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Alexander's Real Time Band: Journal

Gratitude and the Summer Solstice - June 18, 2012



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 L (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.


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New ARTB Single Released! - May 2, 2012


Our new studio single, 'My Old Neighborhood' was released this week on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby. This is second of 12 planned studio release singles from the band for the upcoming 'Remain in Light' album. We are not setting a release date for the album yet (the last time we did that it was just wishful thinking:-). But we will make each single available as we complete them. The next 2 in the cue are 'Temptation' and 'Isabela's Lullaby'. Got a favorite ARTB song that you are just dying to own? Let us know by email. In the meantime click on one of the links below to download 'My Old Neighborhood' for only 99 cents!



CD Baby

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ARTB Spring Tour - March 30, 2012

Isabela, Sarah and Alan just before show time @ Tuscany, Napa

We just returned from a week on the road visiting 4 cities; Napa, Ashland, Corvallis and Seattle. It was a fun and exhilarating way to spend spring break. We received great support from family and friends on the road and each show was well attended. I want to give a special shout out to Taj, Christina, Carol (Napa hospitality); Isabela (for sitting in at our Napa show); Cara Sue (Napa show publicity); Dave, Brian, Nick (Tuscany staff); Jon, Serena (Ashland hospitality); Dana, Scarlet, Lucy (Liquid Assets Ashland staff); the entire staff at Bombs Away Cafe in Corvallis and Courtney, Sura (Seattle hospitality). If there is anyone I missed, please forgive me and accept my deep gratitude. This tour would not have been possible without your help. We will have more Spring shows in April but this leg of our spring tour is done. It's been fun!! 

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Life is Good (for some) - February 23, 2012

Alan and Susan enjoying one of many Maui vistas

Aloha! Susan and I recently returned from Maui (yes, I know... but someone had to do it). It was a journey filled with family, great food, hiking, swimming and, of course, music. On our second day there we learned that our debut studio single 'Peace of Mind' had been released world wide on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and a bunch of other online music retail sites. It was a great place to get the news that ARTB's labor of love is now available to a larger audience. And it's just the beginning. 

Our second single 'My Old Neighborhood' is near completion. We are hoping for a March release, just in time for our 2012 ARTB Spring Tour. We are also in development of a concept music video for this one with the help of multi-media artist Reese Bowes.

The video will feature footage documenting the blight of inner city neighborhoods in the midwest (like the neighborhoods where I grew up). My hope is to use this music and the video to raise awareness (and maybe $$) in support of this issue and the folks that live in these neighborhoods. If you know of a solutions oriented organization working to make a difference in these neighborhoods please let me know.

Life is good for many of us but it's good to remember those who need our help. Any of us could need the same one day. In the meantime, count your blessings!

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Moving toward Spring - January 30, 2012


As the month of January winds down we have our sight set on our upcoming spring tour. We'll be discovering new venues like Tuscany in Napa, California (to the south) as well as hitting some familiar spots like Doe Bay on Orcas Island (to the north) . We'll also be expanding our footprint in the McMenamins universe starting with the Sand Trap on the coast in Gearhart (our only show in Oregon in February) and Edgefield on the outskirts of Portland Oregon in April. All of this is very exciting for us.

In the meantime, work continues in the studio. That's me (in the photo above) laying down acoustic guitar tracks yesterday.

Our 3 state ARTB Spring Tour officially kicks off in March (after we get back from little vacation in Maui) and the details can be found on the calendar page of this site. We hope to see you soon!

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Enter the year of the Dragon - December 30, 2011

Nancy Durham laying down drum tracks for "My Old Neighborhood"

One of my favorite parts of being a full time musician is the fact that I can sleep in as late as I want most days. But these days I get up early and head straight to the studio. We took December off from stage performance and have been spending the time (with family and) recording our songbook. That studio work will be ongoing through to spring I suspect, but we will also have a full performance schedule in January.

We are posting the studio work in progress on the music / video page of this site and giving you updated tracks as the work progresses. So far the two songs in production are Peace of Mind and My Old Neighborhood. In addition to our normal crew, guest artists for these sessions include Nancy Durham (drums and percussion) and Hershel Yatovitz (guitar).

Each song will be released as a single on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and the like. Once we have about 10 or so done we will make the collection available (as an 'album') on CD and vinyl. Pretty cool. I'm excited. 

Once again, Happy New Year to you and yours. And remember, in addition to the coming Year of the Dragon, this is also the last year of the Mayan calendar! Better get out and hear some live music while there is still time. 

