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Jim Drake

Stories by Jim

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Snapshots of Culture Fest

This year’s Culture Fest at Columbia Gorge Community College was indeed a Kaleidoscope of vibrant color, dance and community interaction.

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Group protests Belmont Drive church readerboard sign

The sign said, “Wake up Christians, Allah is not our God, Muhammad not Greater than Jesus.”

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Believing in what you believe

Portland musician-troubadour-folk-preacher McDougall returns to Hood River on Friday with a new CD that expands his regular one-man show into new territory: a full band sound.

Going Solar: Amateur astronomer provides safe view of our nearest neighborhood star

“What we’re doing is reducing the brightness of the sun by 100,000 times,” Bob Yoesle said of his solar viewing telescope system that he brought to The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles last Saturday afternoon.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Storm Large on wanting to be good, paying your dues, and the luxury of time

When can someone say that he, or she, has finally reached the top of their game? What events in your life have to occur to say that you have finally “made it?” It’s still an open-ended question for singer Storm Large, even after reflecting on 25 years of being on the music scene.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Claudia Schmidt plays new venue in TD April 21

What’s the best way to describe a 12-string guitarist with an affinity for the mountain dulcimer who describes her 40-year career as more of a “careen”?

Double feature: Kool Stuff and Stubborn Son share bill April 15

The other day I popped a cassette of John Williams playing some Spanish classical guitar songs into the old Kenwood stereo tape deck at home.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Solo show, new book from keyboardist Martin Gerschwitz recalls classic-rock days

April 8 gig in The Dalles features touring musician who played with Iron Butterfly, Meat Loaf and Eric Burdon

If there’s one dream for musicians who enjoy the classic rock genre, actually playing in your favorite all-time band and contributing the quintessential sounds to their most popular songs probably ranks as number one.

JIM DRAKE’S ENTERTAINMENT BLOG: Local stories; jazz music combine for pod-cast format inspired show

Lyrics to songs usually tell stories, and music certainly can create feeling for those stories — but the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble is taking a new step in their repertoire by presenting original music integrated with pre-recorded narration during their live show.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Thinking outside of the box on music theory

I’m reading a terrific book right now. It’s terrific because, well, when you get to read translations of very old manuscripts about super-important stuff — and even find analogies to music that can tie into the current Instrumental art show — I’d call that terrific.

JIM DRAKE’S ENTERTAINMENT BLOG: 70-something songs later: Kicking-off the season and catching up with Cripple Hop

I remember the first gig I played for one traumatic reason. But can I tell you the year it happened? No, not without research. The day? Probably a Saturday, but I’d have to check. Anything about the setlist? Ummm, it had songs on it, yes.

JIM DRAKE’S ENTERTAINMENT BLOG: Terry Robb’s blues still sound good after 29 years

Seeing Hood River “trending” nationally on Facebook the other day, and what it was trending for, made me so disheartened and mad, I actually used the word “jerk-wad” in a post.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Imagining a world with no winners and no losers

I ask a lot of folks how and why they got started in music, and their answers are always enjoyable because of personal reasons near and dear to one’s heart.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment blog: Breathe, breathe in the air

Free workshop teaches basic exercises for singing

How did Frank Sinatra do it? Janis Joplin? If we could ask them today, I’d be interested in what they’d have to say about the mechanics of singing.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: ‘Europatopia’ features guitarist Joel Kabakov

By now, you should know that the Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association will be presenting “A Community of Music” at the Wy’east Middle School Performing Arts Center on Friday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m., and on Sunday, Jan. 24, at 2 p.m.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Sold-out show features ‘30s style Barrelhouse Piano of Erick Haynie

I guess the first question of the New Year is: How fast did the “I Hate Cancer” concert coming up on Jan. 9 at the arts center sell out?

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Parisian Americana artist Eric John Kaiser makes stop in HR

About a year ago, Eric John Kaiser released his album “Idaho,” which is a collection of songs he wrote while staying at a hotel near the Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, and then went back to Portland to record it.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Doing what it takes to be the ‘Finest’

My theory that all bands, music and interviews in the world are somehow linked together was further confirmed when a press release from Portland jam-banders World’s Finest landed in my in-box earlier this month.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Top-notch jazz players promise relaxing evening of music

There’s one main point I’d like to pass along about my talk with saxophonist Bob Sheppard, who will be in Hood River this weekend for the “All That Jazz” show at the arts center. He basically said that the concert won’t be too loud.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Beer Bible puts Hood River on the map

Hood River beer aficionados have a chance to meet up with Jeff Alworth, author of “The Beer Bible,” on Sunday, Aug. 23. He’ll be at Double Mountain Brewery as part of the Great Bottle Roundup, which starts at noon. If you’re ready for a 644-page reference guide that represents over two years of world-wide travel to major beer-producing regions, Sunday would be a good time to head down and check it out.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: New Orleans style Tubaluba returns Aug. 21

I probably don’t need to say this, but music has been crazy-good this summer.

