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Entertainment report for week ending 8/28 (it starts on Wednesday!)

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By BEN OLSON/for The Herald  —  I was a little surprised when I saw the herd of elk just west of the golf course on my drive into town last week. Although there were about 80 of them that were regular visitors throughout the winter and spring, I somehow expected that they had more unfinished business in the high country before they returned to my neighborhood. Last winter’s bunch appeared somewhat motley- ragged coats, many with a noticeable limp and a few with spiky horns that no one would put up on the wall in their den.

I’ve seen this late summer bunch a few times now. There are about 30, and they are definitely well fed and, for lack of a better description, happier. There are even a couple in the herd with antlers befitting a life insurance ad. 

Solo Dawg at Odell

My guitar playing partner in the Song Dawgz, Gary Battles, will be out bow hunting for relatives of those elk somewhere closer to the Idaho side of the state this weekend, so I’ll be playing solo at Odell Lake Lodge this Saturday, August 27. The music runs from 6 until 8 p.m. and takes place on the deck overlooking the lake. Odell Lake Lodge serves dinner and has a full bar. There is no cover charge for the live music.

Crane welcomes back Chris Baron

Down the hill in the metropolis of Oakridge, there will be a number of opportunities to catch some live music this week. John, the main Crane at the 3 Legged Crane on 1st Street will be welcoming singer-songwriter Chris Baron back to the stage this Friday, August 26. Chris took first place in the songwriting/performance contest at the Tucson Folk Festival in April of this year. The show gets started at 7 p.m. I’ll be running the open mic on Thursday, August 25.

It makes my job easier and more interesting when folks show up with the intent of joining in the musical stew. Stop by with your  instrument or bring your voice and be a part of it. I’ll be back again Monday evening, August 29 with my upright bass and nothing more. I’ll be playing my first song at 6:30 sharp.

Yodeling at the Wetlands

Mick and Cindy at the Deep Woods Distillery, a few blocks further west on 1st Street, will be featuring the Cramer Boys on Saturday, August 27. Three generations of Cramers will take the stage for a fun evening of country rock music. Patriarch Scott Cramer, from right here in Oakridge, will do a few tunes and show us all that yodeling is not a lost art. Sons Derick on guitar and Brian on drums are joined by Brian’s boy Auron on bass to round out the band. The music begins at 6 p.m. Food will be provided by Buen Dia and libations will be mixed with Deep Woods products, distilled right on site. There is a nominal cover charge to gain entry to the festival grounds.

Olson at the Bakery

The Lion Mountain Bakery on Highway 58 in Oakridge will be the scene of ukulele music on Sunday morning, August 28. A week after playing only Beatle songs for an hour and a half, I’ll be playing only non-Beatle tunes in my show. It all begins at 9 a.m. and it ends as soon as Esmerelda brings out my Shrek sandwich shortly after 10:30. The Lion Mountain has a spacious, relaxed atmosphere and I really like the acoustics there, as well. They serve both a breakfast and lunch menu. There is no cover charge for the live music.

DLC heats things up starting this Wednesday

At the western end of our coverage area, the Dexter Lake Club will be having their regular open mic and jam session on Sunday, hosted by Brian Chevalier. Everything gets started about 6 p.m. in the beer garden. On Wednesday, August 24, it will be Olson night in the beer garden, although I’m not sure it happened by design. Yours truly, Ben Olson, will be leading off the show at 5:30, playing guitar and singing cover tunes that may not show up on the radio much any more.

I’ll be followed at 6:30 by Christian Olson, no relation, who will be doing all original tunes, accompanying himself on the ukulele. Although the spelling of our last names is the same, I haven’t had a chance to chat with him about his ancestral origins. The Dexter Lake Club has a full bar and the adjoining Rattlesnake BBQ has appetizers, sandwiches and dinners on the menu. There is no cover charge for the live music. For more information, call 541 581 3000.

Got to love our ever-elusive Oakridge elk herd

Last night, my wife and I talked about taking a photo each morning from the deck of the sunrise or whatever else seems interesting. This morning, the herd of elk meandered up the 7th fairway shortly before sunrise. There were about 80 of them as they approached my yard. I couldn’t find my phone to get the picture. I am willing to bet that I’ll see them again.

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

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