Music at the Bend Spring Festival begins tonight and runs through Sunday afternoon at the intersection of Mt. Washington and Northwest Crossing drives in Bend.
The event boasts a nice, diverse lineup of both local and regional bands, and it’s all free to attend! In today’s Spring Fest article in the paper, I highlighted Portland-based eclectic roots band Black Prairie. I’ll paste that below the schedule …
(Also worth noting: Popular Bend band Larry and His Flask is saying on Facebook that tonight may be their last local show for a long time, so get some while you can.)
5 p.m. — The Pitchfork Revolution
6:30 p.m. — Necktie Killer
8:30 p.m. — Larry and His Flask
11 a.m. — Sagebrush Rock
1 p.m. — Christinia Griggs, Jena Rickards and friends
3 p.m. — World’s Finest
5 p.m. — State of Jefferson
7 p.m. — Black Prairie (see below for more on this band)
9 p.m. — Mosley Wotta
11 a.m. — Keegan Smith
1 p.m. — Redwood Son
3 p.m. — Tony Smiley
Scour the internet, and chances are slim that you’ll find an article about Black Prairie that does not also mention The Decemberists.
That’s in part because 80 percent of the latter — a Portland-based band of international fame — makes up two-thirds of the former. Indeed, Black Prairie’s lineup is Chris Funk, Jenny Conlee, Nate Query and John Moen (aka The Decemberists minus Colin Meloy) plus Portland musicians Annalisa Tornfelt (Bearfoot) and Jon Neufeld (Jackstraw, Dolorean).
But you don’t have to lean on shared personnel to tie the two groups together, because Black Prairie’s fine 2012 album “A Tear in the Eye is a Wound in the Heart” sounds a bit like The Decemberists’ catalog — the winsome indie rock, the urban Americana, the jaunts into prog — jumbled up, tossed into an old, unplugged blender and paraded through the streets of some beautifully earth-toned Eastern European city.
To be sure, Black Prairie’s music is rooted in acoustic folk and bluegrass. But unconventional rhythms and song structures keep listeners on their toes, Tornfelt’s voice and violin bring a mournful quality to the songs, and Conlee’s accordion swoops in regularly to whisk the band away to far-off gypsy gatherings. The whole thing has a natural, easygoing charm that befits the band’s casual origins in its members’ living rooms.