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Zoom! - November 19, 2011


(Alan Alexander III and Susan Peck of ARTB)


Zoom, Zoom, Zoom… just a few more weeks left in 2011. Our show last week at McMenamins Hotel Oregon was our last show of the regular 2011 performance calendar. It's been a GREAT year; with new venues, audiences and players as well as our familiar festivals and crew. Thank you for your ongoing support of ARTB. We could not do this without you. 

Sarah L, Whit Draper, Susan Peck and Iwould like to give a big shout out to the guest musicians who performed with us this past year including Nancy Durham (drums), Hershel Yatovitz (guitar), Jared Snyder (guitar, bass), Mark Simon (drums), Art Alexander (percussion) and Newel Briggs (guitar). It's an honor to have the opportunity to play the ARTB song book with such fine musicians. Thanks!

I was just reflecting on the fact that this web site is now 4 years old! The first entry to this journal is dated January of 2008! And I had already been performing as Alexander's Real Time Band a year before that. Its been a fast and rewarding five years. Music is a gift that I (with a little help from my friends) am honored to share with you. 

I'm wishing a happy holiday season to you all and I hope to see you next year (if not before).

In service …-alan


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I found my Thrill - October 15, 2011


Sitting in Blueberry Hill, my favorite restaurant in St. Louis (actually University City). It's in the Delmar Loop district. This was my hangout during my high school days at UCity High and later as a college student at Washington University, St. Louis. Now several decades later I find myself here being served by a very cute red headed waitress named Audrey (who reminds me of an old girlfriend) waxing nostalgic about my youth.

Blueberry Hill and the Pageant (both owned by St. Louis entrepreneur, Joe Edwards) are also at the musical heart of the Loop district, featuring regional and national touring acts. St. Louis native, the legendary Chuck Berry, is a regular performer here.

Like Seattle's Paul Allen, Edwards has invested a chunk of his wealth in music memorabilia. Album jackets, photos of Edwards with celebrities, old juke boxes, etc adorn the establishment.

My attempts to find a commercial venue in the Loop to host my concert have failed (although I will be doing a house concert in UCity Saturday). But this visit to Blueberry Hill has made up for that. It feels like coming home. And I highly recommend the Grilled Trout!!

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October Road 2011 - October 7, 2011

Sarah, Alan, Susan on Orcas Island

(ARTB trio on Orcas l to r: Sarah, Alan, Susan)

Ok. So summer 2011 is over and fall is really here. I hope yours was as grand as ours. We finally gave up the ghost last weekend with a trip to our favorite resort destination, Doe Bay, on Orcas Island. This is my fourth year playing Doe Bay and each time is just as much fun as the last. Our performance trio for this trip consisted of Sarah L (drums, voice), Susan Peck (keyboards, voice) and myself. We also need to give a shout out to Rihana for her tour support and the crew at Doe Bay (Jami, Shannon and Remee). In addition to a great show we also got to do some hiking in beautiful Moran State Park (where the band photo above was taken).

Even though summer is over, the road still calls. I am currently (as I write this) aboard the Empire Builder. That's the Amtrak train that runs between Portland and Chicago. This is a solo journey that will involve a few performances and a bit of time with family. This is the second time that I have taken the ARTB songbook to the Midwest. I am looking forward to playing for new ears. I'll be posting photos and musings right here over the next next few weeks. So come back, if you are interested.

But for now I just want to say thanks to all of you who made 2011 the best summer performance season yet for ARTB. We really appreciate the support. Pacific Northwest audiences are the best and I'm looking forward to returning home in November to share more music with you.

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What to do for a drowning guitar player? - September 4, 2011


Hard to believe that the summer of 2011 is starting to wind down. Its been a great one for friends, fairs, festivals and music!! This year's Helsing Junction Sleepover / K Records Fest was the best yet (seven years and counting). Susan and I want to give a big shout out to Nancy Durham (drums) and Jared Snyder (guitar and bass) for siting in and making it a very special set indeed! But summer ain't over yet!! It's still a few weeks before the official start of fall and we are playing every weekend until the end of September. Check out the calendar for details. We'll be taking the month of October off for studio and travel. But we'll be back in November for our big all ages Fall Concert at Tabor Space November 5th. Watch for more info right here as the date approaches. In the meantime we hope to see you at one of our September shows. Oh, and here is my favorite joke from our travels this summer...

Q: What do you do for a drowning guitar player?

A: Throw him his amp!

