Celtic Connections - Bearfoot
- Norman Chalmers
- 13 January 2010
As we know, Glasgow can be a cold place in January, but one band that won’t be fazed by icy temperatures is Alaska’s Bearfoot. The bluegrass quintet grew up with the music (all their parents played some form of American roots music) and have gone from young local heroes to US festival touring pros (by way of becoming Telluride Bluegrass Band Champions, like the Dixie Chicks and Nickel Creek) in just a few years.
Fiddler Angela Oudean talked to The List from the band’s new bus, as they headed from New Jersey to Connecticut. ‘We’re on a two month tour’ she laughs, ‘and travel is our way of life, but we’ve now got leg room. It’s luxury.’
It’s all down to their new Californian songwriter/fiddler Odessa Jorgensen, their delicious, vocal harmony-filled new album, Doors and Windows on Compass Records (banjo star/businesswoman Alison Brown’s Nashville label) and a great booking agent.
‘In fact,’ says Angela, we had to struggle to squeeze Celtic Connections into the schedule. We fly straight back from Glasgow to a gig next night in North Carolina!’
OK, all but one group member are now based down in the contiguous United States, and will the band pass a check by the Bluegrass Police?
‘I don’t know that it really matters about not living in Alaska,’ says Angela. ‘There was no banjo player our age when we came together in Alaska, but people still call it bluegrass because of Jason’s mandolin.’
Whatever you want to call it, Bearfoot’s music is the hottest, sunniest sound to radiate from the Snow State since the end of the Bering Land Bridge.
Oran Mor, Glasgow, Sun 24 Jan