By Zoie Koostra
Pathfinder 

Missoula Band Brings Fellowship to Festival

 

Zoie Koostra, Pathfinder

Chris and Callie Woodman performing with Good Old Fashioned in Ovando Friday, June 15.

SEELEY LAKE - Missoula-based band Good Old Fashioned is returning to the Bob Marshall Music Festival this year with the goal of using their music to help people connect with one another.

The band, which consists of husband and wife, Chris and Callie Woodman, Jeff McLain, Brody Klemer, a Seeley Lake native, and Adin Kloetzel, originally of Ovando, met on Wednesday, June 20 at the Woodman's home in Missoula to rehearse and talk about their history, influences and goals.

The group said their sound is difficult to describe, calling it a mix of bluegrass, folk, country and blues. After a brief consultation among themselves, they decided their musical style can be described as "acoustic roots music," but also agreed that the genre is not as important as the way their audiences feel about it.

"My goal in making music is just to bring people together and have people feel connected to each other and to the music," Callie said. "We try to make music that appeals to everybody and have the kind of gig where you can have a 2 year old and a 92 year old respond to your music."


"And even teenagers!" Chris added.

The group wants to create a sense that everyone on earth can be connected through music, and they want to make every person in the audience of each of their performances feel connected to one another.

The group's formation began when Callie and Chris met while they were both performing individually at the Farmers' Market in Missoula.

"I guess I made kind of an impression on her," Chris said. "She rolled up her number in a dollar bill and put it in my guitar case."

The two began performing as a duo, and after picking up and losing several members over time, the current group was formed in early 2018. Most of the band's members play more than one instrument.

Chris plays guitar and banjo and Callie sings and plays several rhythm instruments, she's even begun learning to play the bass. Jeff plays the resonator guitar, a guitar with a metal plate on the front that changes the sound and makes it louder. Brody sings and plays guitar and Adin plays piano and mandolin.

"Brody and Chris and I played together for a long time, just the three of us," Callie said. "And when Adin and Jeff started playing with us, the sound felt so much fuller that we could do more arrangements than we'd been able to do and that's been really fun."

Good Old Fashioned also has several other "part-time" members, who join the group when they are able. This includes Callie's sister Cece, a cellist, Riley Sladen on banjo and local fiddler Grace Decker.

The band plays a mixture of original songs and covers, and many of their originals are inspired by Montana and the outdoors. Chris frequently writes songs to the beat of walking or hiking and Klemer wrote a song inspired by the town of Seeley Lake, which he offered to play numerous times, eventually making good on the promise by the end of the band's rehearsal.


"Seeley Lake has a lot of influence on my life," Brody said. "I had some really great parent-figures there. Including my own parents, Susan Baker and Ward Klemer, and non-parental parent figures that were awesome as well. I love Seeley and I respect it for everything it's given my personality and my character."

The song, called "Bar Song," was inspired by Brody's nostalgia for small town life, which has grown stronger since he moved to Missoula and especially since he started dealing with the city's traffic, he joked.

The band shares more than what inspires their music as well. The reason each member plays music and the way each member appreciates it is something they have in common.

"We all have a similar worldview, and a similar sense of the oneness that binds humans together," Jeff said.

"We connect on musical taste, for sure," Brody added. "That's the big one. We care about and appreciate musicianship in the same exact ways. We lean the same way politically, but you know, who cares? That doesn't really matter."

The group can be goofy but they are still serious about their performances.

"We're all easy-going and appreciate making really good music. There's a balance between easy-going fun and also wanting it to be really good," Callie said.

Good Old Fashioned is returning to the Bob Marshall Music Festival this year for the third time, and they say the festival is one of their favorite places to play because of the unconventional way they get to perform and connect with the audience at the event.


Last year, the band was scheduled to perform behind the Filling Station but the near 100-degree weather made them decide to move the concert into the shade on the porch.

"It brought everyone into this small space like we were kind of playing in a living room of sorts," Chris said.

Brody appreciates the festival because of the friendly atmosphere and his desire to see his hometown embrace new things.

"The whole vibe about the festival was great," he said. "Everyone there was extremely pumped and extremely happy to be there. I like to see that town growing in musical ways."

Good Old Fashioned will begin performing at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 on the campground stage and continue to play all day between sets.

Zoie Koostra, Pathfinder

Brody Klemer and Adin Kloetzel play together during "Bar Song," which Brody was inspired to write based on the time he spent growing up in Seeley Lake.

 

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