Southeast Portlanders likely recognize a petite, Welsh redhead with a hefty passion for lilting Celtic tunes and sing-alongs at venues from The Ladd Taphouse, Jade Lounge, the now-closed but beloved O’Neill Pub, to block parties, street fairs and casual song circles at The Caldera.
Andrea Wild, mother, neighbor, pubsinger and musical producer for Three Pound Note and other groups will kick off summer with traditional Celtic and English folk music during a June 13, Solstice celebration at Montavilla’s Vino Veritas Wine & Bottle Shop, 7835 SE Stark St., 7 – 9 pm. Three Pound Note includes fellow Brit and frequent singing partner Hugo Glanville and, occasionally, sympatico musical recruits.
The event is part of a quarterly music series to greet changing seasons at the wine shop, better known for its jazz sessions. “We’re kind of their oddball group,” Wild says, “but we have momentum and look forward to a nice draw from our fan base.” Revelers can anticipate traditional acapella vocals with plenty of opportunities to join in the choruses. Given the song and dance traditions of pagan and druid roots, according to Wild, no one does Solstice quite like the Brits.
Solstice has special significance for the performers because it connects them with their ancient heritage and adopted home. “Celtic music has profoundly influenced American folk music, especially bluegrass and Appalachian music that came with those who immigrated to America,” explains Wild. She adds that American folk has many other influences from Africa, American blues and gospel that make it a rich source material for musicians.
Wild’s own immigration story began in the 90s when she joined her brother in Portland to play folk music in a duo called Both Wild. They teamed with Portland Opera cellist Jim Smith, played folk festivals and street fairs, and released a CD called “Just Say Nevoth” words that conjure creativity and joy or for her Welsh grandmother–exasperation. She met Glanville at a weekly pub sing after his practice with the Bridgetown Morris Men, a percussive form of English folk dance that evolved over centuries.
Increasingly, Wild incorporates her native language into songs. “My drive to bridge back to my Welsh family and culture…is at the heart of Three Pound Note.” Her full band called Andrea Wild & the Bad Wolves features pipes and pennywhistles. She also produces events with foot percussion and an Irish dance focus in the group known as The Stomptowners.
Wild’s groups perform at Edgefield on Christmas Eve and the Kennedy School on Boxing Day – holidays with a pagan twist. She is a member of Oregon’s Welsh Dragon Choir and founder of a local, monthly Global Folk Festival.
For more information on the Solstice celebration: https://www.facebook.com/events/824693854565342/