written by Stirling Myles | featured photo by Trav Williams
There’s a lot of noise coming from Bend, and the barn-raising sounds of Broken Down Guitars are some of the best of it. If this collective proves anything, it’s that they know how to orchestrate a harmonious good time.
Contrary to the typical story of moving to Portland to make a mark in the Oregon music scene, the band, known as BDG, goes against the grain and has made Bend their home to write and record. Fronted by the talented songwriter Stacie Johnson, the ensemble fuses blues, rock, and Americana— backed by searing fiddle shredding and a bombastic rhythm section. The magic ingredient is confident harmonizing between Johnson and violinist Lilli Forbes, bottled into nearly every song. Drummer Kent Howes also gets in on the harmonies, with guitarist AJ Blum and bassist Aaron Pugh rounding out the rhythm.
BDG won Southern Oregon’s Last Band Standing Competition in 2012 with the rich songs on their 2013 album, Passports. With wild abandon, BDG continues to draw from the spirit of Oregon’s high desert as they tour and write tracks for their next album.