Oregon trustee’s band releases free EP

Monday Morning Denial coverEugene-based Oregon trustee Nathan Moore and partner Kate Dowling have released Scoundrels That We Are, a five-song extended play digital recording.

The EP will be “To the delight of clock-punchers, sleepy-eyed wage slaves, and rabble-rousing folk fans everywhere,” says a news release.

Nathan and Kate recorded the EP as Monday Morning Denial, “Oregon’s ‘working class folk’ duo.” Topics discussed in the songs include 19th century anarchism, the Great Depression, fishing, gentle parenting, and the founding of the ILWU.

The EP is available as a free digital download on Bandcamp, an online music site that provides a platform for independent artists: http://mondaymorningdenial.bandcamp.com/releases .

Joe Hill 100 Roadshow in Eugene

Joe Jill 100 Road Show in Eugene“Joe Hill 100 Roadshow” will roll through Eugene on Friday, Nov. 13, presenting the music of the famed labor troubadour who was killed by a Utah firing squad a century ago.

Portland singer-songwriter David Rovics, George Mann, a former union organizer based in New York, and Eugene’s own banjo master Mark Ross headline the show billed as a “national concert tour of labor and folk songs honoring Joe Hill on the Centenary of his execution.”

Sponsors are AFSCME Local 3214, the Eugene/Springfield Solidarity Network (ESSN), and the Lane County Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

Start time is 7:30 p.m. at the First Christian Church of Eugene (1166 Oak St.), http://heartofeugene.org. Cost: sliding scale $10-$15-$20 and “No one turned away for lack of funds.”

To listen to some of David Rovics music, go to http://davidrovics.com/meanwhile-in-afganistan/new-album.php . George Mann’s music is at http://georgemannmusic.com/ . Mark Ross is at http://ofn.uoregon.edu/artist-roster-mark-ross/ .

PNLHA assists with Joe Hill event

Joe Hill Centennial TributeThe PNLHA executive board has voted to endorse the Northwest Oregon Labor Council’s Nov. 19 tribute to legendary Wobbly troubadour Joe Hill. The board also agreed to send a contribution to assist with the event.

“The PNLHA is happy and proud to help sponsor the NOLC labor history and music event in tribute to Joe Hill this year,” said PNLHA president Tom Lux. “This is always a great event and we will encourage our members to attend.”

The “Joe Hill Centennial Tribute” will celebrate Hill as a labor organizer, songwriter and martyr.* The evening will include music by veteran singer-songwriter and social activist Anne Feeney. She’ll be joined by Citizen’s Band from Olympia, WA, and Portland’s General Strike. Eugene’s Mark Ross will act as MC.

Portland has a long tradition of annually celebrating the music and spirit of Joe Hill and others each November. Organizers expect that Portland’s 25th Annual Benefit Concert will follow in that tradition and be an exceptional event in many ways.

KBOO 90.7 FM, local unions and friends of labor are also sponsoring the tribute. Proceeds will benefit KBOO Community Radio and Sisters of the Road.

The event will be held Nov. 19 at the Alberta Rose Theater, 3000 NW Alberta St. in Portland. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Cost: $15. Order online at albertarosetheaters.com .

*Joe Hill was shot and killed by a Utah firing squad on Nov. 19, 1915.

Jobs and climate change

Joe UehleinLabor activists on climate change and the jobs crises is the theme of an evening of music and dialog in Portland on Oct. 10.

Joe Uehlein, executive director of the Labor Network for Sustainability, will speak and perform at the event to be held at the AFL-CIO Hall at 3645 SE 32nd St. (just south of Powell Blvd.).

Uehlein, a musician and band leader, is a 40-year member of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM). He holds a deep interest in working-class culture, which “motived him to help found the Labor Heritage Foundation (LHF) in 1980.”

For more information, 503-286-5850 or climatejobspdx.weebly.com.

Concert stresses cross-movement links

Feeney performs; Lyons in background

Feeney on stage with Lyons in background

on stage

PNLHA members attended a musical event in Springfield, OR, July 18 designed to encourage cooperation between social movements, particular trade unions and environmentalists.

Billed as “a night of solidarity of environmental and labor activist, the 50-75 attending the event clapped, and sang along to some of the old movement favorites modified to suit the theme of the “Teamsters & Turtles – Together at Last” tour.

