Flat Five String Band

    The Flat Five String Band will get its swing on from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, at Weisinger's of Ashland, 3150 Siskiyou Blvd.

    The Ashland band, featuring electric guitarist Michael Hodgin, acoustic guitarist Bryan Miller, violinist Linda Powers and double bassist John Zalabak, plays equal amounts of gypsy jazz, modern jazz — courtesy of bands such as the Squirrel Nut Zippers and Red Stick Ramblers — and 1920s, '30s and '40s swing standards.

    The band's originals are the happy medium of its repertoire, touting strong rhythm guitar with a nod to Django Reinhardt and eccentric electric guitar of more modern composers.

    "More than half of our originals are instrumentals in the vein of '20s and '30s swing, but with dissonance and unique key changes," Hodgin says. "We manage to get the bounce and the swing of gypsy players, but we also have the electric guitar, which adds a modern sound to it."

    The Flat Five Swing Band has enough material to make a studio album and was recently introduced to a Grants Pass producer who offered his services. Now, the band is just waiting for the time and finances to make it happen.

    "This last year, we had intentions to do some recording, and then our guitar player's schedule changed at work, our bass player broke his hand, and when that got better he decided to move to Maine ... so the band kind of took a back seat to life," Hodgin says.

    "We love to play, and we would love to play all day long, but two of us are nurses (Miller and Powers), and I own a construction company, and we all have mortgages and a life to live, so the music is hobby. ... It puts us out there and brings in a little money," Hodgin says.

    The show at Weisinger's is free. Call 541-488-5989 or look for The Flat Five String Band on Facebook.

    — Teresa Thomas

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