Hoppin’ To It

Saturday night’s return to the Hawthorne Hophouse was a jam-packed evening for a packed house. We managed to squeeze a little more talent into our tiny corner of the room when John Stocks helped us close out the first set on harmonica and percussion, then strapped on his axe for an adventurous second set. Mystic Canyon and the Hawthorne Hophouse have created a tasty recipe for a fun Saturday night in SE Portland. Finely crafted acoustic music, a wide variety of flavorful local brews and perhaps the most delicious macaroni and cheese this blogger has ever tasted.

Here’s what we played for a full house of appreciative hopheads. Follow the links to our YouTube page to check out some audience video shot on an HD flipcam.

The Weight (The Band)
Take A Giant Step (Taj Mahal)
Lay Down Sally (Clapton)
Ne’erdowell Blues (*Smith)
Another Bend in the Road (*Hewitt)
Jackaroe (trad.)
Heart of a Man (*Smith)
I Will Follow You Into the Dark (Death Cab for Cutie)
Bird in the House (Railroad Earth)
Vampire Blues (Neil Young)
Someday My Wagon Will Come ‘Round (*Smith)
Norwegian Wood (Beatles)>
Willing (Little Feat)
Trouble (LaMontagne)

Highwayman (Kristofferson, et.al.)
What You Did (*Hewitt)
The Way It Is (Hornsby)
Get Up and Go (Bromberg)
Harvest Moon (Neil Young)
Just Like Shakespeare (*Hewitt)>
Magnolia (Cale)
Land of the Navajo (trad.)
Back on the Train (Phish)



A Mystic Canyon Christmas

Back at the Sellwood


Mystic Canyon wishes everyone a Happy Holiday season and a safe, joyful New Year! Here are some photos from our last show of 2010 at the Sellwood Pub. Switchgrass (formerly known in these parts as the Bum Ditty String Band) opened the show, and we were happy to have bassman Brian sing a few songs with us in the second set. Check out the setlist below, as well as some videos on YouTube from the trombone mini-set. We look forward to seeing you in 2011, new gigs are already posted to the right. >


The Canyon Wants You in 2011!


Here's to another 10 years!


Mike and Steve are the bread of a bass sandwich

 Set I
And It Stoned Me
I’ve Been Everywhere
Shady Grove
When I Paint My Masterpiece
Bird in the House
Old Man
Lay Down Sally
St. James Infirmary (video)
Send Me to the ‘Lectric Chair
Heart of a Man*
Christmastime is Here (video)

Set II
You Can’t Always Get What You Want+
Midnight Rider+
Get Up and Go
Everybody Knows
El Paso
Norwegian Wood >
Another Bend in the Road*
Harvest Moon
Back on the Train

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas $

+ w/ Brian from Switchgrass on vocals
$ Mike Lambe, solo trombone

Another September to Remember

It seems, whether we are playing together all year or just gigging occasionally, we’re always booked throughout the month of September. Even when we miss Squidstock, there’s never a shortage of opportunities to jam. This year was no different, as there was plenty of work for us after Labor Day weekend.

First, there was our annual set in Vancouver’s Esther Short Park for the Peace & Justice Fair. On a day that started out grey everywhere else, the sun shone bright on our old Vantucky home. We were not so fortunate the next weekend, as torrential rains dampened all but our spirits as we huddled beneath a canopy and played a neighborhood block party in Vancouver. Hobos With Glowsticks and Fading Hail shared this strange, wet evening with us, and many soaked revellers stuck around so we played as long as we could. Our perserverance was karmically rewarded the following Saturday, as we had the loveliest weather possible for an outdoor wedding reception at Plainfield’s in SW Portland. It was a pleasure playing for Willy & Louise and their family, and we even accompanied Willy on a song he wrote for his new bride – some of us are still humming it!

Join us for Last Thursday on NE Alberta

Mystic Canyon wraps up another busy September with our final Last Thursday performance of the year. We’re staking out our spot at the corner of NE 30th and Alberta as soon as they shut down that part of the street. Don’t miss your last chance to dance in the street with us before we head back indoors for some Autumn gigs.

Peace and Justice

This Saturday, September 11, 2010, Mystic Canyon is pleased to be making our sixth appearance at the Vancouver Peace & Justice Fair. Beautiful, downtown Esther Short Park is once again the home of this important and informative community event. We will be the centerpiece of a full day of music, dance, spoken word and theatrical performances. Join us at the Esther Short bandshell at Noon for a 2-hour set of original, traditional and contemporary acoustic music.

It’s rare we get to play a stage this big, so we intend to take advantage of the extra room by introducing a new incarnation of the 7-headed beast. We’re excited to welcome our old friend Les Hutchinson on drums and our newest co-conspirator, John Stocks from the Bum Ditty String Band on guitar. There’s plenty of fun stuff for the kids, so bring the whole family out for a memorable day in the park.

Alberta Street Party

Mystic Canyon is excited to be back on the street. NE Alberta St., that is, where we will set up at the corner of NE 30th and play some music for free (although we wouldn’t say no to a buck or two in the tip jar.) Come for the art, stay for the jams and boogie ’til the sun goes down.

Last time it was a house party. This time, we take it to the streets!

We’re starting to book September and beyond, so check back here at the Mystic Canyon Blog for our upcoming gig schedule, including our 7th appearance at the Vancouver Peace & Justice Fair on September 11.

Canyon Family Party

After four months of spreading out into other projects, Mystic Canyon returned to the Sellwood Public House this past Saturday night, bringing our new projects with us to form an expanded family of diverse acoustic entertainment. The evening flowed beautifully and reached a rowdy peak well past midnight. We look forward to doing it again as soon as possible.

Check out the Harmless Eccentrics setlist

  The show opened with the Portland debut of the Harmless Eccentrics. Playing for a full room, Scott, Mike and Ed managed to keep nerves and flubs to a barely noticed minimum and let the harmonies shine. Scott and Ed left the crowd wanting more as they traded licks and teased Crazy Fingers before closing the set.

Americana singer/songwriter Carra Barratt followed with a beautiful set, accompanied expertly by John Stocks on guitars. We’re glad Carra could be a part of this memorable night.

Mike Smith debuted the Bum Ditty String Band with John Stocks joining him on guitars, our own Steve Rogers on mandolin, and Scott Hewitt pulling triple-duty as emergency bassist. Their set of jazz and old-time standards kept toes tappin’ and laid the perfect foundation for some impressive jamming throughout.

Bum Ditty String Band, Sellwood Public House, 2/20/10

Song For My Father
Prisoner’s Waltz
Blackberry Blossom
Hey Baby Hey

Mike Smith, Matt Kuerbis, Scott Hewitt February 20, 2010

Finally, Mystic Canyon took the stage and showed signs of neither rust nor dust. We fed off a very energetic audience and it felt like that came through in our playing, particularly when a request for Phish set off a fiery second set.

Mystic Canyon, Sellwood Public House, 2/20/10

Shady Grove
Twisting in the Wind*
What You Did*
Send Me to the ‘Lectric Chair
Harvest Moon
Another Bend in the Road*
Red Haired Boy
Bird in the House
Everybody Knows
Land of the Navajo>
Get Up and Go

On the Road Again
Just Like Shakespeare*>
When I Paint My Masterpiece

* = original

The Return of the Canyon

Mystic Canyon Returns Saturday February 20th to the Sellwood Public House with side projects Harmless Eccentrics and Bum Ditty String Band and special guest Carra Barratt