“Up On Cedar Ridge”

•December 20, 2009 • Comments Off on “Up On Cedar Ridge”

We are very proud and happy to share with you our first  CD, “Up On Cedar Ridge”, named after the place we met and started playing music together.  “Up On Cedar Ridge” includes an variety of “Americana” style music with seven originals, two covers and one Public Domain tune.  This is a “local” CD arranged and produced by Tom Scott and Leslie Tift.  Included on this CD are some of the best Siskiyou County, Northern California musicians.  With sincere gratitude we recognize the following musicians:  Tristan Clarridge, Diane Strachan, Sam Cuenca, Nathan Johnson, Bruce Anthony, Billy Shaver and David Rotermund.  In addition, we especially thank our talented recording engineer, Terry Lawhon at Blue Dragon Studios in Mt Shasta, CA. Without him we would have had to travel “far and wide” to make this happen.  bluedragonimages.com

Flat Pick Guitarist-Jerry Rose

•March 10, 2014 • Comments Off on Flat Pick Guitarist-Jerry Rose
The "young" Jerry in 1962

The “young” Jerry in 1962

Jerry Rose and Leslie Tift will be playing at the Dunsmuir Brewery Works, Dunsmuir, Ca on March 15th. Here is Jerry’s music bio.

It all began in the summer of 1961.  I was twelve years old living in a fairly isolated area of south east bay area in the foothills of Hayward, CA.  My father enjoyed watching the country western TV shows; my mom listened to country music on the radio.  I was always drawn to the guitar and when I expressed an interest in learning to play, my mother gave me her old black no name guitar.  I quickly learned how to play Home on the Range on one string and instinctively knew I was destined for greatness.  My Mom bought me a Chet Atkins phonograph record for my 13th birthday.  I favored the flatpick but also learned to use a thumb pick.  I eventually found my heroes in Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, Joe Maphis, and Neil Lavang. 

My father played several instruments, guitar, banjo, and mandolin.  He and a friend began a Friday night kitchen-picking gathering that would last for several years.  They each had their hand written music books with lyrics and chords for songs from the ragtime and early country eras.  Both of them played banjos and sang while I played rhythm guitar.  Our next door neighbor, Joe Corrie, would show up with his guitar and was a wealth of information about bluegrass rhythm.  As I entered my teen years I began to lean toward more contemporary music and found the Ventures.  I played in several teen garage bands and learned the dynamics of “band psychology.”  After graduating high school, life stepped in and I found guitar drifting in and out of a life that was busy with new responsibilities. 

Jerry in his "Garage Band"
Jerry in his “Garage Band”

 In 1988 while watching the Mount Shasta Fourth of July parade, I saw a flatbed truck go by with a load of young fiddle players at the direction of Evelyn Horner.  I instantly felt a connection with the happy, light feeling from their lively fiddle tunes.  I began meeting with Evelyn and she taught me literally hundreds of fiddle tunes.  When she formed a group called the High Mountain String Band, she invited me to play guitar.  Along with Evelyn, I met Sam Cuenca (excellent bass and mandolin player), Linda Powers (bass, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, singer-songwriter), and Gary Powers (rhythm guitar).  We played together for many years.  It was also at this time that Evelyn introduced me to the Western Open Fiddle Contest and specifically the guitar picking contest aspect.  I would go on to win the Western Open picking contest six times and the California State Fiddle picking contest five times as well as the Weaverville Open Fiddle Contest picking division five times.  In 2013 I won the California State Picking Championship, placed second in the Cloverdale Adult Picking Contest, won the Weaverville Open Picking Contest and won the Western Open Picking Contest. 

Jerry Rose-picking competition
Jerry Rose-picking competition

I have retired from the post office and now teach bluegrass guitar as a hobby and play on occasion with a close friend, John Renfro, from Oregon.  We collaborated on a CD in the summer of 2008 titled “All Worn Out” (now out of print).  We didn’t quite go platinum…..as a matter of fact John tells people that it went “aluminum.”     

“Seeing the Light” an interview with Erika Perloff

•August 31, 2012 • Leave a Comment

1)    What inspired you to do art?  As long as I can remember, I have noticed the way light moves over and changes the things it touches. When I was very small I followed sunbeams like a cat and curled up in them to read or draw. My father would point out the quality of light when the late sun swept over the San Francisco Bay, or when the fog rolled in over the coastal hills. I have been chasing the light ever since, trying to hold it still so the beauty can last.

