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Music » Sound Stories & Interviews

All Work and No Play is Not the Human Way

Foghorn Stringband heats up the first day of summer

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Humans are the perfect blend of the ant and the grasshopper. Our summers are filled with hard work during the day, but by late afternoon we swing lazily from hammocks and suck blended drinks through straws. Of course, some of us are more ant than others.

Well, toiling ant, get ready to dance to the grasshopper's fiddle and toss aside responsibilities, the Foghorn Stringband is playing the Summer Solstice Party at Crow's Feet Commons in Bend.

Foghorn Stringband's frenzied, rootsy bluegrass is perfect for marking the beginning of a season replete with cramming in the most fun possible while still turning in—at the very least—a mildly noble effort on the job. There's a lot of elbow grease in their quick swinging arms and their twangy plain-speak storytelling is straight out of a moonshine-inspired sing-along. It sounds like hard work—and it is—but songs from 2012's Outshine the Sun, like "Salty River Reel" are also footloose and fancy free.

We asked Foghorn Stringband to share a couple of their favorite summer music memories with the Source in honor of the solstice.

Fiddle player Sammy Lind: "When people ask why I hold my fiddle down low and not like a classical player, here's what I tell them. I had been in Germany studying for a year abroad in college, meanwhile learning old time fiddle in the basement of our dorm by myself, eager to play with other old time players. The first day I came back to the U.S., there was a camping music festival in Minnesota called Minnesota Bluegrass Old Time Music Assn., and I ended up playing for three days! When I finally got up after playing for 12 hours straight, I looked like Quasimodo, shoulder cramped and painful. From then on I lowered the position of the fiddle by my collar bone and never had this problem with marathon sessions ever since!"

Singer and bassist Nadine Landry: "We can't think of a better summer experience than our annual stop in Weiser for the National Old Time Fiddlers Contest. We don't participate in the contest; we just sit around and play tunes for hours on end, cook food, tell jokes and cherish every minute of it! We get baked out of our tents by 9 am and stay up way too late. We are sleep deprived, hung over and dirty, but couldn't be happier and wouldn't change it for anything!"

Foghorn Stringband

5 pm.

Sat., June 21

Crow's Feet Commons, 875 NW Brooks St.

FREE.

About The Author

Ethan Maffey

Both a writer and a fan of vinyl records since age 5, it wasn't until nearly three decades later that Oregon Native Ethan Maffey derived a plan to marry the two passions by writing about music. From blogging on MySpace in 2007 and then Blogspot, to launching his own website, 83Music, and eventually freelancing...

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