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Alexander's Real Time Band: Journal

A New Year! A New Musical! - January 8, 2017

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To all of our ARTB friends and fans: Happy new year!


It's been a while since our last newsletter. A lot has been going on. I just wanted to let you know about a new Musical that I’ve been writing with my friend Kathryn Grimm. It’s called Homeless (the musical).  It debuts in a couple of weeks. Here are the specs:


What: Homeless (the musical)

When: January 27, 28, 29  7:00pm

Where: Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton. Portland  OR

Cost: $15/$10 seniors & students

Tickets: https://www.boxofficetickets.com/

 

#HomelessTheMusical

 

After escaping an abusive marriage, Matilda finds herself living on the streets. There she finds a family worth fighting for. Set in a Portland homeless camp. This is a staged workshop of a new musical about struggle and hope.

 
Book, music and lyrics by Alan Alexander III. Additional music & lyrics by Kathryn Grimm. 

 

Directed by Jon Garcia. Music Director, Steve Cleveland. Choreography by Barbara Passolt

 

Starring: Barbara Passolt, Bruce Jennings, Sami Yacob-Andrus, Myles Lawrence, Lindsay Reed, Kyle Urban

 

The 'Homeless' Orchestra is: Steve Cleveland-piano, Kathryn Grimm-guitar, Leah Hinchcliff-bass, Edwin Coleman III-drums.

 

Sponsored in part through a generous grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council.

 

I really hope you can make it. If you enjoyed my last musical, 'Alan's Confectionery', you're gonna love this one. Great cast. Great band. Important story.

 

Hope see you there. Have a healthy, happy 2017!!

-alan

Summer! - June 25, 2016

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Alan after a haircut from Frankie, leaving for Maui. May 2016 

It seems for the last 3 years or so I have only managed to get a couple of journal posts a year up on this site. The last one was 6 months ago. Same for the post before that. It's this musical theatre business that is keeping me so occupied and I'm loving it!

I recently returned from about 5 weeks on the road; 8,000 miles, 9 cities! It was a combination of business and pleasure. Highlights included musical reunions with Poeina Suddarth (in LA) and Felicia Figueroa (in Tucson); studio recording sessions with Susan Peck (in Albuquerque) and Angela Pope (in Taos); and Theatre site visits in Eugene (OCT), Ashland (OSF), Albuquerque (Adobe Theatre) and Maui (Maui Children's Theatre). Whew! For details check #dsmtour2016

In addition to promotional work for Alan's Confectionery (#AlansConfectionery), I'm in development for 2 new musicals, 'Homeless' (in collaboration with Kathryn Grimm) and 'Grand Jury'.

All this focus on theatre and recording means fewer live performances for ARTB. You can catch Whit live around town with his Jump / Swing band The Sportin' Lifers, Frankie is gearing up for recording with German singer/songwriter, Oli Heine, Susan is busy leading the choir and house band for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Albuquerque and I'll be performing once again with the Sleepy Hollow crew Friday and Saturday night, July 8, 9 at the 2016 Oregon Country Fair.

Next ARTB gig won't be until the annual Helsing Junction Sleep Over / K Records Fest in August (watch here for details soon).

Also, expect 2 new studio releases from ARTB before the summer is over.

As always, thank you so much for your support. For us, it's all about service. Making music is how we do it. You are why we do it! Have a healthy, happy summer!!!

Happy New Year 2016! - January 1, 2016

artb2016.JPGARTB (clockwise): Whit Draper (strings), Susan Peck (keys, vocals, songs), Alan Alexander III (strings, keys, vocals, songs), Rihana Mungin (merch & tour support), Frankie Linderman (drums, vocals) 

Happy New Year! 

This web site and blog is now officially 8 years old. The first blog entry (still here) was posted in Jan 2008. The first ARTB gig was a year before that in March of 2007. Wow! Time flies when you're making music.

In 2007 and most of 2008 Alexander's Real Time Band was a solo act, just me singing my tunes while playing bass or guitar or dulcimer. Then in June of 2008 I met Sarah 'Frankie' Linderman. Frankie joined me on drums and ARTB became a duo. In 2009 Whit Draper jumped on board bringing excellent guitar and bass chops and we became a trio. Finally in the fall of 2010 singer, songwriter, pianist, Susan Peck, rounded things out and ARTB became the quartet that we have been for the last five years.

