Friday, October 24, 2014

Chico Schwall's musical happs

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Autumn's here!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Special Music Business Workshop in Eugene

Dear Friends,

If you work in the business of music, this is for you. Musician, author and educator Dick Weissman will present a workshop next Sunday, June 29 at Tsunami Books 2585 Willlamette Street in Eugene.

It's a multi-faceted Music Business Workshop. Topics will include copyrights, publishing (self publishing and using music publishers), film and television placements, ASCAP and BMI, Union Bonus funds, pensions, guaranteed contracts, agents and managers and more.

Dick Weissman has been a professional musician for decades, has written 20 books (some of which are on various aspects of the business of music) and has taught at the college level. He was already a studio musician when he and John Phillips and Scott MacKenzie formed the Journeymen. He has worked in just about every aspect of professional music. Book titles include "Music Publishing: the Roadmap to Royalties," "Promoting Your Music" and "Talkin' 'Bout a Revolution: Music and Social Change in America." He has composed music for plays and films and has had placements in TV and movies.

The workshop will be at Tsunami Books on Sunday, June 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The cost is $10 for the general public and it's FREE to Local 689 members. Yes, you heard that right.  Feel free to share this with your mailing list, songwriter group or professional network.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 9, 2014

spring thots and a quick harangue

dear friends,

Spring has returned to my home town (and so have I).  Everything's in bloom and the petals blow like spring time snow.

I'm back from the Marxist Brothers tour and brewing up fun here at home.

Saturday, May 10 at 11:00 a.m. I'm doing the young folks' set at SATURDAY MARKET

Saturday, May 10 at 9:00 pm The AXES OF EVIL STRING QUARTET will be at the Wandering Goat Coffee House, sharing the evening with my good friend & colleague CORWIN BOLT and his PDX friend STINKY PETE IRVING.  A rare appearance for the Axes and a fun collaboration.

Saturday, May 17 at 2:30 pm CHICO SCHWALL AND FRIENDS will play Irish music for the Eugene Scottish Festival at Peace Presbyterian Church.

Saturday, May 17th at 7:30 pm I'll be singing and playing at WE SHALL OVERCOME, a Pete Seeger-themed evening at Temple Beth Israel with Rob Tobias and others.

Saturday, May 24 at 5:00 pm THE LOW TIDE DRIFTERS  will continue the celebration of our new CD/download "MUSIC FOR THE REST OF US"  with a show at TSUNAMI BOOKS. Great place to gather and books are 20% off…

AND… tickets are on sale now for "BEYOND LLEWYN DAVIS: THE (REAL) MUSIC OF DAVE VAN RONK"  at THE SHEDD. This is a totally unique project and it'll be a one-off so be there or be square.

Hope to see you at a show!

Now the harangue:

The general meeting and annual elections for the Community Center for the Performing Arts, the W.O.W. Hall are coming up on May 14.  A few years ago I served on the Board of Directors of the CCPA and it was a curious mix: it's community owned and has by-laws in place to keep it democratic and responsive to the community. At the same time, the place is largely run by its employees without administration or oversight and this has resulted in a loss of its role as a community center for the arts. It's currently a dance hall with no investment in education or outreach. High production costs place it out of reach for local artists. There's no employee review, no policy direction, no diversity plan, no equal opportunity hiring etc. Every year the staff and their families and friends dominate the general meeting and try to elect an inexperienced and tractable board of directors to okay their actions and maintain the status quo.
Like a lot of folks, I pretty much turned my back on the CCPA and turned toward other ventures. But some things have shifted. Some good people have been on the Board and are working to make the hall more accountable. An employee was even disciplined last year, an unusual step. With a little support, the Board could bring the Hall back. Some employees with good skills are also making positive changes. But it's not easy. One board member and several employees have talked about leaving, due to an "unprofessional" environment and a "negative work place."  The Hall needs these folks more than it needs its old habits.

Seems like the CCPA is at a turning point. If people show up at the meeting and elect/re-elect responsible directors the structures are in place to put the CCPA back on a more community oriented track. If you have any interest in making this happen, or even if you're just curious, re-up your membership, or join, and go to the general meeting. Listen to the candidates for board, ask questions about the budget. The reason that things have gone astray is that not enough folks have cared. All it takes is folks showing up in sufficient numbers.  I encourage you to show up and see if we can make a difference.

Hope all's well,

Chico Schwall

Monday, April 21, 2014


Is in town, but has not been engaged.
Will be on exhibition in the next Block.
Were in contemplation for this occasion,
but the idea has been abandoned.
May be expected; in fact, the public are privileged
to expect whatever they please.

