Jackpot! Recording Studio has been recording wonderful local music (and lots of people from other places) for 16 years. Now we want to give something back to the world of musicians and fans that has supported us. We offer recording time to musicians that we like and ask them to track a song written by a Portland-based songwriter or band from any time past or present. We record and produce the song, and then we'll offer it up for free download here. Check out some free music that celebrates the creative spirit of the town we call home: Portland, Oregon. All tracks are recorded at Jackpot!, usually by owner Larry Crane and/or studio manager Kendra Lynn. Mastering for all of these downloads is done at at Treelady Studios in Pittsburgh by the talented Mr. Garrett Haines.

For more free music also visit our Ace Hotel Sessions site for recordings of a bunch of great Portland bands we tracked in their lobby during MusicFestNW 2011, 2012 & 2013!
Wendy and The Lost Boys
January 18, 2013

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Wendy and The Lost Boys
"Love, The Magician"
A cover of the Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer song from the Drum Hat Buddha album from 2001

Songwriter Dave Carter was a folk legend from the Portland region, and with Tracy Grammer made some stellar albums that earned them deserved attention before his unexpected and far-too-early passing in 2002. Phil Garfinkel (guitar) is a friend and contemporary of Dave and Tracy, and asked Tracy if a cover of "Love, The Magician" by his group Wendy and The Lost Boys would be okay. With her go ahead, we caught a wonderful live take of this song at Jackpot!, with Wendy Rover's fine vocals and washboard, Christian McKee's dueting vocals and mandola, and Paul Prato's strong upright bass capturing the essence of the song. We added some tenor banjo by Christian and Nashville-strung guitar by Phil, and we were done. A beautiful, heartfelt moment in time. Enjoy, and check out Dave and Tracy's legacy.

Recorded January 11, 2013, posted January XX, 2013.
Produced, recorded and mixed by Larry Crane @ Jackpot! Recording Studio.
Mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios in Pittsburgh, PA.
Photo by Micah Reese

Jake Ray & The Cowdogs
October 1, 2012

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Jake Ray & The Cowdogs
"Robbing Banks"
A cover of the Jeffrey Frederick and the Clamtones song from the '70s

So here's a unique twist on the Covers project we have here: Jake Ray & The Cowdogs features Jake, the son of legendary songwriter Jeffrey Frederick, covering one of his late father's most popular songs. Along with his Cowdogs, a cast of Portland veteran's including a revisiting Paul Brainard (dobro, piano, vox), Tim Acott (bass, vox), Kevin Major (snare), Ian Miller (guitar, vox), we tracked a practically live version of the tune. Jeffrey Frederick had a long Portland history, intertwined with The Holy Modal Rounders and many other important local and out-of-town musicians, and it feels good to honor his rich legacy.

Recorded May 30, 2012, posted Oct 1, 2012.
Produced, recorded and mixed by Larry Crane @ Jackpot! Recording Studio.
Mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios in Pittsburgh, PA.

Perhapst
September 5, 2012

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Perhapst
"Portland Town"
A cover of the Derroll Adams song from 1967

John Moen is known as the drummer for The Decemberists these days, but around Jackpot! we know him as one of our many patron saints. Not only did John and his Maroons record a single and album at Laundry Rules (pre Jackpot!), he dropped by to help with construction when Elliott Smith and Larry built the original studio in 1997, and one of the first sessions there was with The Maroons. Later sessions with John included The Jicks, with Steve Malkmus, The Cavemannish Boys and many other session gigs. Perhapst is John's "solo" project, and here he's joined by our pals Jonathan Drews (Sunset Valley) on guitar, Scott DeMay on drums, and longtime Jackpot!/Type Foundry engineer Adam Selzer on bass. "Portland Town" is one of the oldest songs covered at Jackpot! Covers Portland, and was written by Derroll Adams, a compatriot of Rambiln' Jack Elliott's.

Recorded July 19, 2012, posted September 5, 2012.
Produced, recorded and mixed by Larry Crane @ Jackpot! Recording Studio.
Mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios in Pittsburgh, PA.

The Robinsons and Psychedelic Famile Band
August 3, 2012

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The Robinsons and Psychedelic Famile Band
"Deado"
A cover of the Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks song from 2001 off the album Stephen Malkmus

Kevin and Anita Robinson have led the bands Viva Voce and Blue Giant, but as these projects seem to be on hiatus they have been playing around as The Robinsons and Psychedelic Famile Band. They are joined here by bassist and organ maestro Lewi Longmire, Ben Nugent (of Dolorean), percussionist Papi Fimbres. Check out some cool lead guitar from Anita and Kevin trying to make sense of the lyrics. (Hint: We all gave up.) The original version of "Deado" was mixed at Jackpot! by our pal Jeff Stuart Saltzman. Heck yeah!

