Indie-roots-pop in Bend

Three like-minded bands play Volcanic Theatre Pub on Saturday

By Ben Salmon / The Bulletin / @frequencyblog

Published Mar 6, 2014 at 01:21PM

If that earth-toned corner of the musical universe where pop and indie rock get tangled up with rootsy Americana is your comfort zone, you need to hit the Volcanic Theatre Pub on Saturday night.

That’s where three bands — one local, two Portland-based — will play as part of a mini-tour around the great state of Oregon. Here’s a quick recap of who’ll be doing what:

• The Cabin Project is from the big city, although frontwoman Katie Sawicki came to Portland from Brooklyn, N.Y., so it probably feels small and homey to her. If not, well, her music feels that way. The Cabin Project centers around Sawicki’s voice and songs, but her band mates do an admirable job of taking what is essentially folk music and dressing it up with orchestral touches and mild fuzz. Think Suzanne Vega with a mellow New West vibe and you’re on the right track. You can hear samples of their new album “Heliotrope” at www.the cabinproject.com.

• The Beautiful Train Wrecks are 75-percent based in Portland, but frontman Lucas Alberg lives in Bend. Of the three bands playing Volcanic on Saturday night, the Wrecks are the most traditionally rootsy, a fact helped considerably by Alberg’s strong, twangy voice and Jeff Koch’s swooping leads on electric guitar. Check out their good-looking website at www.beautiful trainwrecks.com.

• Finally, Wilderness is one of the best bands in Bend. Last summer, I wrote this about their debut album “Homeward from the Battle,” and it still stands: “At times, Wilderness sounds like a north-of-the-border version of Southwestern roots act Calexico, or an earthbound take on Explosions in the Sky’s celestial jams, or somnambulant rockers Wilco indulging their ragged edge.” In other words, they’re an interesting and melodic indie-pop-rock band with an experimental streak. Check ‘em out at www.wilderness theband.com.

The Cabin Project, Wilderness and The Beautiful Train Wrecks; 8 p.m. Saturday; $5; Volcanic Theatre Pub, 70 S.W. Century Drive, Bend; www.volcanictheatrepub .com.

— Reporter: 541-383-0377, bsalmon@bendbulletin.com