Pete Krebs still remains relatively unknown for his work to most but ask any music aficionado and you’ll hear countless stories regarding the music he’s been a part of. Beginning in the early 90’s he was one-third (one-fourth if you consider the dancer they had as an integral part of the group) of the Portland, Oregon outfit Hazel. Although based in the Pacific Northwest running concurrently during the grunge movement, Hazel’s music stood apart and was different from that “scene” and from the groups surrounding it. Hazel’s music featured both male and female vocals and was much more melodic. Noise pop, if you need a reference. The group created a handful of albums for Candy Ass, Sub Pop and Cavity Search before wrapping things up in 1999.
(Listen to the album here)
That’s the same year he released his third solo album Sweet Ona Rose with his backing band Gossamer Wings. This one album is a beautiful construct, filled with gorgeous melodies. Right out the gate it hits unexpectedly with a driving rhythm, easy flowed guitar line and horns on “Johnny Come Lately.” You’re quickly hit with the beauty of the title track, a lovely song written for a friend. He then throws listeners for a loop there with “Dressed To the 9’s” which slows things down and gets your heart working in lamentations. But(!) he quickly bounces back with “Quickly Steals Away” and with the added pep in its step you’re likely to blare this song at 11 singing along with Krebs. I can go on and on about Sweet Ona Rose and no matter which direction it moves in, you’ll find something that moves you. Krebs has continued to record and perform but this one remains a favorite of many, and of mine. It’s most assuredly the reason why in 2016 Pete Krebs was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall Of Fame. Respect isn’t given, it’s earned.