Big Big Love

Wild Bells

Lone Madrone

  • 8:30 p.m. |
  • $6 |
  • 21 and over

About Big Big Love


In the springtime of 2012, after performing a wide range of music with incredible players for most of her life, lead singer Sarah King decided it was high time to put together a project of her own.  It didn't take long for her to decide who the dream team would include.  She asked those musicians to come out and play and naturally, they all said "YES".  Along with Miss Sarah King, Big Big Love is:

Chet Lyster - guitar (Lucinda Williams, eels, Casey Neill & the Norway Rats)

David Langenes - guitar (The Stolen Sweets, Pete Krebs & the Portland Playboys)

Lara Michell - keys (The Stolen Sweets, Dirty Martini, a simple colony)

Arthur Parker - bass (Trashcan Joe, Chris Robley & the Fear of Heights, The Nowhere Band)

Joe Mengis - drums (Climber, James Low Western Front, Casey Neill & the Norway Rats)


About Wild Bells

WILD BELLS a new band, formed by three Portland music scene veterans in 2011. And while the members may be a little older than your average boy band, together they create a fresh new sound: a unique and appealing mix of powerpop, roots rock and psychedelia.  

Pete Ficht on guitar, bass and keyboards has played in a number of bands in New Orleans and Portland, including the House Levelers, the State Flowers and King Black Acid. Drummer Scott Pettitt has long been an in-demand drummer around Portland, lately recording with The Dimes and playing with the State & Standard. Lead guitarist Craig Stahr has played in numerous bands over the years, most recently unleashing his guitar firepower with the Quags and Mission 5.

Wild Bells is proud to announce the release of their first recording, the digital single "Curtain Call/Never Learn (Not to Learn)".  It was recorded by acclaimed local producer Tony Lash at Mandible Studio and the Magic Closet in Portland in early 2012. Ficht and Lash had recorded together twice before, with Joy Pop Turbo and the State Flowers.

Singer/songwriter Ficht burst out of New Orleans with his first band the House Levelers in the early 90's. Their wild live shows and folk-punk sound brought them national notoriety with press coverage in Sassy, USA Today and MTV and appearances at SXSW and Jazz Fest. Their 1991 album No Definitions was produced by the late, great Memphis producer Jim Dickinson (Big Star, The Replacements).

After the demise of that band, Ficht moved to Portland in 1995 and played with Noisecandy, Joy Pop Turbo, the State Flowers, King Black Acid and National Anthem. The much-loved State Flowers released the Third of July album in 1999 and featured the songs of Ficht and co-founder Corrina Repp (now of Tu Fawning). Ficht also appeared on the King Black Acid albums Loves a Long Song and The Mothman Prophecies soundtrack. Between 1997 and 2001 he played NXNW/MusicFest NW five times with four different bands.

But long years of struggling in the indie rock trenches had taken their toll and Ficht slowly moved away from music as he started a career and family. But by 2010 he was determined to finally get a new project going. A chance encounter with Scott Pettitt, who had briefly played with Ficht fifteen years earlier in Noisecandy, got the ball rolling.

Pettitt, a Portland native, had spent the last few years as a reliable drummer around town, playing gigs and recording with a variety of bands (including Ezza Rose, Alice Blue, the Dimes, the State & Standard and Kindie rocker Mr. Ben), but was looking to settle down with his own band.

After much searching, they were delighted to find guitarist Craig Stahr on (appropriately enough) Craigslist. Stahr, originally from Salem, had been playing guitar in bands since the 80's, but had more recently found acclaim in Portland as the red-hot guitarist with the Quags and Mission 5.

Stahr had joined the Quags in 2003, releasing two highly regarded albums (Out in the Community and Devil's Music) over the next two years. He then moved on to join the roots-rocking Mission 5 in 2005, recording The Other Side and Search for a Perfect Life, but heavy touring on the West Coast and Europe had left him burnt out and ready for a break. After a couple of years spent recharging his batteries, he joined Wild Bells in the summer of 2011.