Labor singer Anne Feeney told the audience that the idea for the tour grew from her experiences as a participant in the 1999 Seattle protests against the World Trade Organization.

SEIU singers 1

SEIU Local 503 singers

The show featured Feeney and Dana Lyons, called the environmental movement’s minstrel, with warm-up performances by the Eugene Raging Grannies and the SEIU Local 503 singers. Many of the songs, including the labor anthem Solidarity Forever, were inspired by labor history events. Visit http://www.annefeeney.com and http://www.cowswithguns.com for more on Feeney and Lyons.

Eugene Raging Grannies

Eugene Raging Grannies

Proceeds from the event will go to the Civil Liberties Defense Center’s Backbone Campaign to run the “Next Generation Action Camp,” a week-long training workshop for youth 14 to 18.

The workshop is intended to “empower youth around the region by providing age-appropriate training and mentoring for future social justice and climate justice organizers and activists,” said a leaflet at the event. To donate or register visit: http://cldc.org/2015/02/20/2015-camp/ .

For more on Dana Lyons’s environmental music and a delightful animated version of his Cows With Guns theme song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5s5qGg01nE For Eugene’s Raging Grannies: http://www.raginggrannieseugene.com/home.html .

Oregon trustees talk roots music on KBOO

Nathan and Kate in concertThe Low Tide Drifters, Eugene’s premiere roots band, were the subject of a half-hour discussion about their music, their passions, and their labor-oriented politics on Portland radio station KBOO’s Old Mole Variety Hour.

Oregon trustee Nathan Moore, his partner Kate Dowling, and Chico Schwall joined host Norm Diamond, another Oregon trustee, for a lively and informative talk punctuated by some of the group’s best-known tunes performed live on air.

Listen to the July 6 broadcast here: http://kboo.fm/lowtidedriftersunderdogfolkmusic . For a further taste of LTD’s “underdog folk music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=10&v=1au_STyB2IY .

New book by PNLHA songsters

Rika Ruebsaat %26 Jon Bartlett MED

Rika Ruebsaat and Jon Bartlett perform at Princeton traditional music festival.

In the winter of 1932–33 Mounties charged into picket lines in Princeton, B.C., the Ku Klux Klan issued threats, and legendary labor organizer Arthur “Slim” Evans was bundled onto the next train out of town.

That’s the historical backdrop of a new book called Soviet Princeton by PNLHA regulars Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat. They were most recently seen and heard at our Seattle conference on May 1-3, 2015, where they led us in songs by Wobbly Joe Hill.

The book promises to take us back to the days when “Princeton’s few thousand citizens saw much of the human drama of the Great Depression play out right in their own lives over the course of just a few months.”

NSB cover tempSoviet Princeton adds a fascinating sidebar to Canadian left-labor history in that two years after the Princeton strike Evans led the 1935 On to Ottawa Trek to protest Depression-era homelessness and deplorable conditions in the relief camps of the day.

The book will be available in October 2015. You can order your copy at NewStar Books at info@newstarbooks.com or 604-738-9429. Cost is $18 USD and $19 CDN for the 160-page volume with 12 black and white illustrations.

Exciting program set for March 14 in Astoria

Women cannery workers in Astoria

Women cannery workers in Astoria

The Oregon PNLHA’s Astoria mini-conference is all ready to go on March 14 with sessions on local labor history, contemporary low-wage issues, live music, and a peek at what the future holds for Oregon labor history.

Respected Oregon historians Irene Martin, Bryan Penttila and Regan Watjus will discuss the coastal city’s industrial and labor history on a panel moderated by labor educator Marcus Widenor.

Labor historian Bob Bussel will moderate a low-wage issues panel featuring “Our Oregon” research director Daniel Morris, Oregon School Employees Association staff member Mimi Khalili, and Portland labor activist Ryan Wisnor.

Astoria's historic labor temple is preserved as a pub and cafe.

Astoria’s historic labor temple is preserved as a pub and cafe. Workers began work on the building in 1922 and it opened in 1925.

Nathan Moore and Kate Downing of the Eugene-based Low Tide Drifters, fisher poet Mary Garvey and banjo-playing folklorist Joe Seamons will play and discuss their labor and social issues music.

Labor educator Norm Diamond will round off the day with a discussion about the future of labor history in Oregon.

To register, please email rverzuh@shaw.ca.