As if you needed a reason—other than the impending weekend—to imbibe some whiskey, Bay Area progressive bluegrass band Hot Buttered Rum will provide that extra push when they play Bend's Domino Room Thursday, Jan. 24.
Hidden flasks should figure pretty heavily in the planning for this show, as HBR is most known for the wild good time people have at their concerts. In fact, there's so much speedy banjo, fiddle and bass playing it's amazing the band doesn't have to postpone shows merely to let their fingers heal.
Given the band's penchant for delivering outstanding dance-crazy performances, it should come as no surprise HBR has as many live albums as they do studio efforts, a balance they struck with the release of their third concert album, Live in The Sierra, late last year. Not only is Sierra the best live album HBR has released, it comes close to topping all their studio work as well.
Banjo player Erik Yates thinks there might be a reason for that.
"That's not uncommon for a band like us," says Yates. "The energy that we generate is a live kind of energy, and every show tends to be a little different because we like to stretch out and improvise. Among the core Butter fans, the live albums tend to be more in demand."
Even with ample recorded representation of their stage work, there is still absolutely no substitute for donning some flannel, securing that flask full in your back pocket and heading out to knock some elbows. Though, recently, a boatload of people thought better of the flannel and instead wore swimsuits. Fitting, since Hot Buttered Rum just got back from a Jam Cruise to the Turks and Caicos.
"It's a funky, funky boat," says Yates. "There are six stages all going from noon to 5 a.m. You definitely meet some interesting characters. I mean, you can imagine the fans who will shell out money to go on a cruise are pretty dedicated."
And even though whiskey is normally associated with bluegrass music, Yates says the cruise required a few changes.
"There was plenty of whiskey on the boat, but we have rum in our name so we're not afraid of it," says Yates. "The standard drink on the boat is something called the B.B.C. It's some kind of banana rum cocktail. I only had one, but some people were pretty religious about drinking it all the time."
Regardless of whether the Bend audience mans up with some whiskey or goes fruity with rum, one thing is for sure—fans should come prepared to dance. It's the one thing that happens at an HBR show on land—and at sea.
Hot Buttered Rum
9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24
51 NW Greenwood Ave.
Tickets $16 at www.bendticket.com
Reggae dub-rock band Slightly Stoopid's latest release Top of the World includes a very heartfelt love song. We're talking some serious candor about very strong emotions. If you know the band at all, you probably won't be shocked to hear that the song is called "Marijuana." An entire song devoted to how much the Southern California group loves the green leaf.
Based on that, it's safe to say the air at Midtown Ballroom will probably be a bit hazy when Slightly Stoopid visit town on Jan. 25.
As with past albums, Slightly Stoopid doesn't rely strictly on the reggae dub sound for Top of the World. It's much more mature than that. Blues, jazz, folk and funk make regular appearances. While some of the early influence of legendary band Sublime remains, you can hear Keb' Mo' and Jimmy Buffet as well.
The new album has songs like "Serious Man," "Drink Professionally," and a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm On Fire." But just because the music is infused with sounds from an earlier generation don't think the band has gone soft. Slightly Stoopid is still the funloving band they've always been.
8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25
51 NW Greenwood Ave.
Tickets $26 at www.bendticket.com
Salinas California-born rocker Jackie Greene has been to Bend before. You might not remember those times—not many people attended those past performances. But the ones who did can't stop gushing about them.
If you're curious about why, you've got a shot to find out when Greene returns for a benefit show at the Tower Theatre Jan. 26.
Greene's shows open up warm and inviting. Eventually he flips the switch and it's "game on" for rock and roll. Blues, Americana, classic rock—even folk, are all represented. They manifest through saucy harmonica, old-timey organ and gritty country-like vocals. And on albums, Greene plays almost all the instruments himself.
That kind of talent is probably why The Black Crowes have decided to tap Greene as their new guitarist. And that band definitely knows how to rock.
6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26
835 NW Wall St.
Tickets $35-$45 at www.towertheatre.org