In the Beginning
Co-founders Les and Mary Stansell started the Pistol River concert series with the hope of bringing quality musical entertainment to this unique, rural, southwestern Oregon community. With a Saturday, July 17, 1982 performance by regionally renowned classical guitarist, Joseph Thompson, that simple concept was brought to life. This humble beginning started a couple of things rolling: First, a Pistol River concert soon became a popular and locally anticipated regular event in southwest Oregon: and second, news of our intimate stage, appreciative audiences, and homey hospitality – all wrapped up in our beautiful South Coast setting – spread thru the music world. Before long, bands were calling us so they could be a part of a Pistol River show. As a result, we have a concert series that has now endured for almost 40 years!
Such a long run has required many hands to take up roles along the way. From sweeping floors and setting up chairs to bargaining with agents and running sophisticated sound systems, none of the shows come together without a bunch of dedicated volunteers. Luckily, a trove of committed local die-hards has continued to jump into the fray over the years to keep the music coming. Like: Dave Manzella who booked, fed, and housed bands from the mid-’80s into the early ’90s before handing those reins back to the Stansells. Then Glenn Elfman and his wife Linda (still a board member) rode those duties into the 21st century, passing the torch to John Kearney who kept bringing in quality musicians until about 2010 when a second-generation Stansell – Les and Mary’s daughter, Laura, who grew up with the series – stepped into the booking manager role.
What began with a dream and a few phone calls has evolved into The Pistol River Concert Association – a registered non-profit, member-based, Oregon corporation with an all-volunteer Board of Directors that shoots for bringing quality music monthly to our cozy stage. Like the rest of the world, Covid-19 cramped our routine! But with enthusiastic community support, and bands that still want to experience the down-home flavor of the Pistol River Friendship Hall, we look forward to sponsoring concerts for another 40 years!
Some Past Performances
Greg Brown – Bill Morrissey – Laura Love Band – James Keelaghan – Oscar Lopez – Oliver Shroer – Marley’s Ghost – Chuck Pyle – Special Consensus – Paperboys – Robin and Linda Williams – Peter Ostroushko & Dean Magraw – Dan Crary & Beppe Gambetta – Fred Eaglesmith – Garnet Rogers
Eric Tingstad & Nancy Rumbel – Scott Cossu – Cordelia’s Dad – Mike Seeger – Kevin Burke’s Open House – Erica Wheeler – Bryan Bowers – Martin Simpson’s Band of Angels – Silk Road – The Nudes – Vance Gilbert – Kelly Joe Phelps – Ed Gerhard – Peggy Seeger – Dar Williams
Susan McKeown and the Chanting House – Norman & Nancy Blake – Peter Rowan & Tony Rice – Spencer Bohren – Kate Power & Steve Einhorn – Brooks Williams – Small Potatoes – William Coulter – Chris Proctor – Chris Smither Louise Taylor – Norton Buffalo & Friends – Perfect Strangers
Katy Moffatt – Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin – Jim Malcolm – Misty River – Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum – Gene Parsons & Meridian Green – Gordon Bok – Siskiyou Summit – Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer – Tony Trischka – David Francey – Ray Wylie Hubbard – Tom Prasada-Rao – Chaskinakuy
Mary Jane Lamond – The Burns Sisters – Stacy Phillips & Paul Howard – Michael Manring – Rosalie Sorrels – Cosy Sheridan – Claudia Schmidt – Utah Phillips – David Mallett – Pop Wagner – Ramblin’ Jack Elliot – Slaid Cleaves – Maria Muldaur – David Friesen & Uwe Kropinski – Alex de Grassi
Mark Taylor – Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore – Baba Ken Okulolo & The Nigerian Bothers – Tinh – Michael P. Smith – Harry Manx & Steve Mariner – Reedy Buzzards – Laura Cortege – Earl Brothers – Goh Kurosawa & Jaxson Williams – Nancy Curtin – Mary Flower – Lauren Sheehan
Ray Bonneville – Los Pinguos – Sol Flamenco – Tom Russell – Hanneke Cassel – True North – Primal Mates – David Jacobs-Strain & Walker T. Ryan – Adam del Monte – Eliza Jane – Gypsy Soul – 3 Leg Torso – Tony Furtado – Eric Taylor – Adam n Kris – Molly’s Revenge – Ken Greeninger and Dayan Kai
Dúo Flamenco – Caroline Herring – The Mishras – George Cole & Viva La Jazz – Al Andalus – Tarish – Jonathan Byrd & Chris Kokesh – Girlyman – Fishtank Ensemble – Houston Jones – Kelly Joe Phelps & Corinne West – Po’ Girl – Floating Glass Balls
Chris Burton Jacome – Blame Sally – Ravin’wolf – Sally Barris and Don Henry – Rita Hosking and Cousin Jack – Special Consensus – Alice DiMiCelle – The Blackberry Bushes – Kathryn Clair and Hanz Araki – Rita Hosking Trio
Red Molly -Lauren Sheehan – Mollie O’Brian and Rich Moore – Bear Attack – The Barn Birds – Beppe Gambetta – Colleen Raney Band – Quiet Americans – Lowest Pair – Smooth Hound Smith – Tim Eriksen – Time Sawyer – Betty and the Boy – Calico the Band – Hanz Araki Trio
Mark Graham – Jeff Scroggings and Colorado – Communist Daughter – Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen – Mbrascatu and Redwood Son – Blind Boy Paxton – Kathryn Claire – Possessed by Paul Jones – John Reischman and the Jaybirds – Sally Barris –
3 Leg Torso – Gideon Freudmann – Slocan Ramblers – Tony Furtado – Beth Wood – Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer
Special Consensus – Laura Gibson – Molly’s Revenge – Kathryn Claire – The Quitters – Johnny B Connolly and Casey Neill – Burning Heart Bluegrass – Kimo Hussey – Evie Ladin Band – Flamenco Pacifico – Marty O’Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra – New World String Project – Kathryn Claire and Friends – Chris Jacome Flamenco – Greg Blake Band – Jimmy Grant Ensemble – David Jacobs Strain and Bob Beach – McKasson McDonald and McLane
The Unruly Mob that Makes It Happen
Pistol River Concert Association Board of Directors 2023
Dave Manzella – President, Cat Herder, Jedi Master
Hap Freiberg – Vice President, Friendship Hall liaison and chair organizer, White Wizard in training
Linda Elfman – PRCA Board Member Pro Tempore and Historian, Protector of the Arch Rock
Phillip Smith – Master Creator of all things printed great and small
Mark Lanier – Newsletter getter-outer and press-releasor
Eric Nyman – Greeter, ticket-taker, and with better half, Adele – the feeders of the bands
Sara Umstead – Band Booking specialist and Nashville connection
Woody Umstead – Guru of microphones, speakers, lights, computer keys, bells and whistles
Miranda Gray – Secretary/Treasurer and all else keeping us legal!