Entertainment Update for Aug. 1

‘Breaking N the Gorge’ Aug. 7; TEN30 at River City July 31; more

JIM DRAKE’S ENTERTAINMENT BLOG: The voices have the power for ‘Independence Eve’

My timing was perfect the other evening. Not only did I catch the Columbiaires at band practice for the upcoming “Independence Eve” show at the Bingen Theater, but I managed to show up exactly during the fairly lengthy power failure that White Salmon and Bingen were experiencing at the time.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: A different side to Pamela Parker

Pamela Parker started out playing music at a super-young age — in fact, based on our phone conversation last month, she detailed her entire musical upbringing in a very clear and organized way.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Still jammin at 50: photos prove it really happened

It seems like yesterday I was celebrating birthday number 40, but to me time feels like it’s speeding by at a faster rate. I mean, it seemed like I just blinked my eyes and the last season of Downton Abbey was already wrapping up. What was that, anyway, a total of six weeks?

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Local musician gives voice to The Countryside

Since last April, drummer turned DJ Jeff Minnick has been broadcasting the classic country sounds of the 40s, 50s and 60s with his two-hour Tuesday night program The Countryside, live on the air and over the internet from 7-9 p.m.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Deep soul and rare records: Ural Thomas and the Pain plays HR

A unique R&B-soul band is coming to Hood River on Friday, Feb. 13, and even if you’re superstitious, we should be treating this show like it’s our lucky day.

Director’s cut: insight to auditions and accents

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog

The story in the news last week on the upcoming auditions for the CAST production of “Good People” prompted me to contact director Judie Hanel and ask her a few questions on a topic I know very little about: auditioning for a play.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Finally, a movie review that makes sense to me

A year ago I had the pleasure to interview NYC-based folk singer Christine Lavin. She was supposed to do a show at the Aladdin Theater in Portland but unfortunately the show got cancelled at the last minute.

Happy Holidays from Jim Drake's Entertainment Blog

The best Christmas songs you've never heard, and getting ready for 2015

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mile marker 6 returns Jan. 6

Music at Springhouse Cellar with mile marker 6

JIM DRAKE’S ENTERTAINMENT BLOG: Ben Ballinger brings ‘State I’m In’ to Gorge Jan. 2

Austin resident and Gorge native Ben Ballinger is taking a slightly different marketing approach on “The State I’m In,” his sixth album to date. Ballinger signed with Good Horse Records, and it’s called “records” for good reason — that’s what they make.

Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Going to see a band that really gives

It’s serendipitous that I get to write about a band, during the Thanksgiving holiday no less, which actually thinks about others and makes a special point to give back to their community.

Entertainment Update for Nov. 26

Willie & Nelson at The Pines; more

Entertainment Update for Nov. 22

Cowboy Gathering returns Nov. 29; more

Entertainment Update for Nov. 19

‘Easy Boys’ at River City Nov. 26; Tess Barr at Double Mt.; more

Entertainment Update for Nov. 12

‘Old Soul’ at CEBU Nov. 15; more

Entertainment Update for Nov. 8

‘Easy Boys,’ more at River City; ‘Pale Ales’ at Naked Winery; more

Entertainment Update for Nov. 5

Second Saturday dance Nov. 8l ‘Bend in the River’ screens as benefit for history museum; more

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Jim Drake’s Entertainment Blog: Cider Camp scrapbook

With an abundance of apples and pears in the Hood River Valley, it’s easy to understand why the emerging business of craft hard cider is such a natural fit for the Gorge.

Entertainment Update for Oct. 25

Onehum at Everybody’s Oct. 26; Cuban Salsa dance Oct. 29; more

Entertainment Update for Oct. 22

Mozart Requiem Oct. 24, 26; Kerry Williams at The Pines; Planet Booty in HR Oct. 24; more

Entertainment Update for Oct. 18

Cripple Hop at Springhouse; Bluesman Doug MacLeod in Hood River Oct. 17; more

‘Mountains are a part of my soul’

‘Starry Night’ author brings inspirational survival tale to HR

Life changed in July of 2010 for mountain climber Isabel Suppé. While climbing a wall of ice high in the Bolivian Andes, her climbing partner slipped and fell, causing both of them to fall 1,100 feet.

Entertainment Update for Oct. 8

This week at CEBU Lounge;Moe Dixon Friday at The Pines; more

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Entertainment Update for Oct. 4

‘Virginia Woolf?’ opens Oct. 9; Quiz Night returns to Marley’s; more

David Vest at The Civic Oct. 9

‘Piano Night’ features Terry Robb, Jeff Minnick

How often do you have a chance to thank your piano teacher for all those lessons your parents paid for so many years ago?

Entertainment Update for Oct. 1

Voci sings ‘Requiem’ Oct. 26; Magical History Tour Oct. 24 benefits Cascade Locks museum; more

Sense of Place examines mushrooms Oct. 1

Langdon Cook is the author of the award-winning book, The Mushroom Hunters, a book that reveals the hidden economy surrounding wild mushroom harvesters in the Pacific Northwest. At this lecture and slideshow, follow itinerant pickers and field buyers as they hunt for mushroom in an effort to supply restaurants from coast to coast with one of nature’s best ingredients.

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