Independent Venues & Touring Bands Still Need Each Other | Sound Stories & Interviews | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Independent Venues & Touring Bands Still Need Each Other

Hot Buttered Rum's first show at the Volcanic Theatre Pub since 2019 will be documented by the Live Music Society

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Following the release of its sixth album, "Something Beautiful," in 2020, Hot Buttered Rum planned to hold a release show at the Volcanic Theatre Pub—but long story short, as we know, concerts were canceled everywhere, including the one from HBR. That makes the anticipation for this weekend's show very real, because the band hasn't been back to the VTP since December of 2019—and to top it off, the Live Music Society will be there to capture some of the best moments for their video series highlighting independent venues.

Fans of bluegrass and Americana will melt over the string skills of Hot Buttered Rum. - COURTESY OF HOT BUTTERED RUM
  • Courtesy of Hot Buttered Rum
  • Fans of bluegrass and Americana will melt over the string skills of Hot Buttered Rum.

"We're really glad to be back! We generally play Bend twice a year, at least the last few years. We did 4 Peaks music festival last year, and we love playing at the Volcanic Theatre Pub. It's such a great venue," singer/guitar player Nat Keefe tells the Source Weekly. "We released 'Something Beautiful' in March of 2020, which was a crazy time. So we kind of have to remind ourselves that this is a new album to a lot of people as we go around the country. The album is one of my favorite things that Hot Buttered Rum has made. It really shows the breadth and depth of what we do."

Keefe isn't wrong, as "Something Beautiful" is a great showcase of HBR's versatility when it comes to strings and their ability to write catchy and earnest songs. One of the standouts off the album is the title track, one that Keefe himself pointed to when looking for highlights. The other was "Good One Gone," a song dedicated to banjo player Andy Goessling from Railroad Earth who passed away from cancer. "It's a simple and concise sentiment that I think everyone can really relate to," Keefe says.

During the unplanned "offseason" that was the pandemic, Keefe says that HBR went over a year without playing together in the same room. It was a period that allowed the band to get some new perspective on its direction and other aspects of life as musicians. However, the members missed the thrill of HBR's improvisations and getting to perform with that energy in their favorite indie venues.

"The thing that I worry the most about in live music culture is that everything is gonna be run by big money. A thriving music scene, a thriving art scene, has a lot of small players that are interacting with each other," says Keefe. "We're always in to support small live music venues."

The Live Music Society shares that same sentiment around the sometimes-unappreciated independent venue and what they offer to communities around the world. That's why for the last few years, since the pandemic began, LMS has been supporting indie venues with grants, like they did for the VTP in Bend, along with other initiatives like their Empty Spaces video series. Stay tuned to see what the final cut of their filming work will turn out like—for now, though, those who want to catch a good show and potentially get on camera, check out Hot Buttered Rum this Saturday at the Volcanic Theatre Pub.

Hot Buttered Rum
Sat., May 7, 9-11pm
Volcanic Theatre Pub
70 SW Century Dr., Bend
$15 on BendTicket

About The Author

Isaac Biehl

Isaac is living proof that "Iowa Nice" is actually a thing. A journalism graduate from Iowa State University, he regularly writes about music, the outdoors and the arts/culture scene. Isaac loves the Trail Blazers, backpacking and a good IPA. He plans to one day win Survivor. Your move, Jeff Probst...

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