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All that Jazz!! - August 7, 2011

Tim Gilson and Alan at Mel Brown Jazz Camp

What a great summer so far! I just returned from an intensive week of study at the Mel Brown Summer Jazz Workshop at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon. I enrolled as a bass player and was fortunate to attended master classes led by the extraordinary Tim Gilson (pictured with me above) and Brazilian bassist Wagner Trindade. My assigned combo was led by tenor sax great Renato Caranto and I even got a chance to play with Mel Brown himself. It was a week of music that I will remember for a long time and I learned a bunch. I'll definitely be back next year! Here's a video of Tim and Wagner performing 'Meditation' for a morning master class....

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July 2011 - July 16, 2011

Summer is in full bloom and we're lovin' it. We recently recently returned from the Oregon Country Fair where Susan, Sarah and I spent the week playing music, both from our own songbook and with other fabulous players. We heard a bunch of great music as well, all genres! This event is always a real a super recharge of the musical batteries. Not to mention tons of fun (check out this video of the accordion brigade's bold take over of the drum tower:-)

JW Player goes here

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Summer 2011 - June 22, 2011

t's official! Summer time has arrived. Our 4th annual summer solstice at Artichoke was a lot of fun. Sold out crowd. Great audience participation! Thanks for clapping and singing with us. It makes all the difference. Artichoke audiences are some of the best in the world. 
Susan Peck opened the show with a set of her originals, stating with this one (The Ocean).
Then the whole band kicked off our set with the Randy Newman classic Lonely at the Top
But I think one of my favorite moments was the audience chorus on Suspend Disbelief
Thanks to Artichoke and Portland Community Media for making this a magic evening. We'll post a few video clips soon. And we'll do it again next year. In the meantime we hope to see you at one of our summer performances

It's official! Summer time has arrived. Our 4th annual summer solstice at Artichoke was a lot of fun. Sold out crowd. Great audience participation! Thanks for clapping and singing with us. It makes all the difference. Artichoke audiences are some of the best in the world. 

Susan Peck opened the show with a set of her originals, stating with this one (The Ocean).

Then the whole band kicked off our set with the Randy Newman classic Lonely at the Top.

But I think one of my favorite moments was the audience chorus on Suspend Disbelief.

Thanks to Artichoke and Portland Community Media for making this a magic evening. We'll post a few video clips soon. And we'll do it again next year. In the meantime we hope to see you at one of our summer performances.

Spring 2011 - May 4, 2011


Hey! Just checkin' in. It's been few months. I have been taking some much needed R and R for the months of of April and May. The only exception was backing up Susan Peck at Artichoke last month when she was the featured songwriter  of the April 7th Songwriter Roundup. I had a blast playing bass for her set (photo above by Kai Hayashi). And Artichoke audiences are some of the best in the world.

But now it's time to start gearing up for our summer performance season. As usual, it begins June 18th with our fourth annual Summer Solstice show, once again at Artichoke. We have also confirmed an evening Oregon Country Fair performance for Fair Family in July and the 6th annual K Records festival in August. There will be more dates posted soon. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of spring!

More Music from the movie, 'Stuff' - February 24, 2011

OK. So what's been shakin'? Plenty....

The big news for me is the completion of my original musical score for the new feature length independent film, 'Stuff' by director Larry Johnson. The film is about a grown son processing his relationship with his father by the stuff left behind when the father dies. The film goes into festival distribution this month. I have posted a few more new clips from the movie, featuring my music, at the top of this journal post.

Whit has been spending the last few months stoking up his Sportin' Lifers project (among other ongoing gigs) The Sportin' Lifers are a fun Jump Swing dance band and very much worth checking out. They are playing monthly at Tony Starlights.

Sarah has been extensively on the road for the last few months. Six weeks in Europe and a week on the east coast. Now she is about the leave again for a couple of weeks with Poeina Sudarth. But fear not, you will be seeing her again on stage with Alexanders Real Time Band in the months to come.

Susan has been busy gearing up for a couple of high profile gigs with the Balkan women's choral ensemble, Svila, also scheduled for the month of March. If you haven't heard Svila you should check them out as well. Susan and I have also been in rehearsal for upcoming songwriter in the round performances we have planned. And we recently returned from a week in Maui!

As you can tell from all of this, we have all been very blessed to be busy doing the thing we love most. Music!!! The only bad news is that we haven't had time to finish the Alexander's Real Time Band debut studio album 'Remain in Light'. I am not going to promise a release date at this point but I do hope to have a single available online soon. So stay tuned.

