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Entertainment report for week ending 3/17: All you gotta say is “It’s St. Patty’s Day this Sunday!”

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Alien Echo will be jamming at the Corner Bar and Grill this Saturday night.

By BEN OLSON/for The Herald  —  St. Patrick’s Day gives everyone a chance to be Irish for a day. I can temporarily put away my stoic Norwegian-ness and look at life from a new point of view. For the record, my father’s grandmother was a Ryan, right off the boat from Killarney. That makes me more Irish than Norwegian. Since my great-great grandfather, Ole Olson, showed up in America in 1868, no Olson has married a Norwegian gal. By my calculations, I’ve a good Norwegian name and 6.25% Norwegian blood, and only half as many Norwegian genes as the Irish part of me. Erin Go Bragh!

Coming up this week along the 58:

Alien Echo will be jamming at the Corner Bar this Saturday night, March 16. Singer-songwriter Jonathan Chiarella will be handling the vocals in this new 4-piece band based right here in Oakridge. Jonathan, drummer Michael Shawn and guitarist Forrest Schroeder made up the psychedelic band Stonerz, who played occasional summer gigs. With the addition of bass player Just Dan, they re-christened themselves Alien Echo, and look to be out playing a bit more.

Aside from several choice cover tunes, their set list is all songs written by Jonathan. Contrary to rumors, they will not be wearing matching outfits. Those expecting the light show will not be disappointed. The music is scheduled from 9 until midnight. The Corner Bar has beer, wine and liquor and nightly food specials. They’re located on 1st Street in Uptown Oakridge.

The king of the open mic; see Ben this Thursday

The 3 Legged Crane is located a block to the east on 1st Street. This Thursday, March 14, I’ll be hosting the open mic there. As always, I’m hoping to see some players and singers come through the door to join in the fun. On a good night, all the house percussion instruments are being pounded or shaken by members of the audience. I’ll be kicking off the show at 6:30.

James Howard appearing this Saturday

On Saturday evening, March 16, James Howard will be making the trek from Seattle to play a solo show at the Crane. James is an award winning singer-songwriter, band leader and music educator. From the youtube clips I’ve seen, he can really play the guitar, as well. His solo set will be a mix of original tunes and covers. According to his website, serving the world through music is his life’s purpose. The show begins at 7 pm.

You can find out more at The 3 Legged Crane is a brewpub, making many of the fine beers and ales right on site. There are appetizers, sandwiches and dinners on the menu.

Great conditions both on the slopes and in the lounge this weekend at Willamette Pass

Although most people go to Willamette Pass Resort to ski and snowboard, a surprising number of folks make the trip to enjoy the panoramic view from the lounge with an adult beverage in hand and just watch the show. There will be live music again this weekend, from noon until 3 pm each day. I’ll be there with my guitar and uke on Saturday, and Sidney Joseph will be providing “rock and soul, infused with the blues” on Sunday.

Willamette Pass Resort has a full bar and there are appetizers, sandwiches and pizza on the menu. They can be found 25 miles east of Oakridge on Highway 58 at milepost 62. Please check the weather before making the trip. Alpine conditions can occur, requiring chains or traction tires on some days.

Did someone say, “prime rib night at the DLC?”

No word as of yet from Dustin down at the Dexter Lake Club about the entertainment schedule for the coming weekend. Usually, live acts coincide with the Friday Prime Rib Night, from 6 until 8 pm. The Dexter Lake Club has a full bar, and the adjacent Rattlesnake BBQ features appetizers, sandwiches and dinners on the menu. They’re located just off Highway 58 near milepost 12.


I didn’t find out about the Mitchell Brothers show that took place at the Corner Bar last Saturday until after I sent my entertainment column in for publication. I had a chance to stop by and catch their first set. You’d be hard-pressed to find 2 more personable guys and they played song after song that everyone could sing along with. Fun song arrangements, great harmonies and the volume was just right. Even the Eagles would have been impressed with their rendition of “Hotel California”. Rob found a winner with that act. I hope he has them back again soon.

I’ll be practicing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” and “Oh, Danny Boy” for my gigs this week. Enjoy your week, and get out and listen to some live music.

Ben Olson, musician and Oakridge Resident, with his standup bass. Ben is a regular contributor, as well as the Entertainment Report’s columnist. Ben Olson photo


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