Be bearfoot and care-free

Bearfoot performs show tunes and original work, one night only at Lyte Auditorium.

Sponsored by the MU Cultural Affairs Committee, Alaska-based group Bearfoot performed classic and contemporary bluegrass and country music and original work they had written and performed in a one night only show, 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, 2008.

Dwight Horsey, Advisor of the Cultural Affairs Committee introduced the show and the group, mentioning his own experience with Bearfoot as a youth in North Carolina. An elder informed him that the mountain lion tracks he saw were actually from a “bear foot”.

An incident prompting band member Odessa Jourgenson to be rushed to a local hospital meant last minute changes in the program outline, which meant that the lineup had to be changed from a music lineup that was supposed to include aspects of R&B and Jazz, became more concentrated on country and bluegrass, a significant strength of the bands, which still enabled them to give a quality show for those in attendance.

Running about two hours, with intermission during that time. The program material for Bearfoot said the group would be mix of famous American musical styles, including elements of Jazz, Blues and Bluegrass.

Bearfoot managed a good show despite the absence of a member of the band. Photo by Christian Shuts.
Bearfoot managed a good show despite the absence of a member of the band. Photo by Christian Shuts.

Unfortunately for those who do not know those genres of music very well, the band members did not often make clear what songs. and by who, they would perform which did not always work if you are not well versed in blue grass and country music, or their own works, however when they did announce the artist and song they always did so with a bit of style, sometimes giving an anecdote, but never just the artist and title.

Fans of blue grass are certainly familiar with the popularity of the fiddle, for one song, fans were treated to a performance with Jason Norris and Angela Oudean playing twin fiddles.

Mike Mickelson’s vocal talent really shined during the song Abigail where he shows through music and song the aspiration to free a woman from the drudgery of working on a cannery floor.

After the intermission, the group performed their piece, Sitting Alone In Moonlight dedicating it to their mentor, Alaska native Frank Sullivan now serving in the U.S. Navy,  who Jason Norris called, “the big brother and cousin we never really wanted, he made us all cry at some point, said we would thank him later, believe it or not, we did.”

To conclude the show, all members of Barefoot performed Follow Me from their 2006 album of the same name to great applause from the audience. To please the delighted crowd, they played a high pace instrumental piece they called their “fitness song” further delighting the audience that gave them a standing ovation in return.