The Rogue Suspects at Callahan's Lodge
The Rogue Suspects' regular lineup is back together this weekend for two shows at Callahan's Lodge near Ashland. "The band does more than a 100 gigs a year," says bassist Greg Frederick. "Whenever a member needs time off to explore other projects, we call on a group of honorary Suspects to sit in with us."
The band's core players include Frederick, guitarist Dirk Price, drummer David Bolen, Dean Angermeier on keys, vocalist Shae Johnson and guitarist Jeff Pevar — when he's available.
Pevar is a hired gun whose career includes recording and touring stints with artists such as Crosby, Stills and Nash, Phil Lesh and Friends, Marc Cohn and countless others. Pevar will work with Ricky Lee Jones this summer when she tours the U.S. and Europe.
"Dirk manages an online music school, Dean is a private music teacher, David is a self-help author and Shae's been in Los Angeles recording demos. And we all know about Jeff's career ..., " Frederick says.
Frederick is an independent producer who's just finished work on three documentaries that will air this spring on PBS. Two of the films showcase the Oregon Caves National Monument and Oregon Caves Chateau in Southern Oregon. The other is a historical documentary for the City of Medford's 125th anniversary.
While filming the documentaries, Frederick and KOBI's Pilot Rock Productions videotaped Pevar performing in the Ghost Room of the national monument.
"We placed mics next to Jeff and around the cave to capture the ambient sounds of the cave," says Frederick. "We told Jeff to play what he heard and felt. He was so inspired that he wrote the music on the spot."
Pevar used a six-string and mandicello to create improvisational acoustic music to be used in Frederick's films. A DVD and CD project, tentatively titled "Music From the Caves," will be ready in May. See www.theroguesuspects.com or www.pevar.com.
Frederick and Price formed the Suspects 14 years ago. The original lineup included drummer Dave McClure, keyboard player David Swan and vocalist Brian Longley.
"The band's sound was bluesier then," says Frederick. "And Brian was a human jukebox."
Guitarist Joe Diehl, keyboard player Don Hariss and vocalist Bret Levick have become regular, first-call musicians with the band, along with horn players Rico Salas, Jim King and Gary Nelson.
"With Dirk and Joe on guitars, the band's groove takes a different direction," says Frederick. "It moves away from jazzy funk to sit squarely in the blues. And Don is more of a rocker than Dean."
With Pevar at the helm this weekend at Callahan's, the shows are sure to feature guitar-driven rock, blues and funk.