In that time we have done dozens performances in Portland. Frankie, Susan and I have also toured as a trio up and down the I-5 corridor, from the Bay Area to the San Juan Islands. That includes many highway miles singing together in the van and playing late night cards in some hotel room after the show. Great memories!

susan2014.jpgComposer, Arranger, Conductor, Pianist, Vocalist, Susan Peck

So its in a sad but congratulatory spirit the we say Bon Voyage to our dear sister Susan Peck as she moves to Albuquerque New Mexico. I cannot adequately express the gratitude I have for Susan as a creative partner, muse, confidant, bandmate and best friend over the last 5 years. 

She has touched so many lives with her music during her time here in Oregon; performing with PDX Vox, Classical Revolution, as the Music Director for the United Church of Christ in Lake Oswego, as the Music Director for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Washington County, as the pianist in countless Opera recitals, with dozens of individual piano and voice students, and of course with Alexander's Real time Band.

But the folks in Albuquerque aggressively recruited Susan during a national search for a new music director. In the end, they made her an offer she couldn't refuse. So our loss is their gain. This is a great career opportunity for Susan and we are all very happy for her.

Still, we are going to miss her like crazy.

All is not lost however. Through the wonders of technology you will still be hearing Susan's voice or keyboards on future ARTB studio releases. So keep listening.

We love you dearly Speck. Namaste.


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Zoom Zoom Zoom - July 22, 2015

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Smiling for the camera at the Dramatists Guild Conference in La Jolla, CA (July 2015)

Wow! 2015 is more than half over and this is only the second entry in this journal for the entire year! It's been that busy! 

Back in January, we presented the public premiere of my musical, Alan's Confectionery, as a staged reading for the 2015 Fertile Ground Festival of New Works for the Theatre. That performance was huge success. It was a sold out show with a line of folks trying to get in and, when it was over, the cast received a standing ovation!

After that performance, I immediately dove into re-writes (gotta do it), studio recordings of the score with the original cast & band and setting up a promotional tour for the spring and summer.

To date, that tour has included a 3 day trip to Ashland, OR to meet with staff and company actors from Oregon Shakespeare Festival (and to catch a few plays). We are taking our first steps into their new play development submission process.

We have also spent time visiting and talking with folks from Oregon Contemporary Theatre in Eugene. Their recent production of 'Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea' featured two members of the original 'Alan’s Confectionery' cast, Seth Rue and Carmen Brantley-Payne. 

But the most amazing part of the promo tour so far was my recent visit to La Jolla, CA for the National Dramatist Guild conference! This was an amazing four day event featuring excellent Keynote and guest speakers including, Marsha Norman, Lydia Diamond, Amanda Green, Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Bray, Kristen & Roberto Lopez and many more.

In addition to making great personal and business connections, I learned so much about the craft of the playwright and composer! It was a very inspirational experience!

I also had the opportunity to do two performances while I was there. The first was for the Dramatists Guild’s Songwriter/Bookwriter exchange in which songwriters were given the opportunity to perform for playwrights looking for a composer. Meanwhile composers looking for playwrights were given the opportunity to hear new scripts. My song, 'The Skinny’, was a big hit (and job offers are coming in)!

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Reunited with old friend and first music teacher David Timothy Smith

I also had the opportunity to do a performance with my longtime friend and mentor David Timothy Smith. David and I met as teenagers in St. Louis back in the late sixties. We performed through high school and college in a band called Kudu. It was an indelible time In which I became obsessed with the idea of writing and performing music. We had not seen with each other since 1987 so this was an emotional reunion.

David has been holding court at the legendary San Diego piano bar, Albie’s Beef Inn, for over a decade where he dazzles audiences with his encyclopedic knowledge of the great American songbook and his incredible piano skills. It was truly an honor to perform songs from Alan's Confectionery for the Albie’s audience with David and his partner, jazz singer Cat Jefferson, adding amazing vocal and keyboard support.

Whew! I have a short breather now that I’m back in PDX. But what about ARTB? 

We have been doing fewer and fewer shows as the musical gains momentum but we  do have one coming up in August. It’s the 11th annual Helsing Junction Sleepover. Hope to see you there!

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So What's This Musical About Anyway? - January 16, 2015

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Tickets to our Fertile Ground premiere are sold out!!

"Some folks can snatch the sweetness out of the cake and never crack the crust".

