For the next week, we’ll be highlighting bands that are performing at this year’s PDX Pop Now! music festival. (More on that in a second.)
When I was in high school, if you had told me that traditional country music was going to enjoy a resurgence within the next decade or two, I doubt that I would’ve believed you. The supremacy of country pop artists like Garth Brooks and Shania Twain seemed unshakeable. Moreover, if you had told me that not only would traditional country be a thing, but that I would be into it, I think I would’ve laughed you out of the room and gone back to listening to my Guess Who cassettes.
And yet, here we are in 2016 and both of these things have come to pass. While there’s still an abundance of country pop out there, there’s a groundswell of artists returning to music of their forefathers, influenced by the legacies of people like Patsy Cline and Hank Williams.
Here in Portland, one of my favorite examples of this movement is Jenny Don’t & The Spurs. Led by frontwoman Jenny Don’t (who also fronts the punk rock band Don’t), the band combines classic country stylings with just the right amount of twang and just a hint of punk sensibility.
They’re also a delight to watch live. I went by myself to see them last night at Secret Society (that #FRIDAYNIGHTSALONE moniker isn’t a joke, people), and although typically rolling solo would be a huge buzzkill in a small venue filled with couples, that wasn’t the case for as long as Ms. Don’t and her Spurs were on the stage.
While I may end up spending most of my Friday Nights Alone, if you’d like to see Jenny Don’t & The Spurs, you don’t have to! You have plenty of time to grab a friend and go see them play this coming Friday night (June 22) at PDX Pop Now!
Now in their thirteenth year, PDX Pop Now! is a three-day celebration of the best local music this city has to offer. I had the pleasure of serving on the Selection Committee for this year’s festival, and although I might be biased, I think this year’s lineup is pretty sick. And best of all, the it’s entire free! Check out the full schedule here.