Performer: Jim Wallace Band
Date: June 10, 2011
In 6 words or fewer: Satisfying, laid back, classic blues
Link to Video: Jim Wallace Blues Video
Performance Review: Jim Wallace stuffed his four-member band into the corner of this little bar. Jim on blues harp, plus a blues guitarist, bass player, and a woman drummer. This great little group plays the classics with at just the right syncopation, passion and humor. Band members are skilled musicians who simply seemed to like themselves and like playing the blues. I was in a gray mood when I walked in, and felt good when I left. One can't ask for much more than that.
Venue Review: In the bad old days of segregation, banks offered African Americans home loans in Northeast Portland, but not in some other areas of the city. In the past quarter-century, the area has become more diverse. Alberta Street, in particular, has benefitted from businesses investing up and down the street over the past decade. Now, NE Alberta may be one of the best streets to walk up and down on a warm Friday or Saturday night. Lots of bars, restaurants and art galleries have taken root.
Halibut's bar is small. Guests enjoy the intimacy of someone's living room or basement. On this night, the volume perfectly fit the room. The drummer even used brushes instead of sticks. What's great is that the music begins at 8:00 p.m., an hour at which I'm actually awake. This night at Halibuts, I might have been the median age, another positive.
Halibuts has a full bar, and its other side is a restaurant. Patrons can buy food off the restaurant menu while in the bar, at least at the early hour of my attendance.