Portland’s singing and songwriting wonder Diane Birch traveled the globe touring her first CD, Bible Belt from 2009. The just released follow-up album is Speak A Little Louder.
After a concert at Doug Fir last month, she’ll appear again for an instore performance at Music Millennium, 3158 E. Burnside on Sunday, November 27 at 1 pm.
Birch mixes her piano-playing virtuosity with wisened groovalicious soul-singing and vulnerable writing. Her ballads are danceable, recalling 70’s and 80s soul hits (Betty Wright co-wrote with Birch this time). Although the tunes incorporate gospel stylings and eternal melodies, they are not anachronistic.
Not bad for a young musician who’s even released a telling EP of covers of her favorite Goth tunes and “grew up listening to Bauhaus and Sisters of Mercy” along with everything else she’s absorbed.
Birch’s old soul voice and phrasing bring her songs into an alternately moody, celebratory and compelling place. This hometown artist has covered a lot of ground in the last 5 years and she’s breaking through again.
Listen in at www.dianebirch.com. Other Millennium instores this month: Garland Jeffreys, Weds. Nov. 6; Casey Neill, Tues. Nov. 12; Tish Hinojosa, Weds. Nov. 13; Band Of Heathens, Thurs. Nov. 21. All at 6 pm.