Lawd have mercy, it's not any female vocalist that comes to mind when we hear Janiva Magness, it's the late great Otis Redding. Like Redding, Magness has got one of those husky blues voices that belies a deeper tenderness, and she uses it to sensual soothing effect whether she sings upbeat gospel-flavored stomps or healing heartbreak confessions in the key of melancholy. She's been named 'B.B. King Entertainer of the Year,' as well as 'Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year,' and is touring to promote her latest CD 'The Devil Is An Angel Too.'
Janiva Magness, 8 p.m. Thursday, March 3, Jimmy Mak's, 221 N.W. 10th Ave. $17 in advance for reserved seating, $13 general admission. Info: 503-295-6542, jimmymaks.com.
Good day sunshine
Portland's Hello Morning paints its modern rock in aural colors of swirling sustained notes, evoking images of both yellow-white sunrises and orange-red dusks. Like U2, Coldplay, the Killers and Muse, you can 'see' Hello Morning's songs as much as hear them, given their place in the heavens as opposed to the lower environs. Consisting of Henry Curl on vocals and guitars, Kevin Breuner on guitars, Benjamin Sims on guitars, keyboards, bass and percussion and Peter Swenson on drums, this group of indie rock veterans will celebrate the release of their debut full-length CD 'A Fiction.' Also on the bill are The Dimes and Steve Taylor of Rogue Wave.
Hello Morning, The Dimes, Steve Tayor, 9 p.m. Friday, March 4, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi St. $7. Info: 503-288-3895, mississippistudios.com.
Fat cats and funky rhythms
Mardi Gras, known as Fat Tuesday to all you Anglos, is coming to Portland a little early this weekend with a show at the Orleans Candle Company, founded by folks who got blown our way after Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana.The Hellhounds take the stage first, featuring Mississippi Delta native Joe Hare on vocals and guitar,Rick Mazzotta on bass andCharles Pike on drums serving up traditional blues designed to get you in a down home mood. Then Papa Coyote takes the stage, featuring another New Orleans native Ben Rougeou on bass, as well as the Papa himself on accordion, Kevin Fisher on guitar, his brother Jim on percussion and Mike Kakoulis on drums. Papa Coyote specializes in zydeco and Caribbean funk and is the type of band that demands dancers.
The Hellhounds, Papa Coyote, 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 5, Orleans Candle Company, 5036 N. Lombard St. Free, all ages. Info: 503-289-2304.
All choked up
He sounds like David Byrne's second cousin once removed, and George Veech uses his offbeat voice to great effect as part of the Portland duo Strangled Darlings. Veech strums the mandolin, guitar, and tenor banjo, while fellow singer Jessica Anderly plays the cello, violin and saw. The two perform folksy early 20th century inspired music with just a touch of 21st century groove creating songs that range from gorgeous to quirky and evokes those pre-radio days when a traveling troubadour had to carry a blade, a gun and a grin if he wanted to make it safely from town to town. This eccentric talented duo mark the release of their latest CD 'The Devil in Outer Space: An Operetta.'
Strangled Darlings, The Broken Bow, 9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5, Alberta St. Public House, 1036 N.E. Alberta St. $5. Info: 503-284-7665, albertastreetpub.com.
Now for the third CD release this week to include 'Devil' in its title comes Damon Fowler, who's celebrating the debut of 'Devil Got His Way' with this show. The nasal-meets-grit-voiced Fowler, who echoes Slim Harpo in his singing, can play slide guitar, dobro and lap steel effortlessly and likes his blues swampy, muddy and rockin'. He's worked with Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Johnny and Edgar Winter and Robin Trower, among many other luminaries of the blues-rock world, and exudes a joy that is contagious.
Damon Fowler, 9 p.m. Thursday, March 10, Duff's Garage, 1635 S.E. Seventh Ave. $8. Info: 503-234-BEER, duffsgarage.com.