Idaho Green primes for biggest gig yet

2014-04-24T09:15:00Z Idaho Green primes for biggest gig yetBy JACI WEBB The Billings Gazette

Imagine if someone took a sledgehammer to Paul Simon’s record collection.

That might capture some of the anger behind the pop and garage rock that Idaho Green can cook up. The band is based in Billings and Missoula, consisting of five Senior High buddies who have been jamming together since their freshman year of high school. On their first outing, they called themselves Farley Moore and Guthrie Brown was their singer.

Brown is now heading up an alt-country band in Nashville, but the other five players are still rocking house parties and the occasional club gig. Their biggest show yet is an opening slot at the Railyard Ale House for Peelander-Z Saturday, April 26. The 21-and-older show starts at 9 p.m.

Austin Finn provides vocals and plays guitar, and his brother Jordan plays drums. Fellow Billings musician Caleb Addy plays guitar, and two University of Montana musicians — bassist Phil Griffin and trombonist Dan Redinger — complete the lineup.

Austin came up with the name of the band, taking it from a character in an O. Henry short story.

“I thought it sounded cool,” he said.

Austin said he was listening to a lot of Paul Simon in the early days of the group, but the band was also influenced by “aggressive pop and garage rock, if that makes sense,” he said.

It makes perfect sense when you watch the video of “I Don’t Like Your Facebook Page.” Lyrics are hard, yelling jibberish into the microphone comes easier. Austin said he tries not to overthink the lyrics so he usually “writes about boring stuff like girls.” Addy wrote an original song, “Cherokee Nation,” that they’ll refine for Saturday’s show. They like to showcase one cover song at every show. They’re working on the Beach Boys’ “Help Me Rhonda.”

“We like to get silly,” Austin said.

His latest hero: Otis Redding.

“He could only go like 20 minutes and then those guys are just exhausted. I try to make shows like that. I think if I’m not drenched in sweat at the end of the show, it wasn’t good,” Austin said.

A winter tour of the Midwest convinced the members of Idaho Green that they should look into summer touring instead. They played a gig in Michigan on New Year’s when it was 20 below zero and drove through blizzards on their way home.

In June and July, Idaho Green is planning a five-week tour, performing at venues in Seattle and Los Angeles and then looping through New Orleans and Chicago.

Copyright 2015 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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