Bits 'n' pieces: Vancouver musician has a case of Petty Fever

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For a musician who looks and sounds like Tom Petty, it wasn't much of a leap to step into the role of singer-songwriter, albeit on a more modest scale.

Frank Murray of Vancouver has played the role of Petty onstage for nearly three years, after ending a career as a marketer to pursue his passion.

"I decided I wanted to do music full time," he said.

Murray's five-piece tribute act, Petty Fever, will play Nov. 30 at Jantzen Beach Bar & Grill, 909 N. Hayden Island Drive, Portland. Stevie Nicks tribute band Edge of 17 kicks off at 9 p.m. Cover is $10.

Murray saw his first Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers show in 1976, the year of their debut album. He was hooked.

"I feel fortunate to be able to cover his stuff because he's one of the premier songwriters in the country, if not the world," he said.

Nearly 400 enthusiastic audience members came to Petty Fever’s first gig three years back. In August they played in front of a full Esther Short Park.

The positive feedback kept coming and Murray decided Petty's catalog was rich enough to jump headfirst into the band. He still shuffles duties with a number of other groups, including Zuzo Blue and the 24-7 Band.

"I'm already getting stuff booked up for next year," Murray said. "It's looking like a really good year."

Visit the band at http://www.pettyfever.com.

— Stover E. Harger III

Follow the Trail Bandto Camas for fundraiser

photoThe Trail Band will perform Dec. 1 at Camas High School.

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If you just can't get enough traditional holiday music, hit the trail to Camas High School at 3 p.m. Dec. 1.

The Trail Band will be there with "Jingle All The Way," a concert of favorite holiday songs. It's the celebrated old-timey Portland band's only 2012 Christmas program north of the river, and a fundraiser for Salmon Creek Kiwanis. The club uses the money to support numerous causes, from the YWCA's domestic violence program to the Winter Hospitality Overflow homeless shelter program.

Kiwanis President Bruce Davis wants to make sure everybody who's accustomed to going to Skyview High School for the annual Kiwanis fundraiser can find the way to Camas High School. Special signs will be put up to make sure folks coming from points west can follow the trail.

"Their new performing arts facility is a great venue that seats 600 but it's very intimate," he said.

The eight-piece Trail Band offers a lively blend of traditional and original sounds played on strings and brass including tuba, penny whistle, spoons, guitar and flugelhorn. Its members include Marv and Rindy Ross, founders of the band Quarterflash.

Tickets are $20 in advance at all branches of Columbia Credit Union and other locations listed at http://www.trailband.com/ or $22 at the door. Purchase online at http://www.ticketsoregon.com.

— Scott Hewitt

Bits 'n' Pieces appears Fridays and Saturdays. If you have a story you'd like to share, email bits@columbian.com.