Submitted by Kelsey Nelsen
With warmer weather and busy schedules on the way, the monthly square dance at the Lopez Grange is a great way to connect with community, share a meal, listen to live music and smile ‘til your cheeks hurt all in one evening. This month’s dance will be held on Saturday, June 1, at the Lopez Island Grange with a potluck at 6 p.m. and the dance at 7:30. Local callers Gabe Strand and Kelsey Nelsen will be joined by The Horsenecks. This band is one of the region’s best dance bands, so if you’ve been curious about square dancing, this is a great time to come out and give it a try. All dances are taught by the caller; you don’t need any experience or special outfits, just come as you are.
The Horsenecks play hard-hitting and heartfelt old time and classic bluegrass music. Their sound is centered around the pairing of the signature rhythmic Appalachian fiddle style of Oregonian Gabrielle Macrae, (the Macrae Sisters, Hook & Anchor) and the driving yet subtle three-finger banjo playing of Liverpudlian Barry Southern (Tramp Attack, The Loose Moose Stringband). Macrae’s playing style is the result of being raised in the old time music hotbed of Portland, Oregon and being exposed to the fiddle traditions of the Southeast through years of traveling to festivals and learning from some of the greatest players in the genre. Southern’s banjo playing ranges from thrilling and high-octane to moody and captivating. Harmony singing and thoughtful songwriting bring this old time band to the stage with an exciting and varied set of upbeat foot-stompers, new takes on old standards, innovative fiddle-banjo compositions and heartfelt harmony singing.
The Horsenecks continue to set a new standard in today’s traditional music scene with appearances at major festivals in the United States and the U.K., including the Cornwall Bluegrass Festival, Doolin Folk Festival, The Portland Old Time Gathering, and the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Festival. They received critical acclaim in 2015 for their self-titled debut album. Their second album, “Fiddlehead,” was released in July 2018.