Spirit Lake
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Spirit Lake

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
Band Rock Americana




"Spirit Lake @ Doug Fir"

Spirit Lake finally came to the stage to celebrate its EP release, of Between Me and the Mountain. The lead singer Travis Ferguson's often manic yells mixed well with the band's furious tempos. The drummer himself was the force that orchestrated the band's often flailing movements, the sound pulling blues and rustic roots rock from thin air. The ferocious guitar work kept things primal enough for the crowd to feel the urgency of the songs. When Ferguson did his best Dave Grohl scream, as the afroed bassist laid down a thick groove, we all felt the fever that fueled these tunes. Head over to the band's CD Baby to grab the new EP. - BePortland

"Spirit Lake: Friday, Oct. 19 Taking the Oregon Trail to blues-rock nirvana."

[PSYCHEDELIC BLUES ROCK] Uncle Walker’s Amber Restorative, the debut LP from Portland quartet Spirit Lake, has a history far grander than that suggested by the group’s slight résumé.

The band first gained attention earlier this year with its inaugural EP, Between Me and the Mountain, a Black Keys-inflected mix of storm and swagger. Both Between Me and the Mountain and Uncle Walker’s sound like the result of at least a decade’s worth of artistic trial and error—which, as it turns out, is pretty much the truth.

“Me and [bass player Adam Anderson] ended up forming a band called Marigold in 1995,” says Spirit Lake’s lead singer-guitarist Travis Ferguson. “There was one summer where we were doing 19 shows a month. And that wasn’t even touring.”

Marigold, a Brit-pop project since lost to the passage of time, enjoyed a sizable moment in the sun near the turn of the century. In addition to garnering praise from Everclear and the Dandy Warhols, Marigold attracted the attention of Outpost and DreamWorks Records, both major-label subsidiaries under the almighty aegis of recording industry mogul David Geffen.

“Michael Goldstone, the head of A&R [at Outpost], flew up to Springfield with us and hung out in my parents’ garage while we played a show,” Ferguson says. “He took us out to IHOP.”

The band eventually signed with Outpost, though it found the pressures of major-label existence creatively stifling. When the rise of Napster and the record industry’s subsequent panic placed Marigold’s debut on permanent hiatus, Ferguson was relieved.

“By that point,” he says, “it was less, ‘I want to be on a major label and be a big rock star,’ and more, ‘I want to explore music for a while.’”

After Marigold called it quits in 2002, Ferguson moved to Portland and embarked on a period of creative wanderlust, dabbling in prog-rock and eventually returning to his initial obsession with the blues, rock and country.

Spirit Lake, which came together in the spring of 2009, combines its members’ love for the Rolling Stones and Gram Parsons with their history of crafting arena-size pop-rock.

Uncle Walker’s Amber Restorative adds emotive sturm und drang to the band’s building blocks of Delta blues and early Americana. Songs like “High Desert Saints” touch on the migratory struggles that defined the Oregon Territory nearly two centuries ago, while “My My My” provides a cowpoke’s reinterpretation of the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.”

“With Uncle Walker’s, it was like, ‘I want to write a story,’” Ferguson says. “The perseverance of the human spirit came into play, the idea of the Westward expansion and the Oregon Trail—the idea of just striving to survive.”

That’s a theme with which Ferguson should be intimately familiar. Having persevered beyond a major-label boom and bust, as well as a subsequent decade of stylistic meandering, his artistic Promised Land is finally within sight. - Willamette Week

"Spirit Lake, Hawkeye, Souvenir Driver (9 pm); Eric D. Johnson, Run On Sentence, mBilly (3 pm)"

[BOUNTY O' SONGS] Wow, busy day at the Doug Fir, huh? One could hypothetically get there around 3 pm for barbecue on the patio, stick around for Run On Sentence and new Eric D. Johnson of the Fruit Bats (a band whose great new album, Tripper, seems to travel through the decades in search of its muse) and the Shins (which just played a sold-out show here). When the outdoor shows are done, we recommend grab some dinner and beers before heading downstairs for the rock ’n' roll show. Spirit Lake's new EP, Between Me and the Mountain, is a much-needed shot of wailing rock (think of the Black Keys hanging out with Exile on Main Street-era Stones, but with just a pinch of woodsy pre-grunge fare for good measure) in Portland's all-too-precious arm. Frontman Travis Ferguson has been around the block a few times with his previous band the Days (drummer Brian Head is still onboard) and his formative group, Marigold, but this one is a little more raw and moody, and it's a good look.

Casey Jarman - Willamette Week


EP: Between Me and the Mountain
1) the dirty thirty
2) vs. the steam hammer
3) forty nights
4) the town that i died in
5) boom boom
all tracks are available through various digital/streaming distributors.

LP: Uncle Walker's Amber Restorative
1)Peace Maker
2)My My My
3)Hold Your Own
4)High Desert Saints
5)Lakota Warchiefs
6)Black Beauty
7)Golden Kush
8)Beat the Devil (out of it)
10)Walk Back to L.A.



spirit lake is not a band. it is life. it is experience. it is soul. it is the urge to keep moving forward. to live. every breath is to fill the lungs. to bring life to the body. every sound is to fill the ear. to bring life to the soul. coursing through the veins they vibrate. strings plucked/struck by being alive. this is communication at it's base. catharsis. joy. fear. love. urgency. purpose. it is from the earth. the soil. of the dirt beneath your feet. moving you. it cries out to be set free. trekking through the wilderness. the unknown. to find the known. the essential. the innate. it speaks to the good. to the bad. it's dirty. it's slow. not there. yet you feel it. the body moves. heavy and deep. the seas have no depth. it is in you. throughout. the sites are vivid. clear. to big to be seen. you have to touch you have to believe. the perseverance of humanity. a culmination of lives. we have a right to know that we are strong. powerful. the truth cannot be denied when all hear it. we will not let them obscure. our sound permeates. stays with you. we do this not because we can, this is not an easy path, but because we must. we are driven. of all things, and of one goal. to raise humanity up. to shout in the face of ignorance with civility and truth. we are alive. and among the living. we forge our existence as one. waves beating the shore shaping our landscape. crashing sounds. oh the comfort of sound. of the waves. the vibrations of our strings. we move together.