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Thursday, August 24, 2017
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Duplicitous, the wilderness speaks half-truths; it calls and goes silent. The Jackalope Saints' stories are similarly mysterious. From the experience of singer-songwriter Clinton Herrick, the Saints' music preaches the folklore of Wild America. Herrick's imagery is elemental-wind and stone, bone and dust-but the lyrical detail guards more than it reveals. Sun-bleached teeth and a shadowed gunshot grow large in the listener's mind. The imagery, however, only distracts from questions of substance: who, when, and where? But these are tall tales, ghost stories, the true experience of which cannot be found in fact.
Herrick has been drawn to this folkloric imagery since his youth.
"My Grandmother gave me a jackalope postcard when I was ten [years old] . . . It's still in my guitar case."
Traditionally associated with the American West, the mythical jackalope can mimic any sound. Cowboys around their campfires, echoes, would claim to hear the creatures singing songs back to them in the cowboys' own voices. It is these uniquely American legends that continue to fascinate Herrick and inspire the Saints' music.
"Americana explorations come to life with a musical support group of banjos, mandolins, fiddles, slide guitar, and more, echoing the gritty wilds of the once-unknown West. The band's live shows are bona fide hootenannies."
~RYAN J. PRADOThe Portland Mercury
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