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Fort Lean returns, folk royalty puts on show

Ossie Bladine/taken with iPhone
Ossie Bladine/taken with iPhone
Ossie Bladine/taken with iPhone
Ossie Bladine/taken with iPhone
Ossie Bladine/taken with iPhone
Ossie Bladine/taken with iPhone
Anaïs Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer perform on March 24, 2013, at the Wildwood Hotel in Willamina, Oregon.

Mar 28, 2013 | has video

(Ossie Bladine /News Editor) The Weekend Tempo is posted on the homepage, guiding locals to this weekend's entertainment offerings. Before looking ahead, however, here's a short reflection on a couple of shows from the last week.

On Sunday, Anais Mitchell (dubbed by some as the modern queen of folk) and Jefferson Hamer performed their enchanting set to a packed Wildwood Hotel. The video above is of a song off the duet's latest project, "Child Ballads."

Jeffrey Martin of Eugene and Frank Fairfield of Los Angeles opened the evening's celebration of folk music. Fairfield was a sight to be seen himself. Check out a video on his Facebook page for a taste of his unique, hollerin', old time charisma.

Just before leaving the venue, I managed to stop Jefferson Hamer to let him know, "Hey, you look like me." Unfortunately, he had recently shaved and I hadn't, so the resemblance was a bit off for the show. But compare this mug shot to the Hamer in the video. 

The next day, I joined many friends and family members of Sheridan-native Keenan Mitchell. Mitchell's New York-based band Fort Lean played at the Wonder Ballroom in Portland. Fort Lean is on its first West Coast tour, supporting indie rock band Guards and Welsh alternative band The Joy Formidable. The band made an impromptu trip last fall to play two gigs for MusicFestNW.

The band got into the county late Sunday night and was able to catch the end of Mitchell and Hamer's set. On Monday, the group was taken out by Willamina mayor and friend of Mitchell, Corey Adams, for some target practice. After spending hours shooting shotgun shells, Adams later had this to say: "These guys are all really good at playing instruments, and that's a good thing, because they're all terrible shots."

You can listen to a free stream of Fort Lean's two EPs on its bandcamp page.

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