Tunesmith Night, Saturday, February 11, 2017 – 7PM
Stockman’s Lounge, 111 W. Main, Enterprise, OR.


The Wallowa Valley Music Alliance continues its 10th season of Tunesmith Night, a monthly showcase of original music. The Saturday, March 11 concert will feature Marika Straw, Dennis McGregor and Willie Carmichael. 

Marika Straw, a Wallowa County native and piano student of Richard Hobbs, has always written songs for piano and voice and known that she wanted to perform them. But she’s also been a musical explorer at heart. Entering Lawrence Conservatory of Music in Appleton, WI as a piano performance candidate, she ended up studying pipe organ instead when she acquired a musical overuse injury. Then, after moving to Minneapolis, she decided she was more interested in singing than playing organ, so she joined the Cathedral Choir of the Basilica of St. Mary and honed her own works by performing occasionally at the New Ruckus’ Composer Nights. Having studied and performed with an Indian drumming ensemble in 2012, she decided to return to India again in 2016 to drum in the ten-day Ganapati Festival. Newly returned from India, she is excited to focus her efforts on songwriting and performing while, of course, looking for a job. Ranging from catchy jazz waltzes to sensitive folk ballads with a classical flavor, Marika’s songs transform personal experience into works that reach into the heart of the human experience. Marika’s two albums, “Waiting” (studio) and “Marika at The Matrix” (live), are both available on Bandcamp.

Dennis McGregor’s songs are often wryly twisted, making them pretty much impossible to call normal. That’s what people like most about them. They are plenty musical though, and at times rather “hookish”, finding permanent homes in many a listener’s head. McGregor hails from Sisters, Oregon, where he also works in the visual arts. With several recordings to his credit, he won the Sisters Folk Festival songwriting contest in 2003.

With eight CDs ((two solo, one with his band The Jack-Booted Thugs, and five as co-writer) Willie Carmichael is beginning to get the hang of the songwriting thing. Big, loud, profane and sweet, Willie’s been compared to Jason Isbell, Greg Brown, and Guy Clark. His writing influences  include Stephen Foster, Chuck Berry, Randy Newman and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Some of highlights of his career include: Wnner of Sisters Folk Festival Dave Carter Songwriting Contest; Honorable Mention, Woody Guthrie Songwriting Contest; Nominee, Best Lyrics (Jesus and the Ice Cream Man), Just Plain Folks. Carmichael’s music has also been featured on Lufthansa Airlines Frankfurt-Moscow flights.

Tunesmith Night is presented in a round-robin format, with each musician playing a song, then the next taking a turn, creating an interesting and varied performance. Admission is $10 at the door or by season pass. Doors open at 6pm, music at 7pm, all ages welcome.

Upcoming Tunesmith Night Artists:

Apr 8—Carl Solomon, Ivy Ross Ricci, Malachi Graham
May 13—Tracy Spring, Matt Cadenelli, Lewi Longmire

Source: Tunesmith Night | Wallowa Valley Music Alliance