Castletown brings a Celtic kick to Yukon Tavern.

One band that is fast becoming a Yukon favorite is Castletown, a high energy Celtic duo made up of Robert Richter and Heidi Beth Sadler. (If you’re a geography major, you’ve probably figured out that the band gets its name from the former capital of the Isle of Man off the coast of Ireland.)

Robert was a rocker about 12 years ago, when someone said “Try some of this Celtic stuff.” He did and the rest, as they say, is history.

Heidi is the fiddler in the band. She’s a Northwest native who has lent her playing and singing to a wide variety of musical styles for over 25 years.

Castletown
The Castletown due of Heidi Beth Sadler and Robert Richter.

The band performs classic Celtic tunes as well as their own original compositions. They also enjoy giving their Celtic touch to cover tunes in most every musical genre. “We’ve even rocked up Tennessee Ernie Ford’s 16 Tons”, says Robert. “It’s fun the see the expression on people’s faces as they realize they are hearing one of their favorite songs with a Celtic twist.”

Blending rock and jazz helps Castletown appeal to a wider audience, and has made them a local favorite on the local Portland music scene. In fact, Castletown has the distinction of being the first Celtic band to perform during KINK radio’s Summer Noon Tune series at Portland Pioneer Square.

Castletown has also perfumed at the Oregon State Fair, the Vancouver Recycled Arts Fair, the Portland Rose Festival, Gold Beach Brew and Arts Festival and the Astoria Seafood Festival – just to name a few. 

Castletown
Castletown performs for a wide range of audience. Some of their most appreciative audiences are seniors and those with special needs.

Still there’s something magical about playing in the local neighborhood bar. As Robert says, “We love playing venues like Mock and the Yukon. These smaller places fill up fast, and we we rarely see an empty seat in the house.”

So polish up your clogs and make sure to catch Castletown the next time they’re near you. North Portlanders can find Castletown at Yukon’s sister pub, Mock Crest Tavern, every third Thursday of the month. Or checkout their Facebook Events Calendar.

Happy clogging!

Louis Armstrong lives on through Cherry Blossom Hot 4

One of the most popular bands to perform at the Yukon and her sister pub Mock Crest Tavern is Cherry Blossom Hot 4. 

The band is sometimes known as “The Church of Louis Armstrong.” According to the band’s founder, Richard Basi, it’s not just a promotional gimmick, but rather an homage to the great Satchmo himself. “We don’t just play his old songs,” says Richard. “We also mimmic the instrumentation and pitch of his music as closely as possible to re-create an authentic 1920’s-40’s jazz experience.”

Louis Armstrong

Jazz legend Louis Armstrong – patron saint of Cherry Blossom Hot 4

The band takes its name from the Cherry Blossom Theater in Kansas City, Missouri’s famed jazz district, where the legendary Count Bassie got his start. 

As Richard explains, “Our music has a well-established reputation for being music you can swing dance to, but it’s also incredible to just sit and listen to.” 

The fact that the Yukon is a bit small stage-wise poses no problem to the band. Says Richard, “One of the things we enjoy about playing at the Yukon is that the venue is so intimate. So the quieter we play, the better our music can be enjoyed.” 

The Yukon’s small stage is no hinderance to creativity either. As Richard explains, “The wonderful thing about jazz, is that it lends itself to lots of improvisation, so the creativity of the musicians in uninhibited.”

While the band is usually comprised of 9 members, there are times when the band has to be very minimal. That means minimal amplification, and – at times – using only one music stand. Talk about cozy!

Cherry Blossom Hot 4 Orchestra

Cherry Blossom Hot 4 in full swing

You can enjoy some of Cherry Blossom Hot 4’s music on their official website. But better yet, come catch them live the next time they’re at the Yukon. (Or, every second Friday at Mock Crest.)

 

 

Fiery fiddle and hot guitar heat up Yukon Tavern

There are bands that go through the motions of performing for a crowd, and then there is the Katie Jane Band. With their original arrangements of high-speed AmeriCeltic fiddle tunes and their own original songs of home, hearth and heart, this high-energy duo has fast become a Yukon Tavern favorite.

Mere seconds into their music, you will find yourself smiling and tapping your foot. The band features the pretty Katie Jane Lubiens, whose dancing feet and blazing fingers turn every performance into a party. If you’ve ever wondered what a blazing fiddle looks or sounds like, just watch and listen. She is accompanied (on multiple instruments) by her partner Adam Easley, who has been playing the guitar since he was 12 years old – and has the calluses on his fingertips to prove it. Together, this dynamic duo creates unmatched on-stage chemistry that is a pure joy to experience.

1

Fiery Fiddle & Hot Guitar – signatures of the Katie Jane Band.

The Katie Jane Band has performed throughout the country, but have a special place in their heart for the Yukon. Says Katie, “We live in Portland, so it’s great to be able to share music in our own hometown. We love playing in local pubs so folks in the neighborhood can just walk in and enjoy some local live music.”

Katie is eager for everyone to enjoy a true Irish music experience and says, “Drinking whiskey while listening to Celtic music is practically mandatory.” (She recommends Jameson.) If you’re new to whiskey, you can enjoy a Yukon sampler of any three whiskeys for just just $12.

Winning scorable weights total 4 points

Katie says Jameson creates an authentic Irish music experience.

Beginning in November, the Katie Jane Band will be performing in The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart with the Artists Repertory Theater. The play revolves around Prudencia Hart, an academic scholar of traditional Scottish folklore with an intense dislike of pop culture. The play is a wild romp through karaoke mainstays and Scottish ballads – which is where the Katie Jane Band comes in. The play runs November 30 through January 5. Click here for ticket info.

3

Portland locals Katie Jane Lubiens and Adam Easley
bring AmeriCeltic to the Yukon.

When they are not performing on stage, Katie and Adam are busy spreading the love of music to their students. Katie teaches a variety of music genres from classic to Irish fiddle to Klezmer to bluegrass, and Adam has been teaching violin and guitar for over 20 years. 

So come out and enjoy some “fiery fiddle and hot guitar” with the Katie Jane Band. No kilt required.