Monday, September 5, 2016

special events

Fall is here! Happened for me the other day, just like turning a switch: big maple leaf drop, new smells in the air. A fresh page turn to a new chapter. Lots going on:

THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED is the title of Dick Weissman's new memoir of his life in music. Student, session player, label deal folk group member (the Journeymen with Scott McKenzie & John Phillips), composer of songs, film scores and everything else, educator, author of twenty books and MUSICIAN, with a new album called "Night Skies," Dick Weissman will be in town this week. It'll be part book talk, part storytelling, part music and it's all happening this Friday, Sept. 9th at 7 PM at the Foundry, Sam Bond's Brewing Company, 540 E 8th Ave in Eugene (97401). This is a one-of -a-kind evening. Admission by donation. And great beer & food available.


Thursday, Sept 22nd at 7 PM, I'll be at TERRITORIAL VINEYARDS, (3rd & Adams in Eugene). Solo, but well armed, singing and playing whatever comes into my head: folk songs old and new, instrumental music, my own songs, material from the American Roots concerts past. Multiple guitars, banjo and surprises.

Saturday, Sept, 24th at 6:30 PM: The FIRST annual LABOR MUSIC FESTIVAL at the Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High Street, Eugene. It's called Music for a Better World: a Labor Music Showcase and it celebrates the Solidarity that music has been and the inspiration that it can be. George Mann, Mark Ross, Chico Schwall, the ValE 4, Monday Morning Denial AND…the Raging Grannies! All ages, sliding scale. Inspiration guaranteed.

Friday, Oct 7th at 7 PM: Chico Schwall and Friends (aka Kells Bells) play Irish music at the Foundry.  Can't wait.

Saturday, Oct 8th in solidarity with musicians on two continents rejoin with others for the second WE SHALL OVERCOME weekend at the Tamarac Center in south Eugene. Originating in the UK, the idea that social change musicians should do simultaneous shows as though we were all singing together. Details at and on Facebook. A RAISED FIST AND A HELPING HAND.

Feel free to share widely.

Hope to see you soon. Meanwhile, take care.

Chico Schwall

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Sumer is a-cumin in news from Chico Schwall

Happy Summer!

Weather's good and I'm getting out  to play.

Yachats Farmstore. I'll be joined by Wendy Washboard Warrior Princess (who also plays guitar, uke & harmonica) for a diverse evening of folk music from everywhere.

Thursday, July 7th at 7PM (that's 7/7@7) at Territorial Vineyards. No band, no Gang, just me playing a raft of instruments and singing whatever comes into my head. Do come down for a show that's free, unique & interactive.

Saturday, July 9th at Noon, I'll be at the Oregon Country Fair, singing and playing at the Still Living Room, just to show I'm still living.

Thursday,  July 28th at 6 PM, The Low Tide Drifters at Whirled Pies. After drifting around the coast & the Valley we're back in Eugene. All ages, fam friendly, no cover (donations accepted). Pizza, beer and revolution for the Whole Family.

Friday, July 29th, Kells Bells (Chico, Ben & Rachael) RETURN to the Foundry (Sam Bond's Brewing Company) for an evening of Irish music & song.

Sunday, July 31st at Noon, 2 Rivers Morris will dance out as past of Sunday Streets. Bring your skates!

Friday, August 12th at 7:30PM at Tsunami Books. The Return of the Marxist Brothers! Marco, Chico and Anarcho (Mark Ross, Andy Cohen and myself) will revive the mayhem we toured the NW with a couple of years back. This doesn't happen every day and even we don't know  what will ensue.

Hope all's well with you and that our arcs intersect soon.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Blossom time

Dear Friends,

Spring is with us and new life is all around. I'm getting out a bit and I'd love to see you. Check out the cool & unique events…

TONIGHT! Thursday, April 14 at 7 pm Chico Schwall & Friends, a.k.a KELLS BELLS playing Irish music at Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co. Nice atmosphere, nice cover, yummy wine and Excellent Irish music.

Saturday, April 16 at 11 am Uncle Chico's all-ages ‪#‎Americana‬ Sing-Along atEugene Saturday Market. Come on down and sing & dance. Tutu's and Fairy wings optional.
SAME DAY! Saturday, April 16 at 2 pm I'll be back with Kells Bells on the market stage. AND a caller and some dancers will convene to create a contra dance right there at Eugene's Saturday Market. Dances taught; no partner necessary.
Wednesday, May 4 at 7:30 at the The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts. The next Chico Schwall's American Roots program is a special one: "Hillbilly Blues and the Birth of Rock and Roll." Along with Alli Bach, Matthew Trederand Mark Schneider. I'll explore the music of Memphis Minnie, Frank Hutchinson, Louis Jordan, Jimmie Rodgers, Howlin' Wolf and others and how it has shaped our cultural landscape. It'll be a rocking' evening and, as always, a totally unique show you won't hear anywhere else.

