Help for Alaska Heads

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This letter comes to us from a very unfortunate live music fan living in Alaska who really doesn’t feel that he’s getting to see enough live music up there…

“Could you give a shout out to Alaska? I mean, this is the state that promotes home town roots and eazy-breezy livin’, plus the love of live, in-your-face jammin. Anchorage needs bands to come… I’ve sent emails to Tea Leaf Green, and hoping that your website could also give a shout out to other jam bands. We all live simple lives, enjoy home town slow roasted brews, and have a deep respect for the thing that keeps us going, music.

Please, come to Anchorage and support those who support you.

I definitely felt compelled to get this up and posted, and more bands should try and make it up there.”


Can we get some actual band or road manager input on this one? Is there any reality to the situation that a smaller band might be able to justify a trip based on the promoter? What if they were guaranteed a three-night, decent lucrative run in order to get up on our own yukon state.

  • Bunson_Honeydew

    I live North of Seattle, and a lot of bands stop by Seattle/Vancouver, BC on their way to Alaska to play shows.

    One of the factors seems that the cost to drive gear (as most U.S. touring bands do) is far too spendy, and flying all their gear is rather impractical. I would guess that this is the major reason why AK doesn’t see more bands. However, I’ve been aware of a number of bands in the past few years who have made it up that way. Some that come to mind off the top of my head:

    Bela Fleck & Flecktones
    Leftover Salmon
    David Grisman Quintet
    Reeltime Travelers
    Yonder Mountain String Band
    Leo Kottke
    Flowmotion
    Galactic
    Widespread Panic

    The list probably goes on. I’m not saying that AK folks are not deprived, however. We in the Northwest (Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, BC) have only started getting regular touring acts up this way within the past 10 or so years. Clearly, AK is on someone’s radar screen, and it seems that more shows are happening more often.

    Also, I’m blowing the cover on one of Alaska’s best kept secrets. You guys have a phenomenal bluegrass scene, from everything I’ve heard!

  • Bunson_Honeydew

    I live North of Seattle, and a lot of bands stop by Seattle/Vancouver, BC on their way to Alaska to play shows.

    One of the factors seems that the cost to drive gear (as most U.S. touring bands do) is far too spendy, and flying all their gear is rather impractical. I would guess that this is the major reason why AK doesn’t see more bands. However, I’ve been aware of a number of bands in the past few years who have made it up that way. Some that come to mind off the top of my head:

    Bela Fleck & Flecktones
    Leftover Salmon
    David Grisman Quintet
    Reeltime Travelers
    Yonder Mountain String Band
    Leo Kottke
    Flowmotion
    Galactic
    Widespread Panic

    The list probably goes on. I’m not saying that AK folks are not deprived, however. We in the Northwest (Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, BC) have only started getting regular touring acts up this way within the past 10 or so years. Clearly, AK is on someone’s radar screen, and it seems that more shows are happening more often.

    Also, I’m blowing the cover on one of Alaska’s best kept secrets. You guys have a phenomenal bluegrass scene, from everything I’ve heard!

  • http://www.beachwoodreporter.com Timothy Inklebarger

    Don’t forget Juneau. I just moved to Chicago after living in Juneau for four years and only a handful of good bands came through. Sure there’s a good bluegrass and folk scene there, but they’re not feeling the punk or the indie rock – not in Juneau, at least. Why don’t some of the smaller indie labels tour the Last Frontier. Moving there from Texas in 2002, I had high hopes that the Pacific Northwest rock scene would ocassionally venture north. Modest Mouse has a line in Truckers Atlas about it for Christsake. “I’m gonna go to Alaska and get oh so fucking free …” I guess that means free of playing any shows.

  • http://www.beachwoodreporter.com Timothy Inklebarger

    Don’t forget Juneau. I just moved to Chicago after living in Juneau for four years and only a handful of good bands came through. Sure there’s a good bluegrass and folk scene there, but they’re not feeling the punk or the indie rock – not in Juneau, at least. Why don’t some of the smaller indie labels tour the Last Frontier. Moving there from Texas in 2002, I had high hopes that the Pacific Northwest rock scene would ocassionally venture north. Modest Mouse has a line in Truckers Atlas about it for Christsake. “I’m gonna go to Alaska and get oh so fucking free …” I guess that means free of playing any shows.

  • Joshua Meals

    Anchorage has gotten some live big acts, and they usually play at the Bearstooth-local brewhouse that houses a movie theater in where you can crowd a band, people and awesome beer. In fact, the John Butler Trio is coming in April, and I’m happy about that, and thankful about all the other acts that have come in recent years. It’s just that they come very rarily. I understand that it’s a long way to Alaska, but I believe it’s a good way to get the bands name out.

    Years ago when I was really into Punk music, I emailed the band of Bad Religion to come and play Anchorage. I got a email back from alot of the band stating that they wanted to come up here, and seriously, within 1-2 weeks, they booked a show up here. I did the same with Tea Leaf Green hoping that they too would come up here and play a show or two. Who knows? I believe that Anchorage and surrounding towns are Jam Band Phriendly and will continue to support LIVE music and the bands that come here. BRING IT ON!

  • Joshua Meals

    Anchorage has gotten some live big acts, and they usually play at the Bearstooth-local brewhouse that houses a movie theater in where you can crowd a band, people and awesome beer. In fact, the John Butler Trio is coming in April, and I’m happy about that, and thankful about all the other acts that have come in recent years. It’s just that they come very rarily. I understand that it’s a long way to Alaska, but I believe it’s a good way to get the bands name out.

    Years ago when I was really into Punk music, I emailed the band of Bad Religion to come and play Anchorage. I got a email back from alot of the band stating that they wanted to come up here, and seriously, within 1-2 weeks, they booked a show up here. I did the same with Tea Leaf Green hoping that they too would come up here and play a show or two. Who knows? I believe that Anchorage and surrounding towns are Jam Band Phriendly and will continue to support LIVE music and the bands that come here. BRING IT ON!