Oregon is the first album from 22-year-old roots singer-songwriter-guitarist Jon Itkin. A West Coast transplant from Rochester, New York, Itkin found Oregon's landscape to be a perfect stage for his dusty story-songs and barroom lullabies. Enthralled by his dad's record collection as a middle school latchkey hid, Itkin grew into a deep appreciation for classic folk, country, blues soul and rock 'n roll music. At 13 he picked up a guitar and a harmonica rack and started teaching himself Bob Dylan and "Nirvana Unpugged" songs. Nearly ten year later, he is a seasoned roots guitarist, a veteran of acclaimed Portland songwriter Scotland Barr's band, and a prolific songwriter. Directly inspired by the both dry styles of Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, the Band and Johnny Cash, and the psychedelic Americana of Wilco and Beck, Itkin's acoustic guitar-based songs, decorated with his own telecaster, slide guitar, lap steel and harmonica, range from sparse folk tunes to minimalist country-rock freakouts to whispered Americana-pop. A former fiction writing student, Itkin's lyrics embody a uniquely American sense of dread. Borrowing from real life and writers like William Faulkner and Denis Johnson, Itkin's songs create a harsh, realistic world where ambiguity and human imperfection become beautiful, where tragedy leads to rebirth and hope.
Oregon was produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Jason Robbins, another northwest transplant from Los Angeles. As a producer, mixer and engineer for legendary guitarist Pete Anderson's Little Dog Records, Robbins worked on albums by Dwight Yoakam, Kirk Kirkwood (of the Meat Puppets) and Anderson himself. For the sake of simplicity (and a limited budget), Oregon was recorded in Robbins' house using two microphones and a laptop.
"Drawing from the same back country source as Howlin Wolf, Dylan, Cohen,Van Zandt and Springsteen, Jon Itkin has found the perfect vehicle for his lean literary songwriting style. Jon's songs just plain blow me away. One of the best up and coming songwriters alive, Period! "
Scotland Barr, Scotland Barr and the Slow Drags, Portland
"Steinbeck meets Farrar."
JJ Shultz, The JJ Shultz Band, San Francisco
"Jon's music is authentic country folk with a modern and relevant twist that draws from the roots and everything great about today's Americana."
Michael Burgess, Singer-Songwriter, Brooklyn
Check out the artist's website:http://www.jonitkin.com
1. All The Way to California
2. Unless I Get Drafted
3. My Work is Never Done
4. Lullaby #1
5. Born and Raised in Tacoma
6. Who Brought the Cake to the Party?
7. You Can Count on Me
8. Like a Bruise
9. Lullaby #2
10. Coffee Creek