Picking with Friends | Sound Stories & Interviews | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Search
Settings
Pin It
Favorite

Picking with Friends 

Cascade Crescendo is changing the way you think about bluegrass

Shattering the traditional notion of bluegrass while still honoring its traditions, Cascade Crescendo embraces high energy and brings an outstanding show to the Volcanic on Jan. 29. "We love it when crowds are up dancing and having a good time," says lead vocalist Hunter White. "We try and keep things upbeat."

Formed in 2013, the quartet has a unique feature: all members are songwriters who bring varied musical experiences to their sound. Folky singer-songwriter songs are blended with complex harmonies, traditional bluegrass and faster, alternative rock beats. What emerges is a cross between funk, jamgrass, Americana and bluegrass—or newgrass, as they call it—a sound you can't help but dance to. In addition, a cover of "Disarm" by the Smashing Pumpkins might even make an appearance.

"It's crazy to think that a few years ago we were just fans, hanging out at the Northwest String Summit festival, picking away with friends in the campsites. Now we're playing in it. It's surreal," says White. A feat, indeed, considering the band released its debut album, "Caught in the Rain," just seven months ago.

White credits their evolution to idols Greensky Bluegrass, a band that's helped develop the genre and taken it to new heights. He notes, "We realized that although we may be playing these bluegrass instruments onstage, we weren't really playing any traditional sounds. We use a lot of dynamic sounds throughout our set that pull us more into jam band, funky stuff."

He continues, "I think what many people think of as bluegrass is more closely related to country music and some of the old twangy sounds. So it's cool to be a part of a movement of modern bands who are bending the genre and therefore bringing a lot of new fans in. I think that is happening all over the country— there's even a big bluegrass revival in Japan."

As Cascade Crescendo continues to grow, expect to witness complexities in their songwriting. White credits his ability to weave vocal harmonies to a peculiar musical phase of his life: African drumming. "I think some of those choral harmonies have ingrained themselves in my singing, and our abilities to find different harmonies. And our banjo player has a high register, so we're able to do even more harmonies than before."

Cascade Crescendo is supported by Useful Jenkins, a Midwest band that White says are veterans of the scene and pioneers of bluegrass. Fans can expect a few on-stage song collaborations at the Bend show, true to both the traditional bluegrass and jam band spirit.

"It really is that community, collaborative aspect that makes bluegrass music so fun to play," White says, "I'm excited to see where the evolution goes."

Cascade Crescendo and Useful Jenkins

Sun. Jan. 29. 8pm.

Volcanic Theatre Pub, 70 SW Century Dr., Bend.

$8 adv., $10 door.

About The Author

Magdalena Bokowa

Freelancer at the Source Weekly
Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Artist Fact Sheet: Keith Harkin

    Artist Fact Sheet: Keith Harkin

    The Irishman brings his well-rounded abilities to Bend
    • Sep 11, 2019
  • Triple Whammy

    Triple Whammy

    Eric Leadbetter helps bring joy to the music scene, food industry and hospital workers with the St. Charles Meal Mission
    • Jun 1, 2020
Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Alicia Viani Band + Special Guests

Alicia Viani Band + Special Guests - Highland House Concerts

Sun., April 25, 4-7 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

  •   @sourceweekly on Instagram

Latest in Sound Stories & Interviews

  • Review: Warm Gadget Returns with 'Rituals'

    • Apr 21, 2021
    After three years, the alternative metal duo drops a new EP More »
  • Barefoot Melodies

    • Apr 14, 2021
    A tribute to two local musicians, who rose up from Bend's open mic scene to record an album and play at Bend Roots More »
  • Double Release Party for Indubious

    • Apr 6, 2021
    Indubious is bringing live music back to the Volcanic Theatre Pub next week by celebrating the release of its new album, “The Bridge.” More »
  • More »