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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

First Lady Carla Bruni effortlessly plays the acoustic guitar behind her head during her audition for the Bearfoot Bluegrass Band.

First Lady Carla Bruni effortlessly plays the acoustic guitar behind her head during her audition for the Bearfoot Bluegrass Band.

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.

Comments

2 Responses to “Surprise Opening in Bearfoot Bluegrass Band Draws Unlikely Applicants”

  1. georgiaray on November 4th, 2008 6:04 pm

    Bearfoot Announces Lineup Change
    Released Sept 20, 2008

    Bearfoot, the popular acoustic band from Alaska, announced this week that Annalisa Tornfelt had regretfully stepped away from the band in order to spend more time with her family. As of September, Odessa Jorgensen, formerly of the Biscuit Burners, joined the band as a vocalist and fiddle player. The band will go back in the studio this winter for a 2009 release, and are in full swing with shows in Montana, Washington, Texas and Pennsylvania. For a complete schedule, see http://www.myspace.com/bearfootband

    Bearfoot originally got together as students at music camps in Alaska when the youngest was just 14. Amazingly, for such a young band, they became regular crowd favorites at prestigious festivals including Wintergrass, Grey Fox, Strawberry Festival, and seven consecutive years at RockyGrass. In 2001, the band gained notoriety by winning the Telluride Bluegrass band contest, joining the prestigious ranks of previous winners Dixie Chicks and Nickel Creek.

    Bearfoot took the chops honed by bluegrass into a freer form of acoustic music, and officially released Follow Me in the continental U.S in 2007 to critical acclaim;
    “Follow Me, prodigious musical prowess is matched with an obvious collective spirit of adventurousness, which is perhaps surpassed only by the shining, soaring harmonies.” (Popmatters.com)

    “Bearfoot is an egalitarian sort of band with a taste for switching things up. Mournful ballads give way to folksy three-part harmonies, which in turn make room for romping, bluegrass-instrumentals.” (The Boston Globe)

    California-born Odessa Jorgensen started classical training on the violin at age 4. She studied throughout her childhood and played in various ensembles — including the Young Peoples Chamber Orchestra — playing Carnegie Hall when she was just 13. In her late teens, she discovered acoustic music including bluegrass, old-time, Celtic and fiddle music. Jorgensen became so enamored of the genre, she packed her bag for Nashville and began studying with the wealth of acoustic musicians living there. In 2006, she joined The Biscuit Burners as a vocalist and fiddle player.

  2. eugene graham on August 23rd, 2008 3:33 am

    “Sure, everyone´s on something” says John Sillane, legendary Irish (Cork) singer. And while he mused that it was a pity that music wasn´t an olympic sport a Scottish colleague maintained that they´d never pass the drugs test?!

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