Ol' Yonder

by An American Forrest

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    Cassette tape for your pre-Compact Disc-era automobile or home stereo system releases you from the weight of deciding which track to listen to first and prevents you from skipping over less-favorable songs while simultaneously recreating the experience of listening on the original recording medium: magnetized cellophane tape. Liner notes include four very short poems and information about the recordings.

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of O Bronder, Donder Yonder?, Ol' Yonder, Rosas y Mesteños, Kamiak Rose, Salvation Rose, and The Small Night. , and , .

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It was a bleak winter and the inauguration of a bleak chapter in American politics, and I was unemployed thanks to the historic snowfall here in Wallowa County, Northeast Oregon. My roommate brought home a thrift store cassette player with one microphone input, and another friend loaned me a very small 1960s Stella guitar under the condition that I give him a copy of anything I recorded on it. So I started recording in the kitchen, on cold mornings, newly written songs I thought would never make a public appearance. There's a song about riding a horse in the dark, songs about “fightin' the good fights,” working in the mountains, traditional folk tunes, and befitting the political climate, a Woody Guthrie song about migrant workers. I had no song list to follow, no rehearsal, and no intention of ever releasing the recordings. I borrowed a banjo and played all (both) of the banjo chords I knew.

Winter finally cleared, and I moved into the basement of the OK Theatre. It was quiet down there. I dug an old 4-track cassette machine out of storage and started recording every night. Instrumentals. Love songs. New songs. Songs I’d forget having written.

It’s about a year since I started these recordings, and I don’t quite know why they’re coming out at all. It’s winter again, and work’s slow again, so that’s got to have something to do with it. But maybe, really, I feel that putting out something flawed, fucked up, mistake-ridden, and ultimately, cathartic is the best artistic statement I can make right now. I’ll leave you with a favorite parting of Woody Guthrie’s: “Take it easy- but take it!”



released March 8, 2018

Cover photo: Ben Herndon
Everything else: Forrest


all rights reserved



An American Forrest Oregon

Western Music from Eastern Oregon.
Ragged-voiced tales and wild, hybrid style, finger-picked and strummed guitar. Poetic incantations that conjure images: a lone rider silhouetted against a sunset, the days fading light, the unspoken bond between horses and people. Songs as detailed as tooled leather about old love, and new frontiers. ... more

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