2)  You paint mostly landscapes.  Why?  My brother and I grew up outdoors, thanks to our parents, who embraced the California landscape with unbridled enthusiasm. Weekends were spent walking the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais. Summers were spent in the Sierra s exploring the granite peaks and wildflowers. Our home was surrounded by lush gardens that my mother grew.  My love for these landscapes grew under my skin and eventually became part of me. I knew I would always live more outdoors than in.  If I lived in a city I would paint cityscapes but I paint what is around me because there are paintings everywhere I look.

3) What aspects of your professional life have affected your work as an artist? Would you elaborate?  My style and appreciation for natural scenes is rooted in a deep connection to the land. My training as a biologist and work in the fields as a naturalist, park ranger and outdoor educator,  have  allowed me to infuse in my paintings a deep understanding of the landscape. When I am painting clouds I am thinking about what the wind is doing and whether they will bring rain.  When I paint foliage I am conscious of the species of tree and why it grows there.  Many of my works depict natural places threatened with development, or places where the civilized world meets the natural world.

4) What are your interests?  Over the years I developed a love for gardening, and am passionate about creating habitats, places for learning about nature and oases of beauty where there was nothing before. I also support environmental organizations through sales and donations of my art.

5) How do you fill your days?  I paint, and teach art to children and adults, and also work on the business end of being an artist. I feel that my job now is to witness the beauty of the world, and to share it though my paintings. When painting, I am completely at peace and alive. My paintings are very personal but when someone takes one home, I feel they have taken the wonder of nature into their lives to hold, as well as a chance to “see the light.”

To see her paintings and learn more about Erika click here: http://erikaperloff.com/

“Positive Futures”

•July 9, 2012 • 2 Comments

The Adventures of  “Di”

1)  What instruments do you play?

My favorite is the bongo drum!  I grew up with four brothers and we all banged on anything we could find.  It was a good way to relate.  I also play the blues harp, guitar and sing.

 2)  Your most memorable music experience?

Drumming to the point where I am totally lost.  Also, playing on your CD, “Up on Cedar Ridge” was so incredible! I loved the whole discipline of folding all the sounds together and being sensitive to the final sound and your vision.

3)  Tell me about playing spoons with a famous band?

I was asked to play spoons on stage with Santana’s drummer in the late 1970’s.  Super crazy fun! 

4)   Most memorable outdoor experience and why?

The time I was stranded on a tropical island with my boyfriend off the coast of far northern Australia in 1978. A local sail- boat Captain, dropped us off on a remote island with fresh water.  He was supposed to pick us up 5 days later and never did. We spent a month fishing, eating oysters, loosing weight, harassed by sharks, and bitten by large translucent green ants. We ended up rock climbing and bush whacking 21 miles around the crocodile infested swampy interior hoping to find a remote resort or air strip. 

5)  So how did this story end?

I always knew we would figure out something or be rescued.  After bush whacking 21 miles we found a resort and were rescued by boat.  Our adventure became part of a published book called, “No Shit, There I Was!” by Michael Hodgson.

6) Out of all your career endeavors which one did you find most rewarding and why?

Becoming the founding Executive Director of the River Exchange for the town of Dunsmuir, CA. It was important to create a new kind of organization that promoted communication, education, economy, and community as a pathway to sustainability and stewardship for future generations.

7)  What was the stimulus for creating The River Exchange ?

To heal the Sacramento River and it’s communities after the 1991 railroad car chemical tanker spill disaster that killed all life in the river for 40 miles downstream.

8)   What motivates you?

Wow! Great question.  Challenges, working with others, fun, self-awareness and making a difference in how we learn and care for nature.

9)  Is there a single common ingredient that makes you successful in what you do?

Not giving up on an idea or a dream.

10)   List important information about your PCT adventure.

I thought walking 1,600 miles would be such a fun adventure.  It turned into  learning about commitment, meeting challenges both obvious and not so obvious, pacing myself, eating enough to hike 15 to 20 miles a day, and being in nature – feeling deeply connected.

11)   What is your current profession?

I am the owner and director of “Positive Futures.”  My mission is to strengthen businesses, non-profit organizations, communities, and individuals through effective communication training, visionary planning, and leadership coaching.   

