The first song we heard from Portland singer-songwriter Vikesh Kapoor was “I Dreamt Blues.” It’s a song about a man who goes to work every day, comes home every night, watches TV for distraction, and feels his dreams of a different life turning to indifference.  No I don’t catch the politics / the sport of the presidents / none of these days news do stick / I’ll admit I’m apathetic / does my word matter anyway / war or not, work’s enough each day.  The tightly written and affecting song appears on Kapoor’s debut release The Ballad of Willy Robbins. The record’s title song was inspired by an account of a construction worker who lost his job after being injured at work. Most of the songs on the record tell stories of working class people and their struggles, something Kapoor says he’s watched in his hometown in rural Pennsylvania, though this could just as easily be true for rural Oregon. The album was recently named to Rough Trade‘s list of top-100 records of 2014.

In our new Stagepass video, watch Vikesh Kapoor talk about the inspiration for his songs, and perform “The Ballad of Willy Robbins” at our September concert at Mississippi Studios.

Watch all of the videos from Stagepass here.


Concert recording and mixes by Steven Kray, with interview recording by Bill Ward
Director: Matthew Thomas Ross
Editors: Nate Sjol, Matthew Thomas Ross
Videographers: Matthew Thomas Ross, Nate Sjol, Gary McLeod, Hannah Andrews
Lighting: Matthew Rosvold
Production Design: Hannah Andrews
Executive Producer: David Christensen