Pin It
Favorite

Local Music - Pend Oreille 

by Cara Gardner


Here's a group that describes itself as "Spokane's only hurtin' and cheatin' grown-up country dance band." Pend Oreille (the band) is made up of Texas music roots and Spokane family roots, bringing music learned in the Mecca of country-dance sounds - Pasadena, Texas - to the heart of the Northwest.


"If a Texas native walked into our performance, they'd think they were in the heart of Texas," says Mike Shoemaker, lead vocalist.


Pend Oreille is a swingin' six-piece traditional country dance band, complete with twin fiddles, pedal steel and full quill ostrich boots. Sittin' ain't allowed when Pend Oreille is on stage.


The band's three-part harmony includes "the purest female country voice in the Spokane area, and the ultimate role model for George Straight's 'Amarillo By Morning.' "


The band members' ages range from 30s to 70s; it's easy to see that there is plenty of experience among the six of them.


Dave Cannon, the bass player, is a native of Austin, Texas. Cannon has played along with the likes of Willie Nelson. A former bronc rider, Cannon plays with energy.


Attorney Mike Shoemaker is a fourth-generation native of Spokane. His great-grandfather homesteaded in Pend Oreille County, hence the band's name. Shoemaker lived in Texas for about 25 years, where he played county music in joints with chicken wire and sawdust before returning home to the Northwest.


Dean Simmons is well known as the "Dean of pedal steel." After experience playing with local greats like the Kelly Hughes Band and showing off his talent everywhere from the television studio to moody saloons, Simmons now teaches guitar lessons for major music stores in the Spokane area.


Suzanne Cannon's diverse talent is apparent as she alternates among keyboard, fiddle and her sweet southern voice, singing along with husband Dave. Suzanne Cannon, like her husband, is a native of Austin, Texas. She is a resident doctor at Sacred Heart Medical Center.


The band's other fiddle player, Marge McFaul-Struble, has won numerous competitions across the western United States and continues to be a top finisher at the National Old-Time Fiddle Contest in Weiser, Idaho.


Kevin Raver plays drums in Pend Oreille when he's not busy studying to be a respiratory therapist. His solid talent grounds the band, leading dancers through song after song of traditional country-dance music.


So git out your hats and polish off your boots. When Pend Oreille plays, you'll feel like you're in Texas.





Publication date: 02/06/03
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Holocaust Observance Ceremony

Holocaust Observance Ceremony @ Temple Beth Shalom

Sun., April 19, 7 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Cara Gardner

  • Pride or Prejudice?

    Jim West may have overcompensated for his closeted sexual identity by voting against gay rights legislation. But how are his fellow Republicans dealing with the news that the powerful conservative has admitted to sexual relationships with
    • Jul 8, 2005
  • Weapon of Mass Doubt

    Scott Ritter has been called "an honest man lost in Washington" by Forbes and "the most famous renegade Marine officer" by the New York Times. A former marine captain and the former chief weapons inspector for Unscom, the agency in charge
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • Plaintiffs Speak

    For many, the current hearings in the Washington Supreme Court regarding marriage equality are interesting side notes in the ongoing battle over the right of homosexuals to marry legally. But for Marge Ballack and Diane Lantz, two plaintif
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Don't Test Me

    The Smarter Balanced standardized test has sparked a rebellion in Western Washington — and it's spreading
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • Restore the Honesty

    Re-establishing trust with the public will require courage on the part of our elected officials
    • Apr 8, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

marijuana


Briefs


Comment


Publisher's Note


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation