Deschutes Brewery unveils Deschutes River Recordings

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012, 12:51 pm by Ben Salmon

Eric D. Johnson along the Deschutes River

Eric D. Johnson along the Deschutes River

File this under: “Cool all around.”

Today, Deschutes Brewery premiered a video of The Fruit Bats‘ Eric D. Johnson (who, by the way, is opening for M. Ward at the Domino Room on Sept. 21) performing a song by The Byrds along the banks of the Deschutes River near La Pine State Park. It’s the first installment of the company’s new Deschutes River Recordings series, which it hopes will promote and support the efforts of the Deschutes River Conservancy.

Here’s the gist of the project, taken from an email from a Deschutes spokesperson:

• The brewery issued a call to its fans – otherwise called “advisory board members” – to choose songs with a river theme through an online voting process.
• Next, the brewery teamed up with indie artists to record the selected songs. The musicians traveled here and recorded the music “streamside high-wire: live, unadorned, far from a studio safety net”, resulting in a completely unique sound blending acoustic tunes with the sounds of nature.
• A partnership with popular music site, pitchfork.com, was formed and implemented to help promote the new recordings.
• Fans can download the songs for free, but are able to make a donation if they desire. Proceeds from downloads of this new music benefit the Deschutes River Conservancy, which is working to preserve streamflows and health of the river.

Check out the Pitchfork ad! If you know anything about the site or music journalism in 2012, you know this is quite the placement:

And here’s the video, featuring Johnson performing The Byrds’ “Ballad of Easy Rider.” Be sure to download the track and donate here. Coming in the next few weeks: Songs by Johnson’s fellow Portland-based indie luminaries Eric Earley (of Blitzen Trapper) and Laura Gibson.

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One Response to “Deschutes Brewery unveils Deschutes River Recordings”

  1. Sara says:

    This is so cool! Love it. Was prepared to make fun of it because of his ridiculous hipster outfit but could not stop watching. love the use of walkie talkies. awesome. can’t wait for the next one!

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