Sequim-area band FarmStrong will celebrate its third CD with a release party and two concerts Saturday at the historic Dungeness Schoolhouse. (FarmStrong)

Sequim-area band FarmStrong will celebrate its third CD with a release party and two concerts Saturday at the historic Dungeness Schoolhouse. (FarmStrong)

FarmStrong to throw bash for its new CD this Saturday

SEQUIM — For bluegrass/Americana band FarmStrong, it’s not so much about swaggering instrumental arrangements or guitar picking techniques.

“It’s about reaching people with song,” band member and singer/guitarist Cort Armstrong said.

The lyrics of Bryan Bower’s “Friend for Life” epitomizes the theme of FarmStrong’s new album: “When you learn a song, you’ve got a friend for life.”

If those words speak to you, plan to reunite with old friends and make new ones this weekend.

The Sequim-area band will release its third CD, “Don’t Go Down That Road,” at two concerts in the historic Dungeness Schoolhouse, 2741 Towne Road, on Saturday at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets for both shows cost $15 and can be purchased at www.brownpaper A 90-minute social mixer between concerts allows audience members to meet with the band.

The new album will be available for purchase at the concerts for a discounted rate of $10 (ordinarily $15).

Sequim Museum &Arts will host the event. It’s a fitting partnership (and venue choice), considering the museum’s 19th-century photo of the Dungeness Valley appears on the CD’s cover.

Like Bower’s iconic track, the album celebrates song in the truest sense of the word, Armstrong said. Brand frontman Jim Faddis’ rendition of the song will appear on the CD, as well as his own originals.

The band aims to make song lovers of all who listen, even if it’s a track they’ve heard countless times.

“We might have known a song for a long time, but if it’s well-written, you can crack off another layer of the onion every time it’s played and experience a deeper relationship with that song,” Armstrong said.

At least once every show, a fan approaches the band to express how a particular song spoke to his or her story, Armstrong said. He recalled a woman at an eastern Oregon concert who felt like “One More Ride” uniquely applied to the story of her father’s death. The next time FarmStrong played in Oregon, the band recognized the woman among the crowd.

“She had this singular experience with the song,” he said. “That’s how we get a lot of our fans.”

In addition to “Friend for Life” and the album’s title track, you’ll find a “diverse songbag” comprising the CD’s titles, ranging from John Prine and Kate Wolf to 1950s and ’60s classics by the likes of the Coasters, the Temptations and Crosby, Stills and Nash, he said.

FarmStrong began in 2013 as a collaboration between Faddis and Armstrong but quickly expanded into an acoustic quartet with the addition of Rick Meade (dobro/vocals) and John Plyes (bass).

FarmStrong recorded “Don’t Go Down That Road” in late March, but the band has been reflecting upon the relationship between song and listener for some time now. It’s what inspires each song line, Armstrong said.

“When we’re going through everyday, mundane stuff that’s so difficult, when you learn songs and experience songs — that’s what gets you through it,” Armstrong said. “That’s kind of been a motto for us.”


Reporter Sarah Sharp can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or at ssharp@peninsula

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