If there is a Mt. Rushmore for Portland’s roots-rock scene on the side of Mt. Tabor that I never see, Lewi Longmire’s bushy, bearded face is almost certainly on it.
For years, the veteran singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has been one of the busiest players in the Rose City, both as a sideman for a range of acts (Michael Hurley, Blue Giant, Pancake Breakfast, I Can Lick Any S.O.B. in the House) and as a solo act or the frontman of the Lewi Longmire Band.
Tonight, Longmire comes to Redmond’s Music in the Canyon series (see schedule, at right) to play a free show with his namesake trio, which just released a new album, “Tales from the Left Coast Roasters,” that’ll make you wish the man had more time, money, inclination or whatever to focus on his own work.
“Roasters” is a sturdy slice of acid-tinged Americana, rustic blues and powerful twang-rock that mines the same fertile vein worked by crunchy granola gods like Neil Young, Tom Petty and The Band. And about once per song, you also get a peek at why Longmire is an in-demand session player when he effortlessly rips through a scorching guitar solo.
Want to learn more about this Oregon treasure? Start at www.lewilongmire.com.
Lewi Longmire Band ; 5:30-8 tonight; free; Rotary Arts Pavilion at American Legion Park, 850 S.W. Rimrock Way, Redmond; www.musicinthecanyon.com.
— Ben Salmon