Alan's entrepreneurial spirit has navigated the family through the Great Depression and World War II. But at least one of his children is plagued with an unanswered question from the past, "What happened to Mama?”. The story takes place in St. Louis in the 30s and 40s. It's a story about family, a mother separated from her children by circumstance and a struggle that she shares with her oldest son to be reunited. The original score is heavily influenced by the music of that period. 

Your donations will help us bring this story to the big stage. You can donate by clicking right here. 


 


Fall 2014 Update - September 12, 2014

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We had a great summer this year. Our last show of the summer season was the Helsing Junction Sleepover a few weeks ago. But that ends our scheduled performance season for 2014. All of my attention for the remainder of this year will be focused on 'Alan's Confectionery: the musical'.

I've been talking about this project on line and in concert for over a year now but the script is finally done and the score in nearing completion as well. Our upcoming reading for PDX Playwrights is just a couple of weeks away at Portland Center Stage. This is an invitation only event intended to generate feed back from actors, directors and other members of the local theater community. 

That reading will be followed by possible edits and rewrites to the current script, in preparation for the first scheduled public presentation at the Fertile Ground Festival of new theater works in January of 2015.

From there our plan (hope) is that the musical will move into a full production run with a theater company (TBD) here in Portland and/or elsewhere in the US in the fall of 2015. 

You can keep up with the latest by following the #alansconfectionery hashtag on Twitter or Facebook (we'll probably post to Twitter more). Or better yet visit our publishing web site dubsquadmusic.net for detailed updates.

Oh, and if you want to donate to the cause I'll love you forever (even more than I already do). You can do so by clicking right here.

ARTB will return to performance mode in March of 2015 to support the release of the soundtrack for Alan's Confectionery. Stay tuned (right here) for more details about that. 

Until then, we're wishing you a healthy and happy fall of 2014.

Spring into Summer 2014 - May 20, 2014

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Alan Alexander Sr…. St. Louis 1933
Founder of Alan's Confectionery

Things have been extremely busy here at ARTB headquarters. So busy, in fact, that we will be doing even fewer performances this summer and fall. The main reason is that I am gearing up for the upcoming debut of 'Alan's Confectionery'. The first critical reading of the script is scheduled for October 7th at Portland Center Stage for PDX Playwrights. After that, the plan is for a public preview via Fertile Ground in February 2015.

The other exciting news is the massive update of our publishing company's website dubsquadmusic.net . The new site now includes a searchable database of all songs in the Dub Squad Music, BMI catalog (ARTB songs included). This will make it much easier to find, buy and/or license our music, including sheet music. Big thanks to Kara Kinley for the redesign and programming. The new site looks and works great! This will be the main place to find updates on Alan's Confectionery this summer.

That's it for now. Be sure to check out our calendar for up coming dates. Hope to see you sometime this summer. 

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Our First Live Web Concert is March 9th! - February 25, 2014

frankiealansusan.jpgFrankie, Alan, Susan after a recent gig at Rock Creek (Feb 2014)

Scary!

It's March already and I'm just now checking in to wish you a Happy 'New' Year!!??   Scarier still: it's been over 4 months since my last journal entry!

After the holidays, the big excitement for me was attending the 2014 Fertile Ground Festival. It was my first time at this annual event which features new works for the theater from Portland based playwrights and musicians. My goal was to get an education on the local theater landscape that would help me with the development of 'Alan's Confectionary' (which I hope to debut at this festival in 2015).

Fertile Ground was more fun than I could have imagined. I saw 13 plays and performances in 2 weeks for a pass price of only $50…an incredible value. Tickets for 2 to even one of these events would cost as much. The events ranged from staged readings of works in development, like the musical 'The Temporary Man' at Lakewood Theatre, to full blown productions, like 'The End of Sex' at the Shoebox Theater (presented by Theatre Vertigo).

I learned a lot and discovered new resources for my work. I have recently hooked up with PDX Playwrights to continue my education and networking as I close in on the completion of my script and score for 'Alan's Confectionary'.

That project means fewer live performances for ARTB in 2014. But I do have one show I want to mention that's coming up in March. It's our first house concert to be streamed live over the internet. 

This concert will feature Alexander's Real Time Band in our full quartet configuration with Whit Draper (guitar, bass), Frankie Linderman (drums, voice), Susan Peck (keyboards, voice) and yours truly (songs and stuff).

