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New duo to bring it live at coffee shop


If you’re of a certain age, you could be forgiven for not knowing why Leif Horrell and Paul Rydell call themselves “33 ¹/³.”

You see, youngsters, long before you could download music, folks like Horrell and Rydell had to go to places called “record stores.” There they could buy vinyl discs called “albums” that contained songs you could hear only when a needle was drawn against them on a turntable, which spun 33 ¹/³ revolutions per minute.

“We cover artists primarily from the vinyl era,” Rydell says. “Beatles, Moody Blues, The Who, America, James Taylor, Tom Petty, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bruce Springsteen, even Johnny Cash.”

The new duo features Rydell on guitar, harmonica and vocals and Horrell on guitar and vocals. The singers employ both six- and 12-string guitars, and even use a miniature guitar, Rydell says, noting the instrument sounds like a mandolin.

The act formed last fall after the men got to know each other at Columbia Ridge Community Church in Troutdale, where Horrell is a pastor and worship leader. The men found they shared a love of classic rock and singer-songwriter material, which they plan to perform Saturday, March 30, at Park Place Coffee in Gresham.

The duo will open for Night Folk, which performs the contemporary folk songs of Rich “Waggs” Waggoner.

Rydell says 33 ¹/³ believes “younger audiences are also fans of much of this material ... we just enjoy performing these wonderful songs for folks.”

He adds that he’s been a tune-lover since he was a toddler.

“As a child there was always music in our home,” he says, noting he started playing classical violin when he was in the fourth grade. In high school, he became entranced by the guitar, and says the Beatles inspired him to pick it up.

“The camaraderie of friends performing wonderful music was just powerful,” he says of the Fab Four. “My Grandpa Sam purchased for me a thrift store guitar, strung it up, showed me a few chords, and I have continued to play for the past 40 years.”

Rydell played with a horn-flavored rock band in Minneapolis in the 1970s as well as Christian acts on the West Coast in later years. He also backed up country musicians The Elwell Brothers in California when they were promoting an album at showcases in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, Horrell started playing piano when he was 8 and guitar when he was 12, turning professional when he was 16. A native of western Pennsylvania, Horrell played in rock ‘n’ roll bands during the late 1970s and through most of the 1980s.

After moving to Colorado in 1991, he focused on playing acoustic singer-songwriter material by such artists as Dan Fogelberg and the band America. He also began working in church music, relocating to the Portland area in 2010.

“I think that music is really powerful, that people are wired in such a way that music affects them, and I just love playing and seeing them moved in that way,” Horrell says.

“He told me ... that his biggest moment in his musical career is playing with me,” Rydell adds jokingly. “I have never trusted Leif, and this proves it!”

In addition to playing at Park Place, 33 ¹/³ has a gig alongside David Hafner as well as Man Awake at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at Stomping Grounds Coffee House, 21825 N.E. Halsey St., Fairview.