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Back Beat

Music news & notes from down in the Willamette valley.
Smooth Hound Smith
Smooth Hound Smith

While the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival is only in its third year in Eugene, it’s part of a 34-year-old tradition that “began in 1982 as a tribute to one of Hawaii’s iconic and most celebrated slack key musicians, Gabby ‘Pops’ Pahinui, considered the ‘Modern Day Godfather’ of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar.” The one-day fest kicks off 7:30 pm Friday, March 4, in the Hult Center’s Soreng Theater. For newbies, slack-key guitar is a fingerstyle type of guitar music that became popular in Hawaii in the 1960s. This year slack-key artists Stephen Inglis, Ian O’Sullivan, Bobby Moderow, Donald Kaulia, Chris Lau and LT Smooth — who has collaborated with Bono, Will-I-Am and Lenny Kravitz — will perform. Tickets at hultcenter.org.

The “Music City” of Nashville sends Eugene something sweet this week with Smooth Hound Smith, an American roots duo featuring Caitlin Doyle and Zack Smith as well as an assortment of guitars, drums, vocals, percussion and a “mouth harp.” Doyle and Smith are touring with their 2016 album Sweet Tennessee Honey, a collection of harmonies full of swagger and stomp. Smooth Hound Smith takes the stage 9:30 pm Saturday, March 5, at Sam Bond’s Garage; $8 pre-sale tickets available at brownpapertickets.com. 

The following night at Sam Bond’s sees the return of Jason Webley, who has charmed audiences with his 2014 release Margaret, inspired by Webley’s discovery of a scrapbook in a San Francisco dumpster that introduced him to Margaret Rucker, “a poet whose tragic serendipitous story was rescued from the bottom of a garbage bin.” Joining Webley, whose style is reminiscent of Eugene’s own Mood Area 52, is “Albuquerque Americana” singer-songwriter Russell James Pine at 8:30 pm Sunday, March 6: $7.

California sister-act Summer Twins heads north to Hi-Fi Music Hall 8 pm Monday, March 7. Their sound is the kind the duo’s label, Burger Records, loves to put out — dreamy surf pop, sometimes with a hint of the woozy sex appeal of French ’60s heartthrob Serge Gainsbourg and the playfulness of the Yé-Yé movement. The band is touring with its 2015 release Limbo.

Ethereal singer-songwriter Globelamp (née Elizabeth le Fey) is back in Eugene, bringing her haunting brand of folk to town 7 pm Thursday, March 10, at The Boreal (450 W. 3rd Ave.). California’s Just Friends,“ plus a ton more bands,” join the all-ages party.

Cancelled: EDM band Blood on the Dance Floor will no longer play at WOW Hall March 12. There was a backlash to the booking as the band’s Dahvie Vanity has had numerous allegations of sexual assault and statutory rape made against him. “We have canceled this show after receiving an unprecedented level of complaints from people in the community and from a few staff members; it was the only reasonable choice,” WOW Hall program coordinator Calyn Kelly tells EW.