Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009

Photo by Jason Charme
Photo by Jason Charme
04/07/2018

Alex Weinberg and Fresh Track rattle the funky cellar doors at the Goodfoot Monday, April 9

By JEFFREY MELTON // Alex Weinberg and Fresh Track have a busy spring and summer playing guitar and keyboards all over the state.

If you’ve been frequenting several local live music clubs in PDX, you may have recognized guitarist/keyboardist Alex Weinberg playing in one of those bands, and he somehow caught stood out due to his mega-chops. He’s one of Portland’s best kept secret weapons, first as a versatile keyboardist often playing soulful Hammond Organ samples and inspired synth leads as well as playing lead guitar in his own four-piece hot ass jazz fusion act, Fresh Track. Although Weinberg favors playing guitar, he told me he’s consistently getting more good gigs as a session keyboardist available in a crunch. Doors are at 8 PM, gig at 9 PM, $5.

The Idaho native initially caught my attention in the local jam band scene as a member of acclaimed Phish tribute act, Shafty. Led by finesse guitarist, Rob Sipsky, Shafty has been not so quietly inhabiting the basement at the Goodfoot for a few years as part of a monthly residency creating their own take on Phish’s wide and varied jammin’ infused catalogue. As finesse style guitarist, Sipsky fills the Trey Anastasio role while Alex more than adequately covers Page McConnell’s organ and piano parts.The Idaho native initially caught my attention in the local jam band scene as a member of acclaimed Phish tribute act, Shafty. Led by finesse guitarist, Rob Sipsky, Shafty has been not so quietly inhabiting the basement at the Goodfoot for a few years as part of a monthly residency creating their own take on Phish’s wide and varied jammin’ infused catalogue. As finesse style guitarist, Sipsky fills the Trey Anastasio role while Alex more than adequately covers Page McConnell’s organ and piano parts.

Not long after that I was surprised to see Alex again this time as part Jason Mauer’s Mask Media productions that put that on the David Bowie Blackstar Rising tribute show at the Alberta Rose Theater. As primary keyboardist, Alex played most of the entire show which showcased a broad selection of the Bowie catalogue. His playing on one of the instrumental textural tracks from the Heroes album, I consider to be one of the unique highpoints of the entire gig.

Just last month, Alex played with both Mars Retrieval Unit (MRU) at the Mission Theater and also every Tuesday again at the Goodfoot for a series of dates. What I find astounding is that Weinberg’s synth soloing capabilities in MRUS are clearly now approaching those of his primary keyboardist, Dave Dernovsek which is saying a helluva lot!

Weinberg and band (now augmented with new percussionist, Darian Anthony Patrick) are continuing their stay at the Goodfoot throughout the summer with a string of one-off upcoming Monday gigs: Here is their schedule.

Lastly, the band has a new album which can purchased here.

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