Eugene old-timey country-blues act Breakers Yard releases its new album Tried & Untrue April 28 at Sam Bond’s. The self-produced record draws from traditions of pre-WWII jazz, country and blues.
“Generally, our band pulls from that tradition for our sound, although we each have our own favorite genres,” says Brandon Olszewski, Breakers Yard guitar, harmonica and fiddle player. “In a way, and ideally, we appeal to folks that don’t really know the traditional canon of old blues dudes and hot jazz bands.”
The record, which features three originals, even references the Hawaiian music craze of the ’30s and ’40s with the classic “Blue Hawaiian Moonlight.” With rare electric guitar, album-original “Next Big Town,” written by bassist Steven Weeks, captures that early point when the blues started to rock ‘n’ roll. Overall the record lacks the grit and ache of vintage ’78s — but Breakers Yard can’t be faulted for not having a time machine.
What Breakers Yard does capture is authentic joy and exuberance (even while singing the blues), reminding us that picking acoustic instruments is at best a populist pastime and not an athletic competition — something many modern string bands don’t seem to understand.
Breakers Yard celebrate the release of Tried & Untrue alongside Crow Quill Night Owls 9 pm Thursday, April 28, at Sam Bond’s; $7, 21-plus.