Artists to perform:

  • Rob Barteletti
  • Ken DeRouchie
  • Nick Peets
  • Steve Wilkinson
  • Bart Ferguson
  • Rob Stroup
  • Casey Neill
  • Plus plenty of “guest” back-up musicians, background vocalists, etc.

Rob Barteletti and Brian Grant Video


On November 15th, kicking off with a launch party at their Hawthorne location and sold throughout the rest of the year at all of their restaurants, Northwest-based, locally supportive fast-food chain, Burgerville will launch Burgerville Records with The Shakers’ Sessions.  Artists to perform include Rob Barteletti, Ken DeRouche, Nick Peets, Steve Wilkinson, Bart Ferguson, Rob Stroup, and Casey Neill.  Also, there will be “guest” musicians, background vocalists, etc. to make this event a fun time and the perfect launch for The Shakers’ Sessions.

The Shakers’ Sessions is a compilation of Northwest musicians singing songs written by Portland musician, and Parkinson’s patient, Rob Barteletti.  The album will see one-hundred percent of profits going to the Brian Grant Foundation, a non-profit organization that is an informational and inspirational resource for a community of people empowered to live unique and fulfilling lives with Parkinson’s.

More than 1.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative, neurological disorder that that gets worse over time. Parkinson’s is a loss of cells in the brain that produce dopamine which is a chemical messenger responsible for transmitting signals to coordinate movement.

Every day, 195 people are newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s and it affects more than just the person who has it – it also affects the entire family dealing with Parkinson’s disease.  One such person is songwriter (and former high school teacher) Rob Barteletti, who was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease in 2002.

“At the time I was teaching a theology course that asked the question, ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ As I had learned from reading Harold Kushner’s book When Bad Things Happen to Good People, ‘Why?’ is the wrong question; the better question is ‘What are you going to do about it?  How are you going to make the most of the bad things that happen to you and your loved ones?'” Barteletti says without hesitation.  “Perfect,” I thought.  “My chance to put into practice what I have been teaching.”

He continued teaching for more than five years after his diagnosis, retiring in 2007 after 31 years.  After retiring, Barteletti, who realized the clock was ticking on his songwriting, his ability to play and write music on the guitar, dove into his music full-time, writing constantly.

Following a conversation with close friend, and recording engineer/producer Rob Stroup from 8 Ball Studios, the idea was born to do a benefit album for Parkinson’s patients, with local musicians coming in and signing songs Barteletti had penned.

“I had just written a series of swampy, tongue-in-cheek, sad, hopeful songs.  I brought rough demos to Rob Stroup for his opinion.  As we discussed this, we came up with the idea to invite the best singers in Portland and the Northwest to each record one of my songs.  The album would be sold as a benefit, with all profits earmarked for Parkinson’s support organizations,” recalls Barteletti .

Phone calls were made.  Emails were sent.  Soon, Barteletti found Northwest musicians more than willing to participate, including Storm Large, Pete Droge, Fernando Viciconte, Ian Moore, Mike Coykendall, Casey Neill, Bart Ferguson, Steve Wilkinson, Ken DeRouchie, Rob Stroup, and even the one-time student of Barteletti at Jesuit High School, Nick  Peets.

“There are three irrefutable cold, hard facts about Parkinson’s disease: it is chronic, it is progressive, and it is incurable.  Every Parkinson’s patient hears this somber mantra upon diagnosis,” informs Barteletti. “I now understand the reality of those words more than any time since I was diagnosed seven and half years ago.”

He continues, “Over the past few years, my musical skills have diminished, but it’s as if my songwriting has been set free by the disease.  This fills me with hope and inspiration.”

Honored that so many Northwest icons were willing to participate in the making of The Shakers’ Sessions, Barteletti hopes to inspire others with the disease, educate those unfamiliar with its impact on lives, and ultimately raise money to help those living with the incurable disease.

“The collaborative goal is to bring these songs not just public artistic recognition, but more importantly to share this music to bring awareness and funding to The Brian Grant Foundation, to further their cause, and help them provide assistant to those less fortunate than me, who are also living with Parkinson’s.  My dream is to see the day when a cure can be found for this insidious, relentless disease.

But, in the mean time, I hope The Shakers’ Sessions can inspire and offer hope to others like me.  Much like it has done for me,” Barteletti says.

The result is a 12-track collection of roots-oriented, folk-pop-tinged Americana, with each guest vocalist adding their own interpretation to Barteletti’s rustic Americana songwriting style.

The track listing:
  1. Being Jesus Again – Rob Stroup
  2. Queen of Sheba – Fernando
  3. Mr. Heartache – Nick Peets
  4. Ask Me Why – Pete Droge
  5. The Box – Ian Moore
  6. Voices – Storm Large
  7. Fool that Is Me – Bart Ferguson
  8. Bird on the Wing – Steve Wilkinson
  9. Reckoning Day – Mike Coykendall
  10. Wild Woman Blues – Ken DeRouchie
  11. Under Icy Falls – Casey Neill
  12. Her Man, Her Lover, Her Friend – Rob Barteletti

The record will be available exclusively at all thirty-eight Burgerville locations starting November 15th through January 1st.

About The Brian Grant Foundation:

Established in 2010, the Brian Grant Foundation supports efforts to build awareness and education of Parkinson’s disease in order to increase earlier diagnosis, educate patients and their families, and provide a viable forum for people affected by Parkinson’s. Its mission is to be an informational and inspirational resource for a community of people to live unique and fulfilling lives with Parkinson’s disease. Recently, the Foundation launched its new website, www.poweringforward.org, designed to support newly-diagnosed Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers. After playing professional basketball for 12 seasons in the NBA, Brian Grant was diagnosed in November of 2008 at age 36 with young onset Parkinson’s disease. Since, he has become an advocate and an inspiration for those living with PD.