Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

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By Micah Drew

Homegrown Montana Bands Play the Bob Marshall


SEELEY LAKE - Bands are coming from as far as the Atlantic Coast to play at the Bob Marshall Music Festival. The Pathfinder reached out to a couple of bands that only have to travel down a highway or two to get here.

Matt Strachan and the Hoot Owls

Helena-based country rocker. Matt Strachan has been part of the music scene for the last 13 years. He has played solo gigs and as part of various ensembles around Montana and the country. His current ensemble, the Hoot Owls, released their latest album in October.

The Pathfinder spoke to Strachan ahead of the festival.

A few fun facts:

— Going solo versus playing in a band: “When I’m doing solo stuff, there is more of a story behind the song,” Strachan said. “The Hoot Owls—all of them are incredibly talented musicians, so a lot of the stuff I do by myself doesn’t really play over.”

— The band was originally called the Hard Arnold Palmers

— The last album, Tickets, was picked up by the publication Music Connection and Matt was awarded a spot as the Unsigned Artist of the Week.

— Strachan has a family cabin in Seeley Lake. His next album will be named Dogtown in honor of that.

Sean Eamon

Thirty-three-year-old journalist-cum-musician Sean Eamon is traveling from his hometown and current residence in Butte, Mont. The Pathfinder caught up with him ahead of the festival to learn some fast facts.

— Eamon worked as a journalist for nine years, five as the sports editor for the Montana Standard.

— His current day job is as a recreational therapist aid at Montana State Hospital.

— His music has been called “songs of whiskey, sin and redemption.”

— His sound has changed over the years —“The strongest liquid on the next album is coffee,” Eamon said.

— He considers himself more of an indoors person—but has been known to “cast some bait in a body of water on occasion.”


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