There are more than 185 State Parks and waysides in Oregon. I’ve been to them all… or at least everything you can find on a public map. It took me four months of travel, but with the help of Oregon Film and the Oregon State Parks system, I made a music video featuring footage of myself performing the same song in every wooded nook and cranny in Oregon. It was my love letter to my home, and it seemed other people liked it too. “Back O’er Oregon” went viral after being picked up on a few high profile YouTube channels, and I was stuck with the question, “what to do next?”
I dreamed up another idea during my summer driving around the state. What if I could share these places with other musicians? What if I could extend this story to make it more inclusive? That winter we hatched a new plan. The result was five videos that premiered on OPB music’s webpage last spring. Oregon Road Sessions series features Northwest-based musical acts performing their music live on camera in an effort to bring visibility to Oregon State Parks, and exposure to some of our region’s most impressive emerging local acts. Imagine NPR’s unplugged Tiny Desk Concerts series flipped on its head. Our video team took bands into the wilderness and plugged their instruments in.
Next month the second season of Oregon Road Sessions premieres on OPB; it was filmed in partnership with Oregon Film, Oregon State Parks, and Travel Oregon; and features regional acts Portland Cello Project, Lost Lander, Hey Marseilles, Haley Heynderickx, Mimicking Birds, and Sama Dams, each performing at a unique outdoor location. One video will be released every Thursday for six weeks, but if you want to get a head start, be sure to go and watch our first season on OPB music.
“Road Sessions” Season 1, released in 2015: