Northern Departure in Sound Off!

We heard yesterday from Chris Luquette, guitarist with Northern Departure, a young bluegrass band based in Seattle.

They were chosen this past weekend as finalists in a music competition called Sound Off!, or as it is also known, the Battle of the Underage Bands. Now in its 10th year, the even is sponsored by the Experience Music Project and is open only to northwestern bands comprised of musicians under the age of 21.

Chris tells us that Northern Departure was not only the only bluegrass band, but also the only acoustic group in a field of 138 acts, most of them rock or indie-rock. All competitors must perform original music, and are judged on musicianship, originality and audience reaction.

Well done guys! Let’s hope to hear more good news after the finals are held on March 5.

Here are a couple of videos of these talented Seattle grassers at work.

You can also hear their studio recording of Take Off, a kickin’ banjo tune, on the Sound Off! web site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.