Thank YOU Diane for all you do!!  Leslie & Tom

“Nothing Lasts Forever”

•February 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

"Troubadour for the Lady"

Donnelly's 75th birthday concert

Donnelly arrived in Los Angeles from Colorado as a toddler during the Great Depression.  A few years later, just before the Pearl Harbor attack, he started reading music and singing at the age of seven.  This  lead to performances in Hollywood movies and recording for Capital Records.  Needless to say, Donnelly has been singing ever since.  His music career included teaching voice and leading choral music for over 22 years.  He also performed for the Los Angeles Master and Opera Chorales and Oregon Bach Festival. Additionally, he conducted chorale performances in Western Europe and the Orient. As a lover of classical songs, all forms of folk and country music, and Broadway show tunes, Donnelly  toured with the “Slick Country Trio” and “Sierra Highway”.

To celebrate his 75th birthday, Donnelly performed a full recital, singing his favorite songs, including several of his own, where he got the idea to record this music.  After many decades of performing, teaching, and writing, Donnelly recorded  “Nothing Lasts Forever”, his first CD.

Currently, at the age of 77, he lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife Joanna, where he continues to sing with Southern Oregon Repertory Singers, write poetry and compose.

Donnelly says “When I look at my own story, I see a faith-based upbringing inspired through music. I see a traditional story of education, marriage, family and profession, one of fortunate happenstance with loving ties and satisfying outcomes.”

Donnelly’s music will live on forever; through his CD and the many voices he has inspired.  His students, encouraged and guided, are gently taught valuable, vocal techniques that will last a life time.   In his latter years, Donnelly worked as a counselor for teens needing academic guidance from high school to college.

To hear Donnelly or purchase his CD or DVD you can visit him at:

Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/donnellyfenn, iTunes and Amazon

You can also contact him at futurefocus@jeffnet.org

Birthdays and Music

•January 28, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Oh yeh…we had a great night celebrating birthdays with friends and playing music at the Dunsmuir Brewery Works!!!  What a great place to be!!  Come join us on the 3rd Saturday of eacy month!!

Leslie and Tom


Dunsmuir Brewery Works, Dunsmuir, CA

Great night at the Dunsmuir Brewery

•December 18, 2011 • 1 Comment

Last night, we had a great show at the Dunsmuir Brewery Works in Dunsmuir, CA  We thank everyone for their support and celebration and T-Barr for joining in with his harmonica.

Tom, Leslie and T-Barr

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season…hope to see you in the New Year!!

Tom and Leslie

the “N” zone

•November 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Nadine Aiello

We all know what it is like to get into our “zone”.  Whatever passion it may be we can relate to that place of single mindedness and bliss…This guest column is about a woman that often gets into the “N” zone.  Nadine Aiello, artist, community volunteer..individual extraordinaire.  Native to France and now living in Mt Shasta, CA, USA, here is her story:

Nadine Aiello was born in Paris, France and studied art in both Paris and London.  A single mother, a gifted artist, designer, photographer and community volunteer, Nadine has single-handedly created a lifestyle that is unique and admirable.  Self employed for 30 years, she owns 3 successful home-operated art related businesses, has co-created a volunteer business for library fundraisers and continues to maintain her home with her beloved pets.

Nadine is an example of what  “everyday” individuals can do for themselves, for each other and the community as a whole.

Please check out her websites to take a glimpse at the “N” zone.




Warm Nights, Cold Beer, Good Music at Dunsmuir Brewery Works

•October 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment
Folk Music

Show at Artichoke Music, Portland, OR

Tom Scott and Leslie Tift will be playing at the Dunsmuir Brewery Works this Saturday, Oct. 15th. http://www.dunsmuirbreweryworks.info/  Show time is at 7:30 p.m….free admission, great food and beer…and easy access off the I5…Come join us!!

Tom and Leslie


Radio Time with “World Wide Bluegrass”

•October 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

“Up on Cedar Ridge” will be played off this website station: www.WorldWideBluegrass.com
Eric Cole show “Oregon Territory Bluegrass” on Wed. Oct 12th from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Pacific Time.  Yahooo.

Leslie and Tom  www.tomanlesliemusic.com

Folk/Americana music

Show at Artichoke Music, Portland, OR

Wayside Grill, Mt Shasta, CA

•September 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Hi, we will be playing at the Wayside Grill in Mt Shasta, CA Sept 24th, 8:30 pm.  Great place to eat, drink and comfortable sitting for music listening.  No cover charge, too.  We’ll also continue to play music here every 2nd Saturday of each month.  If you are traveling the I5 corridor it is an easy stop over.  Plus, Mt Shasta is a superb place to visit!

Playing "Americana Music", Wayside Grill, Mt Shasta, CA

Wayside Grill, Mt Shasta, CA

Wayside Grill  http://www.waysidegrill.com/

Tom and Leslie