The Shorter Stories: A Tribute to Jaime Leopold

Jaime Leopold was originally scheduled to headline this month’s While Rome Burns show. But sometimes stuff happens.

Many will remember Jaime as the bass-playing powerhouse in the original Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks, and for the last several years Jaime has been working the local scene, plying his unique songs and natural raconteur tendencies to win friends, followers and admirers in the Portland music scene. We were very excited to finally have Jaime bring his very special brilliance to our stage, but alas, it was not meant to be.

When we learned that Jaime’s declining health would preclude his performance this month, we briefly considered finding a replacement act to take his slot. We decided against that. Instead, Jaime’s band, The Short Stories, will perform that night as a sort of tribute to the man who has enriched our lives in so many ways. Jennifer Smieja, Jaime’s longtime singing partner, will be handling Jaime’s vocals in his absence, and we hope to be live streaming the performance. Jaime, this one’s for you.

Jaime Leopold & The Short Stories

Playing all original music, Jaime Leopold & the Short Stories celebrate a wild deck of characters in the style of what the band calls, “American Quirk: folk/country/acid memory”. It’s a collaborative effort with all the band members contributing to this genre bending music. The band features Jaime on guitar and vocals, Jennifer Smieja on vocals, Clark Salisbury on guitar; Aaron Lowe on harmonica, J. Michael Kearsey on bass, and Fred Ingram on drums.

Jaime’s songs are inspired by his early years in the Haight-Ashbury as a part of the youth culture of the day, where he hung out with many legends of those times–Allen Ginsburg, Neal Cassady, Jerry Garcia, to name a few. Jaime, totting his upright bass from his hometown of Portland to San Francisco, played in The Orkustra, a psychedelic electrified orchestra, before becoming the original and longtime bass player for Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks. His approach to art and life was strongly influenced by those freewheeling times.

If you want to read about some of Jaime’s Haight-Ashbury adventures click here:

Jaime Leopold & the Short Stories continue to bring new tales of truth and consequence to all those willing to slow down and take a listen. Their new CD is entitled “Live At O’Connor’s”, a venerable Portland, Oregon roadhouse.

“Americana folk, embellished with a touch of country, then seasoned with a slice of blues-tinged longing. This is music that breathes life.”

– Tom Franks, Folk Words (UK)

“An album of literary slice-of-life gems.”
– Steve Murray, Oregon Music News

“I love these songs.”
– Fiona Apple

“The man’s a poet”
– Dan Hicks

One Comment Add yours

  1. Terry says:

    Thank you for the music. Met you through Dan Hicks.

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