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  • How can understanding the lives of our ancestors help us make sense of our own lives, even as we live them? This question drives every song on Avery Hill’s Dreams & Ghosts, reaching into the past in order to understand the present and step confidently into the future. Like the traditional photo album, this collection of songs presents musical snapshots of Hill’s family history, with characters, stories and ideas that quickly tap into the universal themes of growing up, being brave and finding purpose.

    The songs of Dreams & Ghosts stand alone as distinctly human stories on their own, but together they represent the breadth of Hill’s writing abilities in different musical directions and the depth she is willing to travel to uncover what these stories have to offer. They are rooted in the original purpose of folk music to capture stories of real people, but go a step further to find the meaning in these stories that could help make us a better collective people.

    Family legend has it that Avery Hill sang before she talked. Her winding road has allowed her to develop a singular style of songwriting that integrates intricate but steady fingerpicking patterns with insightful, image-based lyrics. She grew up to a soundtrack of mid-20th century folk and pop music, including The Beach Boys, Joni Mitchell, and Stan Rogers, and has since integrated voices of a new folk era, including Dar Williams, Anais Mitchell, and Gillian Welch. In combining these influences, she has found her own voice: wise, yet curious, and not afraid to explore new styles and directions to find what she’s looking for in her songwriting.

    This event will celebrate the independent release of Dreams & Ghosts, which was recorded in Portland and features local musicians, who will support Avery on stage. Audience members also receive free admission before and after the show to the Genealogical Forum of Oregon, located in the same building as Ford Food & Drink.