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Tom D’Antoni is a venerable Oregon reporter and founding editor-in-chief of the in-print and online magazine, Oregon Music News. Tom is also the voice and free-wheeling disc jockey behind the KMHD radio program on Friday nights, “I Like It Like That,” where he spins music and musician interviews in the style of a master craftsman, with a dedicated passion for the music – and the stories behind the musicians.

Tom has been following the musical adventures of Kate & Steve for years. Starting with his OPB Artbeat segments (“Artichoke as a Love Story,” followed by OPB’s ghost story by Jeff Douglas of the song “Travis John” that preceded KC Cowan’s segment on the use of “Travis John” for choreographer Josie Moseley’s “Quiet Pieces” staged for Oregon Ballet Theater and danced by Patrick Kilbane. Tom stayed hot on the trail and reported again when Kate & Steve changed tracks to live on the road and tour with a fleet of ukes to convert the uninitiated of America to the joys of playing music.

When Tom first heard that Kate & Steve were coming home to Portland to stay, he texted to ask, “where is the parade going to be?” Since then, Tom has interviewed Kate & Steve twice – one in the early morning hours during home reconstruction a week before moving back, and the other more recent radio interview with Kate solo in “Coffeeshop Conversation #38“.

Tom D’Antoni covers a lot of ground with his provocative line of questions and friendly interest, and we appreciate his help in giving you a glimpse into the life and times – past, present and future – of Kate & Steve, their new band “The Portlanders” and an inside look at life, the people and the music they make from Portland, Oregon.

Special thanks to the one and only Tom D’Antoni, friend and reporter extraordinaire.

Your comments are very welcome. Thanks for reading!

Kate Power and Steve Einhorn talk to Oregon Music News …

Jan 19, 2015 – Uploaded by Oregon Music News

The opening track on Wildgeese Celtic Music of the Northwest starts with Planxty Charles, Kitty’s Wedding and builds into the third thunderous tune, Sonny Brogan’s finishes the set. A sample of the first two refresh memories of Portland in 1983 and this newly reissued recording now available here.wildgeese_cover_1_20150211

Harmonizing Community

Harmonizing Community by steve einhorn

We are coming home to play for you at the Backgate Stage at Artichoke Music. Call 503-232-8845 for reservations. We look forward to seeing you soon! Kate & Steve

With Steve’s art gaining attention, we thought it would be fun to share the story of Crispin’s guitar as one of the seminal stops along the journey that brought us to this place in time.
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Musicians make music. It’s what they do – discovering truths in progressions and phrases, curling up in the spaces between the notes.

But Crispin Mungure was so driven to catch the melodies in his mind that he did more than make music. He made his own guitar.

It’s likely you’ve never seen a musical instrument as crude as Crispin’s handmade guitar. In his tiny village of Weya in rural Zimbabwe, 17-year old Crispin lives with his father and younger siblings in a mud hut on communal land, land with marginal agricultural promise that was given to native Zimbabweans when white colonists came to their part of Africa. The economy in Zimbabwe is near collapse; in the village of Weya, known for its women artists, there is no money to buy musical instruments.

So Crispin took a single plank of rough wood and carved it in the shape of a guitar, hollowing out the body until it looked like an empty bowl. Across the top he affixed a piece of flattened metal cut from a colorful vegetable oil can, with a hole in the middle. He fastened it to the body with handmade nails fashioned from scrap copper. He scratched fret marks across the neck with a knife and fashioned rough pegs from wooden sticks. Now all he needed were guitar strings; he removed brake cables from old bicycles in his village, stripped off their plastic sheaths, unwound the wire and affixed it to his guitar.

The tone was tinny and faint. But Crispin had his guitar.

“The person who works with me in Zimbabwe, named John, said to me, ‘There’s this guy in Weya who’s a really talented musician. He’s composing music as well as playing and singing. You have to hear him,’” recalls Dick Adams. After years as a professor at Lewis & Clark College, Dick left in 1999 to create the nonprofit Zimbabwe Artists Project, to help the women of Weya become self-sufficient by marketing their art in America. Last fall Dick was in Zimbabwe and heard Crispin play his homemade guitar.

Dick was so taken by Crispin’s talent that the next time he phone Portland he suggested that his wife, Wendy Rankin, stop by Artichoke Music in Portland and pick up some real guitar strings for Crispin’s guitar. Dick’s brother was about to visit Zimbabwe and could deliver the strings.

So Wendy went to see Steve Einhorn, who owns Artichoke Music with his wife, Kate Power.

For the uninitiated, Artichoke Music is a retail store that sells musical instruments. “But it’s also about the music,” says Steve. “We need the retail business to pay for the teaching we do and for the performance space in the back. It’s very important that we continue making music.”

Wendy described Crispin’s guitar and asked about guitar strings. Steve Einhorn responded, “Sure, we have guitar strings. But would he rather have a real guitar?”

A new shipment of Godin guitars had just arrived. “Their guitars are our bread and butter,” says Steve. “We sell hundreds of them…and they’re beautiful.”

Wendy called Dick in Zimbabwe, and he talked to his Zimbabwean associate, John. Would it cause a problem in the community if Crispin had a nice guitar? Would it get stolen? John thought it was a good idea.

Steve picked out a beautiful blue acoustic guitar, put it in a case and tossed in guitar strings, and Dick’s brother carried them to Africa.

“We drove down these ravines and tracks … to Crispin’s homestead,” say Dick. “John said to him some wonderful and wise words” about the need for Crispin to obey his father, continue his commitment to his studies and care for his younger siblings.

Then they opened the case and handed Crispin his new guitar. “He was stunned,” says Dick. “It was just the most wonderful thing. Crispin started playing. His friend, Tatenda, took out sticks and started using the guitar case as a drum.” Crispin put on an Artichoke Music T-shirt; Dick took pictures of him with his new guitar.

