Guitar love comes to Bend, courtesy of Breedlove. It's no longer our little secret that Bend is making some of the best guitars in the world (that's truth, not hyperbole) now that Breedlove Guitars has pretty much exploded in the past few years, placing their axes in the hands of some incredible players. Now, the guitar maker is bringing some of those players to town for a three-day festival.
The Breedlove Festival takes place between stages at the Breedlove factory-tucked in behind Summit High School and Skyliners Road-and the Tower Theater. Some of the names on the bill aren't necessarily the stuff of Billboard charts, but are certainly well known to guitar hounds, and Bend has plenty of those. Although a solid event for music fans, the festival is a guitar geek's dream, complete with a full slate of workshops, clinics and discussions-and that's on top of shows from some big musical names. In short, it's going to be a busy weekend for six-string lovers.
Here's a few highlights from the packed schedule.
Breedlove Factory Tour-On the hour, 11am-4pm, Friday-Saturday
This might not sound exciting, but trust us, it is. The Source staff took a tour this spring (you can see video from the tour at tsweekly.com/blender) and realized we really had no idea how a guitar was made. The massive factory includes a delicious-smelling wood storage room, some high-tech machinery as well as some good ol' fashioned hardworking folks handcrafting these instruments.
Trace Bundy-8:30pm Friday, 5:15pm Saturday, Tower Theatre
This Boulder, Colo.-based player is one of those people who can make a guitar sound like a band, which he did on his latest record, Missile Bell. Bundy plays occasional covers, which can range from Guns N' Roses to classical music, but always instrumental. If you need further proof of his prowess, just check out his song, "Dueling Ninjas" on his MySpace page.
Ed Gerhard-9:30pm, Friday, Tower Theatre; 7:30pm Saturday, Breedlove Stage
A master of guitar tones, Ed Gerhard is shipping in all the way from New Hampshire to play the festival, as well as lead what should be a packed workshop (12:30pm, Saturday at the Tower). Gerhard has been releasing records for more than 20 years now, many of them marked with his delicate manipulation of the instrument.
David Knopfler and Harry Bogdanovs-7:30pm Friday, Breedlove Stage; 8:30pm Saturday, Tower Theatre
Probably best known for his work with the early Dire Straits, the band he founded with his legendary brother Mark before leaving for a solo career after the band's second record, David is a world-class player in his own right. The songwriter is joined at the Breedlove festival by fellow Brit Harry Bogdanovs for a set that's sure to be one of the more popular of the weekend.
Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen-6:30pm Friday, Tower Theatre; 8:30pm Saturday, Breedlove Stage
Most probably know Hillman for his work as a founding member of the Byrds, and for playing in the Flying Burrito Brothers, but he has also had a successful solo career. He was at the forefront of the creation of the country rock genre and continues to inspire with his musicianship at shows like this one, where he'll be joined by Herb Pedersen, a mainstay in the Americana and bluegrass worlds.
Breedlove Competition Finals-11am-4pm Saturday,
It wouldn't be a roots-based festival without some friendly competition, now would it? Breedlove put out the call for competitors and we're sure they got some talent from the local and regional scene to register. Hit this up and you just might see some skilled players of the future.
Festival Wrap Party-9pm Saturday, Deschutes Brewery
Go to this festival-ending shindig if only too step inside Deschutes' massive warehouse. While you're there, we suggest you stick around for music from local up-and-comer Eric Tollefson, as well as Todd Habby and Sola Via. Here's where you'll also get to see the winners of the competitions before heading home and amping up for next year's Breedlove fest.
Thursday-Saturday, July 30-August 1. Weekend passes are $89 if bought in advance, individual day tickets are $49. Visit breedlovemusic.com or visit the Deschutes Brewery to buy tickets.