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Irish bluegrass stars We Banjo 3 play PAC Oct. 5

David and Ronnie Norton For the second time in three weeks, the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts will host an internationally acclaimed bluegrass quartet. However, that’s where the similarities between last week’s performers, Che Apalache, and We Banjo 3 end. Formed in the small coastal town of Galway, Ireland, We Banjo 3 is what happens when two sets of prodigal brothers get together to play music. “We started off in Irish music—there’s a huge culture of Irish music back home and it’s a huge part of our cultural identity,” explains the band’s banjo player, Martin Howley. But how does an Irishman become interested in a musical genre largely associated with middle-America? According to H

Portland rockers Ayla Ray return home to celebrate release of debut album

Dressed in layers of differing shades of black clothing, large headphones around their necks and bold haircuts highlighting their decidedly carrot-colored hair, Sam Tenhoff and Raven Wilson-Boles are anything but ordinary. But they are just fine with not fitting into a prescribed mold. “When we were 12, Raven and I used to have barbarian dinners where we’d dress up in furs and eat with our hands and end up throwing food at each other,” explains Tenhoff. “Mmmm, a Cornish hen,” adds Wilson-Boles as he shoots Tenhoff a knowing look. Maybe Sam Tenhoff and Raven Wilson-Boles didn’t have the most normal of childhoods, but at least it wasn’t devoid of magic. “Since we were kids, we always dreamed o

Latin Bluegrass: Che Apalache ain't your mammy and pappy's fiddle music

As a child, North Carolina-native Joe Troop was infatuated with the Spanish language. That passion followed him to college and then to Seville, Spain. While there, he became immersed in southern Spanish culture and was inspired by the culture’s vibrancy. “I found the culture so different and fascinating. Amazingly, it wasn’t puritan—the people had different world views and idiosyncrasies, and it was wonderful,” recalls Troop. Although ensconced in Spanish culture, Troop soon found himself deep within an expat community of Argentinians who fled their country during the wake of Argentina’s Great Depression. Lasting from 1998 – 2002, the economic depression caused a default on the country’s for

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