And then Dick asked if Crispin would consider giving his handmade guitar to Steve Einhorn in gratitude. “You could see in his eyes there was no question,” say Dick. “He was delighted to have this guitar and delighted to give up the other one.”

So that’s how Crispin Mungure’s guitar ended up on the wall at Artichoke Music, in Portland’s Hawthorne district. “We deal with a lot of gearheads who have a lot of money, and they’ve been on the Internet and have learned everything there is to know about everything there is to know,” says Steve. “How to emphasize this, how to get rid of feedback – and they’re not playing music.”

“This kid wanted to play music and he’s very poor, so he made himself a guitar.” Steve’s customers ask about the rusted, rough-looking contraption: “Everyone is so moved by it, so taken by it.” Steve says the guitar “is a symbol of what it’s really all about; making and performing music. It’s a reminder. It’s a charm.”

Margie Boule – The Oregonian

Please join us in Hillsboro for this special 7pm concert, Sat 9/29, to raise funds for the music program in this beautiful 100 year-old Unitarian Universalist Church of Washington County, 22785 Northeast Birch Street in Hillsboro, OR with songs and stories of love, peace & life with Kate & Steve in harmonic convergence on guitars, banjos and ukuleles. All ages and all donations welcome.

SUPPORT THE WINDING STREAM! This is Beth Harrington’s wonderful film and interview with Rosanne Cash at our Artichoke Music – a truly important witness to the Carter women’s legacy in American music and the musicians that followed. Please join us to make this one happen (and have dinner with Rosanne & Tara Cash for $150 contributions – seating is very limited! This is a chance of a lifetime. Let’s get this movie out there!!! Thank you ~Kate & Steve
Click Here for A Big Kick
Click Here for A Winding Stream http://bit.ly/LrAvAq

Steve and I just received Scott Docherty’s pictures of the Winterfolk Concert held on Saturday night at the Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon.  Winterfolk is a music benefit for the beloved Sisters of the Road Cafe who feed the hungry and homeless in Portland and provide nourishment for the body and soul with dignity and grace. They have helped countless people get back on their feet in Portland and Winterfolk has been an annual backbone of support to raise money for the meals they make. The music benefit has produced more than 150,000 meals over the years and we all have been honored to play a part in their beautiful mission.

It’s a highlight for us to get to play in the lineup at Winterfolk but participation goes deeper than songs or billing on the poster; just being a part of the event is an annual reminder of the fine line between the have’s and the have-not’s and the sink or swim situation we are all faced with, if not for ourselves then for our neighbors, friends and relatives and we remain grateful to be part of the survival team Sisters invited us to join.

For many years, Utah Phillips donated his performance as a friend and brethren of Sisters of the Road. He knew their history inside and out; he ate their food and he loved their founder, Genny Nelson and the many people she served. Utah was always generous in performance and he engaged with everyone in a way that made us laugh, cry and believe that we were all related to the same heart and that in itself was a great gift we took personally. He strengthened the cause and was a rich thread in the fabric of humanity and the history we shared. He taught us all a great deal about being a good folksinger and a true human being. We loved him and he loved us with his music and his friendship. There was never a better storyteller than U. Utah Phillips, RIP.

Our songs this round transcended the oldest of bonds and grew a few new ones, both in the audience and backstage, as they brought me all the way from my first musical memories in Portland in 1981 to last night thirty-years later to sing on one of the city’s historic stages in a benefit to feed the hungry with songs from the heart that sing about what matters.

Our friendship with Sisters of the Road goes back twenty years when Artichoke Music started selling raffle tickets for a damn good guitar, selling tickets starting on the day after Thanksgiving  and pulling the winning ticket during intermission at the Winterfolk Concert.  Artichoke Music still carries on the tradition we began all those years ago and for that, we are grateful.

The lucky winner would also win ten hours in Big Red Studio with prime time recording engineer, Billy Oskay at the board. We could see the wave of eyebrows rise on more than a few musicians in the house as they registered the magnitude of the prize, “Wow.” A good guitar and ten hours in a world-class recording studio was no small thing and very desirable for the many independent musicians and songwriters in the crowd. This was Portland, after all.

This year a volunteer behind the curtain on stage right was perched for destiny. To her surprise,  Cinda Tilgner, got lucky last night and won a gift that promised to keep on giving.  A star volunteer, Cinda always shows up, smiles like she means it (and does) and says “What can I do now?” and “What’s next?” “How can I help?”

Little did she know when she grinned at us as we headed onstage with her thumbs up and  “Go get my guitar!” that we would do just that.

Artichoke Music’s generous benefactor, Richard Colombo, held a ticket-filled gold metal raffle barrel in his both arms. Steve cranked the barrel to twirl round and round and said funny things until I motioned and whispered, “Stop.”

I turned the little latch on the side of the barrel and thrust my right hand in to dig, fingers searching, swishing, digging some more and reached for a ticket that had the feel of an underdog waiting to be found. My hand closed on a ticket underneath the pile and pulled it out to read into the microphone, “Oh my God!” I grinned. Written in neat blue ink was the name, “Cinda Tilgner!” and the place went wild with a mix of the joy of the ecstatic and groans of the disappointed.  Oh well, there’s always next year.

Cinda was one happy, stunned, dazed but grinning winner as she was called to the stage to accept her prize and realized it really was her turn this time and the gods had chosen to grant her wish with the prize.

We would all go home happy that night. There would be food for the hungry paid for the next while. Camaraderie would continue amongst the musicians and the crowd at the after-party in southeast Portland. By the end of the festivities of the night, one little redhead down from the mountain would be driving back to Welches with her new best friend in the shape of a pretty guitar she named “Sweet Kate.”