Feb. 14

Puff of folk

Last year, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, folk legends who sang such songs as “Puff the Magic Dragon,” played to a packed house in Portland. This year’s show will benefit Wisdom of the Elders, which is dedicated to preserving and promoting Native American oral history through radio, documentaries, educational programs and presentations (

Yarrow comes back to our city having just lost his longtime friend and fellow folkie Pete Seeger.

“Pete was my hero, my role model,” Yarrow says, noting he got to play for him a few days before Seeger died Jan. 27 in New York City. “We met and worked in the vineyards of social change. We were terrifically, terrifically united in our perspective.”

Speaking of united, Yarrow once again will share the stage with his son, Portland resident and visual artist Christopher Yarrow, who plays the washtub bass.

“His pitch is wonderful, and his timing is impeccable,” Yarrow says of his son, adding being able to jam with your own kid on stage is part of the “glory of being a father.”

Peter Yarrow, Aaron Nigel Smith and the One World Chorus, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, Augustana Lutheran Church, 2710 N.E. 14th Ave. $20, $15 students and seniors, $5 ages 14 and younger; $60 meet ‘n’ greet tickets. Info:,

by: COURTESY OF SWAN SOVEREIGN - Formerly Dirty Martini, the women of Swan Sovereign play at Doug Fir Lounge Feb. 15.

Feb. 15

Swan songs

In a just world, Swan Sovereign’s “You Are Not My Man” would be an instant hit — its poppy, rocky, folky melody filled out with great harmonies supporting a biting chorus that puts a man in his place, but with just enough sugar to make the puttin’ taste like Jell-O. Formerly known as Dirty Martini, this Portland trio features Stephanie Schneiderman on drums, Lara Michell on guitar, and Christine McKinley on bass. They’ve gone for a bit brighter sound in this new incarnation than they sported in their last outfit. Portland orchestral indie popsters The Cabin Project open.

Swan Sovereign, The Cabin Project, 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $13 in advance, $15 day of show. Info: 502-231-9663,

Feb. 18

The butler bled it

We’re not sure why the John Butler Trio went with zombies in its official video for “Only One” off its latest album “Flesh and Blood.” It’s a jaunty little folk rocker replete with steel drums, but the zombies just don’t work; they’re just too dang icky.

However, don’t let this band’s love of the undead turn you off to its affecting roots rock, which combines touches of reggae, hip hop, funk and country all driven by Butler’s deft guitar finger-picking. A No. 1 selling artist in his adopted homeland of Australia, Butler, who was born in America, has legions of fans in the States now as well, and brings his kindly baritone-tenor voice here, along with San Diego’s dirty bluesy duo Little Hurricane.

John Butler Trio, Little Hurricane, 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St. $27.50 in advance, $30 day of show.

All ages. Info: 503-225-0047,

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