The song titles on Jenna Lindbo's newest album — 2012's “Jasmine Parade" — convey a sense of motion and grace, travels and place, wandering and wonderment.
“Angels on the Subway." “Eleanor's Garden." “Long Road." “Harbor and My Boat." “Let There Be Love."
Lindbo, 27, has deep roots in Bend. She was born here, graduated from the town's namesake high school, went to college here and taught music to children here.
And while Central Oregon will always be home, it is simply the starting point on this folk singer's musical journey, which will include a stop in Bend for a show on Saturday night (see “If you go").
Lindbo, whose smile and warmth practically enter a room ahead of her, grew up playing music: piano lessons, sax, high school choir (“You never heard me sing out loud alone," she says).
But it was a Cascade School of Music class taught by local songwriter Willie Carmichael that revealed she had stories to share. While still in Bend, she turned those early stories into her debut album, the sparse and pretty “Strings and Spokes."
And then, five years ago, Lindbo moved to the artsy mountain town of Asheville, N.C., in hopes of writing songs, playing gigs and committing to the pursuit of her art.
It was an “adventure," she said in a recent interview at The Bulletin, and one with a “rough" first year of adjustment.
But Asheville led her to the nearby folk-arts-focused Swannanoa Gathering, where she met “one of (her) heroes," folk singer Catie Curtis, and offered to tag along on the nationally touring artist's next jaunt through the South, as a sideman, to work the merch table, or in whatever role she could fill.
Curtis took her up on that offer. The two hit it off and have toured extensively over the past three years. And Lindbo has since moved out of Asheville and taken to a road-driven life of housesitting gigs, couch crashes and the like.
That life produced “Jasmine Parade," which features some of Lindbo's folk-famous friends (Curtis, Peter Mulvey and Kai Welch among them) and is packed wall to wall with lush arrangements, unshakable melodies and clever lyrics about all the good stuff that makes a life worth living such a wonderful thing.
“It's definitely a life-affirming album. Gratitude is a big thread," she said. “This is about things that happen and people we meet along the way (and) small but life-changing connections.
“Some fiction, some fact," she continued, “and lots of colors in between."
Saturday's concert in Bend will provide another shade in Lindbo's life-drawing.
“I've been dreaming for years about having a moonlit or starlit ski with a concert," she said. So she put the idea out on Facebook and a friend's mother offered to organize the event.
The plan is this: Lindbo will play unplugged in the Virginia Meissner Sno-park yurt at 7 p.m., and attendees are invited to go out for a cross-country ski before or after the show. Bring snacks and a warm drink if you'd like; $10 gets you in the door, and some proceeds go to the group that maintains Meissner's trails.
“It's a win-win," Lindbo said. “It helps the park, and it helps keeps your local songwriter on the road.
“I just have to figure out what I'm going to wear," she continued. “My gig clothes might be different on Saturday night than my usual concert attire."