Level 2 creates
‘tasteful rock with a
focus on clarity and poetic melody’
Level 2 is the name of a band that takes music a step above the existing cornerstone of the genre affectionately called “rock.” Sometimes described as a mix of the Beatles, Steely Dan and Coldplay, bandleader Ron Cockerham notes, “We play tasteful rock with a focus on clarity and poetic melody.”
Cockerham is the “mad scientist” whose personal magic fuels the flame from which the sound of Level 2 is forged. He says, “The name comes from the concept of reaching for the next level of creative excellence on a continuing basis. No matter what level an artist attains, there is always more to reach for.”
Cockerham started playing piano at age nine and added harmonica. He played saxophone at age 18 and says, “...my interest in music started growing by leaps and bounds.”
Texas Hold ‘em
Hot band nets 1st prize at Ponderosa battle
People who love country music already know the Ponderosa Lounge. Portland’s largest venue for country music and dancing, the Ponderosa has provided top-end entertainment for many years now. Located in the Jubitz Truck Stop mega center, this venue attracts patrons from all over the country.
With the club’s large dance floor and plenty of seating, this is a great place for a night of 10-step dance moves, a little country swing; you’re bound to have a good time. The professional staff keeps this club clean and safe for all who want to enjoy themselves with a combination of dinner and dancing. Offering a mix of events from country Karaoke DJ music and top name live music on weekends, this club has something for everyone.
The past two months, the Ponderosa has hosted its annual battle of the bands, bringing out some of Portland’s best country musicians. With a final bounty of $2,000, plus a $500 gift certificate to Portland Music Co., this battle is taken seriously. It draws established country acts, as well as some bands of top-notch players patched together for a chance at the grand prize.
The Thomas Brothers Band Firewater
Dad passes torch to sons in rising country act
There is a wonderful phenomenon in the world of music, where the offspring of dedicated and sometimes successful music artists are offered great opportunities. They easily and quickly assimilate the knowledge, wisdom and experience of years of persistence and hard work, as well as success and some disappointments earned by their musically adept parents.
Sometimes the child might glean whatever they can use from the senior artist in residence, and then set off on their own voyage into uncharted waters, on a different course from that of their predecessor; similar to someone like the famously seductive blues and rock star Bonnie Raitt, whose father is the famous Broadway stage vocalist John Raitt. Or, the offspring might choose to stay a little closer to home, choosing a style or genre of music where the doors of opportunity can be easily unlocked and opened by the parent familiar to that genre, like Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter Miley.
In Portland’s own neighborhood, there is a similar family torch passed on these days. And many local country music fans, who have actively supported this scene for some time, will be familiar with this family heritage handed down.
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Band brings quality music to Battle Ground, WA
Sometimes, you find yourself in the right place at the right time in a given situation. Such was the case for this writer and companion recently enjoying a great band at a very comfortable venue in Battle Ground, Wash.
The Battle Ground City Grill is an anchor store in a relatively new strip mall that also includes a cinema complex and a nail-painting shop, a barber and other general service-type stores.
Battle Ground City Grill, located at 1710 S.W. 9th Ave., is a full-service restaurant and bar, featuring 14 draft beers, designer cocktails and an extensive selection of wines from Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho. The wine selection includes pinot gris and pinot noir from our local wine-stars Rusty Grape Winery in Battle Ground, among others.
The menu includes steaks, salads, sandwiches, burgers and a wide variety of wraps, all with vegetarian options, including a gardenburger. Hearty breakfasts are served Saturdays and Sundays and there is a cool happy hour menu as well. Speaking of happy hours; the BG City Grill has two happy hours each day, Monday through Thursdays, from 4 p.m. to 7p.m. and again from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. There is also ladies night each Thursday, with half-price drinks for ladies from 7 to 10 p.m.
BG City Grill has lots of room to move around, bringing this writer to the entertainment part of the evening; it was a pleasant surprise for what was in store this night. Lock Stock and Barrel is a new ensemble (four months or so together) of gifted musicians who bring together the fresh talents of a couple young songwriters who met and became friends while serving in the Marines; and a couple of well-seasoned musicians who have several decades of experience and knowledge, and are well-respected in the Pacific Northwest musical community.
Ty Titus (rhythm guitar/vocals), and Glen Dutch (guitar/vocals) met and became great friends during their recent stint in the U.S. Marines. They found that they meshed very well when they put their guitars and voices together. After each returned home from their respective service tours, they mutually decided to move to Portland to follow music and wound-up in Goble, Ore.