Misty River has been a favorite around Central Oregon for years, thanks to their polished acoustic Americana and beautiful vocal harmonies, but also their local connection: Guitarist, banjoist and matriarch Carol Harley grew up in Bend.
If you love ’em, or you just want to catch up with Harley and bassist Laura Quigley, accordionist Dana Abel and fiddler Chris Kokesh, you should get down to The Old Stone tonight, where Misty River will give its last Central Oregon performance “for the foreseeable future,” according to the band.
The quartet’s history stretches back to a Portland open mic in 1997 and includes five albums and hundreds of shows, including nine years of national touring. In recent years, however, Misty River has stuck closer to home, content to play around the Northwest and tend to other aspects of their lives.
Now, the band is going to move Misty River down the priority list. Harley — a seven-year leukemia survivor — will focus on her health. Kokesh will concentrate on her career as a singer-songwriter. Quigley, who lives in Maupin, is expecting her first child. And Abel wants to spend more time with her family and pursue the environmental work she left behind 11 years ago.
“We still love to perform together, but also recognize the need to move on,” Abel said in a press release. “It has been a great ride, but for now, the demands of touring together don’t fit in with our lives. We are glad, however, to have a chance to say farewell for now to our Central Oregon fans and thank them for being so supportive over the years.”
Misty River ; 7:30 tonight, doors open 7 p.m.; $17 plus fees in advance, $20 at the door. Advance tickets available at Ranch Records (541-389-6116) in Bend and www.mistyriverband.com; The Old Stone, 157 N.W. Franklin Ave., Bend; www.mistyriver band.com or 541-344-7433.
— Ben Salmon