Ever gone to a bluegrass festival and just stared intently at the stage waiting for something other than blistering speed and old-time standards? Sure you have. Solid originals have become something of a mythic, folky beast in the bluegrass world over the years; everybody just plays “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” or some recycled Old Crow Medicine Show tune. I’m still waiting for somebody to write a contemporary for “Swing Low” that’s as catchy and overplayed by the time it’s a few hundred years old, but I guess that’s about as likely as a Sasquatch sighting.
Cryptozoology aside, Bigfoot Lane is a raucous (in a foot-stompin’ kind of way) group that’s been bustin’ out old-time folk-jazz-swing-bluegrass fusion tunes since 1970. Much like the elusive Bigfoot himself, the group is a down-home, slap-waggling act that hasn’t strayed far from the density of our Northwest trees. In the 42 years that Ernie Connely, Sandy Wallrich, Keith Barr, and Addison and Peggy Mulder have been gigging together, there have been “at least 28 sightings of the mythical creature” that is Bigfoot in the Lane County area.
Bigfoot Lane’s sound is sort of like Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir rifling through a bucket of bluegrass instruments and then organizing them by hand until most of the psychedelia is pushed to the background and only a cool display of strong compositional talent is left. These cats know how to swing, baby!
Try and spot Bigfoot Lane 8:30 pm, Saturday, March 10, at Cozmic; $8 adv., $10 door. — Andy Valentine