This concert is a fund raiser for the Right Brain Initiative (RBI). RBI is an Arts Education Program of the Regional Arts and Culture Council (on which I am a Board member). This program provides artist residencies, giving teachers and student a chance to incorporate the arts into core curriculum. The program goal is to provide arts education opportunities to every K-8th grade student in the metro area.

The house concert will most likely be sold out by the time you read this but if you can find a computer or mobile device with internet access on Sunday, March 9th at 7pm, Pacific time you can watch live at this web address

 http://www.concertwindow.com/shows/4060-alexander-s-real-time-band


Feel free to pass this link and the performance time on to any friends you think would like to catch us live AND support a great cause.

Suggested donation for the web stream is 8 bucks but pay what you want. Proceeds will benefit the Right Brain Initiative.  Thanks!

Zoom! - November 23, 2013

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Mel Kubik, ZZRose, Hershel Yatovitz, Ward Griffiths and Alan at Alberta St. Pub (Nov 2013)

Zoom zoom zoom. I've been meaning to update the blog for a few weeks now, but things have been soooo…..busy! Got a breather now, so here is the latest.

My October road trip was fun, productive and satisfying. I was able to get some good research done for the 'Alan's Confectionary' script and score. I had a fun performance at The Wolf in St. Louis and I had some quality time with family.

I returned home to a series of first world problems requiring my immediate attention (a story for another time). Then a few days later, I was off to the 'Far Lookout' writers cabin for 7 days of immersed writing for 'Alan's Confectionary'. I managed to finish Act 1 (first draft) and sketch out the 3rd musical number. Progress.   

Then it was crunch time, in pre production for the second episode of our monthly Songwriter Carousel at Alberta Street Pub. This one took a little longer to arrange because Sarah was (and still is) on tour with Poeina Suddarth and Whit was also unavailable. 

But I got lucky. I was able to recruit one of my favorite PDX drummers, Ward Griffiths (Quadraphonnes, Gravy) and guitar legend, Hershel Yatovitz (lead guitarist for Chris Isaak) to sit in.

The guest song writers for the show were Mel Kubik (a former Dub Squad bandmate who currently performs with Quarterflash) and ZZRose, a new face on the Portland singer/songwriter scene.

The resulting show was pure magic! Even though none of these musicians had ever rehearsed or even met each other before the night of the show (aside from Susan and I), they played as though they had known each other for years. The level of talent on stage was about as high as you could ask for and the audience loved it. Great songs. Great players. Magic! Have a listen right here!

So now I get a few weeks with no gigs or travel. Whew! But I'll be in the studio finishing up mixes on a few tracks we hope to release before Christmas. And our next Songwriter Carousel is December 18th, once again at Alberta Street Pub. Susan Peck and I will share the stage with special guests Leah Hinchcliff and Andrew Maldarelli (the dynamic duo otherwise know as Gravy). Ward Griffiths will once again be joining us on drums.

I guess it's not much of a 'breather' after all. But hey, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

Thanks for your support. 

Click here to comment. 

October Road 2013 - October 1, 2013

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Just a few months left in the year of 2013. Seems like every year about this time I'm about to hit the road. This year is no exception. We have a couple of shows in the Pacific Northwest at the beginning of the month (see calendar)

Then its back to St.Louis for more research for the musical 'Alan's Confectionary' which I'm currently writing. If you've been to any recent ARTB shows you have heard us perform music from this project. It is a work in progress (2 years so far). I'm hoping to finish it this year. The story involves events which occurred in St. Louis between 1935 and 1948. The 'Alan' in the story is my grandfather.

I'll be getting in a couple of solo performances in while I'm there. Always a treat to play in my home town.

When I get back to Oregon I'll begin a residency at the Far Lookout writers retreat to hopefully put a big dent the script and score for 'Alan's Confectionary'.

One more thing. Our premiere Songwriters Carousel at the newly remodeled Albert Street Pub last month was a huge success! That means we will be doing another one real soon (sometime in November). Look for details next month.

Thanks for your support. Hope to see you again real soon.

Come to our Songwriter Carousel - September 25, 2013

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I am very excited about this show. I'll be sending another reminder out near the end of next month but I just want to give you a 'heads up'.

 

Even though we have been gigging a bunch this past summer, we've been 'on the road' and we haven't played in Portland since June! So this will be a good chance for our local friends and fans to catch us in full force (with Whit, Sarah, Susan and yours truly) while we're all in town. 

