Much like craft beer and beards, newgrass music is something of a ubiquitous presence in Portland, Oregon these days. Portland’s newgrass bands are not to be confused with pioneering “progressive bluegrass” acts like the New Grass Revival, John Hartford and Leftover Salmon, yet those acts definitely serve as influences. More commonly, these groups take a dash of Americana, a dash of bluegrass, and sometimes a but of country to form the newgrass sound that is as much about the power of the singer and the song as it is about a band’s ability to play.
If in fact there is a newgrass scene, then it’s safe to say Left Coast Country are one of the most notable acts in it. The group formed in 2010 with a background in bluegrass, pickin’ and good ol’ whiskey-soaked fun, quickly making a name for themselves around Portland playing venues like Mississippi Studios, Doug Fir Lounge, and the Aladdin Theatre. True to their name, these Left Coasters inject their sound with a healthy dose of country twang, all of which can be heard on their new album Pines Fly By, which will be released on February 27th.
We are excited to premiere one of the softer, more heartfelt songs, “Two Girls”, on Left Coast Country’s new album right here on Glide Magazine. Starting with the simplicity of just a fiddle and an acoustic guitar, the song brings to mind a more rustic, down home version of Jason Isbell with some added bluegrass flavor.
Reflecting on the inspiration behind the song, mandolin player Drew Tucker says, “‘Two Girls’ is a story song. It’s about friendship, faith, hope and growing up. I was inspired by John Prine quite a bit on this one. Elly and Annie, the two girls the song is named for, are representative of the choices we make. Whether to settle for what we have or chase our dreams. It’s about the idea that maybe there is no concrete right or wrong answer and sometimes following your dreams affects those around you.”
Give a listen to Left Coast Country’s “Two Girls”:
Left Coast Country release Pines Fly By on February 27th. For more info, music and tour dates check out leftcoastcountry.com.