The band’s lineup has changed some throughout the years.
Founding members John April and Jim Honeyman have stayed steady, but Badger Mountain Dry Band has seen well over a dozen other musicians rotate through.
That’s not because of discord or drama, but instead the band’s unusual longevity.
It marks its 25th anniversary this year.
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“It’s the silver anniversary, it’s a milestone. On our 25th anniversary, my wife and I went on a cruise. You always do something,” April told the Herald.
He and his Badger Mountain cohorts plan a show April 30 in Richland to celebrate the band’s quarter century making music.
They’ll play from 5 to 8 p.m. at Emerald of Siam, 1314 Jadwin Ave. There’s no cover.
Badger Mountain Dry Band makes its own brand of progressive bluegrass/Americana music. That means its set lists contain everything from traditional string tunes to songs by The Beatles, performed with a bluegrass twist.
The current lineup includes April on vocals, banjo, guitar and dobro; Honeyman on vocals and mandolin; Mike Zabel on standup bass; Shawn Hughes on guitar, mandolin and violin; and Curt Fields on guitar.
Hughes said he likes the improvisational nature of the music.
For Fields, it’s the chance to play the music he loves with other skilled musicians.
It’s fun, he said.
Badger Mountain Dry Band makes its own brand of progressive bluegrass/Americana music.
Zabel agreed. “It’s a kind of a fellowship that’s hard to describe. You’re communicating with a bunch of other guys on a totally different level. The sum of it is always more than the parts. For me, it’s sort of a spiritual thing. It’s a gift. Being able to do this and have this kind of fun with these kind of people — it’s a gift,” he said.
In its 25 years, Badger Mountain Dry Band has played countless shows, from regular local gigs to big stages such as the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle.
The band’s name doesn’t have anything to do with alcohol. Years ago, April was at a dinner party, telling a European friend about his music.
He described it as acoustic. The friend responded, “Oh yes, dry music.”
That was the friend’s term for the unplugged sound, and it stuck.
April said it’s meaningful to him to reach the 25-year mark.
An engineer by trade, he describes himself as a “hyper person,” saying that playing in the band “keeps me from going out and robbing banks.”
He means that it’s something to pour himself into. It’s something he loves.
The band’s name doesn’t have anything to do with alcohol.
The others seem to love it too.
The music. The bandmates. The fact that Badger Mountain Dry Band has a long history — one measured in decades.
“It sounds corny, but it’s the circle unbroken. It’s like there’s this thread that goes back,” Zabel said. “There’s a tradition and heritage the band has, and it’s been strung through (the years).”
For more information, go to www.facebook.com/BadgerMountainBluegrass.
IF YOU GO
What: Badger Mountain Dry Band’s 25th anniversary show
When: 5 to 8 p.m. April 30
Where: Emerald of Siam, 1314 Jadwin Ave.