The Walking Willows to perform free folk concert
Hinrichsen, who lives in Seattle, and Stephen Cohen of Portland make up The Walking Willows.
Cohen sings in a spare, laconic style and strums a guitar while Hinrichsen bows or plucks the double bass, or plays piano, and contributes backup vocals.
Hinrichsen describes the style as “creative folk music.” A reviewer for the Portland Mercury called the Willows “off-the-beaten-path folk” singers who indulge in “some good old-fashioned, rain-sodden Oregon weirdness.”
The group is coming here because of the enduring friendship of Hinrichsen and Martin Kauble, a Longview piano teacher. Both played together in a jazz band at Mark Morris High School, from which they graduated in 1980.
Hinrichsen played in a jazz group at Lower Columbia College and fondly remembers the group traveling to Disneyland to play. He ended up becoming a fisheries consultant, working on salmon issues for federal agencies.
The Walking Willows sprouted from The Tree People, which was formed in Eugene in the 1970s.
The Tree People disbanded in the mid-’80s, and Cohen moved to Portland and kept recording. The Tree People reformed in 2007, this time with Hinrichsen, after a resurgence of interest in the group’s old vinyl recordings.
The revived Tree People went to a folk festival in Spain, where Hinrichsen said there was more interest in them than back home. The group also played in New York City.
Two years ago, one of the Tree People left the group, so Cohen and Hinrichsen kept going as the Walking Willows. Aside from their gig here, the two also play regularly at Portland’s Old Church