By Ossie Bladine • Editor • 

Summer sounds

Nate Travers photoGuitarist and singer-songwriter Ben Rice performs with his brother, Tommy, on bass at a 2011 Tunes on Tuesday concert. They’ll return to the Newberg stage on Aug. 20.
Nate Travers photo
Guitarist and singer-songwriter Ben Rice performs with his brother, Tommy, on bass at a 2011 Tunes on Tuesday concert. They’ll return to the Newberg stage on Aug. 20.

For the next few months, live music won’t be just a Friday or Saturday evening affair. Summertime offers a slew of outdoor series and festivals throughout the week.

Kicking off the season on Thursday will be the Brown Bag Summer Concert Series.

For 20 years, the McMinnville Downtown Association has welcomed locals to the US Bank Plaza at Third and Davis streets for some live entertainment with their lunch. As has become tradition, pianist Michael Allen Harrison will open the series with a performance at First Baptist Church, 125 S.E. Cowls St. Local pianist and composer Mike Strickland will give the final show on Aug. 22 at the church. 

Between those bookends is a lineup featuring something a little different each week in the plaza, with just about every genre other than heavy metal represented — maybe next year. All shows are from noon to 1:30 p.m. The line-up includes:

  • June 13: Michael Allen Harrison. Concert piano.
  • June 20: The Jake Blair Band. McMinnville’s favorite local blues and rock guitar slinger.
  • June 27: David Correa and Cascada. Latin guitar and world fusion from the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • July 11: Sean Flinn & The Royal We. Somewhere between roots rock and chamber pop, the band was named by Paste Magazine last fall as one of 10 Oregon bands you should listen to now.
  • July 18: David Cooley Band. “Swingin’ hearts and rockin’ souls ” entertainment; dancing encouraged.
  • July 25: Roundhouse. Northwest bluegrass and harmonies spanning multiple genres.
  • Aug. 1: Columbia Classic Jazz Band, led by Portland musician Wayne Travillion.
  • Aug. 8: JT and the Tourists. Original pop-rock crafted after the greats of the 1960s.
  • Aug. 15: Sky Bound Blue. McMinnville Americana duo Jenny and Matt Behnke.
  • Aug. 22: Mike Strickland. Pop, jazz, boogie and more on the piano.


Twenty years is a good stretch, but the Brown Bags aren’t the longest running music series in town. That honor goes to the McMinnville Parks & Recreation Department’s Annual Summer Concert Series, now in its 29th year. 

Shows are held at the corner of Linfield Avenue and Founder’s Way on the Linfield College campus at 7 p.m. The rock-centric lineup for 2013 is:

  • July 9: Petty Fever. The “premiere” Tom Petty tribute act? You be the judge. 
  • July 16: Lisa Mann & The Really Good Band. Powerhouse bassist and blues vocalist.
  • July 30: Toque Libre. Pop fusion of flamenco rumba and Afro-Cuban traditions.
  • Aug. 6: Radical Revolution. Call “867-5309” and spin this ’80s revival act “right ’round, baby, right ’round, like a record, baby.”
  • Aug. 13: Rich Layton & The Troublemakers. Texas-born frontman and his high-octane honky tonk band. 


In Newberg, the Tunes on Tuesday is younger than its McMinnville counterparts but has quickly become popular. An after-work affair, the series features several well-known regional acts on the schedule.

The concerts are held at 6 p.m. at Rotary Centennial Park, 415 E. Sheridan St., behind the Chehalem Valley Cultural Center.

  • July 9: Patrick Lamb. Renowned Oregon saxophone player mixing funk, soul, R&B and jazz.
  • July 16: Jack Quinby. Big band swing from Sinatra to Setzer.
  • July 23: Lisa Mann & The Really Good Band.
  • July 30: Shanghai Woolies. Hot jazz a la the Roaring ’20s.
  • Aug. 6: Ty Curtis. Blues young gun.
  • Aug. 13: Pagan Jug Band. Modern Cajun flare with folk and roots flavor.
  • Aug. 20: Ben Rice. Traveling blues by a hot rod guitar player.
  • Aug. 27: Hit Machine. Retro cover band. Break out the spandex.

All concerts in the above series are free. From my recent experience booking music for The Walnut City Music Festival (Saturday, Aug. 10; more details coming soon), I know bands don’t come cheap. So when you are enjoying the live music locally, take note of the sponsors who make it happen.

Contact Ossie Bladine at

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