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Fast Horse tour proves to be a `hoot'.

Byline: LEWIS TAYLOR The Register-Guard

TO CELEBRATE the launch of Fast Horse Recordings, the record label he founded with Joe Cripps (Brave Combo) and Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees) didn't just take one of the acts on the roster out on tour; he took everyone he could get his hands on.

`We're calling it a `hootenanny' because all of these different musicians walk on stage and play with this revolving cast,' said Martin, speaking by phone from his home in Taos, N.M. "I think I can honestly say there isn't anything like this tour."

The only Fast Horse artist not featured on the hootenanny is Mylene Nunes, an electronic bossa nova singer. The other acts that will be appearing when the show rolls into Sam Bond's Garage on Saturday are the ambient ensembles Tuatara and the Wayward Shamans, Mississippi Delta blues artist Cedell Davis and the Minus 5, the pop-rock band led by Scott McCaughey from the Young Fresh Fellows that's currently signed to Mammoth Records.

Cross-pollination will be the theme of the night, and there should be at least 12 different musicians on stage. The evening will start with the Wayward Shamans and end with Davis. One act will flow into the next without interruption; the entire show should last about3 1/2 hours, Martin said.

"The song quality is high, the musicianship is high, it's high-end performance," Martin said. "All of the musicians on this tour have played together in various incarnations."

The core group of Martin, Buck and McCaughey became well acquainted with one another as members of the Seattle scene. In addition to their more high-profile projects, all three served as part of the unofficial house band at the Crocodile Club.

In 1997, while working on a soundtrack demo, Martin and Buck formed Tuatara as a side project that also featured Justin Harwood, bassist for Luna, and Skerik, a Seattle sax player.

McCaughey later became a member of the group, and other artists, including Steve Berlin from Los Lobos, walked in and out of the band's revolving door. Part jazz, part electro-lounge, part world music, Tuatara's sound is a constantly evolving sum of its parts.

"Each of us is a composer," Martin said. "I bring in a jazz influence, Peter brings in a really cool pop thing. He's got such a good ear for pop arrangements and structure. Scott brings in this great out-of- left-field thing. He brings in ideas that are just brilliant."

In 1999, Martin and Cripps formed the Wayward Shamans, after meeting in Havana, Cuba. The two percussionists came together over a shared love of Afro- Cuban music and later added other members, including bassist Kevin Hudson, sax player Craig Flozy and keyboardist Alex Veley. Similar to Tuatara, the Wayward Shamans play a more percussion-heavy, Afro-Cuban variant of electro-lounge jazz.

McCaughey, a frequent R.E.M. contributor, founded the Minus 5 with Buck during the early 1990s. Like Tuatara and the Wayward Shamans the group's lineup is constantly in flux; it has included everyone from John Wesley Harding to members of the band Wilco.

Martin, too, is a frequent guest artist with the band, which is rooted in classic 1960s and '70s pop.

Recently signed to Fast Horse Records, Davis is a 75-year-old blues artist with an unconventional sense of time and musical structure. Although stylistically different than the other artists on the bill, Davis is not quite so far removed from the West African-influenced music of the Wayward Shamans, Martin said.

"The Delta blues, people are starting to realize, comes from West Africa," Martin said, pointing to the recent Putamayo Records release "Mali to Memphis."

"We're starting this show with Afro-Cuban and ending with Delta blues. It's coincidental, but I don't believe that they're too far apart."

Martin said he founded Fast Horse Records in the hopes of bringing artists such as Davis to people's attention. With Buck in charge of artists and repertoire, the label hopes to release four to five new albums a year.

Davis' album is due in August. Nunes' bossa nova CD is scheduled for an October release. Tuatara's "Cinemathique" was just released along with "Alchemy" by the Wayward Shamans.

"What we want to do is put out records that excite us," Martin said. "Whether it be a singer-songwriter or a Delta blues artist, it really doesn't matter. ...

`There's just great music going on. If you can get outside the commercial radio and MTV stuff, it's an exciting time."

FAST HORSE HOOTENANNY

WITH: Tuatara, Wayward Shamans, Cedell Davis, Minus 5

WHEN: 8:30 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Sam Bond's Garage, 407 Blair

Blvd.

TICKETS: $15 at the door or $13 in advance through Fastixx (800) 992-8499

ALSO: To hear music by Tuatara call GuardLine at 485-2000 and select category 3475

CAPTION(S):

Peter Buck fronts Tuatara - (rear from left to right) Barrett Martin, Skerik, Mike Stone, Craig Flory, Scott McCaughey, Elizabeth Pupo-Walker, Steve Berlin and Justin Harwood - as it celebrates its new record label Saturday at Sam Bond's. `We're calling it a `hootenanny' because all of these different musicians walk on stage and play with this revolving cast. I think I can honestly say there isn't anything like this tour." - BARRETT MARTIN, Fast Horse Recordings founder Celebration
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Entertainment
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 12, 2002
Words:874
Previous Article:Marquee.
Next Article:Music Sideshow.


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