The Foghorn Stringband
Portland’s Foghorn String Band stands at the top of today’s vibrant old-time music revival and a fine example of what an unending revival it is. Each album finds them deeper into the tradition, more familiar with the rich resources of roots music, and more focused, but still propelled by that undercurrent of punk energy. —Art Menius, WMMT
Foghorn Stringband is the present day shining gold standard for American string band music, with seven albums, thousands of shows, over a decade of touring under their belts, and an entirely new generation of old-time musicians following their lead. Through all this, they’ve never let the music grow cold; instead they’ve been steadily proving that American roots music is a never-ending well of inspiration.
From their origins in Portland Oregon’s underground roots music scene, the core duo of Foghorn Stringband:Caleb Klauder, whose wistful, keening vocals and rapid-fire mandolin picking have always been the heart of the band, and Stephen “Sammy” Lind, perhaps the best old-time fiddler of his generation, have spread the old-time string band gospel all over the world. Along the way, they’ve brought in influences and inspirations from their many travels and fellow bandmates. Vintage country songs became a part of Foghorn Stringband thanks to Klauder’s intense passion for the music; and frequent visits to Louisiana have inspired the group to bring Cajun songs into the repertoire.
Canadian singer and bassist Nadine Landry, from Québec by way of the Yukon, joined the band in 2008, bringing powerful vocals and a wealth of new songs, many of which are descended from her Acadian roots through the Cajun music tradition. Singer and guitarist Reeb Willms came down from Bellingham in 2011 with a suitcase of old, vintage songs and a powerfully beautiful, pure voice born in the farmlands of central Washington State. These gals add a new dimension to the Foghorn Stringband, providing tight female duets, and a rhythm section that’s as rock solid as they come. The band’s music is as furiously compelling as ever, as Foghorn continues to break the good news about Southern old-time music to new generations.
Foghorn Stringband turns any weeknight into a joyful, rowdy Saturday night, as they travel from coast to coast and across the pond, playing over 200 dates a year. They are also band-mates to world renowned master old-time musician Dirk Powell, and Cajun legends Joel Savoy and Jesse Lége. Recent festivals and venues include Tonder, Fire in the Mountain, the California Bluegrass Association’s Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival, ROMP, Berkeley Old Time Music Convention, Wide Open Bluegrass, Celtic Connections, Pickathon, among countless others.
Foghorn Stringband plays the old way, the way you’d have heard string bands play on Southern radio stations back in the 1930s. They don’t fancy up the music to make it more modern, instead they reach into the heart of the songs, pulling out the deep emotions that made them so enduring in the first place. Performing live, these multi-instrumentalists gather around a single microphone in the middle of the stage, expertly balancing their sound on the fly, and creating the rarest of music: songs that are at once wildly virtuosic and intimately hand-crafted. Foghorn Stringband plays American roots music of the finest order.
All they have to do is play, and the power surges straight through your own chest. They let their own musicality and the tunes speak for themselves. —Old Time Herald
There’s an honesty to this music….It’s pure and simple, ingredients that often go missing in this day and age. It just makes you want to get up and dance. —The Old Time Herald
If the band has one goal, it’s to get gritty, but in Foghorn’s case, “gritty” does not mean rough or scratchy or untogether. It means with a huge wave of old-time noise bearing down. —Old Time Herald
Foghorn Stringband makes the music their own with instrumental virtuosity and intense dedication to the sources. Old Time Herald