After their first show together, Martin Vee turned to Liz Jones and asked, "When's the next gig?"
The collaboration was originally going to be a one-time thing as Jones gathered the courage to play solo again.
When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20
Where: Paschal Winery, 1122 Suncrest Road, Talent
"I spent the last two years moving my elderly mother from Virginia, so I had been out of the local music scene for awhile," she says. "When my friend Allen (Crutcher) called me and said, 'Hey, want to take this gig?' I said, 'Sure, what the heck, I'll use it as a motivator to get my act together again.'
"Playing solo is intimidating, it's like being naked in public, so I wanted someone to play with. Martin had given me his business card about five years ago, so I dug it up and asked him if he would back me up for this gig at the Downtowne Coffee House."
The new duo, called Savanna, will present its "pleasant, melodic music" from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, at Paschal Winery, 1122 Suncrest Road, Talent.
"I love the name Savanna because it has connotations of different parts of the world — Savannah in Georgia, savannas of Africa, and the word 'savanna' means trees that are separated by grassy spaces, so there are savannas in Oregon, as well," Jones says. "We try to leave beautiful spaces in our music, as well."
At Paschal, the pair will play Christmas songs, original songs by Jones and obscure and popular songs by other artists, such as "Rollin' On" by Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler, "Down at the Twist and Shout" by Mary Chapin Carpenter, "Jolene" by Dolly Parton, and "The Lucky One," "Say Nothing at All" and "Restless" by Alison Krauss.
With Jones on rhythm guitar and sometimes mandolin and Vee on lead guitar, the duo generalizes their music as eclectic Americana with Southern influences, such as blues, soul, R&B, rock and Cajun, and vocal harmonies. The duo aims to introduce world beats — think Paul Simon — to their repertoire.
"Martin plays intuitively," Jones says. "We may practice, but I never know whether he is going to play capoed at the second fret or the fifth fret or which voicing he'll use ... but he stays within the framework of the scale."
Savanna's show at Paschal this weekend is free. Look for the duo on Facebook, see www.paschalwinery.com or call 541-535-7957 for more information.