For Your Listening Pleasure

Sundays around here just got a little bit better. About a month ago, Woodlawn resident and fiddle player Michael Durkan decided to give his roommates a break (he practices, alone and with bandmates A LOT), by bringing his fiddle up here. He set up shop on our patio, hoping not to disturb anyone. It only took us a tune or two to ask him to come inside, so that he wouldn’t freeze, and so that we could all enjoy his fine playing. He asked how we might feel about him making it a regular Sunday afternoon thing, and if it would be okay if he brought a couple of friends. And that’s how our Sundays with The Social Pleasure Club began.


“We’re still not totally sure about the name,” Durkan confesses.

Social Pleasure Clubs, originated in the 19th century as a benevolent society in the African American communities of New Orleans. They began as a way for people to help each other out financially in tough times, but to also celebrate their community through music, specifically the jazz parades for which New Orleans is famous.

A trumpet player from New Orleans suggested the name, and they like the connotation – uplifting music for people who need it most. They also  like the irony of the association with African American musical powerhouses.

“We do find a lot of joy in music, too. Even if we’re just three scrawny white guys,” says Durkan.


They call their music “high energy Americana,” which we think fits in pretty well around here.

Durkan met banjo player Elliot Chamberlain busking during his first days in Portland. Then Durkan met guitarist Jason Reichert when they both began playing with prohibition-era jazz band called the Smut City Jellyroll Society. The trio is sometimes also joined by a drummer who goes by Kirch.


All in all, they plan on playing at Woodlawn pretty much every Sunday, starting around 2:30 or 3:00pm until their fingers get tired. We will keep baking pies* in the back, enticing them to stay.

Check out The Social Pleasure Club on Facebook for gigs and booking information (they’re available for public and private events).

*Speaking of PIES, cakes, and other special holiday treats, don’t forget to order yours in time for the holidays! Check out our menus page for sizes, pricing and ordering information: