Live From The Vault

  September 29, 2013 | from the Cascade Blues Association

Hager/Fleschner Duo

Self Produced

Hager Fleschner CD cover This is an engaging live recording by two of Portland’s most talented musicians, keyboardist Dave Fleschner and guitar master Alan Hager. Both have extensive backgrounds in the local and national blues scene, but pairing the two together was simply a stroke of genius. Recorded at The Vault at O’Connor’s in Portland’s Multnomah Village neighborhood, the duet strolls through eleven numbers covering a wide variety of music history and they place their own unique touch on each.

Dave Fleschner’s piano work shows exceptional range, whether it’s a stride, New Orleans boogie or a Otis Spann-styled Chicago number, he can do it all with precision and flair. He has toured the country working with blues luminaries like Curtis Salgado, John Nemeth, Karen Lovely and Earl Thomas. Alan Hager is a guitarist’s guitar player, having been partners with local legends Terry Robb and Bill Rhoades. Rhoades complimented Hager by calling him the “most complete and accomplished musician he has ever worked with.” Although Hager can play lead with the best to be found anywhere, Rhoades also noted his adeptness at rhythm guitar, a lost art that makes Hager the perfect complement to any grouping he performs with. It is Hager’s rhythm that truly blends immaculately with Fleschner’s piano. In the live setting it keeps the music flowing and alive, as each takes their turn at soloing and sharing vocal leads.

Song selections are all covers, but they’ve been reworked into Hager/Fleschner original takes. Exceptional numbers in this performance, recorded over two dates in May 2013, include the Jimmy Rogers’ classic “Chicago Bound” with Fleschner running a tremendous solo, “House Of The Rising Sun” which takes on a more lively pace than its original dirge like movement, a beautiful rendition of Jack Bruce’s “Theme From An Imaginary Western” that if you’re only familiar with Mountain’s rocking version you’re going to fall in love with this take, and the fun vocal trade-offs on Bob Dylan’s “Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat.” Other tracks include pieces written by Willie Dixon, Ivory Joe Hunter, Professor Longhair, Little Brother Montgomery and Big Maceo Merriweather.

A stunning capture of Hager and Fleschner in their glory as live performers, whose skills each make the other shine all the more. Piano players and guitarists do not perform as a duet so much nowadays. But upon listening to Live At The Vault, the question is there . . . why not?

Total Time: 69:23

Mama Don’t Allow / One More Time / Chicago Bound / Almost Lost My Mind / House Of The Rising Sun / Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat / Prescription For The Blues / Hey Little Girl / Theme From An Imaginary Western / My Babe / Worried Life Blues


Alan Hager/Dave Fleschner Duo

Alan and Dave have known each other for years, always playing as sidemen in support of others. A few months ago, Dave called Alan up and asked if he’d like to start a duo where each musician could choose what they’d like to perform. Since then they’ve played together a couple times a month and audiences are responding enthusiastically to the chemistry of this duo. Neither musician is afraid of a challenge, in fact they welcome the energy created in the face of new musical forays. Whether they are playing blues, ragtime, old time-standards, soul or original tunes, the music they create is exuberant, joyful and refreshingly musical.

“Music has always been there for me, and I love it!”Alan Hager

Alan Hager ”is the most complete and accomplished musician I’ve had the pleasure to work with. His sense of time and musicianship are excellent. Not only are his guitar solos different, original, and interesting, his rhythm guitar work, which now seems to be a lost art among guitarists, is superb; a musician’s musician! ” – Bill Rhoades

“Alan Hager’s musicianship is the standard by which I judge all others, particularly myself!”

- Terry Robb

Muddy Awards:
•2012 Best Acoustic Guitar – Alan Hager

•2003 Performance of the year, Waterfront Blues Festival with the Duffy Bishop Band

•1999 Best Traditional Blues Act – Bill Rhoades & Alan Hager

•1998 Best Traditional Blues Act – Bill Rhoades & Alan Hager

•1997 Best Traditional Blues Act -Terry Robb Acoustic Blues Trio
Dave Fleschner has toured internationally with Curtis Salgado, John Nemeth and Karen Lovely. He has performed with B.B. King, The Pointer Sisters, Steve Miller, The Mel Brown B-3 group and The Portland Symphony Orchestra. Dave has released several CD’s under his own name and is in demand as a band-leader and as a side man, playing piano and Hammond B-3 with a deep un- derstanding of American roots music.
“Very inventive and swingin’” – Mike Finnigan

“Fleschner has a strong vision’ and has more than demonstrated his abilities.”- Marty Hughley,
The Oregonian

“Fleschner has his act wired tight, oozing soulful pulp all over the place.” – John Chandler, Portland Tribune

“Dave plays with a vengeance and fury.” – Bob Cooper, On-line Musicnet

“Dave has a unique musical voice.” – Mary Burlingame, Host of Homegrown jazz on KMHD
Muddy Awards:
•2009 R&B Act of the Year – with Curtis Salgado

•2006 Performance of the Year – A Concert For Curtis