From the Journey Journal of Jason Garrett Gibson 2005 - 2006
During the winter season of 2005, while at an open mic evening at the River City Saloon in Hood River Oregon, the Wyrd word managed to weave it's way through my lips (OM Budsman ), into the ears of a Bluesman who introduced himself as Montreville Blakely Junior III.
Mantra,ONE Jovial Dude, AGenuine Troubadour
Long winded and over worked, wespent the evening playing music and drinking gin. I can recall camping in my van along side "Mantra," as we both had chosen the same safe-haven for the evening - a parking lot near the train station in Hood River.
The next morning I found myself warmed with admiration for a man, whom like myself, was willing to sleep in his vehicle during the coldest of winters (to keep his muse alive). At the time, Montreville (a military veteran) was also over-coming a slew of legal issues related to his family (six kids maybe more), which he struggled to support while living in the outskirts of Wasco County.
One night at the Trillium Cafe in Hood River we met a vagabond couple who introduced themselves as the "Dawnies." Donnie played bass guitar and sang all the hits, while his partner Dawn crafted jewelry and drew castles in the sky.
I moved into a house on Loop road in Stevenson Washington some-time in 2005 with Chris Holzer and John McSherry Inc. "Mantra" crashed at our pad occasionally... he was always bolting too and fro working on projects, claiming that "we're all going to Hollywood after he inherited his father's estate" lol. There were summer evenings where I would come home after work to find the house occupied with fly-by groupies and all manner of wierdness.
Mantra kicked open a door which led to a recording opportunity through Arlo Guthrie, an American folk singer-songwriter. Arlo is a story-teller known for singing songs of protest & social injustice. His fatherWoody Guthrie recorded several song's for the Forestry Service and the North Bonneville Dam Administration (Columbia River Gorge) back in the day.
One afternoon, I came home from work to find our living room stacked with gear - amplifiers, guitars, microphones and a sound engineer named Marty; a total rock and roll living room/recording studio. It was totally awesome! Our household was chosen as a base to assist with the project (had I the foresight to know that the endeavor was named Give Us Your Poor), I would have opted out. We would (un-be-knowingly) adopt the Dawnies and a head-full of issues when Mantra moved in with his new band, the Misfits.
Left to right: Chris, Donnie, Mantra & Jason - Da' Loopies!
We hashed out a dozen or so songs over the course of a week (with little polish to the material). According to Mantra, our demo-tracks would serve as a calling card for the campaign/mission which tackles the issue of homelessness. We were enticed with the prospects of making a contribution (to an outreach education project and potential tour, movie or soundtrack), attracting interest and support from the likes of Eric Clapton, Natalie Merchant, Bruce Springsteen and Arlo himself.
Mrs.Fred H. Blakely (Mantra's planetary partner & beloved wife at the time), along with Jerry McDonald, Ivy Rose, Richie Mitch, Jesse White and several locals dropped in to jam on occasion. The house was frequented by rowdy ramblers - something BIG was certainly happening! We drank many rivers before swallowing the worm... the music that came out of those sessions serves as the ground-work that you hear when you think the links below.
Herein' lies the score... we managed to survive despite the fall-out, but not without casualties. The rhythm section got screwed, while the guitars (Chris & Mantra) we're sponsored to record with Natalie Merchant and flown to Boston Massachusettes. My girlfriend at the time (Lapis Jean) was flown to Bali and returned to have a baby in Ashland, it wasn't mine. After three years of cohabitating , I never saw her again...
Ivy Rose and Mantra ~ Man
Donnie managed to break his hand during a fit with Dawn, resulting in serious jail-time. During the recording sessions, I/Jason was charged with assault (which was dropped), for restraining Donnie from breaking his other hand.
As the world turns, John Mcsherry Inc. turned out to be a double agent and a petty tyrant of a total kouk. To this day he manages the affairs for the Port of Stevenson Washington while his family sells arms/weapons in Iraq. John moved out of the house & was charged with harassment (which didn't schtick), I/Jason was sent to jail for an alleged violation of my "release agreement" (which was also dropped), but not after losing two weeks of work and being trespassed from my residence.
The last time I visited with Mantra (now divorced), he was living "the dream" in Eugene Oregon. He openly admitted to wasting close to $30,000 dollars in grants & gifts from donors which he received for his/OUR effort related to this endeavor. To this day, he is one paycheck away from being homeless. Mantra neglected to share or repay any of us for this work and claimed "that he was going back to school to become a conflict resolution attorney."
Mantra is certainly on His Way and to this day is filling coffee shops in Eugene with classic hits, blues, spunk and many rants & ramblings...
The video you see below is the polished result of our endeavor(s). Mantra is the long haired lead guitarist in these here video archives. Chris Holzer is in the background on acoustic guitar. "Start a revolution!"