Posts tagged: Ross Beach

Ascension Parish by Ross Beach

I was pleasantly surprised when Ross Beach shared his latest album with me (it’s officially due out March 25th). I find it quite enjoyable, much as I find all of his records. Ascension Parish bears the superior engineering and eclectic instrumentation that are the hallmarks of Ross’ recorded works. He describes the album as “country/folk/americana” but the perspective is modern and the preponderance of its sentiments are alternately dry and caustic. Play “Laundry Lint” for any accomplished domestic male who’s had to surrender his relationship with the washing of his own clothes and he will invariably connect with Mr. Beach the songsmith. Much of this set breathes in the terminal damnation of the living and exhales in supple, chiming verses and clever choruses, with their intriguing progressions often coyly telegraphed from afar but still warmly received upon arrival. With all he’s obviously endured and has still emerged smiling, please do at least reward Ross Beach with a listen. No matter whether you do, it seems Ross will continue to bring these delightful collections our way.

The Ross Island Bridge CD Release Show and Local Songwriter Revue

TS Brooks, Teresa Bergen and Ross Beach

TS Brooks, Teresa Bergen and Ross Beach

“I was kinda sick of hearing myself sing – I wanted to put a record out that I could actually listen to and enjoy,” confesses Ross Beach towards the middle of the CD Release Show and Songwriter Revue for Ross Island Bridge – Volume 1: The Process Is Now The Work.  For this project, Ross pulled another eleven songs’ worth of hooks out of his hat and used them to reel in a cast of Portland, Oregon’s best indie singers.  The resulting lick-laden CD is immediately hum-worthy and totally deserving of an all-star party.

On April 22, 2009, Ross summoned The Hellpets and several of his friends who sing on the album, and arranged for Splice Finders and his digital audio lasso to bust the whole affair at Backspace to micromedia.  Here’s how she was taken down:

Dropping in from Blue Skies For Black Hearts, Patrick Kearns strums and works the frets in his moment alone onstage before he and Ross leap to the album rocker “The Way You Say Bye.”  Following her intense solo set, Ali Ippolito (Rainbow & The Kittens) and Ross seek the musical answer “What Should I Do.”  After abandoning us to the riveting Adrienne Hatkin‘s (Autopilot is for Lovers) solo set, Ross joins her for “ifeelmyselfhoping.” Next, Kaitlyn ni Donovan lends her own beautiful pieces to us, and then her voice to Ross’ “Dreaming Of.”  TS Brooks (Minmae), who’s been playing lead guitar tonight, and whose own songs remind us of a crispier Lambchop, performs “The Exploding.”  Then come a couple of run-and-hits: Jon Ragel (Boy Eats Drum Machine) taking “A Pensive Moment,”  and the gleaming “We Met Too Soon” featuring Anne Adams.  A couple of chansons fortes de Ross and The Hellpets top off the mega-podcast (as in 195 MBs, gang, nearly five-thirds of an hour, so please be patient with the download).

One ought also to point to “The cover-volumeoneCountess” Teresa Bergen‘s assured bass throughout the evening’s proceedings.  In the less-assured league, Splice Finders apologizes for that bothersome crackling when the reverberations of Backspace max out the recording level, which he’d assumed was dialed back to a modest gain; but Splice has much to be glad about, having witnessed this stellar array of Portland-area talent and also getting his own copy of the new CD.

In fact, the CD makes a fantastic souvenir even if you weren’t in attendance; and we just happen to have three brand new sealed copies to give away.  If you spin an email quickly enough to (please put “Ross Island Bridge” in the Subject line) we’ll try to help one to reach you.

(This podcast is no longer available.)

Three Friends Mondays: Caffeinated Art #21

Ross and the Hellpets

Ross and the Hellpets

A true gem of Portland’s music scene, the cuddle-worthy Ross and the Hellpets have played two shows, both free to the public and each compelling in its own way, for Show and Tell Gallery Productions this year, and Broken Hours has been humbled to podcast both.

On Monday, November 17, 2008, Ross Beach, Teresa Bergen and Chris Baker presented some old and some new songs, responded to a request (the poignant “Oxygen”) and even nailed a Duran Duran cover which sadly had to be excluded from the podcast (damn licensing!).  (Warning: tense shift!) Between the songs comes wickedly smart banter that could be an whole other commodity for these good-natured tunesters.

But that ain’t all!  Between the two sets Teresa Bergen whips out her latest novel, Killing The President, and treats the house to some brisk and entertaining prose.

And where were you?  Okay, well you’ll find the podcast on the Three Friends Mondays: Caffeinated Series page at

Also, now you can access the Three Friends Mondays: Caffeinated Series podcast via iTunes using this link:

WordPress Themes