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Liner Notes: Sipping from the String Summit Runoff 

Head for the Hills does just that.This time of year there is a sudden migration from Bend over to North Plains, just outside of Portland,

Head for the Hills does just that.This time of year there is a sudden migration from Bend over to North Plains, just outside of Portland, for the Northwest String Summit. For those not familiar with NWSS, it's Yonder Mountain String Band's three-night bluegrass throw down that includes some of the best up-and-coming bluegrass acts in the country, as well as plenty of others who have already "come up." This year's lineup includes Keller Williams as well as the Leftover Salmon/String Cheese hybrid that is Drew Emmitt and Bill Nershi, among other stellar pickers.

You might be reading this while lounging around your Horning's Hideout campsite, but chances are you're probably here in Bend jealous of those who made the trip. Let the jealousy subside, at least a bit, in knowing that for the second year in a row, Bend is the benefactor of what we'd like to call String Summit Runoff, during which a couple bands either on their way to or from the festival stop off at the Silver Moon for a show. Last week it was the Pete Karsounes Band and next Thursday it's the youngsters of Head for the Hills. OK, so we don't get Yonder or Keller, but it's better than nothing - so quit yer bitchin'!

Straight out of Fort Collins, Colo., Head for the Hills (8pm, 7/23, Silver Moon Brewing Co.) took home coveted top honors at last year's String Summit Band Competition and have been hitting the road pretty hard since. With a penchant for unleashing lightening fast picking and fiddling, the band represents what's best about bluegrass and provides a good explanation as to why Bend loves this style with such ferocity. It's only been a few years since HFTH burst out of the Colorado State University dorms, but the band has wasted no time in hitting up some of the country's biggest music festivals this summer.

If you're suffering from severe String Summit FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), it might be a good idea to hustle on down to the Silver Moon, grab a pint and do your best to pretend you actually drove the 150 miles to the festival. It's a stretch, but hey, like I said earlier, quit yer bitchin'. - Mike Bookey

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