Thursday, February 3, 2011
Well, the music scene in Gorge is off to a great start this year, wouldn’t you say? And there’s no sign of it slowing down in February.
And part of the reason? Kids these days seem to be listening to the music of David Grisman, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Railroad Earth. Being far from the genre of Top 40 and Lady Gaga (or whoever that is), this alternative acoustic music is inspiring these kids to pick up whatever old bluegrass instruments happen to be laying around, throwing bands together, and then by hook or crook booking themselves into extensive tours.
Case in point: The Montana Slim String Band. In January and February for this year alone, they will have played over 17 venues in at least eight different states, consistently dishing out their “original youthful interpretation of bluegrass” where ever they go.
Thankfully, one of those venues is really close by. So mark it on the calendar, and come see what kids are doing these days.
The Montana Slim String Band will be at Everybody’s Brewing in White Salmon on Friday, Feb. 12.
Interview with Montana Slim String Band
Hey Jim! How are you? My name is Jesse and I play in Montana Slim String Band from San Francisco. We're playing at Everybody's in White Salmon on Feb. 12. Our publicist, Jaime Taylor, sent us an interview from you for the Hood River News. We have completed the interview below. Please let us know if you need anything further. Thanks for helping us out!
1. Hi guys! OK first, I guess you need to explain the Montana Slim reference, since your band is listed as being from California.
The name Montana Slim comes from the book On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Montana Slim is one of the hobos that Sal Paradise (Jack K.) comes across on his first trip across the country.
2. How long have you guys been playing as a band? Is this your first tour?
The original incarnation of Montana Slim String Band started in July 2006. We have been on several Northwest tours, and completed our first national tour in September 2009.
3. The banjo has always been a pretty serious bluegrass instrument, but you guys have opted for the 2 guitar/mandolin/fiddle/bass setup. All banjo jokes aside........what advantages do you guys have over the regular 5-piece bluegrass band?
When we started the band, we didn't have any expectations for what our instrumentation would be. Over time, our lineup has evolved to what it is today. Our sound is not traditional bluegrass. We're pulling from the cultural lexicon and using it in a modern texture.
4. Tell us a little about your recording process. How does the band work to get the live stage sound onto the CD?
When we're in the studio, we strive to come as close to our live sound as possible. We all record in the same room, and start by recording full live basic instrumental tracks. From there, we are able to go back and tweak certain parts and add vocals. We're always looking for ways to improve our recording process. The next time we go into the studio, we'll be able to take what we've learned in the past and improve upon that.
5. The band lists a whole lot of musical references on the myspace page. If you had to choose the top 3 — who are they and why?
Old Crow Medicine Show, David Grisman, and Railroad Earth. These are three of our contemporary influences. We listen to their music very often as a band, and really appreciate their songwriting and musicianship.
6. Finally, tell folks a little bit about what we can expect at a Montana Slim String Band show.
A foot-stompin’ good time!
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge