Dogs embrace strong balance
songwriting, committed to depth
Back in the late ‘70s and into the ‘80s, the confluence of rock ‘n’ roll bands in the Pacific Northwest was a direct reflection of the times. There was also the never-ending desire to break the barrier of competing with one another…. and engaging in the life and lifestyle of “the big hair bands.” Oh, it was cool to perform original music, but cover bands were enjoying the diplomacy of being well-paid and embraced by club owners, venue managers and concert destinations; “Those were the days.”
The calling for live music continues through depression, good or bad times and everything in between. Their mature response and devotion shines when you experience the Junkyard Dogs Band. They have paid their dues, ridden the storm and continue to pack every venue where they perform. This is one extraordinary band; catch the wave and hold on. 2009 was a very good year for the band but 2010 promises more.
From the early days with the band Blind Rhythm, Jeff Bonds and Troy Miller epitomized the direction of their intent; Bonds captivating the lyrics with his vocals and lead guitar performances, Miller, on drums, continues the power of what it takes to live the life and lifestyle of a touring rock band.
It is true today that Bonds’ vocals rival and have been compared to Paul Rodgers; he “brings his vocalist style to the benchmark of others.”
grows in popularity & community support
In its brief 27-month history, KJ's Bar & Grill has developed a reputation as a place known for good food and fun.
Co-owner Jen Hoffman worked or managed the neighborhood tavern at S.E. 20th and Division for her aunt for about half of her adult life, taking off a couple of years to have a baby and raise it to school age. Current owners Kevin and Jennifer Hoffman (hence the name KJ’s) have made it their goal to continue the family tradition of a friendly neighborhood tavern, while expanding their local music presence. It really is like the bar’s slogan says, KJ’s... "It's where good people come to have fun." Bartenders Casper, Denise and Chef Dale, as everyone else who works at KJ's, send out a friendly local vibe by trying to keep it on a first-name basis.
Locals have discovered that you can get great deals on breakfast, to-go lunches, dinner, drinks and entertainment. One thing that won’t change is the food. KJ’s, located at 2002 S.E. Division, is already well-known for homemade fries, sauces, gravies and chowder. Weekdays, they offer happy hour and dinner specials each day. The chefs prepare KJ’s “Special Pudding” and “Jell-O Shots,” made fresh daily featuring different flavors and liquors.
The morning bill-of-fare, available until 3 p.m., features all the regular eggs and hash brown items, as well as chicken-fried steak, biscuits and gravy and corned beef hash. Lunches provide large portions of tasty favorites like burgers, French dips, a clubhouse and Philly cheese steak. They suggest you save room for some extras like one of three types of cheesecake or a bowl of homemade soup. If you are finished with work for the day, you may want to try some of the sedating pudding or embalming Jell-O shots.
KJ’s cares about their community with charitable events and local artists. Each November, they help by supporting an adopt-a-family effort with food and clothing donations. Saturday, Dec. 19, they featured a day-long musical event and drive for coats and blankets benefiting the Portland Rescue Mission. So, get into the spirit of giving, bring your donations, get some tasty food, tip a few and listen to some great music hosted by Katie Naylor.
Naylor hosts a singer songwriter showcase Monday evenings at 7 p.m. featuring the best local talent available. Over the next month or so, you’ll get to hear Lindsey Walker, Eric Tworivers, Matt Meighan, Aaron Baca, Robert Finn, Willie Shelton, Rychen the Lone Guitar, Cody Weathers, Joshua English, Richie Bean, Adrianne Martin, Steve Ulrich, James Coates, Steve Rodin, Mike Alexander and Ike Davis.
Koonce unveils talent, wit at O’Connor’s
Jon Koonce hosted a night of entertainment at The Vault in O’Connor’s in Multnomah Village recently. The atmosphere was laid back in the low light as Koonce, with bass and drums backing him, deliberately unveiled his talent of light and witty music to the delight of the audience. Koonce set a groove that carried a flavor reminiscent of a Bob Dylan-style, to a heavier tone of underground honky tonk blues (the type that says “make me dance!!”).
Andy Gauthier on drums provided a motivation of dynamic style to the music as his flash of a tight note was punctuated and noticed well with an exclamation mark. He hails from Minneapolis, Wis., where he played with the Metro All Stars. Mark Todd hosted bass to round out a fine bottom end to Koonce’s music. The combination of these three together made for a very fine and enjoyable show indeed.
You can still catch these three at the Rock Creek Tavern, where they have hosted Wednesday nights for the last couple of years. This month will be their last at this venue. As far as what’s in the future here, it will be in more of special-event type that you will find them. In any case, Jon Koonce and his hard-working talent are always worth the time when entertainment comes to mind.
As for Koonce himself, he is primarily involved with acoustic solo acts these days and is looking forward to producing a new CD in the future. Currently, he has three CDs out, the first produced in 2003 and the second in 2007, consisting of Koonce’s original music. His latest recording, produced this year, titled Songs from the Little Village on the River has 10 tunes and is in the rock and roll realm. To find out more on Koonce’s haps, gigs and productions, you can easily locate him at www.jonkoonce.com.
O’Connor’s is a very fine establishment of fine food and quality service; their menu selections host an array of dinner specials from chicken dijon to ginger lime shrimp, reasonably priced for any budget and a guaranteed great dining experience. Beverages on hand range from a good selection of beers on tap and select wines, to cocktails. The environment has a very relaxing feel to it and is well worth the time to visit