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Scott Pemberton on Sounds of PDX

Scott Cover

Scott Pemberton wants you to feel alive. The Portland native writes a little love & positivity into each song, with jangly, feel-good guitar and intentional messiness. Life is messy! It’s not neatly manicured, airbrushed and tailored. The true, memorable experiences are in the messiness and authenticity. Or in Scott’s words, “Life is like rafting. Remember the memorable part is the rapidsScott Pemberton in studio. Just coasting along – nothing happening – isn’t (memorable).”

True to the words on Scott’s website scottpemberton.com, Scott plays with the uninhibited joy and intensity of someone who recognizes that every time we make music is an honor and a gift. The Universe gives Scott Pemberton music, and he feels his path is simple and clear: make the best music he can and share it with others. Scott speaks about purity of music with a reverence. Raw, organic music and the art of making music seems harder to find in this day of digital recording and editing, where things are carefully calculated. In a lot of ways, it seems to Scott that making music has become less improvisational and more about perfection. However, Scott envisions a return to that old original sound. Pemberton himself plays a 1970s guitar through a 1970s amplifier, and it is just as raw and celebratory as you might expect from a man of his values and background.

The band can play a song live for as many as 3 years before it finally feels mature enough to be given a pressing, just like fan favorite “Prudence”, which appears on Pemberton’s newest LP, Timber Rock. A master of blending genres, Scott prefers to write songs and make music with a fun recklessness that defies categorization. The sounds of the Pacific Northwest, the region he has always called home, is all in Scott’s music with its deep jazz, Northwest rock/grunge, blues roots and West Coast funk. And often all those elements appear in the same song.

Scott was #1 on Portland’s pop charts and scored #4 on Billboard’s “Tastemakers” chart. He’s been described as, “The Bruce Lee of Rock and Roll” according to Tahoe Onstage, and “A modern day Jimi Hendrix” according to Chico Enterprise.

Listen in as Scott talks about his love of touring, the fun of playing festivals, including the east coast tradition of all-night festivals, Jimi Hendrix and so much more during this very special MOGOFest episode of Sounds of PDX. Listen to the music and feel alive!

Jen Emerson
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Jen Emerson

DJ, Volunteer Extraordinaire at PRP
With a passion for music and a love of all things radio, Jen Emerson joined the PRP team in 2016. Jen’s musical involvement includes a long history of choral music as well as a career as a solo jazz artist in Dallas, Texas in the late 2000s. She hosts "Fresh Spins with Jen Em" every Friday and often co-hosts Sounds of PDX on Tuesdays.
Jen Emerson
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