The evocatively named Portland band Blue Skies for Black Hearts plays the kind of music that is often the domain of an outsider musical wizard, a one-man song factory and multi-instrumentalist with a tendency to hole up in studios in the eternal quest for perfect pop songs, driven by a love of melody and a nerdy record collection.
So it’s not surprising that BSFBH, now a quintet, actually began as a solo project of Pat Kearns, a musician, producer and engineer best known for his hand in the recording of “Guitar Romantic,” the classic album by the late Portland power-pop-punk band The Exploding Hearts. Kearns started Blue Skies in 2000 and put out an album, then spent the next 13 years adding members and releasing records, five full-lengths in all.
Kearns may or may not be a lone-wolf studio-rat type, but his sound is undeniably rooted in the classic pop-rock sounds of the past few decades, stretching from The Raspberries and The dBs to Tom Petty and Elvis Costello to Brendan Benson and Wilco. Indeed, BSFBH’s new album, due out in March, sounds like “Summerteeth”-era Wilco, complete with glorious walls of sound reminiscent of the Beach Boys and Big Star.
But enough about other bands. On Saturday night, BSFBH will roll into Bend’s Volcanic Theatre to, presumably, play songs from the new album and the old catalog. Go see ’em and support good ol’ guitar-based rock ’n’ roll being created live and in public.