What: Bend Roots Revival

When: Friday through Sunday

Where: Deschutes Brewery warehouse, 399 SW Shevlin Hixon Drive, Bend

Cost: Free, $5-$10 suggested donation

Contact: riseupinernational.com or 541-390-2940

Singer-songwriters Anastasia Gilliam and Zay Harrison had already performed extensively throughout the United States when they joined forces as Butterfly Breakdown in Portland in 2011.

Gilliam arrived in Portland after 20 years of living in Maui, Hawaii. She launched her music career in Los Angeles, and has shared stages with Eddie Vedder, Cyndi Lauper and Hootie & the Blowfish, according to Butterfly Breakdown’s website. Portland native Harrison spent 12 years in Nashville and Atlanta and has worked with actor-musician Jeff Bridges, among others. And both have toured the country as solo artists and with bands.

But when the two started booking their new band in Portland, Gilliam in particular found the city “an odd little nut to crack.”

“I wanted more interaction, to be part of communing with other people,” Gilliam said recently from her home in Portland.

She and Harrison found that connection in Bend. They played their first show in the city in 2012 and have been frequent visitors to venues such as Volcanic Theatre Pub and McMenamins Old St. Francis School ever since. Along the way, guitarist Harrison received sponsorship from local guitar maker Breedlove in 2014 (the sponsorship was renewed this year).

In 2015, the band expanded to a trio with the addition of keyboardist Fern Young and began playing the Bend Roots Revival. The band returns to the three-day, local-centric festival for the third time this weekend.

“We’re just so honored that we’re kind of honorary Benders,” Gilliam said of performing at the festival. “We’d all pick up and move (to Bend) if we could swing it. … The venues (in Bend) understand live music. They have live music at reasonable hours, and they do great promotion, so they work with us. Some other places just leave it up to us to do all of it by ourselves, and we don’t get a lot of the support that we get in Bend.”

Butterfly Breakdown’s love of and familiarity with Bend’s music scene helped get it in the door with Roots, which takes place Friday through Sunday on the Deschutes Brewery warehouse grounds in the Old Mill District. That’s usually the way it works with out-of-town acts, according to festival founder, director and local musician Mark Ransom. Other touring acts on the bill include Portland banjo virtuoso Tony Furtado; longtime Roots performer John Shipe of Eugene; and eclectic Portland rockers Mexican Gunfight.

“The criteria for playing is that you really have to want to do this to be a part of it,” Ransom said. “I always say it’s about how you’re connected to Bend. Do you have an authentic connection? And maybe that authentic connection is just that you love it here and that you maybe want to someday move here, or that you have a friend that lives here. That’s legit in terms of our process. It’s not about who’s got the best band or who’s the most proficient; it’s about wanting to contribute and finding the Roots festival.”

Ransom had plenty of room for these acts in this year’s festival, the 10th in 11 years and fourth in a row to be held at the Deschutes Brewery warehouses in the Old Mill District. In addition to the six established stages from the previous three years in the Old Mill, organizers added the Music Makers Stage to the Community Art and Kids Zone, allowing for 120 acts this year (as opposed to 100 in previous years).

“That’s not been my goal to make it bigger like that; it’s just demand,” Ransom said. “There’s a lot of talented people that want to present a set at Bend roots, and my goal is always to say yes as much as possible.”

As usual, funds raised from beer sales donated by Deschutes Brewery, sponsors and donations from attendees will go to support Roots’ parent organization Rise Up International, which provides music and arts education opportunities in Bend-La Pine Schools. Last year, the festival raised about $22,000 for Rise Up, Ransom said. Festivalgoers can get a taste of these programs through music workshops scheduled early in the day Saturday and Sunday.

Butterfly Breakdown will perform at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on the Four Peaks Stage and will host a songwriting workshop at 11 a.m. Sunday on the El Sancho Stage. All three members of the band are songwriters and vocalists, and contribute equally on both fronts.

Gilliam and Harrison met at rehearsals for a Christmas benefit in Portland, and discovered a deep musical connection. “Both of us were just taken by each other’s songwriting abilities and the way we harmonized together. It just really clicked,” Gilliam said.

Maui native Young studied singing with Gilliam when the latter lived on the island. When Young relocated to Portland, her parents reached out to Gilliam and the two musicians reconnected.

“I hadn’t seen her since she was probably 12 or 13, and her songs were amazing,” Gilliam said. “And we added that third harmony, and Zay and I looked at each other and were like, ‘Do you want a job?’”

Gilliam and Harrison released “Live From Maui” in 2012, and the full trio released a three-song EP “A Little Water” in 2014. The band is working on another three-song EP that Gilliam said could be out by December. Though known for performing as an acoustic trio, the band gets a bit more raucous on record, drawing from influences such as Heart and Led Zeppelin.

“I think particularly Zay and I, being a little older than Fern, when we were growing up, there weren’t a lot of women certainly in rock ’n’ roll — there was probably Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks, and there was some pop singers like Diana Ross or things like that,” Gilliam said. “But Zay and I both as kids, we wanted to rock. We didn’t want to wear pretty little outfits and stand and just look pretty. So when we both saw Heart, that was our aha! moment of, oh, OK, we can do this.”

The band’s roots-y sound is appropriate for, well, Roots. But as usual, the festival’s name refers to its strong community vibe and not its overarching musical genre. A cross-section of acts performing this year includes folk singer-songwriters (Shipe, Furtado), classic rockers (Rod DeGeorge), bluegrass-inspired acoustic bands (Moon Mountain Ramblers, who haven’t missed a Roots festival yet) and thrash metal (Gravewitch).

“That’s really the cool thing about Roots, because you have different genres and you have the opportunity to be exposed to something that you never would choose,” Ransom said.

“And so thereby, you get a perspective that’s hopefully going to round you out, complete you and challenge you perhaps.”

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