Park City’s Badfeather earning its wings
On the heels of headlining Friday night at the Roots of the Rocks Music Festival in Beaver, Park City’s Badfeather is looking forward to its Saturday performance at The Cabin.
"It’s a classy venue and very intimate," Badfeather drummer Nate Barkdull said during an interview. "We love playing there."
The show will begin at 10 p.m.
"I enjoy what the owners (John and Heidi Oswald) have done to the place," Barkdull said. "It was many different things until they bought it a little more than a year ago. They have transformed it into a beautiful bar in a beautiful location.
"They recently hired Junior Richard to be their general manager," he said. "He is Mr. Music in Park City and that says a lot."
Badfeather has been together less than the Oswalds have owned the Cabin, Barkdull said.
"The band came about from a lot of local musicians who played in other bands in the Utah music scene for years," he explained. "Utah has a tight musical community and we have seen each other through different music festivals and venues. So, we all decided to hand-select musicians to put together a band."
The lineup features Barkdull, lead singer Rick Gerber, guitarist Jeremy Whitesides and bassist Josh Olsen.
"Rick’s been playing music locally for 20 years," Barkdull said. "Everyone calls him Uncle Rick and he started the Uncle Uncanny’s Music Festival, which is on hiatus right now, and he is one of our songwriters."
Whitesides is the other main songwriter in Badfeather.
"He’s a very well-respected musician in Utah and a lot of people had tried to get him in other bands," Barkdull said. "We are flattered that he decided to work with us."
Olsen has played with Whitesides in other projects over the years Barkdull said..
"He’s one of those funky bassists who is solid and has been in numerous bands in the scene for years also," he said. "Since he and Jeremy have played together on and off for about 10 to 15 years, they have a strong connection."
Barkdull is a professional studio engineer, who is currently recording Badfeather’s new album, which should be completed by the end of this year.
His musical influences run the gamut.
"When I was a kid, I grew up loving the Dave Matthews Band, so I love Carter Beauford," Barkdull said. "I think he’s one of the best drummers on the planet."
Other influences include Danny Carrey from Tool and Josh Frees, who plays with A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails and Sting.
"I also like Steve Gadd, and he’s played with everyone from Paul Simon to Eric Clapton," Barkdull said.
Badfeather’s first gig as a band was last September.
"Our goal is to take the band all the way," Barkdull said. "We still have our day jobs, because music isn’t supporting us completely. That’s something that we would like to have happen."
To do that, the band is willing to work through any challenge.
"I’m the youngest in the band and I’m 31. So, we’re just a bunch of adults acting like children," he said, laughing. "But I think that says a lot about our goals and ambitions.
"It’s not easy to put four guys who are older than 30 that still want to make music in a room together," Barkdull said. "We’ve all been in projects that have come so close to making it in the big time, and we all still want to chase this dream."
Still, the drummer said the musicians’ collective experiences give them an edge.
"We have turned Badfeather into a really good band because there is a lot of great musicianship behind it," he said. "I think the band is good enough to make it and I think we’re taking the right steps to do that."
The band currently has more than 40 original songs, but can also play covers to switch things up.
"Last Halloween we performed a whole night of Led Zeppelin at The Spur," Barkdull said. "We also play Rolling Stones and Talking Heads, but lately we’ve noticed that audiences are now singing our songs with us. So, that’s pretty cool."
That motivates the band to work harder, but it’s also humbling for Barkdull.
"I play with some of the best musicians in the entire state and entire region, and it’s a treat for me to be on stage with them and for them to want me to be their drummer," he said. "These guys have become some of my best friends in the world. They’re like family to me. And I’m stoked to have the opportunity to play the Cabin with them."
Badfeather will perform at the Cabin, 825 S. Main St., on Saturday, July 25. The show will start at 10 p.m. For more information, visit Facebook.com/badfeathermusic. For more information about the Cabin, visit http://www.thecabinparkcity.com.
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