Let's say you have four hours to sneak away from your responsibilities and explore the 2010 Bend Roots Revival. Sounds fun until you see the schedule, with scores of artists' names you don't recognize.
Two solutions: 1) Just go. Wander. Let the muse guide you, and enjoy whatever you run across. Or, 2) Check out our handy guide, below, where we've broken down the lineup and pulled out your best bets for maximum fun, depending on what you're into.
I LOVE: Acoustic/Americana
There are great, rootsy artists across Bend Roots Revival's three-day schedule, but tonight presents a pretty solid slate of music that should be up your alley. Head over after work and hit Dave's Garage for the smoky, slow-burn songs of Portland's Emma Hill and her Gentlemen Callers (5:30-6:30 p.m.), and then duck into Casey's Corner for cellist Kat Hilst and local singer-songwriter Tim Coffey (6:30-7 p.m.), an acoustic-guitar whiz who's just about to release his new album, “Strings Unbound.” From there, bounce back to Dave's Garage for some pretty tunes from perennial Bend folk-pop fave Erin Cole-Baker (7-8 p.m.) before visiting The Saw Pit to check out Sisters folk singer (and all-around awesome dude) Brad Tisdel (7:30-8 p.m.) If nothing else, give him some love for his invaluable efforts with the Sisters Folk Festival and the Americana Project.
Finally, cap your experience at The B.I.G.S. Stage by dancing the night away with Bend's finest slingers of “soulgrass,” the Moon Mountain Ramblers (8-9:30 p.m.), and find out why they're widely considered one of Bend's very best bands.
BONUS: The Ransom Band (led by Roots founder Mark Ransom's cousin, Eric) will showcase how they do roots-rock and Americana in Ohio. 9:45-10:45 p.m., Century Center Stage.
I LOVE: Variety.
It's the spice of life, I know. It's also the beauty of a music festival like Bend Roots; you can take in all of what Bend's music scene has to offer, no matter the genre. Saturday afternoon offers a pretty wicked mindwarp if you start out at the Silver Moon Stage for local didgeridoo maker Tyler Spencer 's workshop on his funny looking and funny sounding instrument (3:30-4:30 p.m.), and then head to The Acoustic Room for eclectic electronic duo Flying Kites (4-5 p.m.). (Find their mesmerizing sound on Facebook or Soundcloud.) At 5 p.m., it's funky jazz time with long-running local outfit Smudge at Casey's Corner (5-6 p.m.), followed by a trip to The Saw Pit for one of Bend's most pop-oriented acts, the honey-voiced JoAnna Lee (5:30-6 p.m.). After that, I don't know where to send you. You're the one who loves variety. You choose! (OK, I might send you to The Acoustic Room for Tim Moore and friends (6:30-7:30 p.m.). Moore was/is the guitarist for spirit-world trio Coyo, and the Bend Roots schedule promises “eclectic vibrations.” Spooky!
BONUS: Eugene/Bend trio Ruins of Ooah 's live tribal-trance grooves — built with didgeridoo, harmonica and drums — must be seen to be believed. 9:45-10:45 p.m., Century Center Stage.
I LOVE: To rock!
At Bend Roots Revival, if you want it loud, call in sick to church, because Saturday night is your night. Your first stop is The B.I.G.S. Stage, where the veteran rockers in The River Pigs will showcase their command of all things blues, rock and pop (4:30-5:30 p.m.). Then, grab a burrito; you'll need nourishment as you hop between Dave's Garage for The Dirty Words and The B.I.G.S. Stage for The Autonomics . Both bands play from 6-7 p.m., both recently moved from Bend to Portland, and both play indie rock; the Words lean a bit more pop/folk, while The Autonomics go a little more rough-and-tumble bluesy. Mosey over to the Century Center Stage for some jam-band sweetness from Broken Down Guitars (6:30-7:30 p.m.) and The Saw Pit for the entertaining six-string pyrotechnics of the Richard Taelour Band (7-8 p.m.) before ending your night with flair at The B.I.G.S. Stage, where local MC (and rising star) Mosley Wotta and his four-piece backing band will slay you with the energetic, life-affirming hip-hop-rock (8-9:30 p.m.) that has made them one of the hottest acts in town.
BONUS: Everyone who's seen the fast-rising Empty Space Orchestra play their crunchy space-rock jams live loves 'em. If you haven't, get educated. 11 p.m., Century Center Stage.
I LOVE: My kids!
Bend Roots Revival is committed to being a family-friendly event, and nowhere is that more evident than on Sunday morning. Your first stop is the Silver Moon Stage, where there'll be a kids' drum circle led by the Westside Village Roots Rhythm group (noon-12:30 p.m.). Then, head over to the Century Center Stage for more beats, as Moon Mountain Ramblers' Dale Largent leads a workshop on African hand drums (12:30-1:30 p.m.). Double back to the Silver Moon Stage for Two Up Three Down , a group of local young rockers who'll show your kids how cool it is to play music on stage (1:30-2:30 p.m.). Take a short break from music at the Gotta Dance exhibition at Century Center Stage (2:30-3 p.m.) and the martial arts demo at Silver Moon Stage (3-3:30 p.m.) before settling in at Dave's Garage for The Dalles' Victor Johnson , who specializes in songs for children (2:30-3:30 p.m.). By now, your little ones are probably getting tired, so wrap up with more peer-powered inspiration at The B.I.G.S. Stage, where students from Sisters schools' Americana Project program will perform (4:30-5:30 p.m.).
BONUS: The Moon Mountain Ramblers' Joe Schulte is a mean picker and a fine stringed-instrument teacher, so you can bet it'll be fun to watch his students showcase their skills. 5-5:30 p.m., Casey's Corner.