The Doug Fir Lounge was packed to the brim Saturday night December 2, as fans gathered to hear Cedar Teeth kick off a show a sold out show. The band hails from the small town of Colton, Oregon, just 40 miles Southeast of Portland. They took stage and lead singer, Dylan Martell, thanked the crowd after the first round of whoops and hollers.
Though Cedar Teeth just released a new EP earlier this year, they started the night with, “Boots” a hit from their 2014 album, “Hoot.” Martell sang lead vocals, and the melancholy verses smoothly bounced this tune back to the chorus, where the rest of the harmony joined in each time. One of my favorite features of the band was their consistent and skillful use of harmony throughout the show. It provided a terrific volume to the vocals.
The next few songs, the band picked up the pace a bit. Erin Corzine was essential to the show as she sang harmony, played banjo, and eventually switched to keys as well. Cedar Teeth has a fun and interesting mix of sounds. I’d call it somewhere in between bluegrass and grunge rock. But luckily for all of us, they’ve already coined a term for their sound: northwest roots rock. Very fitting, I’d say.
Farewell to Green Mountain
Getting into their newest EP, “Farewell to Green Mountain,” the band soon played, “Winter.” Before they began, Martell prefaced the tune joking that it was a “seasonal song for the wrong season.” This song, like many on the EP, builds very well, beginning with just percussion and soon adding banjo. Martell sang, “And when we meet there won’t be winter.” As the base drum pumped up the energy, the rest of the band joined in and got the song rocking. The band released this song as a single prior to the EP’s release, and they did so for good reason. It’s spectacular!
Next, Cedar Teeth continued with the high energy, playing a new song called, “Echo’s Grounding.” Martell played a few notes on his guitar before the base drum juiced this ballad into life. Martell and Corzine sang together, “And I’ll give you the rest of me. No, not the best of me.” As they repeated this phrase along with others, their voices seemed to trail one another, almost creating an echo. Whether on purpose or not, it was a cool feature. Once they’d finished, Martell promised fans that they “only had 36 songs left.”
For their final few songs, the band turned up the electric guitar, and Luke Precourt took a big role. I could hear his personal fans in the crowd cheering, “Luuuuuuke.” Not to be confused with “Boooo.” Their song “Two Bottles” had a country-like beginning but turned into a harder-rock sound by the end. Corzine joked that it was “about water rights.” Corzine reached back for the banjo and took lead vocals this time. Precourt had a stellar solo that he played near the end, and the whole band rocked out to finish out the jam.
A Friendly Reminder
All in all, this show was a terrific reminder that we’re blessed to have such talented musicians in Portland area. I personally am a big fan of Cedar Teeth, and their new EP, “Farewell to Green Mountain.”
Check out this band and enjoy some northwest roots rock at its finest!