Mama Bird’s Winter Wassail Feat. Nick Delffs, Haley Heynderickx, Matt Dorrien & Special Guests – Tickets – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR – December 21st, 2017

Mama Bird's Winter Wassail Feat. Nick Delffs, Haley Heynderickx, Matt Dorrien & Special Guests

The prolific, folk-focused Portland label's holiday blowout featuring luminary songwriters

Mama Bird's Winter Wassail Feat. Nick Delffs, Haley Heynderickx, Matt Dorrien & Special Guests

Thu, December 21, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$10 ADV/DOS

This event is 21 and over

Mostly Standing / Limited Balcony Seats 

NICK DELFFS
NICK DELFFS
Nick Delffs is a seeker. He’d never identify himself that way. He’s unassuming and self-effacing, careful to discuss song meanings and biographical details without indulgence or melodrama. Delffs cut his teeth playing basement shows in Portland a dozen years ago, just before that city’s cover was irreversibly blown. It was a time when being musically ambitious meant impressing other local musicians. You were a joke, in that world, if you proclaimed yourself an artist or promoted your band with any zeal. So Delffs would probably find “seeker” a rather grandiose title.

But Nick Delffs is, in fact, a seeker. He’s an old-school rustler of the human condition; a tireless navigator of social and spiritual landscapes; a genuinely curious and wide-eyed, mankind-enthusiast. Soon after meeting him, one gets the impression that Delffs could be dropped in some far corner of the Earth and he’d not only survive, but he’d make a lot of friends—maybe even start a new band. In both casual conversation and his songwriting, Delffs gravitates to the universal. That’s his search. His life’s work is in the identification and removal of our shared illusions. And that is, largely, what Delffs writes songs about. Songs come to him when he’s “feeling detached from the world but totally in love with it at the same time,” he says. “Mostly they come when I am patient and I don't need them or care about them too much.”

They happen to be pretty catchy songs. Delffs first emerged in 2003 as the frontman for the seminal Portland band The Shaky Hands, known for their jangly, pulsing and introspective songs and their high-energy live shows. The band would sign to the venerable Kill Rock Stars imprint and tour internationally with bands like The Shins and Meat Puppets.

The Shaky Hands went on hiatus in 2011, and the changes came fast and furious for Delffs. He released a stripped-down, self-titled EP as Death Songs. He became a father. He relocated to Idaho. He took odd jobs and worked as a landscaper. All the while, he was strengthening his musical chops by collaborating with artists like Luz Elena Mendoza (Y La Bamba) and Ali Clarys—both of whom play important roles on his new LP, Redesign.

Living in Boise, Delffs remained a beloved figure throughout the Northwest—traveling often and moonlighting in friends’ touring bands. Slowly, through collaboration and time off, the pressure of being a full-time songwriter subsided and a thrilling new confidence emerged in Delffs’ own work.

“I like to disassociate myself with being a songwriter,” he says. “I like to forget I even do it. In the past that would have freaked me out, but I have a healthier relationship with my songs now. It’s less codependent.”

Redesign is the first full-length album Delffs has ever released under his own name. He first shed the Death Songs moniker in 2015, when he unceremoniously dropped a four-track EP of fantastic story-songs simply titled Home Recordings, and last year Mama Bird released Delffs’ reworking of the traditional English Christmas carol, “As I Sat on a Sunny Bank”. But Redesign is a self-contained universe of songs that play with themes that, on the surface, seem at odds with one another: longing for nature (“Somewhere Wild”, an ode to off-the-grid living) and learning to take responsibility (“Song for Aja”, a sweet and percussive tune about Delffs’ now six-year-old son that recalls Cat Stevens and Paul Simon). Musically, these themes are stitched together by the album’s warm, organic production and Delffs’ playing—he’s behind every instrument on the record—but Delffs also connects those seemingly disparate dots under the heading of Redesign. Heading into wilderness provides the insight for dealing with life’s heaviness; the responsibility of being a parent is also an opportunity for endless imaginative self-exploration.

The title track, “Redesign,” was written during a rafting trip in Eastern Oregon. “I couldn't go for the full three days, so I went for one day and hiked back to my car alone,” Delffs says. “It took maybe nine hours, and I had no shoes, and there were rattlesnakes. I took naps, I sang in caves. I felt like I let a lot of things go on that walk.”

A redesign means “to change out the parts of yourself that don't work, or don't serve anyone,” Delffs explains. “And if you are changing and growing, your relationships have to as well. It seems like redesigning our relationship with the world—and staying open to change and curious about the future—is more important now than ever.”

This is what you can depend on from Nick Delffs. In a world of noise and madness, he will use his music to try and scratch at something human and real. Something helpful. Nick Delffs is a seeker. He shares his discoveries. Redesign is his greatest gift yet.

Redesign will be released on July 21st from Mama Bird Recording Co.
Haley Heynderickx
Haley Heynderickx
Born in Stockton, California and raised in Forest Grove, Oregon, Haley Heynderickx wasn’t brought up in a musical family, but she was keen to try it out after having a dream in which she was the female version of Jimi Hendrix. Being eleven years old and burning with desire to set her guitar on fire, her parents allowed her to take several guitar lessons. However, Forest Grove is a pretty small town and only a bluegrass instructor was available. This experience worked out for the best, bringing Heynderickx an appreciation for country music and acoustic implementations. She gradually found a love of writing and folk music once entering college. Heavily influenced by folk, rock and pop music of the 60s and 70s, Heynderickx’s writing found influence in Dylan, Nick Drake, along with local musicians she began performing with.

Her simultaneous feelings of anxiety and love for the 21st century is captured in her haunting vocals and honest lyrics. Though she has enjoyed performing this as a solo songwriter, she found greater satisfaction in a big band noise through the flair of her bandmates. With Alex Fitch of Typhoon on drums, and Lily Breshears of Big Haunt and Sheers on bass and backup vocals, Heynderickx’s subtle softness reaches greater capacities of emotion and longing with the amplification of instruments and energy. This band is young, attentive, and excited to explore their musical horizons.

Unsure of her genre, she jokingly refers to their noise as ‘doom folk,’ but will happily let you decide for yourself if you give it a listen.
Matt Dorrien
Matt Dorrien
Matt Dorrien is a songwriter currently living in Portland, Oregon. Having self-released two albums under the moniker Snowblind Traveler, he now looks forward to the premiere of his most personal album to date, to be released under his own name early next year on the Portland-based label Mama Bird Recording Co. His music has been described as timeless and heartbreaking, and his songs reminiscent of the work of artists like Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman and Carole King: a tribute to the golden age of songwriting.