What: The Drunken Hearts

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Crow’s Feet Commons, 875 NW Brooks St., Bend

Cost: Free

Contact: parallel44presents.com or 541-728-0066

The Drunken Hearts have been on a roll since 2014, and the band is rolling into Bend to perform at Crow’s Feet Commons’ Apres Ski Bash on Friday.

The Colorado roots quintet is a regular on the festival circuit, with past appearances at Northwest String Summit, Hangtown Music Festival in California and YarmonyGrass in Colorado, the festival founded by frontman ­Andrew McConathy in 2006. When the band isn’t touring, it’s in the studio working on new music — two of its three releases have dropped since 2016, including this year’s full-length “The Prize,” with another album set for fall next year.

“We started recording (the new album) on April 1, and we released ‘The Prize’ on March 30,” McConathy said while traveling to a tour stop with his bandmates in Utah. The band will return for its second performance in Bend this year. “… For ‘The Prize’ to come out — we started recording that, same deal, the week after we released ‘Love & Thirst’ in 2016, so it still took two years to come out. I definitely wanted to have something put together quicker than the last one. And we’ve got the songs, we have the producer and there’s a vision; why not?

“Although, I suppose there wasn’t quite a vision until we got in there,” McConathy added with a laugh. “Flying by the seat of our pants out here.”

Extensive work in the studio and on the road has led to extensive evolution in the band’s sound, from acoustic trio to full-fledged rock band. Bend got its first live taste of the quintet at McMenamins Old St. Francis School in April (the band also hit Bend in 2012 as an acoustic trio).

Over the years, Colorado jam and newgrass bands such as Yonder Mountain String Band and Leftover Salmon have found popularity in Central Oregon. McConathy said he has noticed the connection between the two scenes. And beyond that, he was once roommates with songwriter Pete Kartsounes, who currently lives in Bend.

“(There are) very active lifestyles in both states, so they pair nicely with each other,” McConathy said. “And I think that the musical tastes are also similar as well. I’ve been coming out to Oregon for a very, very long time, seeing a lot of shows at Horning’s Hideout (where Northwest String Summit is hosted) over the years.”

It’s fitting the band will play the Apres Ski Bash, as well, considering its origins. Formed in the late 2000s by McConathy, stand-up bassist Derek Shields and percussionist Ted Welles as an acoustic trio that would jam in between ski runs in Vail, Colorado, The Drunken Hearts released its ­bluegrass- and country-inspired debut EP “Live for Today” in 2012.

With the exception of McConathy, the band has completely turned over since then, and also features drummer Alex Johnson, pedal steel player Cody Russell, bassist Jon McCartan and lead guitarist Kory Montgomery. The recent flurry of activity was inspired in part by Welles’ death in 2014. McConathy wouldn’t discuss the circumstances, but he did say it had a “profound impact” on the band.

“It’s something that we try to keep with us every day when we play music,” he said. “Ted had a huge impact on a lot of different people across the world, and certainly a huge impact on myself and this band. I’ve got a vial of his ashes mixed with glitter that I carry around the world with us whenever we travel. It’s in my guitar case, so he’s always with us.”

“The Prize” is the band’s most wide-ranging release yet, building on the more electric-based sound of “Love & Thirst.” Tracks such as opener “Broken Things” are some of the hardest-edged material the group has recorded, while other songs, such as the acoustic “Seasons,” are some of its quietest.

“I definitely always wanted it to be more of a rock ’n’ roll thing,” said McConathy, who still writes most of the band’s songs. “I listen to a lot of bluegrass, so I think it just made sense that we started out as a bluegrass band, but bluegrass with drums in the vein of the original String Cheese (Incident), Leftover Salmon, things like that. That’s what Yarmony was all based around originally. Eventually we added more members and lead instruments, and we were just trying to figure out what best suited the songs.”

McConathy said the band made another leap on its next album, which is fully recorded but still untitled. Working with Tim ­Carbone of Railroad Earth, who also produced “Live for Today,” the quintet entered the studio with basic song ideas, then finished writing parts and arrangements while recording.

“There’s some similarities (with ‘Live for Today’) in the tones and stuff because of Tim’s production style, but it’s definitely more expansive and a much broader, bigger sound than anything we’ve done prior as a band,” McConathy said. “It’s a sound that we’re creating that day. … If we didn’t finish that song that day — with the exception of a few overdubs here and there — we weren’t gonna finish it. We actually did … 11 songs in 11 days all with that formula.”

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