 

Not only that, but this is a pilot for what we hope will be a monthly songwriter showcase at the newly remodeled and re-imaginged Alberta Street Pub. Its a great new venue for live music and we are pleased to host 3 great area songwriters. Matt MeighanAlexa Wiley and our own professor Susan Peck for the first ARTB Songwriter Carousel

 

More details as the date approaches but please put this one on your calendar. Wednesday, Sept. 25, 7pm. Thanks! -a

Ok. Now we're having fun! - July 29, 2013

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We have a few shows around the Pacific Northwest in the month of August. But, if you can only make one, try hard to get your butt to the Helsing Junction Sleepover. This is my favorite music festival of the summer, mostly because it's one of the best kept secrets of the festival season. That means none of the crowds or long lines you might find at other events of this caliber.  Its family friendly,  a beautiful location and very chill. 

Indeed, this event is a labor of love and collaboration by Helsing Junction Farm (one of the oldest CSAs in the region) and K Records (the legendary independent record label responsible for breaking acts like Beck, Nirvana and Sleater Kinney). 

Now in it's 9th year, I'm happy to say that I have performed at this event each year, either solo or with ARTB. This year will be no exception. Susan, Sarah and I will also be joined by the fabulous Jared Snyder on guitar and bass. But we're just one of a couple of dozen acts for the weekend. Click here to see the full line up.

We hope to see you there.

OCF De-Brief - July 20, 2013

Boy did we have fun at the Oregon Country Fair last week. Music highlights included the reunion of Jambay, one of my favorite virtuoso fusion jam bands of the 90s. Shelley, Chris and crew still have the chops; sounding even better than they did in the glory days. And they still look good! Check out this You Tube video

We also enjoyed great sets by Lo Cura (great salsa from the Bay area) and a surprise late Sunday set from Chris Chandler, Paul Benoit and their special guest Grace Park and the Deer

All of these acts are worth checking out. Google them if you have some time. 

OCF kicks off Festival Season - July 9, 2013

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I'm off to the Oregon Country Fair tomorrow. I'll be there for the next five days or so helping to set up the booth and stage at Sleepy Hollow. Sarah and Susan will be joining me the following day. Sarah and I have been doing the Fair together for a few years now. This is Susan's 2nd year with us. You wont find us listed on the official performer listings but we will be playing several times throughout the weekend. 

Our ARTB unplugged ensemble (Sarah on cajon & voice, Susan on accordion & voice and yours truly on strings & voice) can be seen in front of Sleepy Hollow (near The Junction) mid afternoon all three days. On Friday and Saturday evening we will be sitting in with Kenny and Pam Baron-Tower on the Sleepy Hollow stage playing oldies and sing alongs.

But the big news this year is that Sarah will also be performing all weekend with the Shook Twins, Including their appearance Friday on the OCF Main Stage!

We hope to see you at the Fair this year. Be sure to drop by Sleepy Hollow to say hello.

Welcome to the Summer of 2013 - June 27, 2013

Susan on the summit of Sister's

Our own Professor Susan Peck is climbing Mt. Hood TODAY! She's been training for about six months for this climb and we're all excited for her. Thanks to all of the ARTB fans and friends who supported our American Lung Association fund raisers in April that made this climb possible. 

Next week, on the 4th of July, Susan and I will be performing at McMenamins Boons Treasury in Salem. It's the 4th installment of our 1st Thursday residency in that venue. This will be a duo song writer in the round format with Susan and I singing and playing our original songs and a few covers. It's the first time that Susan has participated in the monthly ARTB showcase at Boons and I know a lot of our Salem fans have been asking when she might be free to join us. Now is the time to catch her. 

The following week July 12-14 Sarah, Susan and I will be returning to the Oregon Country Fair. As usual we'll be sitting in with the crew at Sleepy Hollow Friday and Saturday night playing music for Fair Family. But this year Sarah will also be playing with the Shook Twins on the OCF main stage Saturday. Check the OCF calendar for details. Big Fun!

Before signing off, I want to give a big 'Thanks' to the folks at Artichoke Music for a fun 6th Annual Summer Solstice concert last week with special guest, Sue Zalokar. It's our yearly summer tour kick off. We did have fun and we will do it again next year.

