PORT ANGELES — Just like the lead singer’s voice, this band soared, high and fast and across the Northwest. They played their signature blend of frolicsome folk, bluegrass, traditionals and originals in parks, bars, theaters and festivals, little and large.
But now they’re just about finished.
Abby Mae & the Homeschool Boys, the foursome that gave Led Zeppelin an Appalachian sound, has a few final gigs before the members go their separate ways. And to cap off their life as a band, they have a new album on the horizon — provided $3,000 can be raised in 30 days.
The campaign starts today — which happens to be 3/30 — on Kickstarter.com, the Internet-based fundraising platform favored by artists around the world. Abby Mae & the Homeschool Boys are now seeking pledges of $10 on up to $1,000 toward production of their third record, to include “Strip It Down,” “Run Away Ladies,” “Cindy,” “Twenty-Eight Red Golden Apples Dance,” “I’ve Endured” and more to be announced.
Depending on pledge amount, each supporter will receive a digital download of the album, a signed copy of the CD, a copy of Abby Mae’s previous record “Wade in the Water,” a DVD of the band’s performances or all of the above.
And for the top-flight pledge of $1,000, the Homeschool Boys will even compose and record a personalized song on a topic of the donor’s choice — “as long as it’s wholesome,” said David Rivers, the band’s guitarist-banjo player-backup singer.
Details, songs and videos are at Kickstarter.com as well as AbbyMaeandtheHomeschoolBoys.com and on the group’s Facebook page.
The quartet plans to go into Jeremy Cays’ Sequim studio to record this next album, Rivers said. Meantime, there are Port Angeles show dates through the spring, including:
■ The final CD fundraising party — free admission, donations accepted — Friday, April 13, at Wine on the Waterfront, upstairs in The Landing Mall at 115 E. Railroad Ave.;
■ The Five Acre School benefit barn dance April 21;
■ A concert with the Bellingham band Nettle Honey and local duo Witherow & Gibson on May 4 at Studio Bob, 118 1/2 E. Front St.;
■ Two shows, one on the Chamber Stage and one “after hours” performance at the Port Angeles CrabHouse Restaurant on May 25 during the Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts.
June will be quiet in terms of shows, but then the final CD release party is set for July 20 in Port Angeles.
And since Abby Mae and the band had already booked the Bainbridge Island Bluegrass Festival on July 28 before deciding to disband, that looks to be their swan song.
The reason for this ending is fourfold.
Fiddler Joey Gish is headed for Western Washington University in Bellingham this fall; bassist Hayden Pomeroy is applying to colleges in Bellingham and Alaska; singer Abby Latson plans a musical project with her boyfriend, Dillan Witherow; and Rivers will continue his exploration of old-time and bluegrass music.
“It’s been a crazy ride for all of us, and we’ll never be able to truly express how grateful we are,” Rivers said.
Abby Mae & the Homeschool Boys went from packed bars and auditoriums in Port Angeles to throngs at the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle and Wintergrass in Bellevue. These past two years have, as Rivers puts it, been a “dream come true.”
Were it not for the people who fell for Abby Mae’s music, “we’d still be playing in our living rooms. But since the beginning, everyone has lifted us up, cheered us on and drove us to such joy and success, it’s really unbelievable,” he said.
But as tightly as the ensemble plays together, life is pulling the four in differing directions.
“We’re all young people,” Latson said, “and [we] all have so many dreams and aspirations for our lives.”
She and Rivers are the senior members of the band — though just 23 and 26 respectively.
“It’s time we go out and explore other things,” Latson added.
For her part, Latson and Witherow envision Standing on Shoulders, an acoustic duo to play originals in the country and folk veins. They’ve already been writing songs together; influences include the Civil War and the duo of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova in the movie “Once.”
Latson looks forward to recording an album this spring and debuting it in August.
“We’re really excited to show it to everyone,” she said.
As for Abby Mae & the Homeschool Boys’ forthcoming album, the band members want it to be a parting gift for their community of fans. They hope, of course, that it will be a lasting piece of the “youthful exuberance,” as Rivers has called it, that brought them together.“It’s always been my hope,” added Latson, “that we could get a message of hope and joy out . . . and I think to some degree, we’ve achieved that. I’ve loved every moment.”