Never Strangers creatively blends threads of American folk, bluegrass, old time, country, and gospel traditions into a compelling and uniquely Northwest sound.
Five musicians bring 6 instruments, 34 strings, and four voices together into a rich, soulful sound, inspired by their Pacific Northwest home region. Listeners are drawn to the power of their varied voices, as each sings lead or the three weave together in harmony. Their music ranges from upbeat and danceable to slow and heartfelt.
Since coming together in a foggy cedar grove at the Slab Creek Music Festival on the Oregon Coast in 2004, the band has matured into a tight knit unit whose love of the music is palpable and infectious. With Frank O’Brien adding driving guitar and vocals, Ben Davis on vocals, guitar, mandolin, and banjo, and Peter Hayes rounding the mix out with vocals, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, and guitar, Never Strangers are a well known element in the ever evolving NW Oregon acoustic music scene.
Never Strangers' repertoire is inspired by the example of such legendary genre blenders as Tim O'Brien, Crooked Still, John Hartford, The Wailin' Jennys, Bob Dylan, Doc Watson, and Emmy Lou Harris.
Never Strangers' CDs, "Wayfaring" (2012) and The Going Street Sessions (2017) showcase original songs as well as creative interpretations of songs that were old when steamboats were the newest thing on the Columbia River.
Equally at home in a quiet concert, rowdy pub, festival stage, farmers market, or a community celebration, Never Strangers measures success by their ability to bring spirit and life to important community events through the addition of engaging, live music.
Recent venues include:
Skyline Tavern, McMenamins Pubs at Kennedy School, Old Church, Grand Lodge, Gearhart; SE Portland's Muddy Rudder Pub, Alberta Street Pub, the historic Butteville Store Saturday Suppers, Portland's Downtown PSU Farmers' Markets, Wallowa County's Terminal Gravity Brew Pub, Mutiny Brew Pub and a wide range of private events.
Vocals, Mandolin, Guitar / Ben Davis
Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo/ Peter Hayes
Vocals, Mandolin, Guitar / Frank O'Brien
Bass/ Bill Uhlig
Fiddle and Vocals/ Sophie Bloch Miller