A series of bass players came and went (and sometimes came and went again). But their set list was overflowing and they decided to forge ahead without a permanent bassist.

In October 2012 they finally found the missing link when they were joined by Sean Tichenor on bass. Sean, like Pete, had spent time in King Black Acid. He had also played with numerous bands over the years, including James Angell and L.A.-based Stimulator, with whom he recently opened tours for Duran Duran and the Go-Go's.

WIld Bells plan to record a full album with producer Tony Lash in early 2013.


About Lone Madrone

"Their edges are loose and wild, and their live shows feel like spontaneity took it's top off and flashed your granny." 

Hailing from disparate sides of the States, it took a rare Portland, Oregon, snowstorm to birth the foot-stompin', ramblin' country rock of Lone Madrone when neighbors and founding members Tucker (guitar, vocals, drums/percussion, piano, glockenspiel) and Paxton Scott (electric/upright bass, backing vocals), in an effort to combat cabin fever, started jamming together, quickly penning a few tunes.

  The duo enlisted lead guitarist Michael Bateman and drummer James Phillips (Bombadil), and the group began to self-record and produce its debut album, A Safe Heart, between homes in Eugene and Portland. Phillips recorded and mixed most of the album before returning to Bombadil (Ramseur Records), but Lone Madrone picked up Erich Spielman in his stead and self-released A Safe Heart on November 12th, 2011 at The Piano Fort.   Out of that first long winter came the standout track "Sleep" inspired by "the desperate need for spring after a particularly long winter." The tale begins cold, with slushy, odd-metered blues that represent the grind winter can cause, but the quick, upbeat swing transition about a minute in reminds you that spring is inevitable, while the final section ushers in the long-awaited return of warmth and light with the lyric "Go back to sleep, I'll be with you tonight."   While A Safe Heart moves from twangy ditties-like the French-peppered, Lafayette- and Luke Skywalker-inspired "Fishin' Boat"-to alt-country jams-the punky romp of "Mine Diamond" or the gritty love song "Victory Dance"-to tender touches from a delicate cello (Josh Starmer) on the brief "Take A Stand" followed by the ever-present pedal steel (Paul Brainard) on "Tidewater," the musical influences are vast.   Although plenty of youthful teeth were cut in punk rock and cover bands, it's Scott's time in Louisiana with Delta blues, Cajun and zydeco music and Tucker's percussionary travels to lands like Brazil-where he studied samba percussion-and Turkey plus matured interests in old jazz and swing that add depth to Lone Madrone's sound.   "Old-Timey Blues Swing from the future," is how Scott puts it as Lone Madrone's new, live material contains hints of psychedelic rock while maintaining a roots vibe, mixing the classic songwriting influences of Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Tom Waits, and John Prine with the psychedelia of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin next to the pioneering blues of Son House and Robert Johnson.   It's these elements combined that ignite Lone Madrone's raucous live set. Or as musician Darka Stebivka so eloquently recounted: "Their edges are loose and wild, and their live shows feel like spontaneity took it's top off and flashed your granny."  Sharing Oregon stages with the likes of Langhorne Slim & The Law, Mike Midlo and Pancake Breakfast, and Marty Marquis of Blitzen Trapper, Lone Madrone has played Portland pubs and venues including Mississippi Studios, The Secret Society, LaurelThirst Public House, Someday Lounge, Backspace, The White Eagle Saloon, and the Double Mountain Brewery in Hood River.   Thrilled to be performing, writing and recording, the current trio of Tucker, Scott and Spielman is already working on new material. "Some have hints of psychedelic rock, Latin and even Gypsy but somehow keep a foot in the Americana/roots style," Scott explains. "This summer we'll be playing all over the Northwest, from Bellingham to Ashland, and we'll begin recording our next album in the fall, if we can wait that long."

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