Reinventing the Classics: Dirty Cello at the Greenway Show and Oberon’s Tavern
When one sees a band consisting of a cello, the fiddle, guitar, and drums, one might prepare themselves for some country folk or another type of americana music. If one went into a Dirty Cello show with that mentality, however, they’d need to be prepared for a far broader selection of the genre.
For two nights in a row––Oct. 14 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Show and Oberon’s Tavern the next night––Dirty Cello will be playing in Ashland. Lead vocalist and cellist Rebecca Roudman promises big things.
“With the unique sound of the lead cello, plus different but accessible arrangements of everyone’s favorite songs, we guarantee a show that gets toes tappin’, and leaves the audiences full of energy!” she says.
The band has toured three times in Europe and a number of times across the U.S. While its sound has been described as “funky, carnival, romantic, sexy, tangled, electric, fiercely rhythmic, and textured” by Lou Fancher of Oakland Magazine, Roudman’s musical experience is rooted in the classics. She’s played in the Santa Cruz Symphony, San Francisco Women’s Philharmonic, the Oakland Symphony, and Santa Rosa Symphony. All other members of the band are also classically trained, as well as writing and teaching music in addition to performing.
“After years of classical playing, it was time to branch out and let my hair down, which led me to form Dirty Cello,” she says. “With Dirty Cello, I try to take the sounds of lead guitars as you would hear them in blues and rock, and transmogrify them into a whole new sound for the cello.”
This year Dirty Cello released Road Trip, which not only solidifies the band’s myriad of genres, but also bears unique stories within it.
“What became practical was renting or exchanging for concerts some of the weirdest Airbnb’s in California,” says Roudman. “[Everything] from a yurt to a buffalo ranch, and then onto places like a log cabin, a stone cabin, and an airstream trailer. Each place we stayed we recorded a song on location inspired by where we were staying.”
Dirty Cello’s touring experience has shaped their music and allowed the band to adapt to so many different genres. They bring to each show an energy they hope to share with the audience.
“We always go into every performance with the same idea in mind: what would we want to hear as an audience member and how can we provide a short period of time where audiences can forget their troubles, kick back, and rock out with us?” says Roudman.
Judging by their wide net of genres and styles, the audience will be able to do just that.
7 pm Fri., October 14
Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Show, 15 S Pioneer St., Ashland
10:30 pm Sat., October 15
Oberon’s Tavern, 45 N Main St., Ashland