ARTB News - May 2, 2013

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It's May already and, as usual, our performance calendar is filling up! We have 3 shows in Oregon this month that I'd like to tell you about. May 2nd is in Salem at Boons TreasuryMay 25th we're in McMinnville at Hotel Oregon. Closing out the month, May 31st and June 1st we'll be at Kah-née-ta Resort and Spa in Warm Springs. Click here for details.

 

All and all it's gonna be an fun Oregon tour for ARTB this month.

 

On the studio recording front, we are in the beta stage for our next commercial release. It's one of our most requested originals, 'Temptation'Click here for a very early taste, not quite done yet but getting closer to the final version.

 

We just created a Band Camp page and to celebrate we are giving away a free download of Monday Morning Rain. To get your free download, click the 'Buy Now' link on the Band Camp page and enter '0' for the price. It's easy. This offer is good though May 5th. 

 

Thanks for your support! 

Spring Forward - April 1, 2013

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April Fools day in PDX and the sun is out (for now). We're gearing up for our only scheduled show in Portland this spring. It's a benefit for The American Lung Association with ARTB and the fabulous Anne Weiss. Click here for details.  
After that we'll be taking the rest of April and May off from performance to finish up some writing / recording projects (and a few projects around the house and garden as well).
One of the upcoming music composition projects that I'm very excited about this spring is for the film 'The Falls 2' which begins filming in May here in PDX. This is the sequel to  last years feature length independent film, 'The Falls' by writer / director Jon Garcia. This is a very well done and timely film about the 'coming out' of two gay missionaries. Jon treats the subject with realism and respect. I look forward to working with him to provide some of the original music in the sequel. I will be collaborating with my partner, Susan Peck.  
I am also in progress with the writing of my first musical for theater. The working title is 'Alan's Confectionary'. The 'Alan' in the title is not me but my grandfather, Alan Alexander, Sr. The story is loosely based on true events which took place in my family during the great depression and leading up to World War II.  I have been researching the project for about two years now and I am two scenes and one song into the actual script. I'm having fun with this project and very excited to complete it. I'll be posting drafts of the musical numbers  on our music page as I complete them. 
So it'll be a busy spring even if you don't see us in live performance much. We'll be back in performance and touring mode this summer starting with our 6th annual summer solstice show at Artichoke. 
In the meantime remember you can take our music with you whoever you go

April Fools Day in PDX and the sun is out (for now). We're gearing up for our only scheduled show in Portland this spring. It's a benefit for The American Lung Association on April 6th, with ARTB and the fabulous Anne Weiss. Click here for details.

After that we'll be taking a few weeks off from performance to finish up some writing / recording projects (and a few projects around the house and garden as well).

One of my upcoming music composition projects is for the film 'The Falls 2', which begins production May 2013 right here in PDX. This is the sequel to  last years feature length independent film, 'The Falls' by writer / director Jon Garcia. This is a very well done and timely film about the 'coming out' of two gay missionaries. Jon treats the subject with realism and respect. I look forward to working with Jon to provide some of the original music in his sequel film. I will be collaborating with my partner, Susan Peck.

I am also in progress with the writing of my first musical for theater. The working title is 'Alan's Confectionary'. The 'Alan' in the title is not me. It's my grandfather, Alan Alexander, Sr.

The story is loosely based on true events which took place in my family during the Great Depression and leading up to World War II.  I have been researching the project for about two years now and I am two scenes and one song into the actual script. I'm having fun with this project and very excited to complete it. I'll be posting drafts of the musical numbers on our music page as I complete them. 

So it'll be a busy spring even if you don't see us in live performance much. We'll be back in performance and touring mode this summer starting with our 6th annual summer solstice show at Artichoke.

In the meantime remember you can take our music with you, where ever you go. It's only 99 cents per song at iTunesGoogle PlayAmazon or CD Baby. Or listen before you buy by clicking here.

And don't forget: Without music, life itself would be impossible.

 

Thanks for your support! 

Nice bit of PR for ARTB - February 20, 2013

Big Thanks to Marc Albert of KMUZ Radio. He had this to say about our March 7th show at Boon's Treasury....

"You don't want to miss these guys, a refreshingly genuine, original, and groovin' set of musicians that can bring a bit of soul to everything they touch... Come experience a convergence of musical minds choreographed by the multi talented Alan Alexander, understated but bursting with musical communication."

