Serendipity. It’s a word that has an almost musical ring to it, don’t you think? How appropriate that it also defines the joining together of two great musical talents, in Blaine Heinonen and Sarah Wolff of the group Pretty Gritty.
Blaine and Sarah first crossed guitar strings at a number of open mic event where they discovered they both shared an interest in writing and performing songs that combined elements of country, rock, blues and soul. Since combining their talents in 2009, what has evolved since then has been a unique style of Folk/Americana highlighted by delicate harmonies, addicting acoustics, and on-stage chemistry that few duos can match.
More than just musicians and just superb vocalists, Blaine and Sarah are known for their mesmerizing vocal harmonies and beautifully crafted songwriting that tug at the heartstrings of their fans.
These Maryland transplants have established a reputation as a must-see duo, allowing them to open for acts as varied as Tim O’Brian, Tony Trishcka and even Larry the Cable Guy.
After completing two national tours in 2014, Blaine and Sarah decided to relocate to the Northwest. The duo got their start in the Rose City by performing for tips on Portland street corners and at Portland Saturday Market. Such performances – known in the industry as “busking” – require just a bit of luck. According to Blaine, “The trick to to pick a hot corner and hope for an attentive ear. A small amplifier helps, too.”
With their busking days now well behind them, Pretty Gritty has performed at venues throughout the Northwest, as well as Alaska, Utah, Colorado and Montana. Blaine and Sarah have two CD’s out – both of which are definitely worth a listen. Their latest CD, 7 Year Itch, was released in 2018. Check it out on their Reverbnation page, or better yet, drop a few dollars on CD Baby.
Blaine and Sarah dig playing at smaller venues such as Mock Crest and Yukon Tavern. Says Blaine, “It’s more intimate, and you’re not so separated from the crowd. You really have a chance to connect with the audience.”
Pretty Gritty comes highly recommended. You can track their gigs on their official website or follow them on their Facebook page. And if Serendipity comes into play again, you will also be able to catch them this Memorial Day at The Portland Rose Festival.