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Michigan Rattlers

Lifelong friends and deep-north natives playing heavy hearted folk-rock

Michigan Rattlers

Mission Spotlight (Album Release!)

Thu, November 15

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Doug Fir Lounge

Portland, OR

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is 21 and over

Michigan Rattlers
Michigan Rattlers
Lifelong friends and deep-north natives, musical group Michigan Rattlers play heavy- hearted folk-rock with an aching dose of Midwestern nice. Graham Young (guitar), Adam Reed (upright bass), and Christian Wilder (piano) began writing music and performing together in their Northern Michigan high school.

“Petoskey is a small place. Beautiful, but secluded. It’s hard to start a musical career in a place where there are more deer than people.”

Still, they regularly played every bar, cafe, and stage in town, developing a musical
chemistry informed by the likes of AC/DC, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Seger, and more.

After a few years apart, Reed and Young settled down in Los Angeles, recorded a short demo, and began playing locally. The demo found its way into the hands of super-producer Johnny K (Plain White T's, 3 Doors Down), and they cut the bulk of their first EP at NRG Studios in just one day.

"My favorite music is recorded that way," continues Reed. "You get in a room, plug in, and cut songs live. The energy of the recording comes directly from the physical performance, and it puts the listener into that specific time and place."

This self-titled Michigan Rattlers EP attracted glowing reviews from No Depression, Bluegrass Situation, B3 Science, and Rolling Stone, who named the band one of their “Ten New Country Artists You Need To Know” in 2016. They spent the rest of that year and much of the next touring in support of this release.

In September 2017, Pianist Christian Wilder was added to the band’s lineup. Now a trio, the group headed into the studio to record their newest EP, Wasting the Meaning. Comprised of three cover songs, the project was conceived as a way to explore deeper into the recording process and pay homage to some of their favorite songwriters.

Currently, the group is hard at work recording their first full-length release. It is slated for release in the summer of 2018.
Mission Spotlight (Album Release!)
Mission Spotlight (Album Release!)
"Their high-and-lonesome country sound is easy on the ears while it tugs at the heartstrings."
- Portland Mercury

"Mission Spotlight has crafted a modern soundtrack suited for the American West, and it feels pretty damn sincere."

-Willamette Week

After escaping a dry, fundamentalist town in eastern Washington, three of the members of Mission Spotlight moved to the big city (Portland, Ore.) where they met two bourbon-drinking atheists who would help them fulfill their dream of starting a country/indie/folk band.

The band’s sound is built around singer/songwriter Kurt Foster’s baritone voice.

Foster grew up in the church in Southern California. His musical education was a mix of hymns, Joy Division on the radio, and the Buck Owens and Gram Parsons songs family friend and country musician Jann Browne taught him.

After moving to the Northwest in 1990 and playing in several indie rock bands, Foster’s divorce helped him find focus in the stories he wanted to tell in his music.

Once the alcohol haze of those years lifted, Mission Spotlight was born. The band explores the classic country and western themes of love and loss and mixes them with the post-punk rock sounds they grew up on. Sad stories, soaring vocal melodies and dramatic guitar hooks. It’s more Magnolia Electric Company than George Jones.

Mission Spotlight performs regularly at the Pacific Northwest’s finest venues. They have been privileged to play with greats like Sturgill Simpson, American Aquarium, and Lindi Ortega. The band’s first two albums (Everything That Floats and Keep The Good Ones Close) were recorded with the legendary Larry Crane at Jackpot! Studios.

Mission Spotlight’s newest album (Remember The Time) finds the band collaborating with one of their musical heroes, Jason Lytle (Grandaddy). The band met Lytle through mutual friend Howe Gelb and quickly bonded over a love of the wilderness and early country music.

The new album (coming in Sept. 2018) was recorded at Lytle’s home studio in Modesto, Calif. and The Map Room in Portland.