Recorded June 12, 2012, posted August 3, 2012.
Produced, recorded and mixed by Larry Crane @ Jackpot! Recording Studio.
Mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios in Pittsburgh, PA.

Gary Ogan
July 1, 2012

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Gary Ogan
"Violence in the Snowy Fields"
A cover of the Dolorean song from 2004 off the album Violence in the Snowy Fields

Gary Ogan is a bit of a Portland legend, having released his first album Portland (with BIll Lamb) on Elektra Records in 1972. That album contained the fine song, "I Wanna Live", which Dolorean covered in our series a few months back. Here Gary returns the favor, covering Dolorean's "Violence in the Snowy Fields." Gary played all the parts himself, and his friend Tenley Holway dropped in for some hamony vocals. It was a treat to host Gary at Jackpot!, and to watch him blast out all the overdubs with dexterity and taste! Check out his recent solo album, Sound Ground, and look for shows in the Portland area coming up.

Recorded March 19, 2012, posted July 1, 2012.
Produced, recorded and mixed by Larry Crane @ Jackpot! Recording Studio.
Mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios in Pittsburgh, PA.

Bad Idea Machine
May 26, 2012

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Bad Idea Machine
"Dirty White Lies"
A cover of the Neo Boys song from 1982 off the album Crumbling Myths

Bad Idea Machine might be a band that doesn't really exist. Main instigator, Paul Brainard, has been on countless sessions at Jackpot! (including many with Richmond Fontaine) and Wendy Pate fronted the fabulous Flatirons a few years back. Rob Shrock dropped by to learn more about using our studio, and we put him to work on the harder keyboard parts! The song covered was originally done in a more "rock" style by the Neo Boys, an "all girl group" from back in the early '80s here in Portland. This new version features cheesy Hammond drum machine, Moog synths, Casio and baritone guitars. It was fun to create!
Wendy Pate (voice), Paul Brainard (keys, guitar), Rob Schrock (difficult keys)
Recorded March 29, 2012, posted May 26, 2012.
Produced, recorded and mixed by Larry Crane @ Jackpot! Recording Studio.
Mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios in Pittsburgh, PA.

Lookbook
May 5, 2012

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Lookbook
"Doom Town"
A cover of The Wipers song from 1983 off the album Over The Edge

"For a long while I've had this song going through my head on a regular basis. It's so creepy! Way back in '83 The Wipers really captured a piece of Portland that really stands the test of time. It reminds me of the way the city felt when I would travel through in the late '90s and early 2000s before I moved here from Ohio. My good friend, Ryan Lynn knew I was a fan and mentioned that Larry Crane was doing a Portland covers project and wanted to include The Wipers. I figured someone had already picked this song, but asked him to email Larry anyway. A day later I received an email from Mr. Crane asking me what I had in mind and I think we were both surprised that no one had requested "Doom Town" ...yet. So we made a date and here's how it came out. Different. But still creepy, I hope. Sometimes, yeah sometimes when you're in a band things do come together exactly the way you want them to. This is a great example of that for me and my compadres." -Errant Kohl (guitars and voice), Bronco Beeghly (bass), Tom Tom Thompson (drums, timpani, spooky tube)
Recorded March 28, 2012, posted May 5, 2012.
Produced, recorded and mixed by Larry Crane @ Jackpot! Recording Studio.
Mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios in Pittsburgh, PA.

Dolorean
April 13, 2012

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Dolorean
"I Wanna Live"
A cover of the Gary Ogan & Bill Lamb song from 1972

"Al James and his crew have long haunted the halls of Jackpot! Recording, having worked with us a few times under the hand of producer/engineer Jeff Stuart Saltzman. When Tape Op writer Steve Silverstein suggested someone cover "I Wanna Live" from Gary Ogan & Bill Lamb's 1972 album Portland (on Elektra Records), the first group I thought of doing justice to the tune was Dolorean. We tracked almost all of the song live, after many arrangement decisions, and then overdubbed vocals and organ. I think this cover came out so perfect - I love the mood of it!" -Larry Crane
Al James, acoustic guitar/vocals; Jay Clarke, organ/piano; Ben Nugent, drums/backing vocals; James Adair, bass, Jon Neufeld, electric guitar, Jesse Bates, lap steel; Kaylee Cole, backing vocals
Recorded March 4, 2012, posted April 13, 2012.
Produced, recorded and mixed by Larry Crane @ Jackpot! Recording Studio.
Mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios in Pittsburgh, PA.

