Sequim band hits the road for tour thanks to online fundraising push
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Sequim’s Estafets, from left, Annie Voorhies, Jordan Voorhies and Jesse Dendez, have left on a crowdfunded tour of the American west in a 1995 GMC Vandura. — Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM –– With funding from their friends and fans, an armed band has set out from the North Olympic Peninsula on a month-long excursion to conquer the American west.

“Are we armed? With guitars,” proclaimed guitarist and vocalist Annie Voorhies of the Estafets.

The Estafets hope the tour lives up to the band’s name, which is a French term for a military courier.

“We’ve kind of mixed and mashed a whole bunch of styles into this new angle on rock and roll,” drummer Jesse Dendez said.

“I think that’s what we bring with us.”

Jordan Voorhies, Annie’s husband, plays bass to round out the 4-year-old trio.

Boosting their mission was funding from friends on the Peninsula, who kicked in $1,677 to the Indiegogo online fundraising push the band issued to help pay for gas and food as they speed through the mountains, plains and deserts starting today.

“We were expecting to get, like a couple hundred dollars,” Annie Voorhies said.

“Then it just kind of took off. It was really shocking.”

Their mission takes them in a 1995 GMC Vanduro on a week-long burn through the midwest to Houston, where they will play the Super Happy Fun Land club Friday, with shows scheduled in several states along the way.

They return along the southern border, cruising west through Texas, New Mexico and Arizona to the San Diego suburb of Excondido and then up the Pacific coast.

The tour ends at the Twilight Cafe and Bar in Portland, Ore., on Sept. 20.

Along the way, they plan to play with other bands they enjoy.

Annie Voorhies said she is particularly looking forward to playing with the all-girl punk outfit The Beat Dolls at Club 1808 in Austin, Texas.

This is the third, and most likely most pleasant tour for the Estafets, as they are equipped with the Vanduro’s plush captain chairs and back-door mounted bottle opener.

Previous tours included a minivan with a trailer — “driving trailers sucks,” Annie Voorhies said — and an old cargo van with folding chairs and a child-sized bench seat.

“This is going to be so much better than riding on that spare tire,” Jordan Voorhies said.

They plan to hone their tongue-in-cheek combat skills throughout the month-long tour.

“You could work up your right arm so you could throw drum sticks that will pierce armor,” Annie Voorhies told Dendez.

“We’re going to have many hours to practice.”

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: August 31. 2014 8:52PM
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