By Dorothy Timpy
Live music is back at the Drum and hitting the stage is Jason Snell
and his four-member group presenting strong country and solid entertainment
to keep dancers moving on the huge dance floor.
Musical repertoire sticks closely to the top 40 format, mostly popular
radio-played tunes known by the audience.
Snell is a major vocal presence for the group that he put together about
four months ago. This last weekend in February is the first live performance
for the group, touring members from over the U.S., namely a bassist
from Nebraska and a guitarist from Colorado.
About three years ago, in 1998, Snell released his first CD, Jason
Snell/The Thrill. At that time, Snell says his primary goal was
to be a good song writer and that CD was well-received and still is
available at Tower Records. A new CD is in the works, again to be made
up of original compositions. Material for the upcoming production was
sent to the Glen Campbell Publishers with a return request for more
material which Snell feels is extremely encouraging.
Peter Bunch, producer of the upcoming album, originally worked with
Sunset Sound in Los Angeles. The newly staged group followed the Drum
appearances with a four-night gig at Jubitz Truck Stop.
The four musicians completing the band include Cameron Stuart, bass;
Michael St. James, keyboards and guitar; Tony Jones percussionist on
the drums; and Kenny Ray Chenvert, lead guitarist, with Snell filling
the rhythm guitar position along with that of lead vocalist. All the
members add vocals to the performance giving the group strength and
solidarity. Terry Crisp handles the sound engineering.
Versatility of the musical group is shown when Snell moves to the drummer
spot and the drummer takes the stage to do a solo, Blues Man.
The variety keeps things moving in a positive direction.
Dee Pierce, Drum manager, says the establishment restarted live music
the day before Thanksgiving last year and kicked off its return to that
format with a country/blues show. The Drum has been a notable live music
room in Portland for years, dating back to the old Flower Drum, replaced
in the new location with a new building. Pierce says she has really
missed the live music and is happy to have it back on stage.
Live music is featured Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday with DJ
Denise Hogue on tape Tuesday for country music, Wednesday for "Swing
Night" beats and again on Thursday for the country segment. (See
Music On Tap for upcoming schedule.)