Happy Spring!
Chico Schwall

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Something Special Wednesday 3/9

Dear Friends,

Thank you all for your understanding of recent events. It's a long road ahead and I appreciate your understanding.

I'll be re-entering the world outside with a concert this Wednesday, March 9 at the The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts. It's all music from the Harry Smith Archives Anthology of American Folk Music. I have wonderful collaborators, exciting arrangements and the best material one could ask for. I get chills at practice.

Music and technology are intertwined, as they always have been. Two major technological waves have shaped American music in our time. In the 1920's commercial recording began.It really took off with the invention and adoption of the dynamic microphone. Scads of American music was recorded for commercial release on 78 RPM records in the twenties and thirties. Suddenly the music of Blind Lemon Jefferson, who lived in Texas, and Georgia fiddle players could be heard far from their local communities, and it was. In 1952 Harry Smith, an experimental film maker and audio archivist put out a three volume anthology of that music, sorted and annotated as only he could, on LP records, introducing a whole new generation to this heritage music. It was all here: Mississippi John Hurt, theCarter Family, sanctified singers, Charlie Poole, Uncle Dave Macon, and it provided the template for the folk music revival in the U.S. Dave Van Ronksaid, " The Anthology was our Bible. We knew every word of every song on it." People like John Sebastian, Mike Seeger, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylanfeasted on this rich banquet.

I couldn't ask for better collaborators. Alli Bach sings everything from Child Ballads to Strayhorn (both here at the Shedd). She has been a part of several American Roots shows, and tours with the Zappa tribute outfitPojama People. Billy Barnett presides over Gung Ho! studio, recording and producing a lot of great music and plays guitar with Mood Area 52. Jim Caudle is a long time fiddle model for me and has played thousands of jams and square dances over decades. You'll hear about the Old Lady and the Devil, John the Revelator, murder ballads, jug band blues, the stories of Casey Jones, Frankie & Albert, and get a taste of our shared American heritage. It's a one-off: be there or wonder why you weren't.

Hope you can make it; I'll be glad to see you.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Music in the New Year

Happy New Year! (It's still pretty new)

Tomorrow is February's First Friday and downtown will be hopping with galleries, Morris Dancers on the street and all the local color you could want. At New Zone the featured artist is my dear friend PATTI LOMONT. Widely known for her fused glass work, she also is doing sculpture and ceramics and she'll have new work to share. And in the front gallery I will be holding forth instrumentally, on guitar, sea-foam green mandola and electric 5 string banjo.  Fall by if you can.

On Thursday,  February 25th I'll be joined by Ben and Rachael Young for some Irish music at Territorial Vineyards (3rd & Adams in Eugene) starting at 7 PM.

And on Wednesday, March 9th, I'll be back at the Shedd for the latest Installment of Chico Schwall's American Roots. This one is called "Sail Away, Ladies: the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music." Avant grade film maker, audio archivist and cultural provocateur Harry Smith created the first 'bootleg' recording, putting out three volumes of re-issued 78 rpm recordings and provided the basis of the folk revival. If that sounds dry, think "Sail Away, Ladies, "House Carpenter," "Wagoner's Lad," Staggerlee," "Minglewood Blues," "Frankie," … you get the idea. New spins on classic Americana, in special arrangements with special guests.

Hope all's well with you. Treasure the ones you love.
Chico Schwall

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Turning leaves -- and John Lilly in Eugene!

Dear Friends,

Well, the worm has turned. Leaves are falling and all that outdoor work I should do has acquired a deadline. 

Something special is coming up in September. West Virginia singer, guitarist, Honky Tonk scholar and ace songwriter John Lilly will be in Eugene on a very busy tour through Idaho, Washington and Oregon. 

One reason this is special is because he has seldom made it out this way before. The other reason is because he's just awesome. He writes new songs that already have dust on them. He seamlessly strings together divers strands of Americana music that have been described as "all the things that are missing from contemporary country music." The authenticity and focus in his shows are wonderful and his low-key delivery is like gravy on biscuits. 

Check out his music, and, even better, come see him sing. His only Eugene appearance will be a house concert on Thursday, September 10. Gather at 7:00, downbeat at 7:30. Suggested donation is $10-15. Call 541 684-8216 for reservations and directions. You won't regret it.

Also coming up:
September 5 the Low Tide Drifters play the Tumbleweed Festival in Richland, WA

September 11, 7:00 pm Kells Bells music with Chico Schwall and Friends at the Foundry (Sam Bond's Brewing Company)

October 9, 7:00 pm CS & F at the Foundry

AND… Wednesday, October 28 at the Shedd, the first concert in this year's Chico Schwall's American Roots series. This one is called The Legacy of Lead Belly and Odetta.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Current Events!

