It's doubtful Bellingham's Polecat is trying to put chair manufacturers out of business, but if they continue booking shows at the current rate of 100 per year, their infectious, jig-inspiring brand of fiddle-laden music will certainly reduce the demand for places to rest your backside in favor of dance floor space.
Guitarist and vocalist Aaron Guest founded Polecat in 2010 as a dedicated string band. However, Polecat, which is as much a collective as a band, quickly adopted the eclectic sound that now defines the group. From fiddle player Cayley Schmid's love for traditional Celtic music, to the Afro-Cuban beats behind upright bass player Richard Reeves, to the intricate and sometimes world music influenced percussion of drummer Karl Olson, Polecat has continually dipped into the well of musical genres to create songs designed to keep audiences, "smiling all night long," says electric guitarist Jeremy Elliott.
"Our music is about paying respect to musicians we've met and who have influenced us," continues Elliot. "It's an outlet to explore styles like reggae and Eastern melodies... and tour with a group of people who truly are best friends."
The iconic Oregon-based restaurant and hotel chain McMenamins has definitely bought into Polecat's brand of goodtime bluegrass and has added them to their Great Northwest Music Tour this spring. That means Bend residents can plan on a no-chairs required string-fueled romp in the Father Luke's Room at Old St. Francis School on March 14.
"We've got new music to share, and there will even be a few surprises. It's going to be an exciting night," says Elliott.
Polecat / McMenamins
Great Northwest Music Tour
Free. 7pm, Wed., March 14
McMenamins Old St. Francis School
700 NW Bond St.