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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A damaged rail car from the June 3, 2016 oil train derailment and fire is transported from the crash site via truck on I84. Enlarge