Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Tree People live at the White Eagle in Portland, Dec. 14, 2007 (photos by Chris Leck)

photos by Chris Leck

  There was a wonderful full house listening audience for
the Tree People at the White Eagle in Portland on December
14th, 2007. Several audience members told us after the
show that they had our original vinyl Tree People album.
We started our set with me and Jeff doing Sliding, then
and Rain, Rain. Our brilliant new double bass
player Rich then joined us on the stage and proved himself,
as he has done in our rehearsals and at our performance the
week before in Seattle, to be a perfect addition to the group.
A new instrumental piece we did that night had no title, so
we asked the audience for their ideas,and they came up with
several good ones during and after the set. We will probably
go with Sunday, the name of an audience member's daughter, for
that piece. We did many songs from the first two Tree People
recordings, and two highlights for me were Pot of Gold (with
its long pauses punctuated each time by a return in unison by
all 3 musicians) from the first, and Grandfather (which is always
a deeply emotional piece for me) from the second. Lyrics which
I wrote so many years ago took on new meanings in performance.

We closed with what I feel is perhaps our best ever performance
of Space Heater, where an extended hold on an open chord in the
middle part (which happily surprised me as much as it did Jeff
and Rich) accentuated the convergence and groove of guitar,
hand drums and percussion, and double bass).
Northwest rock/roots icon Jon Koonce opened the evening with
an acoustic solo set, and after the Tree People's extended set,
my son Abe's great Americana, alt-rock band Maggie's Choice had
people dancing (some very spirited and creative dancers appeared
on the floor!) late into the night.
We are looking forward to many more Tree People performances
over the next few years, but I think I will always remember
this one.