In the meantime, we hope to see you at one of the March performances. All the best....-alan

Music From Stuff: Just a Taste - January 18, 2011

Yo! Things have been so busy I haven't had time to update this journal recently. But here is a taste of the music I have been writing for the movie "Stuff". More to come. Enjoy!

Baby it's cold outside - November 17, 2010


(ARTB on Orcas l to r: Court Crawford, Susan Peck, Sura Charlier & Alan)

Wow! Time just keeps on slippin' into the future. The holiday season is almost here and there is so much going on I can hardly keep up. 

We're trying to finish the new ARTB album, 'Remain in Light'. I am working on the score for the movie,  Stuff ( The Dub Squad, Tonic of the People album is available again after being out of print for over 15 years. And, we have been debuting the quartet version of ARTB.

Our 1st show in this format was on Orcas Island for Halloween. Susan Peck and I were joined by our good friends from the Cascade Jazz ensemble, Court Crawford on bass & percussion and Sura Charlier on saxophones & flute. 

We will be making our Portland debut of the quartet this weekend at Elevated Coffee with Whit Draper(guitar & bass), Sarah L (cajon & percussion) Susan Peck (piano & accordion) and myself. Sure hope you can make it. See calendar for details.

October Road - October 3, 2010


Well summer is officially over and fall is upon us. We had a great summer tour season and I really enjoyed taking the month of September off from live performance to spend more time with family. Now, as we ease into our fall and winter schedule, we also celebrate new musical adventures for the Alexander Real Time Band family.

Whit Draper has been gearing up for performances with the Sportin’ Lifers and Sarah L is about to head out on tour with Poeina Suddarth. I expect we will all be together for more ARTB gigs in late November or December. In the meantime I have a couple of October performances that I would love to tell you about.

First, join us Friday, October 22nd for a performance in the cozy Tabor Space community cafe and performance venue.  I will be performing with pianist, composer, singer, Susan Peck (eclectic original songs). Also in performance will be Svila (Women's Balkan Vocal Ensemble of Portland) and Mistral (representing the folk traditions of Brittany, Ireland, Central France, and Olde England). This performance is a fundraiser Nourish the Children. This is Susan’s show and I will be backing her up on bass. Susan is an excellent songwriter and pianist, so be sure to check out this performance if you can.

The following weekend is Halloween and we have a very special Alexander’s Real Time Band Halloween Show for you Friday, October 29th. Come on up to Doe Bay, Orcas Island for the best Halloween ever. Fun events all weekend. Susan Peck and I will be performing the ARTB songbook and a few Halloween favorites with Court Crawford and Sura Charlier of Seattle's Cascade Jazz Quartet sitting in. These are all great players and I am very pleased to be performing with them. I already have heard from several of our Portland, Olympia and Seattle fans who are planning to make this show. I hope you can too.

Oh and BTW, Susan is the newest member of our ARTB family so expect to see more of her at shows in the months to come, if she is not otherwise booked. Like Whit and Sarah, she is very much in demand so it’s pleasure and a treat when she is available to perform with Alexander's Real Time Band.

That’s it for now. Hope to see you soon. All the best….


See our event calendar for detail performance information

Hot Fun in the Summer Time - July 31, 2010


We're half way through summer and the fun is far from over. We recently completed the first leg of our summer mini tour. Highlights included performances at Doe Bay resort and retreat on Orcas Island and the Oregon Country Fair. Sarah and I met a bunch of very gifted musicians at the fair again this year and we had the opportunity to play with several of them. Many magic musical moments!


We are back in Portland for now and our next show is at our favorite neighborhood coffeehouse, the Flying Cat. This show will mark a full year of first Saturday performances for us at this location! Thanks to all of you who have supported us in this venue for the past year. We always have a full and attentive audience here and we really appreciate it.


This show is also special because we will be joined by our good friend Poeina Suddarth (of Felina's Arrow). Poe will be opening our show and we will probably do a few songs together. Always a treat.


We hope you can make it to this one. This will be our only show in Portland for the month of August. After this we head up to Rochester, Washington for the K Records Festival and Helsing Junction Sleepover.


See our calendar for detail event information.

Summer 2010 Begins! - June 12, 2010



It's amazing how time flies! It seems like only yesterday that I first approached Artichoke Music about doing a summer solstice concert in the wonderful venue behind the store. Now our 3rd annual concert in this series is approaching!


A few months ago there was even doubt about whether Artichoke Music and the Backgate Stage would remain open past May. Thanks to the support of the local music community and help from theRegional Arts and Culture Council things are looking a little better. But Artichoke still needs your support.


