|On stage: a weekend with Larry Wilder posted on 04/01/2021|
Larry Wilder, a northwest musician known for his
entertaining performances of Americana, has played thousands of concerts,
including opening for such luminaries as Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt and Pete
Seeger, while also touring Europe three times and in Japan.
This past year has been a little different, although he has
done concerts over Zoom while also performing outdoors on occasion, including
at senior residences and for his neighbors.
“You can immediately see what it means to the people who are
there,” Wilder said.
On the weekend of April 24-25, Wilder will return to the
live stage at the Nutz-n-Boltz Theater Company in Boring.
Wilder offers fast-paced entertainment featuring guitar,
banjo and vocals (he is a National Yodeling Champion) from across the entire
spectrum of Americana, including folk songs, popular country tunes and even the
unexpected, such as Irving Berlin or Cole Porter.
“I only do what they want to hear,” Wilder said of his
audience. “I want the shows to be quick and engaging and interactive. I want
them to remember me as being entertaining and that they felt good.”
Wilder, who counts Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Woody
Guthrie as some of his influences, has been performing for decades and noted
that the most important part of his concerts is making his audience feel good.
“I think the longer I play, the more I can sense their
feelings and what really works for them,” he said.
Wilder noted that his performance is a journey through
Americana music, part of our musical heritage, and that multiple generations
are enthusiastic about the songs. And even if few people remember bands such as
the Kingston Trio today, the songs they sang still resonate with an audience.
“It’s the power of those songs,” Wilder said. “Whatever the
enthusiasm and fun was then, I don’t think it changes much.”
Wilder’s performances weave songs together, such as “I’ve
Been Everywhere” with “This Land Is Your Land” or the classic Cash tunes “Walk
the Line” and “Ring of Fire,” while interspersing them with some jokes and narratives.
He’s been known for playing two songs at the same time on a banjo, while also
leading sing-alongs with the audience.
“If the folks want to participate, I encourage that,” Wilder
NNB presents Larry Wilder at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24
and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 25 at the Boring Grange, 27861 Grange Street in
Boring. The performances are a fundraiser and donations will be accepted at the
door. Capacity for each performance will be limited to 50. For more
information, or to make reservations, call 503-593-1295 or visit
nnbtheater.com, and don’t forget to bring a mask.
By Garth Guibord/MT