Blinded by the bluegrass Black Prairie

As we mentioned yesterday, the annual Wintergrass bluegrass festival is one of our top picks for this weekend —and the four-day banjo binge just got more interesting. String band Black Prairie, which includes three-fifths of the Decemberists, is playing a double header tonight at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue: a happy hour concert at 5:45, and the last show of the night at 11:10. Tickets are available at the door, and according to Wintergrass’s Facebook page, there were still plenty of Friday passes available as of this morning.

Black Prairie spun off from the Portland folk-rock band in early 2007, when guitarist Chris Funk decided he wanted to spend more time with his square-necked dobro guitar. (Why does this sound like a sketch in Portlandia?) Funk, bassist Nate Query, and accordionist Jenny Conlee teamed up with Portland musicians Annalisa Tornfelt (violin) and Jon Neufeld (guitar), and released their debut album of mostly instrumental bluegrass, Feast of the Hunter’s Moon, in 2010. They’re planning to cut a new record in April, and will debut a few new songs tonight.

Before you go: Know that the 520 bridge will be closed Friday, February 24, 11pm through Monday, February 27, 5am.

Wintergrass Bluegrass Festival
Feb 23–26, Hyatt Regency, Bellevue, $35–$140

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