Leslie Hudson (they/them/their) is an indie musician, recording artist, and award-winning songwriter. After a decade of teaching in Montessori schools, they left the profession to make music full-time and never looked back. Nine albums and multiple international tours later, Leslie is set to release their 12th solo album, Reset to Factory Specs, this summer.
In 2017, after 4 years of open mics, songwriter showcases, album release concerts, and jamming with friends, Leslie packed their car and headed out on the greatest adventure of their life. Their inaugural Goddess Revolution Tour lasted 6 months, included shows with S. J. Tucker, Tricky Pixies, The PDX Broadsides, The Honey Badgers, Treading Bleu, and dozens more, as they drove through 48 states and 3 provinces, coast to coast, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf. That tour would inspire them to later write their faerie-themed and first crowdfunded album, Keep Left at the Fork.
Inspiration is never in short supply. With special interests in Irish language, East Coast music, Star Trek, folklore, corvids, and poisonous plants, Leslie’s albums, EPs and singles cast a wide net. Stylistically, although the piano remains an almost constant, their releases range from folk to rock to jazzy to indie-pop. Thematically, they jump from confessional to sci fi to ancient myth. Their favourite kind of album is one that tells a story, so whether it’s the witch in Hansel and Gretel or the Borg Queen, Leslie climbs inside the minds of their characters and gives them a voice.
Their passionate devotion to their craft has earned them a following in many music-loving communities, including bar crowds, pagan gatherings, filk conventions, UU churches, and in dozens of living rooms across Canada and the US. In 2018, Leslie travelled to Germany as the Guest of Honour at Contrapunkt, where they recorded their first live album, the StorySinger set: Live in Germany, a collection of songs from their Wanderlings albums and recordings of the stories they tell between them.
However, touring 6-8 months of the year took its toll and by the end of 2019 it was clear something was wrong. Leslie decided to cancel their obligations in 2020 to stay home to recover their mental health, and they spent that year healing even as their mother was given a terminal diagnosis and passed away in the fall. Turning to the piano, Leslie wrote a song a week and found their way through. In 2021, they released an organic, collaborative project and their first witchy album, Hemlock Honey and Crows. Relaunching their Patreon with a Poisoner School side-quest on its heels, the Deluxe Album soon followed.
As an autistic musician, writer and performer, mental health has been an underlying theme of Leslie’s work since their diagnosis at age 34. Their latest album, Reset to Factory Specs, brings recovery from trauma to the forefront and tells another story: this time a personal one. In their spare moments, they can be found with a dog in their lap and a glass of red wine watching DS9.
Paul Evansmith is an experienced multi-instrumentalist specializing in composition for film/dance and improvised music. His main backgrounds are from American Jazz, Classical, an eclectic mix of international styles as well as “just everyday soundscapes.” A writer as well, Paul breaths poetry into whatever instrument he touches. Paul majored in classical oboe and saxophone performance, as well as studying flute, percussion and music composition first in a commercial music degree at CalState Long Beach and continuing at Arizona State University. In Arizona he worked as a staff composer and accompanist for ASU’s dance department and professional theaters companies. Currently he works for the Lewis and Clark dance department accompanying classes as well as performing with various projects around Portland. Some of those associations are Vagabond Opera & Hungry Opera Machine, AnnaPaul and the Bearded Lady, Wanderlust Circus Orchestra, Klezmocracy, Three for Silver, Baksana, The Cedar Project, and many more.
Jesse C. Dienner, born outside Chicago, Illinois, to two music-loving, rock-and-rollers, has made his home in Oakland, California to the tune(s) of over 6,000 songs. Prolific in his songwriting and performing, he is known to travel around the Bay Area with his 1970s Kay parlor acoustic guitar—“Kayla”— crooning his love songs on the streets and in the venues. As he says, “All my songs are love songs… of some hue or another!” He is currently working on two new albums, to be released in late summer/ early fall 2022.
Melanie DeMore : Vocal Activist ( 3 time Grammy Nominee) is one of the most outstanding vocal artists of today helping to preserve the African American Folk Tradition through song and Gullah stick pounding. She was the subject of a documentary called ‘Stick and Pound which showcases this tradition.She has a career spanning 30 years dedicated to teaching, lecturing, mentoring, conducting, directing and inspiring children and adults about the power of song as social and political change. Melanie is a sought after presenter, conductor and soloist at national and international choral and music festivals, including Festival 500 in Newfoundland, Canada and Chorus America.
She is sought after as a song/ prayer facilitator, creating spontaneous choirs for The Trinity Institute, The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society and the Powell Foundation as well as many varied spiritual and faith based organizations.She is adjunct faculty at the California Institute for Integral Studies, Master teaching artist for CalPerformances at UC Berkeley, a featured presenter for SpeakOut! the Institute for Social and Cultural Change and was the Artistic Conductor of The Oakland Children’s Community Choir with Living Jazz for nine years.
She was a founding member of the Grammy nominated, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir and has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with such varied artists as Odetta, Richey Havens, Pete Seeger, the Trinity Choir, MUSE Cincinatti Women’s Chorus and many others.
Melanie DeMore is a singer/songwriter, composer ,conductor and vocal activist, who believes in the power of voices raised together.
‘A song can hold you up when there seems to be no ground beneath you”.
Steve Eulberg and Erin Mae Lewis are accomplished performers and music educators who play an active role in sharing Americana folk music with audiences of all ages.
Performing across the US, the duo has delighted audiences in participatory musical celebrations.
Both are prize winners in the National Mountain Dulcimer contest at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas and both are also cancer survivors for whom music has been a source of healing and a path to wholeness. In their most recent pre-pandemic tour they provided online pop-up rest-stop concerts in their drive across the middle of the USA.
Erin Mae focuses on the chromatic and diatonic mountain dulcimers. Steve adds dulci-bro (resonator dulcimer), hammered dulcimer and guitar to his mountain dulcimer stable of instruments. They mine and polish the treasures of American folk music as well as creating new treasures of original songs and tunes. https://owlmountainmusic.com/composer/bio/contact-steve/bands/steve-erin-mae/
Music Under the Trees is a small indie music festival, held annually in the cool green shade of the Wildpine Summer Stage, a backyard stone amphitheater. Our performers play original music that runs the gamut from bardic folk to celtic to looped cello to folk rock to string improv (with a classical/folk flavor). The event will be held virtually again this year. After the past few years’ isolation, we’re thrilled to be able to perform together on this beautiful outdoor stage — and just as excited to be able to share that music with you, wherever you are!
Music Under the Trees 2022 will be presented as two virtual sessions:
• The Vixy & Tony band (original acoustic folk/rock — Vixy Dockrey, Tony Fabris, Sunnie Larsen & Betsy Tinney)
Sunday, August 7 from 12 PM – 2 PM PT:
We are still confirming our Sunday performers. There will be two sets on Sunday — most likely a solo artist followed by a small group/band.
Tickets are $25 (suggested); as with all Music Under the Trees events, a single ticket covers admission to all the event’s concerts. If you pay $35 or more, you’ll also receive a video download of all four concert sets.
Meren King is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist out of Ocala, Florida. Her originals and covers share what is most dear to her heart – her family, her faith and her passions. From folk to blues to rock and roll, the songs she sings and the stories she tells will take you on a journey of the mind and heart.
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