Friday, September 27, 2013

Debra Cowan headlines a show for HCAO


WHO: Traditional ballad singer Debra Cowan, with folkmeister Chico Schwall and special guest, guitarist Larry Pattis

WHAT: An intimate acoustic house concert to benefit Health Care for All Oregon (working for universal health care in Oregon). 

WHEN: Friday, October 4 at 7:30 pm

MORE: Reservations only. Call 541 684-8216. Suggested donation is $10. Family friendly, snacks and libations.

You are invited to a special evening of acoustic music in a good cause. Traditional ballad singer and union activist Debra Cowan will headline an intimate acoustic house concert in support of Health Care for All Oregon (HCAO).  Also appearing are folksinger, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Chico Schwall and instrumental guitarist Larry Pattis. 

Based in Massachusetts, Debra travels widely in the U.S. and the United Kingdom and this will be her first appearance in Eugene. She delights the ear and stirs the conscience with songs old and new. Chico Schwall plays a couple or three instruments, sings in a couple or three languages and writes the best damn songs. Larry Pattis is an outstanding finger style acoustic guitarist whose beautiful sound is matched by his exciting compositions. What do these three [people have in common? You'll have to attend to find out!

The concert will be in a private home, so reservations are required. Call 541 684-8216. Come early to shmooze and visit,  find out what HCAO has been up to, and be transported by the beautiful music.

About Debra Cowan:
With a voice that blends Celtic and Appalachian styles, Debra Cowan performs a cappella and with guitar, interpreting a wide range of traditional and contemporary folk songs. Based in Massachusetts, Debra tours extensively in North America and the United Kingdom. She is currently serving a three year term as Vice president of AFM Local 1000, the traveling musicians' union. She has two acclaimed solo recordings and a third, "Fond Desire Farewell" was produced by former Fairport Convention member Dave Mattacks.

Press Quotes
"It is truly a gift what she gives her audience.” - The Miami Herald 
"....Cowan's warm alto powers through lyrics. Whether she sings material from Richard Thompson or Ralph Stanley her strong musical identity transports every tune to a very special place" - Vintage Guitar Magazine, June 2009 
"Debra has a voice which beautifully combines Celtic and Appalachian sensibilities...deeply satisfying, lyrical and musically elegant.” - Roseanne Cash
"A singer of great confidence and poise. In just a few notes, you know that here is a professional who knows her way around a song..." -Gary Whitehouse, Greenman Review 
“It is such a pleasure to hear a real singer who can apply her beautiful voice to the best material available from traditional songs to those by contemporary songwriters. She sure knows how to interpret a song and wrap her soul and voice around it.”- Rich Warren, host, “Midnight Special”, WFMT 98.7 FM, Chicago, IL 

About Chico Schwall:
Folksinger, multi-instrumentalist and songpoet Chico Schwall believes there IS enough to go around and we CAN figure out how to make it work. His newest CD "Then What's It For?" draws on blues, gospel, mountain music, Irish tunes and songs from all over, blending them with his own handmade songs, "a genre-defying tightrope walk over Folk Music Falls."  When he's not traveling around the country Chico teaches Everything with Strings at the Shedd Institute, hosts the Irish Music Jam at Sam Bond's Garage and fans the flames of discontent.

Downloadable photos available at

About Larry Pattis:
Born in Chicago, now resident in Oregon, Larry got carried away by the guitar. His first album, "Random Chance" appeared in 1997, and has been followed by two more, "Hands of Time," and "What Tomorrow Brings." His music is totally his own. It alludes to classical guitar, to folk music and contemporary sounds while it retains hjis own "voice" throughout. 

Downloadable photos available at

"Simply brilliant. Simply beautiful." -Godfrey Daniels Folk Club

"Clear and resonant mastery."  -Missoula Independent

Monday, September 23, 2013

Autumn's Up, Health Care and Drifters shows

Dear Friends,

Well Autumn's here, fall has fell and it's beautiful. Nothing cleanses the palate like a 30 degree temperature spread in a day. And rain! I thought we'd never see rain again. What a relief.

What's this got to do with universal health care? Nothing, but it's one of my big passions these days and I think about it a lot. What we've got ain't working and people die from lack of access to health care. Not 1%ers, but working people and especially the poor, another unjust distribution of tragedy. Watching the federal government (wow, I initially typed "feral"!) go into cardiac arrest over even the very modest reforms of the Affordable Care Act lets me know that the feds are never going to go there. So how do we get what everybody else in the world knows is the best way to deliver health care?

Answer: just like we got universal suffrage and the abolition of slavery: peoples' movements, state by state. When we do the feds will follow. The movement in Oregon is getting bigger and we have support (even a bill on the floor) in the legislature. So it's time to party. No lectures, no coercion (although we're asking for a modest donation of $5, more if you can), just music from three great bands and food and info. Here's the deets:

TONIGHT, at Cozmic Pizza. Suggested donation $5. Beer, wine, pizza and salads available for sale. Music by Cross Current, the Low Tide Drifters and The Rosannas (in that order).  6-9:00 pm.

Come on down and strike a blow for justice while you have a good time. Always worked for me.

If you can't make it, we'll be having another event on October 4, an intimate concert with trad ballad singer Debra Cowan, myself and special guest Larry Pattis. Location to be announced.

And this Friday the Drifters and Cross Current will be playing again, this time for the Latin American Solidarity Committee, 6-9 at New Day Bakery on Blair Blvd.

Enjoy the season!