The October 21 PFS concert features Honey Don’t, the musical union of Bill Powers and Shelley Gray, also known as one-half of the old-time bluegrass band Sweet Sunny South.
Bill is a well-respected and award-winning singer/songwriter and Shelley is a skilled bass player and vocalist. They’ve been making music together for well over a decade as a married duo, and like a fine wine or exceptional bourbon, the best of their qualities have naturally distilled into a unique vibe with a certain sound and feel that has developed into a trademark. Many of their songs touch on themes of love and local history.
Their music is based in the folk tradition with bluegrass and old-time at its deepest roots. Whether it’s a sweet love song, a tribute to veterans, or a rocking boogie-woogie number, they always deliver their music in a comfortable, casual way that pulls the listener in, hanging on every word. Bill describes his songwriting style this way: “I find I tend to write from a strong sense of place. I’m highly affected by my surroundings and the memories and experiences come out in the music and songs I write.”
The band is based around the duo, but Bill and Shelley often share the stage with other stellar players. Geographically they have recently relocated to Bend, OR. Among their influences Honey Don’t include Robert Hunter, John Prine, John Hartford, Buddy and Julie Miller, and contemporary bands such as Finnders and Youngberg and Anne and Pete Sibley.
The band has two noteworthy CDs. Their 2009 debut CD — called Honey Don’t — hit the top-40 national Americana charts, topping at number 25. It was the second most played on Colorado radio and one of five nominees in the bluegrass category for Westword Magazine‘s 2010 Showcase. In 2013, Honey Don’t released Heart Like a Wheel. With more of an electric treatment than the first CD, the music has a laid-back, 1970’s country rock feel that retains the influence of the old time music they played earlier in their career.
Lon Jones and Friends open the show.
Lon Jones, Dale Jones and Ann Heyen are three very talented and creative Portland songwriters with songs ranging from Missouri to beyond the Milky Way. They have combined their song lists and tight vocals into a jolly, relaxing spellbinding sound that will put a smile on your face and delight your mind.