the middle of an HO railroad layout with trains heading East behind us and West on the Washington side of the river. The cannon and mortar fire from the rendezvous encampment was hilarious as it punctuated our legendary firecracker introductions. The steamboats were beautiful and continually full of waving passengers enjoying the music as they traveled past the stage. The was an amazing assortment of vendor booths and food galore, and soundman Ken from Jacobs Productions not only did a great job but he was so incredibly nice and fun to be around! We hope everyone takes in this wonderful community celebration next year. It is a treasure.
What an honor to have been asked to be the very first band EVER to perform at the beautiful Keizer Rotary Amphitheater located at Keizer Rapids Park in Keizer, Oregon. Also performing were Joe Stoddard and The Beach Beatles, which made it a wonderfully eclectic day of musical genres. It was HOT, so the wonderfully appreciative crowd stuck to the shady areas. . . and the beer tent was the most popular location of the day! Special thanks to The Keizer Times for their interview with Dennis, and to Cindy Crosby for the pictures!
Acoustic music is really meant to be heard outside in the sunshine!
We've got a new logo! Hats, bumper stickers and other mercantile coming soon!
The Old Liberty Theater in Ridgefield, Washington is a wonderful venue owned and operated by Don and Earleen Grizwold (who just happen to be two of the nicest folks you'll ever meet!). It was a fun night full of reunions and new friends to meet, and some extra delights such as the light show and the adventure of having the entire town go black while we were packing up to head home (when the lights go down in Ridgefield - they really go down!). We were treated so well and had such a fabulous time. . . . we hope to be back again soon!
Warming up in the green room - which is actually underneath this wonderful stage!
Gorgeous night! Beautiful weather! A listener's audience who greatly appreciated the story behind the lyrics and unexpected laugh lines in the comments. One of our friends who was rumored to not care for bluegrass (and had not come to a show previously) loved it! ("Its just like Greek music but in English!") Kathy pulled the stops and filled the trough with prizes for ticket holders (two tickets for Tualatin residents!) - KBPR CD release commemorative mugs, mouse pads, DVDs and CDs. Folks were hauling their loot out by the bag. Our special musical guest, Eric Walsh, layed down his deep blues groove on the classic Flatt and Scruggs "Got to Do My Time",Tom's "Flying Bear Breakdown" and "I Just Saw Her Face" with his finger picking Piedmont riffs. Hosting the show as emcee was Eric Cole - the DJ from Oregon Territory Bluegrass on World Wide Bluegrass. He brought in the band with an accolade of tales and compliments that set the bar high. It was a delight to play to so many broadly smiling faces and tapping toes, often singing along with our originals - the 'stories never told' set to music.
wonderful job Walsh can really
introducing us! pick that guitar!
There are magical moments in life that become legend in the collective memory of all who were present. The April 4th Emerald Valley Opry in Eugene, Oregon was one of those amazingly hypnotic evenings that touched souls, cemented friendships, and left both the audience and the band thinking, "Wow. What exactly just happened?". The folks who put on the Emerald Valley Opry are some of the nicest people you'll find anywhere. Many of them are members of the "house band" that opens the Opry each month. The sound is excellent, the venue is gorgeous, and the backstage scene is both heartwarming and fun (Oh what wonderful stories get shared!). This Bi-Mart sponsored event is a monthly fund-raiser for the Bethel School music program, so on top of everything else the proceeds all support a good cause. A special thank you to everyone who took the time to visit with us after the show and to Mark and Houston, who take on such a huge portion of the detail work these days.
Kathy enjoys some What a wonderful stage! The audience was wonderfully With members of the Willamette
Floyd Cramer style interactive and fun High School Jazz Band
Cartwrights Music Concert Series and Art Gone Wild in Stayton, Oregon hosted our first CD release party. . . and oh what a party it was! It was a full house with a very enthusiastic audience, many of whom spent the night singing along to songs off our first CD "Burning Down the House". There were several prize drawings, AMAZING cookies and we could not have asked for a better reception of the music off our new CD "stories never told". Both the Stayton and Salem cable access stations showed up to film the event, and the Statesman Journal gave us such good coverage. . . we couldn't be happier! It was the debut of Tom's new banjo (we'll be having a contest soon to name it) and our new thermal photo mugs - both of which were huge hits. Special thanks to Houston Riggs for the pictures and for manning the mercantile for us. Extra special thanks to all who came to make this such a memorable event!
There's nothing like an intimate room to Tom was in rare form and outstanding It was fun to be on stage again after many
make the music personal. storyteller mode. months in the studio!
January 9 - 11th
We spent the weekend at the 5th Annual RiverCity Bluegrass Festival and did we ever have a wonderful time! The guys were the official jam hosts for the weekend. Their job was to keep the music rolling as people walked in the door of the Oregon Convention Center. It became a family reunion of sorts as we realized that the same folks look forward to these sessions every year. Several promoters and disc jockeys joined the fun each day, and one visitor even confessed they took more "smoke breaks" just so they had an excuse to hear the sounds coming out of that particular jam! Kathy was pretty much everywhere all weekend. . . . hosting the Cascade Stage, delivering her bass to various entertainers and even making a special appearance with The Jim Kweskin Jug Band! Special thanks to Stew Dodge Sound for playing our new CD during the band changeovers in the lobby and to the RiverCity festival itself for having us be so involved in this festival each year.
Kim has come to the official It's always fun to jam with old friends Kathy introduces Seattle's
jam every year for 5 years! while welcoming new ones Runaway Train
Eric Cole of the WWB won our latest Kathy backstage Kathy's appearance as Miss Helium
StreetTeam contest (yes that really is Kathy!) with The Jim Kweskin Jug Band
brought down the house!
Unfortunately, two of our favorite events happened on the same weekend this year. Tim and Dennis were able to stop by the Oregon Fairs Association Annual Convention in Salem, Oregon on Thursday night to do a meet-and-greet with the various fair boards and to renew friendships with fellow entertainers. We didn't get any photos, but did get a lot of business done. We hope to see you at a fair or two this summer!
Send mail to
questions or comments about this web site.