Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Lukas Borsten

Pretty Gritty

7 p.m.


21 and over

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Lukas Borsten

Lukas Borsten

Lukas Borsten is a songwriter/saxophone/guitar man in Portland, OR. After playing with Amanda Palmer, touring nationally, releasing an album at the Wonder Ballroom, producing a series of monthly living room concerts (HAUS Shows), impersonating Bob Dylan and writing for three bands simultaneously, he has now sharpened his focus.

His new and primary band is a six-piece outfit called Ghost Towns. The project was born when Lukas received a grant to spend a week writing/recording in a cabin on the coast of Longview, WA. After five days of solitary work, five musical friends came up to record the new songs and play them through for a caravan of vacationing NW folks. After the performance it was apparent that everyone was jazzed to keep the project going as a regularly performing band back in Portland! Featuring six players on instruments like trumpet, violin, saxophone, accordion, and banjo in addition to the rhythm section, the group is capable of a widely diverse array of sounds.

Lukas is obsessed with both Bob Dylan and Neutral Milk Hotel. Consequently, you can often see him on street corners dressed up as Dylan, busking with songs from the ‘63-'66 catalog. Ghost Towns is capable of performing many Dylan tunes, and can play Neutral Milk Hotel's seminal album In The Aeroplane Over the Sea in its entirety.
The Bottlecap Boys and Lefty & the Twin are Lukas' two other bands, both of which will be performing sets during the upcoming Al's Den residency.




Pretty Gritty

Pretty Gritty

Pretty Gritty might be another duo emerging from a sea of female/male acts as of late, but there is nothing typical about these two. Sarah and Blaine have cultivated a sound that is both timeless and classic, yet they still succeed in bringing something fresh to the table, pushing rootsy-Americana sounds into an edgy, alternative space. These two have carved out a reputation as a must-see live act, allowing them to open for such acts as The Wood Brothers (SalmonFest 2016), Tim O'Brian, Tony Trischka, Chris Eldridge, Rod Picott, Lake Street Dive, Ben Sollee & the Kentucky Native and Joe Newberry.

Both members utilize their multi-instrumental skills to sing, play stringed instruments and hold down back-beats, all simultaneously for a truly engaging experience. But they are not simply just entertainers. It is their mesmerizing vocal harmonies and beautifully crafted songwriting that really tug at the heartstrings and earn them life-long fans.

"There's an elusive chemistry between some singers. George and Tammy had it, and so did Olivia and John. Those kids from Nickel Creek had it, and the hottest example of it (recording) in Nashville at the moment are a duo known as Pretty Gritty."
-C. Brett Campbell
Middle Tennessee Music

The duo originally formed in Maryland in 2010, but after completing 2 (completely DIY) National tours and 3 recording projects, Sarah and Blaine decided to relocate to Portland, OR. At first they hit the streets, busking downtown, but it didn't take long for folks to take notice. Pretty Gritty are now playing at venues all over the Pacific Northwest. They have successfully completed several tours, covering ground all over OR, WA, MT, CO, UT and AK.

Pretty Gritty's self-titled debut album (2012) features the well known jam/festival scene artist, Keller Williams, as the voice of the devil on the track titled "Hellhound Blues." This freshman attempt won them 2 Indie Music Channel awards, Best Country Song and Best Folk Song.

In 2015, Pretty Gritty began their relationship with producers Fred Cannon & Paul Buono at Creative & Dreams Music Network (Nashville, TN) where they recorded their Lonely Road EP (released Feb 2016). Pleased with the experience, everyone decided to continue the relationship and return to the studio to record a full album, Seven Year Itch, due to release March 30th, 2018.





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. 





Explore the Crystal Blocks

Our Crystal Hotel and legendary Crystal Ballroom are just across the street from each other, each offering their own unique spaces for live music, Northwest style fare and McMenamins hand crafted beverages.  Explore these properties and all they have to offer. 

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