What: Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs, with Austin Quattlebaum

When: 9 p.m. Thursday

Where: Volcanic Theatre Pub, 70 SW Century Drive, Bend

Cost: $10 plus fees in advance, $12 at the door

Contact: volcanictheatre.com or 541-323-1881

Bozeman, Montana, newgrass/rock hybrid Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs formed in 2013 and has since shared stages with such genre heavyweights as The Travelin’ McCourys, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and The Jeff Austin Band. The five-piece — vocalist/guitarist Lena (Laney) Schiffer, banjo/dobro player and vocalist Matt Demarais, bassist Ethan Demarais, fiddler/mandolinist/harmonica player Brian Kassay and guitarist Josh Moore — has released three albums, including this month’s “Sweet Little Lies.” A veteran of Descend on Bend, the group will play its first Volcanic Theatre Pub show Thursday.

Matt Demarais spoke with GO! Magazine about the new album, recording in the same studio as Tom Waits and Les Claypool and unexpected musical influences from his home in Bozeman shortly before kicking off the band’s Pacific Northwest tour. The following interview was edited for length and clarity.

Q: “Sweet Little Lies” is the band’s third album, but the first multitrack production after two live in-studio releases. How was the process different on this album?

A: Obviously we weren’t onstage and under lights and in front of a couple hundred people. We tried to keep the energy similar to our live shows. It’s technically a live recording — we’re all together in a room playing our parts at the same time. It wasn’t like we tracked parts in; every song you hear on the album is a live performance and is a take. We tried to capture the energy — our onstage energy — inside the studio through take after take after take after take until we get one that’s like, yeah, that felt how we would play it live. So that’s kind of how we tried to capture it and tried to keep it correlated.

Q: How was working with producer Brad Dollar?

A: Brad’s the man. Brad has a pretty large stake in this album. It was the first time working with a quote-unquote producer too, so it was nice to have Brad’s presence around. Not only is Brad just a great guy, but I think Brad’s got a great ear for what is good and what is not good, what is cool and what is not cool, and he definitely made us up our game a little bit I’d say.

Q: What was the experience like recording at Prairie Sun Recording Studios in California?

A: It was awesome. The studio was great, and obviously getting out of Montana in February is not a bad deal, even though when we came back from recording we got into the worst part of winter. But it was definitely nice; the area was nice, the recording studio itself was great. That place has a ton of history. The people that have recorded there — the list of people that had been in those rooms was staggering, and the stories that the consoles had and the people that had lived in the area, it was just like, what?

Q: Who stands out in your mind?

A: There’s so many to pick. Tom Waits had been there a bunch; I guess he recorded some stuff (1992 album “Bone Machine”) that won a Grammy there. Bob Weir had apparently just recorded there. Apparently Les Claypool was hanging out while we were there. We didn’t see him, but apparently he was there. Primus is a favorite band of mine, and they’ve recorded there. Brothers Comatose is another contemporary band that we really enjoy that’s recorded there.

Q: You guys have talked about how bluegrass and country music was the common ground that brought the band together. How did that develop for you guys — did you grow up with the music or come to it later in life?

A: I guess I can speak for my brother and I — bass player Ethan. Growing up in Montana, country and bluegrass are — or at least country, maybe not bluegrass to the same extent. But definitely country — it’s almost impossible not to be influenced by country music when you grow up in Montana. It’s everywhere, it’s everywhere. But my folks luckily were very cool; we had a great record collection with everything from The Beatles, Black Sabbath and Janis Joplin to Jimi Hendrix. … But as far as coming later in life, we listened to it when we were little and maybe kind of rebelled against it in our teenage years. But then when we were in our late 20s, early 30s, we realized, hey, country music and bluegrass music (are) pretty cool. I think maybe my brother and I got tired of being in the rock scene and trying to make that work, and just decided that playing country and bluegrass was just fun. That’s what the bottom line is, it’s just fun. And right now it’s paying the bills.

— Brian McElhiney, The Bulletin

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