Rollicking tunes to ring in the holidays
If you're in the mood for festive music this weekend, make your way to the Edgefield Winery Tasting Room 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23, for a holiday performance by The JT Wise Band.
"We try to get the audience engaged and having fun with us," bassist Margaret Wise describes, sharing how the band once spurred an audience to create a dance to a song called "the Wobble."
Saturday's performance will meld holiday classics with the band's signature sound of blues, rock, country and folk. Wise says their original tunes and old favorites are easy to dance to and focus on fun lyrics, vocal harmonies and good-time jams.
The JT Wise Band was founded in May 2013, with songs co-written by husband-wife duo Tim (JT) and Margaret Wise. Along with the Wises, the band features longtime collaborator Jim Stein on rhythm, slide guitars and vocals, and Ken Woodside on drums.
Guitarist Tim Wise is a Northwest Native who has played in bands since the 1970s. He attended the Musician's Institute in Hollywood and has recorded music for many Northwest bands.
Wise describes that his musical influences read like "a Clapton Crossroads Festival, with influences from Eric Clapton, Robben Ford, Billy Gibbons, and Vince Gill — with (Dickey) Betts and (Jerry) Garcia thrown in as well."
"We like to mix it up," Margaret Wise says. "You might hear a little of the blues, Grateful Dead, Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams. We like to jam in the tradition of the great jam bands."
Some of the Wises' current influences include Steve Earle, who recently performed at Revolution Hall in Portland, WideSpread Panic, Amos Lee, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Amy Helm, Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale.
"There are many different styles of music you can go out and hear," Margaret Wise says of the Northwest music scene. "Whether you like to sit down and listen to a show or go out dancing, there are many, many options of great local musicians."
The band's tunes have been played on Local Roots Radio and Kink Sunday Night Blues with Steve Pringle. They have performed for the Cascade Blues Association and participated in the affiliated Journey to Memphis Blues Competition.
Looking ahead to 2018, The JT Wise Band hopes to compile a CD with new tracks and expand merchandise with their new band logo. Their latest release, "Rise On Up," speaks to their feelings about the current political climate and is part of their band T-shirt logo.
The JT Wise Band will be back at the Winery Tasting Room Jan. 20 and March 10. Additionally, they'll perform at The Hoppy Brewer from 6-9 p.m. Feb. 9. They also take the stage from 4-6 p.m. the last Friday of each month for a happy hour show at the White Eagle Saloon in Portland.