Scene & Heard

Backyard blues Creswell musician playing host at ‘The Hangar’

Ron Hartman

By RON HARTMAN- [email protected]

CRESWELL – Everything’s going to be “Alright This Time.”

That’s the name of one of the catchier tunes on Peter Riley Osborne’s homemade. album with his band, The Truckstop Handshakes. There’s every indication that Friday night’s John Shipe blues concert at “The Hangar” will be a whole lot better than all right.  

The Creswell musician’s house – at 33938 Martin Road – borders Creswell’s Hobby Field airport. This is his first-ever house party. There is a $15 cover charge, and visitors are asked to bring their favorite dinner and bottle of wine. Jazz guitarist Tim McLaughlin will be the special guest and will join Shipe onstage in the large garage. They will play out into the open field. 

The show starts at 6 p.m. 

“This will allow us to see how the event goes, and if all runs smoothly, we’re hoping to do shows once a month during the summer,” Osborne said. 

Shipe has opened for Bob Dylan, Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, Jimmy Cliff, Derek Trucks and Hootie & the Blowfish, among his long list of credits. 

After the Shipe show, Osborne plans to host a cancer benefit concert in June. His stepfather died in December after a decade-long battle with prostate cancer. 

“He introduced me to music,” Osborne said. “He was not a musician and he was a really bad singer – he got kicked out of choir in college – but he always had music going, he liked Roger Miller, that sort of thing.” 

Osborne said his stepbrother Jeff, who was 13 years older, also turned him on to Van Halen and a lot of other rock music. 

“When I was younger, I didn’t know any little-kid music but I knew some Judas Priest songs,” he said. 

Osborne took piano lessons for a while, and didn’t get his first guitar until he bought a cheap $40 guitar when he was 17. “I stuck with it, though,” he said. “I knew right away that I wanted to be involved with music.” 

Besides playing with The Truckstop Handshakes, Osborne has played for 5-6 years with country artist Gretchen Owens and he also played in a cover band called Give Me A Peek. He plays blues, rock and country among his many musical styles, and his aforementioned “homemade.” album has plenty of gems. One song – entitled “Intermission: White Russians & Tater Tots” – is even more intoxicating than the title itself. (It was stuck in my head for two days.) 

A fun family fact: Peter and his wife, Mariah, have two daughters – Eliana, 12, and Amaris, 9 – and both sing on the album. Eliana is a 7th-grader at Creswell Middle School and Amaris is a 4th-grader at Creslane Elementary. 

The family moved to Creswell in 2007. Peter moved down from Corvallis, while Mariah was in Springfield. 

As a songwriter, Osborne relishes that feeling of knowing you’ve hit one out of the park.

“I usually know when I have a good idea either musically or lyrically,” Osborne said. “When I was in college in Salem, I was outside a sandwich shop sitting on this bench and I had this thought, when I get up and leave this bench, what has this bench’s life been like? It’s been through all the elements, and then it’s had tons of people singing, fighting, whatever. It was like I had this existential experience where you’re looking at something beyond just the moment you’re in and it’s amazing how sometimes if you’re stuck on a song, or if I’m trying to put music to a song, I pull back a little bit and look at things from a different angle.”

Well, he certainly came up with a winner of an idea by hosting concerts in his sprawling Creswell backyard. 

“I love having a place to practice and play, and also a place for other musicians in the area to play,” Osborne said. “We look forward to having people coming out and enjoying some blues and having a good time.”



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