Thanks!! Look for us there every First Thursday of the month trough the spring and summer of 2013. Check our calendar for details.

Click here to listen to KMUZ's DJ Charles interview with Alan. Recorded March 4, 2013

Thoughts on Winter Solstice - December 20, 2012

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I want to start by giving you a taste of our latest studio offering. This time it's 'Monday Morning Rain', one of our most requested songs in live performance. This studio release features the fabulous Mary Flower on lap slide guitar. It was one of the highlights of my year having a chance to work with Mary at our annual Summer Solstice show at Artichoke and again a few weeks ago on this recording. She's a great player and a warm human being.

Here's a beta mix of the song. The final mix will be released on iTunes, AmazonGoogle Play and CD Baby in January of 2013.

This past year has been full of challenges and opportunities. It began with the release of our first studio single 'Peace of Mind' and a west coast (Oregon, Washington, California) spring tour to support that release. We're a bit behind schedule but we did manage to get 3 releases out this year!

Another major highlight of this past year was the amazing support we received from the music and business communities and from fans in the aftermath of Ari's brain hemorrhage and stroke. Thanks so much! I am happy to report that Ari is doing very well as he continues on his long road to recovery. Such a blessing!

And last but not least on this solstice gratitude list, I want to give a full heart thanks to my wonderful 'band'.

The Legendary Whit Draper (guitar and bass): When he is not working with his own outfit, The Sportin' Lifers, or on call with the multitude of other bands that seek him out, he is always willing to share his skills and talent with ARTB live and in the studio. He's a top shelf player and a very cool dude.

The Mighty Sarah Linderman (drums, vocals): She has been with me almost since the beginning of ARTB (over 5 years now) and we've done a lot of road time together. Where ever we go, folks are amazed at what she can do with a cajon, hi hat, cymbals and sticks. She also gives great spiritual advice.  

Professor Susan Peck (keyboards, vocals): Yes she is a music teacher and a good one (at all levels, including college). She's also a classically trained pianist and singer.  Like me, she loves to write a good tune. And over the past two years we have become close partners in music and life. 

These guys are not my 'band', they are family. And I can't thank them enough for the support they have given and continue to give me in music and (more importantly) in friendship. It's hard for me to imagine how I would have gotten through this past year without them. 

We look forward to seeing you next year. May it be a healthy and prosperous one for you. 

-a

Fall 2012 Update - November 5, 2012

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Things are slowly getting back to 'normal' here at the ARTB camp. Only a few gigs scheduled this fall but we have been very busy in the studio and music publishing projects. Our third and newest single, 'Sweet Forgiveness', was released last week on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby. You're gonna love it, and if you don't believe me, have a free listen right here. 

Also, we now have sheet music for your favorite ARTB songs available in our online store. I am especially excited about this news. As a songwriter, I love hearing other musicians performing and recording my original compositions. Earlier this year I realized that there was an interest in sheet music for some of the songs in my catalog. With transcription help from our very own Professor Susan Peckwe have been able to make that happen. The sheet music includes parts for bass, piano, guitar, melody and lyrics. Have a look.

We'll be kicking into gear with a full performance season in 2013 but, in the meantime, look for a couple of more studio releases before years end. And try to catch one of the November shows coming up.  

So Long Summer 2012 - August 29, 2012

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Road leading to main stage at Helsing Junction Farm

The approaching Labor Day weekend means summer 2012 is drawing to a close. Even though this summer turned out nothing like I planned, it has none the less been a summer full of miracles, blessings and music.

Our last show of the summer was last weekend at Helsing Junction Farm for the 8th annual Sleepover and K Records Fest. I have performed at this event every year since it began (summer 2005). It has become dear to my heart as a way to connect with family and catch a peek at the future of pop music. 

Festival producer and filmmaker, Jade Ajani (son of Helsing Junction Farm co-owner Sue Ujic), says he is willing to see it through at least another couple of years to year 10. 

Most of the music comes from the roster of the legendary indie record label, K Records, founded and operated for the last 30 years by producer/songwriter/performer Calvin Johnson. Some of the more famous artists with historic ties to this label include Beck, Nirvana, Sleater Kinney and more. 

My favorite artists on the current roster: Lake, Kendl Winter, Tender Forever, Curious Mystery. These groups give me hope for the future of pop music. The music is accessible, fresh and smart. The performers are talented and dedicated. 

