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Sounds from the Squeezebox 

Who knew Weird Al had kin in Oregon?Jason Webley plays the accordion and that's probably the first thing you'll notice about him. The next thing that you'll realize is that the Jason Webley Trio, in the spirit of so many other bands that play on the McMenamins' Great Northwest Tour, doesn't fit all that easily into any sort of prepackaged genre.

The Seattle-based Webley leads his band through largely up-tempo numbers full of accordion, of course, and laden with a gypsy influence that runs through much of Webley's music. At times the tunes touch on the sort of gypsy fervor made famous by bands like Gogol Bordello, but other tracks like "Almost Time to Go" show Webley's indie-folk tinged songwriting talents. And the full extent of his band is showcased on more rocking cuts like "Ways to Love" that bring to mind the soaring storytelling stylings of bands like The Decemberists or maybe the Mountain Goats. And the accordion isn't a novelty in Webley's act - he knows exactly how to fit it into his songs and also knows when it's time to shift to guitar.


Webley and company have a solid touring friendship with Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, an act that just recently rolled through town and shares Webley's unique musical approach. Both bands share a penchant to life on the road, with Webley's schedule booked solid through spring. But Webley's music travels far beyond the sort of regional tour McMenamins has booked for him - he's actually pretty popular in Russia, wouldn't you know, and has played in even remote Arctic areas of the country.

But perhaps that's not all that surprising. I heard they like a good accordion in Russia.

Jason Webley Trio
7pm, Wednesday, February 25. McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Father Luke's Room. 700 NW Bond St.

 

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