Meeting in the Music: Chasman, Rivers to share stage in Gardiner

GARDINER — Two well-loved musicians, each known for his own take on the world, will appear together at the Gardiner Community Center this Saturday night.

Paul Chasman, whose albums include “One Man Guitar Festival” — a celebration of 50 years of guitar playing — will offer something fairly new: original songs, sung by himself.

And Michael Rivers, founder of the Peninsula Men’s Gospel Singers who has released a solo album titled “My Father’s Face,” will add his music to the mix for the 6:30 p.m. performance.

Admission is a suggested $6 at the center at 980 Old Gardiner Road, just off U.S. Highway 101 about 10 miles east of Sequim. Listeners of all ages are welcome.

“I can’t wait to experience the musical and lyrical interplay between our songs and our ideas about life,” said Rivers. He, after all, has devoted much of his life to Christian music. Chasman’s songs, meantime, are secular, with topics ranging from dogs and cats to parenthood, love and the natural world.

“At the heart of it, Paul and I agree on many essential things,” said Rivers, “but not everything. It will make for a very entertaining evening.”

The two men met through David Rivers, Michael’s son and a musician known for his work with the now-disbanded Abby Mae & the Homeschool Boys. Chasman knew the younger Rivers from his community theater work, and when he was looking for a vocal coach, David immediately recommended his father.

“I’ve worked with Michael for a couple of months now, and in that course, a relationship of friendship and mutual respect has developed,” Chasman said.

Common ground

When asked about the contrast between Rivers’ Christian music and his own songs, Chasman said the two men enjoy plenty of common ground. “We both believe in humanism, justice, honesty and love. We have different ideas about what God is (or is not), and there are some practicalities that we’ll probably never see eye to eye on,” he noted.

“But at the core, it’s what’s in your heart that matters, and we trust each other in that way.”

Chasman and Rivers will each sing sets of their songs, with Chasman accompanying himself on guitar and harmonica and Rivers playing guitar and keyboard.

“Paul is graciously teaming up with me [on guitar] near the end of the second set for my last three songs,” added Rivers. The two will also do some trading off of tunes while sharing the stage.

Chocolate chips

The concert will have an intermission for Rivers’ homemade cookies: “chocolate chip. I’m famous for them,” he quipped.

After Saturday’s concert, Chasman will go to Portland, Ore., to record his next CD, “Basics.” It will be his vocal debut, with 15 original songs plus one instrumental.

Rivers, meanwhile, will be preparing to direct the Crab Revival, part of next weekend’s Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival. The event, under The Gateway pavilion at Front and Lincoln streets from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, will feature the Peninsula Men’s Gospel Singers; the Standing on Shoulders duo of singer Abby Mae Latson and guitarist Dillan Witherow; Michael and David Rivers’ set of revival songs and some hymns for all to sing.

For more information about Saturday night’s concert at the Gardiner Community Center, phone 360-808-7050 or 360-797-8235. Samples of Chasman’s music are at www.PaulChasman, and details about the Crab Revival and other activities during the Oct. 12-14 Crabfest await at and 360-452-6300.

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