By Kurtis Gosney, Extreme Alaska
If anybody was looking for some local bluegrass to spend their Thursday night listening to, they would have found it at the pub on the UAF campus where the Dry Cabin String Band was playing. Roughly 60 people showed up to watch this Fairbanks-based band play for over two hours. From fast-paced, up-beat songs to slow ones, they gave listeners and viewers a local version of bluegrass.
According to acoustic guitarist Adam Owen, the band began taking form in the mid-1980’s when he and now-banjo player Ken Spiers started playing together. Then, in 1998, the band would officially form in Fairbanks as the Dry Cabin String Band with Owen playing the acoustic guitar, Spiers at the banjo, and one other member on the mandoline.
This band, however, has seen plenty of change since 1998. According to Owen, one former member of the band, Dan Ison, shot himself at the parking lot at the Pump House in 2008.
“It was very sad,” said Owen. “It was a hard time for all of us.”
Since then, fiddle player Rachel Detemple and bass player Steve Heckman have been added to replace their predecessors. This version of the Dry Cabin String Band, according to Owen, has played at many weddings in the past as well as the Deltana Fair in Delta Junction. This is not the first time, however, that they have played at the pub.
“We’ve played at the pub several times in the past,” Owen said. “This is just the first time for this group.”
This June, the band plans to perform at the Chickenstock music festival in Chicken, Alaska.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Owen said. “Great music and a great celebration.”
According to his wife, Bonnie Owen, Adam graduated at UAF with a bachelor’s degree in geoscience in 1991, another bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1991, and a master’s degree in environmental engineering in 1989.