On Monday night, H2M threw a little party to send ourselves off to New York in style. Held it in the lobby of Portland Center Stage's Gerding Bldg, which is a gorgeous place to have to yourself on a Monday to drink beer and play music and watch a beautiful piece of dance come dancing down the curving staircase. Happy to have friends (and hopefully future artistic collaborators) perform for the crowd, circling around the performance area set up with a few mics and pedals.
Al James (of the band Dolorean) started it out with some great heart-twisting ballads some from his soon to be released album. It's rare to see Al play solo, I've seen him with the band plenty of great nights, but Al is going on tour to Europe this fall solo, and it's a great energy he brings solo-style to the strained, slow clear power of his voice, pure and unrushed. H2M is working with Al this fall to create a series of new ensemble-created songs for the premiere of 'Everyone Who Looks Like You' in November.
After he did his thing, Holcombe Waller took the mic and grabbed everyone's attention and wouldn't let go until he'd bounced his deceptively gentle voice off the bricks a few times (his singing can soar to gorgeous powerful heights in a split second, after lulling you into a elegant trance). He covered Paul Simon, Buffy St. Marie and then a number of his own, including an older song I’d never heard, that he's reworking for his new album. He passed on the compliment to H2M that our company 'is down in the grind, working hard' to stay active and create our work. That’s a great damn compliment coming from someone who works so hard himself to create beautiful, disciplined work and show it around the country.