February 10, 1995 in Seven

For Dose Of Backwoods Rock, Take The Higher Ground At The Dipper

By The Spokesman-Review

That a band attempts to be different or unique by dreaming up a definition of its sound is usually the first sign the group’s music is nothing more than pretentious and recycled mediocrity - like a metal band calling itself a “cranky, progressive blues band.”

Higher Ground, a four-piece Portland band which plays the Big Dipper on Saturday, came up with its own definition, calling itself an “acoustic-fired backwoods rock” band.

And, for once, a band is right.

Higher Ground sounds like it could be four guys who live in a remote forested area, gather by a fire inside a dimly lighted cabin and jam out a pocketful of tunes.

The band approaches its musical vibrations by using warm, acoustical arrangements: stand-up bass, acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin, violin, congas and drums.

Consisting of four prolific players, the quartet melds several genres in its music, from bluegrass to countryfolk, to roots rock to Spanishinfluenced guitar work.

Higher Ground’s music is also lush with vocal harmonies, a vital ingredient to the band’s style.

The quartet paints several moods on its most recent album, titled “Portland, OR.”

At times, “Portland, OR” plays like something you’d listen to on the front porch of a rundown beach house on a balmy summer’s eve.

The album also contains a few melancholy songs, which seem to be wafting from a smoky blues hall into a cold, rainy night.

Showtime’s at 9:30 p.m. The cover $5. Bring your ID.

Elsewhere in the night

Casey MacGill and the Planet Lounge Orchestra entertains at Fugazzi, located at the corner of Post and Sprague in downtown, on Tuesday - which happens to be Valentine’s Day.

The band, which plays from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., will highlight music from “Hollywood’s Golden Age.”

For reservations, call 624-1133.

Cringe slams its noisy soundscapes into the foundation of Mother’s Pub tonight.

Cringe, which welds dissonant guitar noise to tight pop song structures, has been working on a debut album.

Music starts at 9:30 p.m. The cost is $3. Bring your ID.

Seattle’s Give plays with Washaway World and Nowhere Fast at Mother’s Pub on Saturday.

Music at 9:30 p.m. The cost is $4. Bring ID.

Tickets for the Feb. 24 Sweaty Nipples show at Mother’s Pub are on sale at the pub for $8. Get them now; the show will sell out.

Chip and the Bushwackers plays the Fort Spokane Brewery tonight, Saturday and Sunday. The cost is $4 tonight and Saturday. On Sunday it’s $3. Showtimes are at 9:30 p.m.

xxxx Blues fest The Whitehorse Saloon in Spirit Lake presents its seventh annual all-day blues event, Cabin Fever Boogie, Sunday beginning a 1 p.m. The show, which is cosponsored by the Inland Empire Blues Society, features four top regional bands: Robin and the Blueshoods, Don Larson and the Cynics, Chip and the Bushwhackers and Yo and De Cats. Advance tickets are available for $10 at the Fort Spokane Brewery, Chelsea’s and at the Whitehorse Saloon. It’s $12 at the door.

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