The doors open at seven. The Trouble starts at 8.  (from Mark Twain, describing his speaking engagement. )

The MB's are (redoubtable, all of 'em) ANDY COHEN, blues scholar, road squaller, Memphis-to-the-Yukon driver and unaffiliated sociologist of all things traditional, MARK ROSS, Greenwich Village folk scene veteran, collaborator with U. Utah Phillips, folk and labor historian, and CHICO SCHWALL, multi-instrumentalist, song wrangler and all around trouble maker. Last time we were all in one place we played fiddle-banjo-guitar (etc.) ensemble music and decided to
share it the next time it occurred. Well, it's happening. We can charm your ears, rock your square dance and fan the flames of discontent all at once. With a phalanx of fiddles guitars, banjos and g-d knows what-all, three singers and a collective repertoire that even surprises one another, we're ready to update the sound of the North Carolina-to-New Lost City Ramblers for the era of Yellow Alert. And yes, we have each played a few gigs in our life.

Andy Cohen lives in Memphis when he's not in his car. He plays a lot of guitar and a little of a few other things, and takes the whole Southeast, Chesapeake to Texas, as his source: fiddle tunes and blues, work songs and medicine show routines, tearjerkers and playparties,  ballads and yodels.

With a working repertoire of close to 500 songs, Mark Ross runs the gamut of American Roots Music from hobo ballads & train songs, blues, western swing, mountain ballads, fiddle tunes, raucous banjo melodies, early jazz to the works of contemporary songwriters.  
Folksinger, Multi-instrumentalist and songpoet Chico Schwall believes there IS enough to go around and we CAN figure out how to make it work. He has sung at labor rallies, played in pit bands, designed folk music camps for kids, burned up the road with Northwest Touring Theatre and Young Audiences, released three CDs of (mostly) original music and played for countless contra dances. He teaches "Everything with Strings" at the Shedd Institute in Eugene and plays with the Low Tide Drifters and the Axes of Evil String Quartet.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This saturday evening

Dear friends,

Sorry to add to your embarrassment of musical riches here in Eugene, but here are some special shows in the offing.

THIS SATURDAY, April 19 (Lexington & Concord & all that) at 7:00 pm at TSUNAMI BOOKS (2585 Willamette, Eugene). The debut performance of THE MARXIST BROTHERS. ANDY COHEN, MARK ROSS and m'self present the string band from outer space. A one-time totally unique event as we head off on a Northwest tour.  Funded by your donations.

Saturday, May 10 The AXES OF EVIL STRING QUARTET will share an evening at the WANDERING GOAT  with CORWIN BOLT.  Acoustic eclecticore.

Saturday, May 24, also at Tsunami    THE LOW TIDE DRIFTERS will celebrate the release of our new album "Music for the Rest of Us."  It's ALSO a COOKIE celebration: make a batch of your favorite cookies to share and enjoy the best of the world's cookies while we sing and play. Bring the fam.

And on Thursday, June 5  THE SHEDD Presents  "BEYOND LLEWYN DAVIS: THE (REAL) MUSIC OF DAVE VAN RONK." I'll be playing and singing the man's music with some exciting musical guests.

Happy Spring!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Spring is coming

Dear friends,

  Yesterday's weather was a real treat. Got to throw open the windows and I gotta say, we've earned it. The crocuses are up and so am I. Coming….

Thursday, March 13, 7:00pm The AXES OF EVIL STRING QUARTET at Territorial Vineyards (907 W 3rd, Eugene)
Twenty-fiirst Century Globicana with fiddle cello, bass and guitar

Friday, March 14, 8:30pm  GHILLIE DHU & THE DHON'TS and DIRTY SPOON at The Axe & Fiddle (657 E Main, Cottage Grove, OR) 
Whizzbang Keltcore and Gritty Americana music

Monday, March 17, 6:00pm ST PATRICK'S DAY  with GHILLIE DHU & THE DHON'TS at Sam Bond's Garage (407 Blair Blvd, Eugene) 
Special early show. No door charge. Come for dinner!

Saturday, March 22, 7:00pm  The LOW TIDE DRIFTERS release party for "MUSIC FOR THE REST OF US" at the Wandering Goat (268 Madison)

In April I'm in and out, on a brief tour with THE MARX(IST) BROTHERS: folk legends Andy Cohen and Mark Ross… and     me.
April 19 at Tsunami Books in Eugene
then to California,
April 27 at Sam Bond's Garage
May 1 in Seattle
May 2 in PDX
May 3 in Newberg

Saturday May 17, 2:30 pm  CHICO, BEN & RACHAEL at the Eugene Scottish Festival

Saturday, May 22, 5:00 pm THE LOW TIDE DRIFTERS at Tsunami Books

Friday, May 30, 7:00 pm  THE LOW TIDE DRIFTERS at the Cannon Beach History center & Museum (1387 South Spruce St, Cannon Beach)

Saturday, May 31 and Sunday June 1 at 9:00 pm THE LOW TIDE DRIFTERS at the Adrift Hotel and Spa (409 Sid Snyder Dr,  Long Beach,  WA)

And finally, for something completely different:

Thursday, June 5, 7:30 pm The Shedd Presents Series "Beyond Llewyn Davis: the (real) Music of Dave Van Ronk" at The Shedd, 868 High Street, Eugene

Come to a show and say hi.

Keep the Faith,

Chico Schwall