It’s refreshing to see a strong woman on stage with a mandolin in her hands. That particular role, typically dominated by male-bodied folk in string bands, is pivotal. The mandolin, usually seen played by women only in its classical guise, defines a great deal of string-band topography — those shrill plucks that carry listeners over musical plateaus to mountain-top exclamations.
Fruition’s Mimi Naja is helping turn the tides on this patriarchal history of the mandolin. Never shy about whipping out the guitar or banjo as well, Naja can summon foot stompin’ and free spirits swooning at a moment’s notice. She and the rest of the Portland-based quintet have been making quite the splash just north of us, playing shows with the likes of Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass, Elephant Revival, Dead Winter Carpenters and Water Tower Bucket Boys. Sam Bond’s will showcase them Friday, Feb. 10, playing with Eugene’s Alder St. All-Stars — a rowdy group of string pickers that never fails to get the tables and chairs cleared off Bond’s dance floor. Fruition — with two guitars and well-rounded songs — certainly leans more on the folky side of the string spectrum, but the band doesn’t wander too far from the occasional jam. And lined up next to the hard-hitting grit of the All-Stars, the band will fit right in, here in the Eug.
Fruition plays with the Alder St. All-Stars 9:30 pm Friday, Feb. 10, at Sam Bond’s; $5.