Dear Friends,

The warm spring breeze is intoxicating. Here's what's in the air:

Thursday, April 23 at 7:00 pm THE CHICO SCHWALL GANG at Territorial Vineyards, 3rd and Adams Street in Eugene's favorite historical neighborhood. We will dish up our usual merengue of jazz & swing, cafe waltzes, schottisches, bluegrass & klezmer while you imbibe and socialize. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, April 25 at 7:30 A HOUSE CONCERT featuring DICK WEISSMAN in a rare Oregon appearance. Dick Weissman enjoys a varied and colorful career that has involved almost every aspect of music. He traveled and performed widely with the Journeymen (with Scott McKenzie and John Phillips), has composed music for plays and films,  done studio work, taught music at colleges and written a ton of songs. is most recent albums are "Near and Far" and "The Four Directions," all newly composed original music. Since he moved back to Denver his NW appearances are rare. Don't miss this one. Call 541 684-8216 for reservations and directions.

Dick will also present a WORKSHOP on the Business of Music the same day at 1:00 pm at Tsunami Books 2585 Willamette Street. Cost is $10; FREE to Musicians' Union members. For more info, scroll to the bottom.

Thursday, April 30 at 7:30 pm at The Shedd (Broadway and High Streets, "WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED: SONGS OF WORK, LABOR AND PROTESTThis is the next project in the Chico Schwall's American Roots series and a topic near to my heart. On the 100th birthday of the song "Solidarity Forever" and the centenary of the death of Joe Hill let's celebrate songs of solidarity and social change. Be ready to sing with us!

Friday, May 8, 7:00 pm CHICO SCHWALL & FRIENDS at THE FOUNDRY (Sam Bond's Brewing Company at 540 E. 8th Ave.)  Irish Music without a net. 

In other news, The Community Center for the Performing Arts (the W.O.W. Hall) will hold its annual meeting on April 28 at 6:30. New Board of Directors members will be elected and a budget presented for approval. The Hall is at a crossroads. This year an independent group at the U of O did a "SWOT" study (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), interviewing 30 people and collating the results. The lack of administration (no review for enforcement of Hall policy), the work environment, the lack of community involvement and other issues suggest that the Hall is in trouble and may even be in danger of losing its non-profit status unless some changes are made. Will the same forty people, mostly staff and their families and friends show up and elect a compliant Board that will not take responsibility? Or will folks show up and call for change?  Consider this.

And finally, my friend Milton Takei asked that I share a link with you. Milton knows a good deal about the current climate change crisis and about grass roots organizations, so it may be worth checking out. He says:

The Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) has recently released a two-minute video.  Please send the video to family and friends.  People who register with CCL after seeing the video can expect maybe one e-mail per month from CCL headquarters, and two letters per year via postal mail.

You can view the video on CCL's Web site here.

The following information is from CCL headquarters:
We didn't have $16 million to show the video during the Super Bowl, so we're asking for your help to get it seen by as many people as possible.

E-MAIL: Share the link above with people you know and ask them to
watch the video and share on their social networks. See below for
more on social network sharing.

FACEBOOK: Go to our Facebook post about the video at this link. When you get to the post, click "like" and also share on your timeline by clicking "share."

TWITTER: If you're on Twitter, you can retweet the tweet we sent which you can find on our feed at @citizensclimate.

You can also send out your own tweet. Suggestion:
#Climate solution: Watch the new @citizensclimate video and learn how
you can #SpeakUp4Climate

You can also just retweet the tweet we sent out, which you can
get to at this link.

As you can see, we're using the hashtag #SpeakUp4Climate. If you have room for a second hashtag, use #LivableWorld.


WHEN:  Saturday, April 25, 2015, 1:00-3:00 pm
WHERE:  Tsunami Books 2585 Willamette Street, Eugene, OR 97405
WHO IT'S FOR: Musicians, composers, songwriters and anyone involved in or interested in a career in music
WHO'S PRESENTING: Dick Weissman has worked in almost every area of music. He has performed, in the Journeymen, as a solo artist and in various collaborations, done recording session work, composed film scores and music for plays, produced album projects, taught music and the Business of Music at the college level and has published over twenty books. He composes, performs and serves on the board of the Musicians' Union in Denver.
COST:  $10 for the general public, FREE to Musicians' Union members!
Topics will include:
. Music publishing and copyright, performing rights- if you are playing your own music in public, you should be getting paid by BMI or ASCAP,
. Placing songs in Tv and film, and how these deals work
. The role of the unions in today’s music business
. Various revenue sources for musicians, including grants and Musicians' Union and other bonus funds
. Music publishing, self-publishing, and co-publishing
. Free internet resources for staying current in today’s confusing music business
. The value and problems of the internet: Spotify, Pandora, social media, etc.
. The role of record companies in today’s business
. Invisible work and developing multi-dimensional careers
. Personal managers 
For more info, call Local 689 at 541 484-0951
or Chico Schwall at 541 337-8614