System and Station
March 31, 2012

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System and Station
"Plainclothes Man"
A cover of the Heatmiser song from 1996

"When Elliott Smith and I opened Jackpot! in 1997 his band Heatmiser had called it quits just a few months prior. Their swansong, Mic City Sons, was a highly-rewarding album, full of great songs written by Elliott and Neil Gust and powered by the rhythm section of Tony Lash (who has engineered at Jackpot!) and Sam Coomes (who's recorded many Quasi records with us). I've recorded many albums for my friends System and Station over the last decade or so, and when Ryan Heise (vocals, keys, guitar) suggested doing a cover of "Plainclothes Man" from Mic City Sons it seemed somehow appropriate. The rest of the band - Josh Vasby (guitar, keys), Adam Schultz (bass), Bryan Fairfield (drums) - are long time Jackpot! alumni, with stints in Room 101/Kieskagato. Elliott Smith obsessives will note a different arrangement and slight lyric variations - these are based on an unreleased version of the song that Elliott recorded solo after Heatmiser's version was in the can, and System added their guitar-based outro. Enjoy."
-Larry Crane
Recorded March 3, 2012, posted Mar 31, 2012.
Produced, recorded and mixed by Larry Crane @ Jackpot! Recording Studio.
Mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios in Pittsburgh, PA.

The Blue Cranes
March 6, 2012

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The Blue Cranes
"Corporal's Lament"
A cover of the 31 Knots instrumental from 2002

"For this project, we originally wanted to cover someone really old school, such as the Hell Cows, The Wipers, Dead Moon, or Completely Grocery. However, when it came time to pick a song, we ended up having a really hard time finding one that would translate well into our guitar-less, vocal-less instrumentation and still remain interesting. Just as we were about to make up our minds, I remembered this amazing 31 Knots track that I used to listen to over and over again on a 2001 Portland Mercury compilation. As soon as it hit the CD player, we all agreed that this was "the one." Joe Cunningham (tenor saxophone) took it home and did the work of transcribing Joe Haege and Jay Winebrenner's haunting vocal/guitar/bass harmonies. We had fun messing with the dynamics and timing [note Keith Brush on acoustic bass and Ji Tanzer on drums] of the song, and adding new textures, such as Rebecca Sanborn's accordion at the beginning, bells, and a hole-punched melody cranked through a write-your-own music box. It is fitting that we recorded this project at Jackpot! - we later learned that the original track, which appeared on 31 Knots' 2002 The Rehearsal Dinner EP was also recorded here. Thank you to engineer Kendra Lynn for inviting us to take part in this, and to Joe Haege for writing a beautiful song."
-Reed Wallsmith (alto saxophone)
Recorded Feb 29, 2012, posted Mar 6, 2012
Recorded and mixed by Kendra Lynn @ Jackpot! Recording Studio.
Mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios in Pittsburgh, PA.

Rebecca Gates and the Consortium
January 31, 2012

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Rebecca Gates and the Consortium
"Dangerous"
A cover of the Cool'R classic from 1982

Rebecca Gates has long been a friend of ours at Jackpot!, and she encouraged Larry Crane and Elliott Smith to collaborate on establishing the initial Jackpot! Recording Studio. Gates was the leader of The Spinanes in the '90s, and our first song on JCP was actually a cover of one of her songs. Here Rebecca (on guitars and keys) is joined by Jackpot!'s "first intern", bassist Joanna Bolme (also of The Jicks), and drummer Ji Tanzer (of Blue Cranes) (who also played some keys and percussion). The song they cover is from the legendary Portland R&B group Cool'R who flirted with mainstream success in the early '80s, and had formed from the previous Portland R&B group Pleasure. Both groups were well known nationally in their time, and bassist Nate Phillips went on to play with Jeff Lorber Fusion, among others. But be careful, this song is "dangerously" hook-laden. Enjoy the free download and support local music!
Recorded Dec 30, 2011, mixed various days of Jan 2012, posted January 31, 2012
Recorded and mixed by Larry Crane @ Jackpot! (of course) and produced by Larry and the group.
Mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios in Pittsburgh, PA.

Mission Spotlight
November 6, 2011

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Mission Spotlight
"Noel, Jonah and Me"
A cover of The Spinanes' classic from 1993

This session was super fun, cutting Kurt Foster's live vocals along with the band in one of our iso booths. Ryan Lynn's pedal steel really gives this cover a barnstorming country edge (on the right plus a cool overdub in the middle) and you'll hear Faz Debeb's rocking guitar panned to the left. Jeremy Dietz holds down the bass and special (temporary?) drummer Evan Railton (Swords Project, Blue Giant) rocks as always. Mission Spotlight is a special band to us at Jackpot!, as Kurt was in Worthington, a band that recorded a great album at our old location in 1997, and along with Faz and Jeremy he also had the band Recall 7, whom we also recorded a few years back - not to mention that they helped us move piles of gear into our current location. Look for an upcoming 2012 EP that they just recorded (along with this cover song) with Jackpot1's owner, Larry Crane, producing, engineering and mixing.
The song itself, "Noel, Jonah and Me" is a cover of the excellent Spinanes' track from their debut album Manos (Sub Pop, 1993).
Recorded Nov 22, 2011, mixed Dec 14, 2011, posted January 3, 2012
Mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios in Pittsburgh, PA.


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