Next up was Lana Rebel, a Portland Americana/country artist who sounds like a mellowed-out June Carter Cash. Her laidback, easygoing country tunes fit the Sam Bond’s crowd nicely, giving them time to order drinks, catch up with friends before beckoning them to the small, makeshift dancefloor. Rebel’s lead guitarist (pictured above on the left-hand side) took over lead vocals for one uptempo number, as recorded in the clip below:
Some of my favorite tracks from Lana Rebel’s website include the clean, understated “Purify” and the more uptempo “Yes Is Better Than No.” Check out more of Lana Rebel’s music here.
After Rebel’s set, I decided to duck back to my seconds-away apartment for a few minutes, as the Sam Bond’s crowd was starting to overwhelm me. The 29-degree temperature outside had me immediately snuggled under a blanket on my couch, but I gave myself a five-minute time limit - I even set an alarm on my phone! But the sleep-inducing powers of my Hop Valley's Natty Red soon washed over me, and when I next looked at my phone, it was 1:50 a.m. To my horror and embarrassment, I’d fallen asleep and missed the band I was supposed to cover. At that point, I knew there was nothing else I could do - Stagger & Sway’s set was long over, and the bar was about to close. “Besides,” I reasoned with my sleepy self, “I bet it wasn’t that difference from their music video...”
Based on the assumption that most musicians are better experienced in concert than on a CD, I bet I missed a great performance from Stagger & Sway last night. From the looks of the crowd (and the strength of that beer!), I bet I would’ve really enjoyed myself too. But judging from the band’s loyalty to the venue (and the fact that they’re based in Eugene), I’m sure Stagger & Sway will return to Sam Bond’s Garage soon. ‘Til then, I’ll be just a hop, skip and a comfy couch away.
Lana Rebel is currently heading south to a string of California shows, including ones in Arcata, Caspar and Santa Rosa (see her website for details). Stagger & Sway will perform next at the Twilight Cafe & Bar in Portland on Jan. 27.