Portland Seen Magazine
Editorial by Kristin Ulrick
In The Garden with Adam + Kris
Life sings through Adam and Kris. Word is out that this energetic and highly entertaining duo is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, belting out powerful tunes and passionately harmonizing well thought-out messages of peace and love with their lyrical slices of life. There is something deep, earnest and utterly human about them that comes together in a vibrant, clear, vocal franchise. Influenced by such legendary singer/songwriters as Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, their contemporary, acoustic, folk-rock style (Mamas and the Papas and Indigo Girls come to mind) is reminiscent of the socially conscious music of the 1960s. Their music is propulsive; a refreshing, down to earth style, redefining music with a conscience and a voice. "Music is often the thing we hold onto when there is nothing else. It is a touchstone. It keeps you alive," says Kris, whose vocals are achingly expressive and a pitch perfect amalgam of Joni Mitchell's sweet and tremulous high and her own calm, clear center.
Without a doubt, Adam and Kris are skilled performance artists. They are multitalented, playing a wide range of instruments including the mandolin, harmonica, hand drums, and accordion in addition to their acoustic guitars. The attractive, energetic, and often quirky duo is adept at drawing a crowd into their music. They have a powerful connection to their audiences, a fiery genuineness which appeals to the spirit in everyone. "We are a visual show, we like our audience to have fun and be entertained. But at the same time we're out there goofing it up, we take our music very seriously and hope our audiences will begin to listen to the messages we're sending out -- and they will have an effect on people," Adam says. As songwriters, many of their lyrics contain socially conscious, philosophical and political themes, originating from a genuine desire to heal the world. "Our country sets an example for the world." Kris says, "We need to be responsible for our actions, to set an example for our children, really in tune to reality, and know that everything we do has a consequence. Through our music we hope to raise the level of awareness in individuals to do their part in making a difference in our world."
The talents of Kris Deelane and Adam East merged 14 years ago when Adam left Canada for southern California where he met Kris, a Manhattan Beach native. They soon left their respective bands and became a duo. In the ten years they have been performing together, Adam and Kris have spent the majority of their time touring, playing gigs and Folk Festivals around the US and Canada with extended stays in some cities like Austin, Texas. "We love being on the road, making connections with people who share in our philosophy and vision. Participating in festivals has allowed us to come together with other musicians like ourselves." They make their living playing music and when they're not on the road Adam & Kris have make Portland their home. "Portland has been wonderful for us," Kris says, "our audiences are really receptive and in tune with what we do." The most recent of their four CDs, Promises, was recorded at Whitehorse Studios in Portland last year and they are currently working on a record deal with their band SweetJuice, who performs with them about half the time.
Whether they're performing at Saturday Market, Ash Street Saloon, Mount Hood Meadows or the Oregon Country Fair, Adam & Kris' high energy, soul-orchestrated performance is sure to put a smile on your face and lift your spirit. Grab your friends or head out alone, but be sure to check them out. You never know when you may be saying, "I knew them when..."
Visit the Adam + Kris website @ www.sweetjuice.com