So I invite you to come on down to our 3rd annual Summer Solstice Concert at Artichoke. I will be performing with Whit Draper and Sarah L.  AJ Rock and Phil the Peddler will open the show.


This will be our last show in Portland for a couple of months as we hit the road for Orcas Island, the Oregon Country Fair and the K Records Festival. See our summer calendar for details.  


One more thing.....You may recall a few months ago we put on a benefit for KZME Radio. Well they are still scheduled to begin broadcasting later this year (all local music, all the time). If you would like to learn more about this new station, meet the staff and other local musicians, come on down to the Art Spark event at the Radio Room 1101 NE Alberta, June 17 from 5-7pm. This will be a fun networking event and a chance to get involved in what promises to be a major shift in the broadcast radio paradigm for local music. I will be there too.


Thanks! I hope to see you soon. -alan

Remain in Light album production begins - April 1, 2010

Sarah L

Spring is here and we are busy as ever. We're about 2 recording sessions into our debut album 'Remain in Light'; just finishing rhythm tracks for the first 8 songs. We'll be at this for the next few months or so with a release hopefully sometime this summer. The album will feature our core trio of Whit Draper (guitar, bass), Sarah L (cajon, drums, percussion) and myself (voice, guitar, bass, walkabout dulcimer, piano and other stuff), as well a host of guest musicians that you probably have heard of.

In the meantime we have 3 shows for the month of April as we kick of our 2010 performance season. See calendar for details.

Support Local Music - February 26, 2010


Imagine a local radio station that only plays local music, in a variety of genres, all day every day. It's coming and you can help. Our First Saturday at the Flying Cat this month will be a benefit for KZME Radio which is scheduled to begin broadcasting later this year. This is an idea whose time has come and Portland is the perfect place for it to happen. So come out and show your support for local music. See the calendar for details.

ARTB at he Cat

We are going to be using our First Saturday Concert Series to raise money and/or awareness of local music and/or music education non profits. If you want to share your ideas with us, leave a comment on our blog.

We hope to see you soon. --alan

Welcome to a new Decade!! - December 31, 2009

alan on acoustic fretless
So before we get into a discussion about whether the decade begins in 2010 or 2011, let me just say that 1970 was in the 70s, not the 60s. OK? :-) Either way, I am wishing all of you the best for the New Year that we can all agree is about to begin.

New Years schedule conflicts are requiring that we move our First Saturday performance at the Flying Cat to the Second Saturday, this month only. Whit, Sarah and I will all be there and perhaps a special guest or two. Then it's off to Orcas Island for another performance at Doe Bay at the end of the month. Details for both of these shows are available on our calendar page.

Recording sessions for our debut studio album begin in February with a hopeful release date in time for our annual Summer Solstice show at Artichoke Backgate Stage.

As you can see we have big plans for 2010. Happy New Year! We hope to see you soon.

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Happy Holidays! - November 24, 2009

The Season is approaching. Thanksgiving this week and then the activities that lead up to winter solstice and the holidays. We have one more show this year and I am thrilled to report that sister Sarah L is back from her tour with Felina's Arrow. I'm looking forward to working with her again, first live (December 5 at the Flying Cat) and then in the studio for the upcoming debut ARTB release. I will keep you posted here with updates but in the meantime, follow ARTB on Twitter.

Fall Back - September 13, 2009

The Alexander’s Real Time Band Summer ’09 performance season is over but not forgotten. It was our best summer yet, starting with the debut of the ARTB trio at the Artichoke Summer Solstice show in June and ending with a fun west coast tour that included the Oregon, Washington and Northern California. Two of the highlights of that tour were the K Records Fest/Helsing Junction Sleepover and our performance at Doe Bay on Orcas Island.

We heard some great music at the K Recs Fest including a lively set by LAKE (their new record is lots of fun) and the performance art of Tender Forever (doing fine after her breakup with Beyonce:-). We want to give a big shout out to the crew at Helsing Junction for the great food, swimming and camping provided. This is still one of my favorite gigs of the summer and I look forward to playing there next summer.

The crew at Doe Bay is also awesome. We love the venue and the natural beauty of Orcas Island (see the pic above) and we have been invited to play there again as well next year.

As fall approaches we are looking forward to recording the very first ARTB studio album. Expect performances from Sarah, Whit and I (as the core trio) with guest appearances by Poeina & Felicia (Felina’s Arrow), Mary Sue Tobin, Hershel Yatovitz and others.

And you can still catch us live as we continue our First Saturdays series at the Flying Cat through the end of 2009. Check the calendar page for details.

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