Terry Robb and Friends are getting ready for a great summer of live music. Robb appears every Tuesday night at a familiar place with a new music format that is fitting for their new motto, “We are Music.”
The place is the M&M Restaurant and Lounge in Gresham and it is doing its part to keep live music going in the greater Portland area by hosting: Dover Weinberg Quartet, Mondays; Terry Robb and Friends on Tuesday nights; new bands on Wednesdays’ “New Band Night,” and a jazz jam on Thursday night, hosted by legendary jazz drummer Ron Steen. (Check ad and Music on Tap for weekend schedule.). If you like great live music and good food, M&M Restaurant and Lounge in Gresham is the place to go.
For those of you unfamiliar with Terry Robb and have any interest whatsoever in guitars, blues and the people who play both guitars and the blues should see Robb and the friend or friends he shows up with on Tuesday nights at M&M. Considered one of the top acoustic blues guitarists on the West Coast, Robb is also an inventive and ever-evolving American primitive master. As an heir to the late, great John Fahey’s musical legacy, Robb is an established icon in a pantheon that includes Robbie Basho, Leo Kottke, Peter Lang, John Renbourn and Stefan Grossman.
Because American primitivism, a transitional style that ranges between country blues and early 20th century string-band music, is often nuanced by dissonance and minor tunings, it is sometimes considered esoteric and obscure, appealing only to a musically intellectual elite. But Robb has distinguished himself by redefining this complex finger-picking style, using popular and traditional genres to open up and make this approach accessible to the general music-loving public.
Robb is that rare talent, a musician’s musician and an enormously popular performer. Onstage, his fleet fingers, wry humor and intense focus mesmerize audiences. The passionate artistry of a Terry Robb event–whether a solo acoustic performance or a high-energy show with his electric band–often leaves new and longtime fans with mouths agape.
Robb’s most recent friend to appear was blues harp legend Mitch Kashmar. Born in 1960, Kashmar was still in high school when he began sneaking in with his brother's I.D. and playing with local bands in his native Santa Barbara, Calif. He formed his own band The Pontiax in 1980, playing the clubs in the Santa Barbara and Ventura areas before moving to Los Angeles in 1985, spreading the band's popularity throughout southern California. Kashmar and the band went on to record 100 Miles to Go for Blue Sting records of Belgium and tour the blues festival circuits of the U.S., Canada, Europe and the South Pacific, drawing on a huge expanse of blues musical styles that include Chicago harmonica blues, New Orleans piano R&B, West Coast jump blues and swing, boogie woogie, Texas guitar blues and straight ahead jazz.
With Robb and friends at the M&M on Tuesday’s, those nights are very special. If jazz is your thing, then make it to the M&M on Thursday nights for legendary jazz drummer Ron Steen and friends. It’s a summer of live music you don’t want to miss. (Bands subject to change; call for confirmation.)