By Ossie Bladine • Editor • 

A round for the songwriters

The holidays are officially in the rearview mirror and it’s time to resume some regularly scheduled entertainment.

There is plenty of good music on the horizon, including the gathering of three talented songwriters playing an intimate setting.

The Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg will put another feather in its cap next Saturday, Jan. 19, with the Red Hills Songwriters in the Round. The show was booked by local artist, musician and cultural center supporter Gil Reynolds.

“Songwriters in the round” concerts are held at venues across the country. They’re a casual and friendly showcase for a handful of artists performing together.

“There’s a certain magical quality you get from that intimacy,” Reynolds said. “It’s connecting a need to what I saw was a desirable performance opportunity.”

Reynolds has hosted a couple of similar shows at his Newberg glassblowing and recording studio. He worked on and attended several “in the round” shows while serving on the board of the Portland Songwriters Association, and at the time noted there was nothing like it in Yamhill County. The upcoming cultural center gig is another opportunity to fill that void.

When putting together the lineup, Reynolds turned to Dan Weber, a Vancouver, Wash.-based songwriter originally from upstate New York. He’s earned a slew of awards and accolades in songwriter competitions and at festivals. (Look up the music video “Hank and Jesus” by Weber on YouTube.) Reynolds met Weber through the songwriters association.

“I fell in love with one of his songs, ‘Take the Central Georgia Home,’ and recorded it and put it on an album,” Reynolds said. “To me, he’s one of the best songwriters around. I was just trying to create an opportunity for he and I to perform together.”

Weber recommended Jeffery Martin, an established artist in his own right, to fill out the concert’s bill. The Eugene-based singer-songwriter performed at Lincoln Center in New York City in October as one of 12 finalists in the Mountain Stage NewSong contest. Martin also holds the distinction of first act to ever play the Wildwood Music Festival, as he kicked off the inaugural event last July in Willamina.

The Red Hills Songwriters in the Round show will start at 7 p.m. on the cultural center’s Central Stage. The venue holds only 50 to 60 people, so Reynolds recommends buying tickets now, as the local buzz has him believing it will sell out before showtime. Cost is $15 for center members and$20 for nonmembers. To buy tickets, go to or call 503-487-6883.

Speaking of things to look up on YouTube, search for the two videos of McDougall’s performance at the Wildwood Music Festival. The Portland-based one man folk-rock/bluegrass machine is always good, but he put a little something special into that set. (There’s also some classy hippie dancing by yours truly captured in one of the videos. I also played lead hand claps.)

McDougall returns to the Wildwood Hotel in Willamina this Saturday, Jan. 12, for a free show. The man is simply a wonder to watch, listen and dance to.

Kevin Andrews will open for McDougall. Music starts at 8:30 p.m. Visit the hotel’s Facebook page or call 503-876-7100 for more information.

Contact Ossie Bladine at


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