Bluegrass inspired folk rock jams — it’s a formula that has defined the personality and character of the Alder Street All-Stars. The very conception of the group was an organic process. Unlike many bands, the All-Stars originally came together to fill a slot at a benefit concert held at the Campbell Club Student Cooperative. They didn’t set out on a grand mission to be the next big thing, but rather they came together to benefit someone else, and ended up finding an outlet that became widely successful.
“It’s bluegrass-inspired, if you look up bluegrass online comparatively we’re not traditional,” said Chris Kelley, who plays banjo. More precisely, it’s a collection of different musical inspirations played on bluegrass instruments.
In terms of Eugene, the All-Stars enjoy a fairly large following among the community. “The folk scene in Eugene has been pretty big over the last few years, bands like the Conjugal Visitors were our inspirations back in the day,” Kelley said.
However, it’s more than just the folk rock community — the Eugene music scene in general has been advantageous to the All-Stars. “Not only playing at shows and having at least somebody there to watch you, but also to be able to connect with other musicians has been the best part,” Kelley said.
Over the past few months, the All-Stars have been focusing on making music. However, this month the All-Stars are returning to regularly scheduled shows in the Eugene area. “If we didn’t play shows and have people come out and dance we wouldn’t be doing this,” Kelley said. But the focus remains the same: to provide an outlet for the musicians and to just enjoy making music.
Now, with new songs ready for trial on the stage, the All-Stars are back in their normal groove. The bluegrass inspired jams will flow out from stages once again in the same organic process it always has over the years. “The music speaks for itself,” Kelley said.
The Alder Street All-Stars will play at the Campbell Club on Friday night and an acoustic set on Sunday night at Sam Bond’s Garage.