Sunday, July 28, 2013
“When I first moved to Portland, OR, my friend and fellow musician Pete Krebs would always talk about the Holy Modal Rounders and Michael Hurley. Pete would often play with him and “Rounders” at a local venue called The Laurelthirst Public House. I figured if Pete liked him and played with him, I had best check him out as Pete was a rocker who reclaimed folk well before the “freak folks” of the Devendra’s, the Newsom’s, the Vetiver’s. And Pete knew best in our town.
So I rambled… down to the east side of Portland, I saw a Hurley show. Quickly, I heard that this was a story teller from another dimension with the most erratic guitar playing I had ever heard, but somehow it worked as it was a guitar trying to keep up with a mind’s vision. Stories of the common laden with fantastical characters mixed with a creaky fiddle. It all worked. I drank beer and fell in love. I went to the bins the next day, I fell in love with the records. There was no Wikipedia to research, and “Snock” (as he’s known) was the guy who often lived around Oregon and once made a record with Holy Modal Rounders and played at the Laurelthirst and looked like what I might think was a hobo (in the best way!). That was it. That was all I knew was his music.
Then came a cover from Cat Power (‘Werwolves’), then the kids in messenger bags wearing Pavement shirts, then came the internet where I can now read that Robert Christagu called his record with The Rounders and Jeffery Frederick ‘the greatest folk album of the rock era’. And even later Devendra Banhart releasing a record of his. But before all of that, before you knew what folk was or I existed, Folkways Records releasing First Songs in 1964.’Wow,’ me thinks now, ‘I had a good seat in the pub back then.’
In this day of folk festivals looking to the now, I am incredibly excited this American treasure is making his debut at the Newport Folk Festival. Snock is the now, how we got here and still rambling on beyond you and me.
Oh yea, and his paintings and illustrations are amazing.”
– Chris Funk
Multi-Instrumentalist of The Decemberists and Black Prairie
Artists and schedule are subject to change.