But the main reason I love this event is because of the family vibe there. For me that means seeing folks I have known for 30 years, some of whom I only get to see at this annual event. What a gift! 

Check out my Twitter feed for photos. Thanks Sue, Jared, Jade and Calvin for making this event possible. 

Recovery! - August 16, 2012

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Ari was discharged from the hospital today, three days after a successful cranioplasty surgery to replace the skull bone that was removed on May 12th to save his life. He is now able to begin the long road to recovery. It will take time. But at this point, thanks to you and your support, there is no reason to believe that his recovery will be anything less than full and complete. Thank you!!!

You will be seeing fewer performances from ARTB this fall as the family focuses of Ari and his recovery. But we'll be back next spring for another full performance season. Also look for more studio releases from us this coming fall and and winter.

Until then, try to catch us at one of these up coming performances

All the best...-a

Thank You!! - August 7, 2012

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Quadraphonnes perfoming @Mission Theater for Benefit Concert

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

And thank you some more.... for making our Benefit Concert for Ari and Katie a success.

The music was stellar, with great performances by The QuadraphonnesMelao de CubaSportin' LifersNewel BriggsGravyPoeina SuddarthHalfwit Adlib. And we were able to raise just over $5000 for Ari and Katie! Words cannot express the gratitude from our family to you and yours. We could not have done this without you!

Special thanks to the following volunteers:

Lance Paden 
Rihana Mungin 
Jo Ellen Legg 
Reese Bowes 
Mike Wyant

Ari is still awaiting the surgery to replace the section of his skull that was removed back May! This is the top priority of our family at the moment. I will be sure to let you know how it goes.

I have not booked any performances for ARTB (other than our benefit concert) since May when the stroke occurred. The shows currently on our calendar are commitments we made before the event. So you may see fewer performances on the calendar until we know that Ari is finally on the road to recovery (after the next surgery).

Until then....well...thank you once again for your support. 

-alan

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Ari and Katie Benefit Concert (update) - July 10, 2012

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Image by Ron Chan

We now have a date and venue for the Benefit Concert. Thanks to the generosity of McMenamins and the PDX music community the event will take place at the Mission Theater on August 5th from 4-10pm. There is a sliding scale suggested donation of $20-30 for admission but any donation, no matter how small, will get you in the door (donations are NOT tax deducible).  As of right now, the musicians who have volunteered their time include: The Quadraphonnes, Melao de Cuba, Sportin' Lifers, Newel Briggs, Gravy, Poeina SuddarthHalfwit Adlib, and of course Susan, Sarah, Whit and I (the ARBT quartet) will be performing as well. Check the McMenamins Mission Theater web site for details and check back, right here, for updates.

Special thanks to our sponsors: McMenamins, Portland Music Company, Grapheon Communications Design, Ron Chan.

Gratitude and the Summer Solstice - June 18, 2012

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I had planned to take the month of May off to work on my house and other domestic projects. Then on May 12th my son, Ari (pictured above), suffered a major brain hemorrhage and stroke. He was in ICU at Providence hospital for the next 3 weeks and remains hospitalized awaiting a second surgery to replace the section of skull that was removed to save his life. Needless to say, this event has been the main priority of our family for the last few weeks. We remain hopeful for a full recovery. 

 

We are planning a benefit concert for Ari and his wife Katie in late July or early August featuring at least a half a dozens acts (so far the Quadraphonnes and the Sportin' Lifers have offered their support). Details will be posted as they become available.

 

But right now I want to remind you that our 5th Annual Summer Solstice Show is approaching. Once again it will take place at Artichoke Music's Backgate Stage on Saturday, June 30th at8pm.

 

This year we will be sharing the bill with one of America's top finger style blues guitarists, Mary FlowerAlso sitting in on this show will be bass virtuoso, Leah Hinchcliff.  These fabulous musicians will be joining me and ARTB band mates Susan Peck (keyboards and vocals) and Sarah Linderman (drums and vocals) for what promises to be a fantastic night of music.

 

Doors open at 7:30 and tickets are $15.00. Call 503.232.8845 for reservations.  If you would like to make a donation to Ari and Katie you will have a chance to do so at this show as well. 

 

I really hope you can make this show. It's become a tradition for connecting with our friends and fans. Thanks to all of you for your continued support. You are the reason for the music. 

 

All the best.

-alan

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