The Quick & Easy Boys like to do things their own way—with a smirk and a wink. Originally coming together in Eugene 10 years ago to play funk music, they put their own twist on the style and decided to come out every night dressed as cowboys.
"The biggest problem with white kids from the suburbs playing funk music is they try to dress like Bootsy Collins," explains guitarist and lead vocalist Jimmy Russell, "so we went with our roots and dressed like cowboys instead."
Now based in Portland, the trio eventually ditched the cowboy hats and explored other sounds—melding bits of honky tonk, psychedelia, funk, country and folk around a core of bluesy American rock. But those early cowboy days laid the foundation for a band with a quirky sense of humor and an equal distaste for conventionality. A quick glance at the unabashedly lo-fi cover of their 2014 album, Follow Us Overboard (which features a photoshopped collage of two donkeys, a cartoon penguin, and a flying goldfish), certainly displays they haven't lost their flair for the absurd.
"We've always been incredibly silly and have a good time," offers Russell. "We've never been afraid of acting goofy or making a scene."
Many of those "scenes" feature onstage antics unfit for these pages (be sure to ask them about what happened at a pajama party they played in Idaho if you ever get the chance), but trust us when we say they know how to throw one hell of a party.
Averaging 140 gigs a year, they've grown comfortable enough in front of an audience to routinely abandon set lists in favor of a freewheeling set adapted to that night's mood. The goal, they say, is to put the crowd at ease and let the band's high energy brand of ultra-danceable rock that layers vocal harmonies and blaring guitars over upbeat drums (or "Jimi Hendrix meets The Police" as Russell likes to describe their sound) ignite a full-fledged party.
"Everybody works all day and gets stressed out with their daily routines," says Russell, "so our intention when we get on stage is to jostle them with good ol' American rock'n'roll." He adds, "We try to bring as much energy as we can to jostle people's nervous systems, so all of a sudden they've forgotten about all their mundane worries and are just having a really fun time."
The Quick & Easy Boys
8 pm. Friday, March 20
The Belfry, 302 Main St., Sisters