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A Legendary Night with The Jackalope Saints

Benjamin Lederer

Benjamin Lederer

Concert Reviewer and Events Volunteer at Portland Radio Project
Benjamin Lederer

The dim, red lighting gave Dante’s an exceptionally devilish atmosphere and made for one hell of a party last Friday night, August 18. The Jackalope Saints took stage, and Sharon Cannon’s fiddle whined the first notes. Spotify just added the band’s most recent EP Ivory Crown, and The Saints were eager to showcase some of the tracks.

Clinton Herrick’s raspy voice filled the room as the band played their song “Hours Passing.” The song is an upbeat jam that counts down “to the end,” starting at 6 more hours, then four, then two. John Chap was an especially talented strings player. He played an extremely rapid yet articulate banjo solo.

The band continued their lively, folk-bluegrass show. Cannon’s fiddle paired with Herrick’s lyrics placed the listeners on a hillside in the legendary American West.

They made a large swell, comparable to that in the beginning of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. They played an old song that made a second appearance in “Ivory Tower” called “She Made This Home”. The bass line bounced this song along, and John Chap switched out his banjo for the mandolin. When you see The Jackalope Saints, focus on Chap’s hands. I think there was smoke rolling off his fingertips.

 

Afterwards, Herrick took a drink and paused. He earned a break after playing non-stop, rapid strumming for nearly half an hour. He thanked the crowd, announcing, “We’re gonna totally change the pace with one of our newer songs. This arm needs a break.” He laughed and began slowly strumming. Herrick’s voice somberly repeated, “I guess this is what we want. I guess this is who we are.”

To end the set, Herrick announced that The Jackalope Saints would not be performing for a while in hopes to write new music. They scheduled their Portland next show for December 1. It will surely be riddled with intense rhythms and brilliant string solos.

The band finished with their hit love song “Carpenter’s Son.” Herrick sang above the rambling strings, “For you are the woman on the run, and I am a carpenter’s son.” The carpenter’s son is leaving home to find a better life, but I hope this band isn’t leaving us anytime soon. Go see The Jackalope Saints and their new set when they return to us in December this year!

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