McMenamins Music

303 S.W. 12th Ave., Portland, OR 97205

Monday, May 15, 2017

Kelley McRae

Matty Charles

7 p.m.
21 and over

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Kelley McRae

Kelley McRae called New York City home for many years, cutting her teeth in the vaunted singer/songwriter scene and honing her craft at legendary clubs like The Living Room, The Rockwood Music Hall and the Bowery Ballroom. In 2011 McRae teamed up with guitarist Matt Castelein, and the duo traded in their Brooklyn apartment for a VW camper van and hit the road full time. Kelley and Matt traveled extensively across America those first few years, performing hundreds of shows and finding inspiration for new songs along the way.

The duo has since gone on to tour in eleven countries, including shows in London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin. They've taken the stage with sold-out shows at both The Bluebird Café in Nashville and The Green Note in London, and they've performed at festivals like Riverbend in Chattanooga,TN, Rhythm and Blooms in Knoxville, TN and the Kerrville Folk Festival where they were named New Folk Finalists.

Kelley McRae's latest release, The Wayside, is a testament to the inspiration inherent in the American landscape, the grief intrinsic to change, and the hope that comes with stepping onto unknown soil. The Wayside, McRae says, "is the place along the side of the road where things get left behind, or where you go to rest awhile, or where you go find something you lost along the way." McRae's songs sip life from the tension between holding on and letting go, blooming in their rich search for truths.

Released in April, 2016, The Wayside debuted at #7 on the Euro-Americana charts and hit #4 on the Roots Music Reports Top 50 Contemporary Folk chart. It has continued to impress critics: Penguin Eggs Magazine calls Kelley's voice ‘hauntingly beautiful, echoing the best of Gillian Welch' and New York Music Daily calls the duo ‘the real deal.' Folk Radio UK describes McRae as ‘evocative of the finest moments of Emmylou.' Mike Penard of Radio France says, "With hundreds of new releases each year, there are maybe ten or twenty magical moments. The Wayside is one of those moments."




Matty Charles

Matty Charles

Matty Charles was at the forefront of the old-time & folk music resurgence that began in Brooklyn, NY in the early 2000's. Like the revival that took place 50 years earlier in Greenwich, Village, the scene revolved around several local venues and a handful of musicians. Pete's Candy Store, a small bar in a neighborhood of old tenements was ground zero and Charles and his trio, the Valentines, maintained a weekly gig there that earned them a devoted following.

While living in New York, Charles released four records, composed the musical score for a film and had a cameo as himself in director Hal Hartley's film, Meanwhile.

In 2012, Charles returned to his hometown, Portland, Oregon to be closer to his family and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest where he joined forces with Katie Rose after a chance meeting at The Landmark Saloon, a local country music venue. After discovering a unique magic in their combined voices they began collaborating on the material that would become their debut release, Catching Arrows.

While the duo's country and folk roots are clearly reflected in their close harmony singing, there is also an element of their musical style that places them in a category all their own.  

Charles's gift for songwriting is the backbone of this dynamic duo. The honesty and simplicity with which he explores themes of love, loss and longing is poignant and captivating.

His lyrics "bring to mind Johnny Cash, ...(and at) other times a less twangy Robert Earl Keen. An instant classic." (Acoustic Guitar Magazine)

"Instead of songs about sadness that leave listeners feeling alone, Charles' lyrics and smooth guitar riffs wrap their arms around his listeners and hold them tight." (SF Reporter)

Katie Rose brings a new dimension to the exceptionally strong foundation that Charles has created with his remarkable songwriting by building upon the framework of these songs with her insightful arrangements and diverse harmonies, often haunting and unexpected.

The duo is honored to have worked on their new release Catching Arrows with legendary musicians, Nick Forster on mandolin, tenor and electric guitar, David Jackson and Arcellus Sykes on the upright bass, Joel Savoy on fiddle and guitar and Kevin Major on drums.

Nick Forster is a member of the GRAMMY nominated bluegrass band, Hot Rize. He is also founder, producer and host of the radio show, E Town, based in Boulder, Colorado

Jackson, an original member of Dillard and Clark, and Hearts and Flowers, has played and sung with such luminaries as Kenny Rogers, Hoyt Axton, Jackson Brown and Dwight Yoakam. The California Country Music Association honored Jackson as best instrumentalist.  

GRAMMY award winning cajun musician, Joel Savoy is the founder of the Louisiana based label, Valcour Records. He is also a two time winner of the Cajun French Music Associations Fiddler of the Year Award.



"With a mix of songs from their debut album and covers of good old country and folk songs, Charles and Rose proved that they may be among the best duos in the genre."

(Lambert Smits,


"Matty and Katie's warm, clear vocals impress separately but together create magical moments...invariably we get songwork of timeless allure which exudes a rustic authenticity."

(Cis Van Looy,


"This must have album, Catching Arrows is...a sublime listening experience."



"Earns the Pastor Mustard Commendation of Highest Credibility."

(Dan Sadowsky, Aspen Public Radio)

"That rare blend of resignation and gritty hope one seldom finds this side of Guy Clark"

(Village Voice)

"Charles writes with the broadness of his heroes, Nelson, Earle and Waits, but his singing edges towards the gravity of Waylon Jennings, the melancholy of Richard Buckner and the worldly, poetic edge of Kris Kristofferson or Paul Simon."

(Country Standard Time)


"Instead of songs about sadness that leave listeners feeling alone, Charles' lyrics and smooth guitar riffs wrap their arms around his listeners and hold them tight."  

 (SF Reporter)


"Matty is a true gem. His songs are instant classics."  

(Greg Trooper - singer/songwriter)


"I didn't know they still made voices like Matty's until I heard it. What's even rarer is such a voice combined with such a writing talent...It blows me away every time!"

(Devon Sproule - singer/songwriter)


Catching Arrows is available on itunes, amazon, cdbaby and in music stores.


Listen to Catching Arrows here...


Here is a live performance we did on a radio program in Rotterdam, Holland...






About Al's Den

Head downstairs at the Crystal Hotel to hang out in this music venue named for Al Winter, Portland's gambling overlord who, in the 1940s, managed his vast empire that spanned the Pacific Northwest and into Las Vegas from this very location. Today, we hold live music, artist residencies, pre- and post-concert performances and more. 





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