Free Range: Just for fun

Free Range is a musical duo that's out to make sure its audiences enjoy every song.

Drawing from bluegrass, country and folk traditions, they sing and play simple music that makes for great listening. 

In short, their music is user friendly.

Free Range is two voices, accompanied by guitar, banjo and dobro.  You'll recognize some of the tunes -- others will be new to you, but it's all engaging and entertaining. Their major musical influences are Doc Watson, Laurie Lewis, Mike Auldridge, Linda Rondstadt, Tim O'Brien and Gordon Lightfoot.

Look for Free Range at Portland area farmers markets and summer festivals, and think about them when you're looking for a small ensemble for your next event. We love performing for weddings, birthday parties and company picnics!

April in Portland 

April in Paris may be one of the greatest songs ever written, but for sheer knock-your-socks off beauty, it's hard to beat April in Portland. With this early spring, we are overwhelmed by the amazing colors of tulips, irises, azaleas and the remaining camellias and daffodils.

(Only one of us suffers from hay fever. The other is thoroughly enjoying spring time.)

First stop on the 2015 farmers market circuit is the Oregon City market on Saturday, May 23.  We're looking forward to playing more markets this summer and venturing into new locations.  It's always great to meet the vendors, the customers -- and the kids. We don't consider it a successful gig unless at least five toddlers have danced to our tunes.

We're also looking forward to playing more weddings this year.  We played our first one last year and loved all the love going on.  Looking forward to more this summer.

Thanks for your interest in Free Range. See you among the veggies!

Back from Baja 

Free Range just came back from Baja, where we, once again, played for food.  We performed at Nancy's, the best restaurant in Cabo Pulmo and maybe in all of southern Baja.  The compensation was seafood enchiladas and amazing guacamole.  We are happy.

It got us thinking about playing some more and how much we're looking forward to farmers market season.  With one of us retiring and the other always up for a good picking session, we're starting to plan our summer playing sessions.

We look forward to seeing you all among the produce!

Home grown tomatoes 

Only two things that money can't buy -- that's true love & homegrown tomatoes.

But Guy Clark wrote that before the days of farmers markets and the renaissance of heirloom veggies.  So during the Labor Day weekend, we will be stuffing ourselves on heirloom tomatoes from the Hollywood Farmers Market -- supplemented by the luscious cherry tomatoes from Anna's garden.

Half of Free Range is loving the hot days and warm nights.  The other half is sweating and grumbling a little.  But both halves are continuously awed by the abundance of fabulous produce and the amazing communities that form around fresh food.  It seems impossible to live in Oregon and not feel grateful every day.

We hope you're enjoying the summer. It's a great one.


A rainy day in Portland town. 

OK, so we probably made a mistake by questioning why the sun was shining during Rose Festival.

We were paid back with buckets of rain during the Pride Parade, followed by intense hail the next day.

Well, we're doing sun dances in preparation for this weekend, when we'll be playing at the Oregon City Farmers Market and the Vancouver Farmers Market.

Please come out and see  us.  We'll have an extra vocal mic and an extra instrument mic in case you happen to show up and want to join us for a song or two.  See you this weekend!

Is this June in Portland? 

OK, we're confused -- but not complaining.

If it's Rose Festival time, isn't is supposed to be raining?

But what an amazingly beautiful season here in Portland.  And the strawberries . . .oh, my goodness.

Next weekend, Matt's off to the Sacajawea Bluegrass Festival in Pasco, Washington, to perform with Third Street Bluegrass Band. His bandmates -- Lou, Patti and Brad -- are terrific musicians with a great selection of music, ranging from the traditional bluegrass standards to Buck Owens tunes to contemporary classics from people like Laurie Lewis and Kathy Kallick.

Of course, for us, it's all about food  . . .  so you'll notice the full name of the festival is the Sacajawea Bluegrass Festival and Dutch Oven Rendezvous.  What could be better than a lot of proud dutch oven owners showing off their favorite recipes?

Back the next weekend for our first farmers markets of the year. 


Will work around food 

Oregon has to be the best eating state in the union.  And the food's always the best at farmers markets.

This year, Free Range intends to eat its way through the Willamette Valley and into Washington, too.  Looking forward to playing at farmers markets in Oregon City, Northeast and Northwest Portland and the great combo market in Esther Short Park.

We're starting the countdown to our first gigs, the weekend of June 21 and June 22.   

Send us the names of your favorite food songs. We'll try to learn them.

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