Arts & CultureMusic

Hot Buttered Rum to perform new tunes at WOW Hall

San Francisco-based band Hot Buttered Rum will take to WOW Hall’s stage Wednesday, March 14.@@ Originally formed as an acoustic bluegrass band with its first studio album in 2004, Hot Buttered Rum has gradually shifted over the years to more of a fiddle-accented Americana rock, all with acoustic, jazz, country and world sounds mixed in.@@ – [email protected]@

“We’re a West Coast-Americana band,” said Erik Yates, who plays banjo, guitar and woodwinds in the five-piece band. “When I say Americana, I mean banjo, fiddle, blues. You’re doing something that’s going back to roots music.”@@

The rest of the band includes Aaron Redner (vocals, fiddle, mandolin), Bryan Horne (acoustic bass), Nat Keefe (guitar) and Lucas Carlton (drums).@@[email protected]@ Hot Buttered Rum’s opening band is Cornmeal, and the Eugene concert is smack in the middle of the two bands’ two-week concentrated tour across the Pacific Northwest and a few other western states. So far, the bands have had huge crowds and a good time.

“The show will be kind of high-energy — Cornmeal is high-energy, and they’re really good for dancing, and listening to,” Yates said. “It’s a good musical fit, a good personality fit.”

Hot Buttered Rum regularly tours all over the U.S., and though they are a West Coast band, they don’t find much difference in performing in different spots around the country. West Coast just means friends and family can visit more easily — and in the winter there’s less chance of a blizzard.

“Everywhere we go there’s great towns, great fans,” Yates said. “You just have to find the places where fans connect to your music, and I think Eugene is one of those places for us … we’re excited to be coming down there.”

Hot Buttered Rum will play its usual mix of genres: bluegrass, country rock and originals. The band’s most recent album, “Limbs Akimbo,” was released in 2009, with collaborative songs with Jackie Greene (Skinny Singers, Phil Lesh and Friends) and Zach Gill (ALO, Jack Johnson).@@[email protected]@

There will also be new songs in the concert lineup.

“There will be lots of new lyrics to sink one’s teeth into,” Yates said.

The band has a new 12-song album to be released later this year, and songs from the record will make their appearance in the upcoming concert. Songs that didn’t make the cut might also be stacked in the line-up: The 12 songs on the new album were narrowed down from a choice of 30 possibilities. Hot Buttered Rum has three songwriters.

“We’re always coming up with new songs,” Yates said. “It’s a good challenge to have because you always have a lot of raw material to chip away at. I’d say the biggest challenge for us is to find the area where our musical styles meet for Hot Buttered Rum.”

Luckily, the five-piece band had help picking the right songs with the right style for the upcoming album. Music producer Steve Berlin, best known as a member of the rock group Los Lobos, acted as a guiding force in deciding which songs would make the new album.@@[email protected]@

“To have that executive voice is really helpful,” Yates said.

Get ready for new, warm, frothy tunes from Hot Buttered Rum. The concert starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $12 purchased in advance and $15 at the door.@@[email protected]@

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Rebecca Sedlak

Rebecca Sedlak