What do you call a bluegrass band without a banjo? Fiddlefreak sez: smooooooth. What’s the recipe for this tasty smoothie? Take one part Biscuit Burners, one part Nickel Creek, and one part Crooked Still, blend until creamy, and you get the breakfast of champions, born in the boondocks of our wildest state: Bearfoot.
If you’re like Fiddlefreak, you’ve been hearing about this band for a while now: kids from Alaska, met at music camps up there, been picking together for nine years. Last night we finally had the opportunity to see them live, at a tiny venue called Matt’s Music in Paso Robles, California. We walked away amazed at the talent and skill evinced by these brilliant pickers, still in their early twenties. From old-time fiddle tunes to gospel harmonies, Western swing to contemporary folk, these kids move from breakdown to Beatles and back again without missing a beat.
Bearfoot consists of Kate Hamre on acoustic bass, Mike Mickelson on guitar, Jason Norris on mandolin, Angela Oudean on fiddle, and California-born fiddle player and lead vocalist Odessa Jorgensen, formerly a member of The Biscuit Burners, who just joined Bearfoot in September 2008. All members sing, and the focal point of the band is (big surprise!) the three lovely ladies at center stage, with their sweet sister harmonies and double-fiddle interplay. Not that Jason and Mike are the least bit slack—they kept things hopping with sizzling solos and rock-solid rhythm all evening.
Their new record Doors and Windows will be released on Compass Records on April 21 and is available for pre-order now here. All hail Bearfoot, the future of acoustic Americana.
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Thanks to YouTube user motnovak