August 21, 2008
Surprise Opening in Bearfoot Bluegrass Band Draws Unlikely Applicants
Courtney Love, Billy Bob Thornton, French First Lady Carla Bruni audition for coveted spot
Several sources now report that one of the members of Alaska’s Bearfoot Bluegrass Band is leaving the group, and auditions for a replacement have begun.
The nationally-touring ensemble intends to continue performing live and recording with its new lineup.
The Bearfoot Bluegrass Band (BBB) began in 1999 and instantly rose to international superstardom by winning the 2001 Telluride Band Contest.
Speculation abounds as to which band member is quitting, and the BG Intelligencer has mounted an ongoing investigation, the results of which are so far inconclusive. The classic BBB lineup consists of Kate Hamre, bass; Mike Mikelson, guitar; Jason Norris, mandolin; Angela Oudean, fiddle; and Annalisa Tornfelt, fiddle and vocals.
Using anonymous sources, the BG Intelligencer has confirmed the identities of several of the musicians who tried out during the first round of auditions, and the findings are nothing short of shocking.
“Every time I hear about one of these people trying out, I’m like, ‘What the heck!?’ Some of these people are coming way out of left field,” said someone close to the band.
The first to audition was actor, writer, director, touring musician, and former Jolie-husband Billy Bob Thornton, who recapitulated his famous monologue from Sling Blade before launching into a medley of original bluegrass songs.
Next, French First Lady Carla Bruni, wife of Nicholas Sarkozy, reportedly enraptured the BBB audition panel with a sultry rendition of her new song “Le Presidente de Mon Corps.”
Finally, Courtney Love performed a rare acoustic rendition of the classic traditional country ballad “In the Pines.”
“Bearfoot has great gigs and a big following, so it makes total sense that they’d keep going with a new member. It worked for the Allman Brothers, AC/DC, and the Rolling Stones,” said a personal friend of the group.