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Entertainment report: A changing wind, but the music goes on

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Intro for entertainment column for July 30, 31


By BEN OLSON/for The Herald  —  If you’re reading this, it’s a cinch that my ever-alert editor has also read it. Soon I will be stepping away from my position as the entertainment writer for the Highway 58 Herald. Some things have come up that will keep me from being totally dedicated to my job here at the paper. I’ll tell you more about that later- I’ve still got a few columns left to go.

You want my job? There are deadlines to meet, high standards for truth and accuracy, and for the first time in quite a while, spelling counts. On the plus side, you’ll have a chance to hobnob with all the music celebrities that play in venues up and down the Highway 58 corridor. Your press pass will get you backstage for all the shows.

It’s not my job to pick my successor. But, if you were to buy me a beer or a sandwich or gift me a vintage guitar, I could be persuaded to put in a good word for you. I sincerely hope the next entertainment writer does such a wonderful job that no one will be asking for my return.

Music from west to East

Let’s start on the Eugene end of our coverage area this week. The Dexter Lake Club, where the iconic bar scene in the movie “Animal House” was filmed, will be featuring some acoustic music in the beer garden this Wednesday, July 27. Eugene legend Lea Jones will be playing a set from 5:30 until 6:30, followed immediately by singer/guitarist Christian Olson. 

On Sunday, July 31, Brian Chevalier and friends will be hosting the open mic and jam session, with music starting around 6 p.m. The Dexter Lake Club has a full bar and the adjoining Rattlesnake BBQ has sandwiches, appetizers and dinners, as well. For more information, call 541-581-3000.

Outdoor fun at the Blackberry Jam in Lowell

Just a couple of miles further east on Highway 58 at Lowell, the Blackberry Jam Festival will be taking place this Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31. After a couple of years off, the folks in Lowell will be trying to make up for lost time with lots of fun for the whole family all weekend.

On the stage at Rolling Rock Park on Saturday will be the Olem Alves Band from 2 until 4. They’ll be followed by the HipBillys from 6 until 8 pm. Then, the Heavy Chevy Band will be on stage, starting at 8:30. On Sunday, there will be magic in the air with Dr.Delusions Illusions putting on a show from noon until 12:45.

Back in Oakridge

At the Lion Mountain Bakery on Highway 58 in Oakridge, Broken Horn will be playing guitar and singing this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 29, 30, and 31, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. I’ll be playing my ukulele bright and early Sunday morning, starting with my rendition of the old Frankie Laine classic, “That Lucky Old Sun” at 9 a.m. sharp. The Lion Mountain serves both a breakfast and lunch menu and has a spacious, relaxed atmosphere. There is no cover charge for the live music.

SRB at Deep Woods

Stewart’s Roadhouse Band will be at the Deep Woods Distillery’s Insensitive Wetlands festival grounds this Saturday evening, July 30. The show is scheduled to start around 6:30. Led by guitar virtuoso Gregg Stewart, the SRB has been rocking Lane County for many years. There will be a nominal charge for this outside event. Fine Deep Woods products will be served, and food will be provided by Buen Dia.

The 3 Legged Crane, just a couple blocks further east on 1st Street in Oakridge, will be presenting the Song Dawgz this Thursday, July 28. This is also an open mic. The fun starts at 7 p.m. and runs until 9. On Friday, July 29, Cuchulain will be back in Oakridge, following his world tour, or, perhaps, this is still part of his world tour. A personable entertainer, Cuchulain will weave his witty original tunes with an eclectic selection of covers. The show begins at 7 p.m. 

On Monday evening, I’ll be back on stage with my upright bass, honing my song list with the tunes I’ll be playing on my upcoming tour. The songs start at 6:30 and continue until at least 8:30. There is no cover charge for live music at the 3 Legged Crane. The Crane serves fine hand-crafted beers and ales and has a sandwich, dinner and appetizer menu.

Traveling east to milepost 67, you’ll find the turn to Odell Lake Lodge. The Song Dawgz will be playing on the deck from 6 until 8 p.m. this Saturday night, July 30. Enjoy dinner and a drink as you listen to music and gaze at the lake. The Lodge has a full bar and serves sandwiches, as well as dinners.

The “Dog Days of Summer” are coming

As I write this, early in the morning, my bare toes are cold, and a cool breeze is wafting through the house. It sounds as if the heat will be arriving in the next few days and staying around for a while. You know the drill- get out early to take your dog for a walk or get your outside projects done. 

Stay hydrated and slather on the sunscreen if you have to spend much time outside. Keep in mind, too, that the hot weather makes some people a little prickly, so cut everyone some slack as we endure these hottest days of the year.

Ben Olson, musician and Oakridge Resident, with his standup bass Ben Olson photo

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