Three decades in the making, Always A Hoot!, began as a friendship between two U of O students. In 1988, Eric Shirazi began a cross country trip to Eugene, where he met Rob Cork. The two musicians discovered their common love of harmony and appreciation of the Grateful Dead, bluegrass, and Americana. Years later, Eric, and Steve Dearborn, both members of another band, wanted to take their music in a different direction and decided to form a new group. Bringing Rob into the mix gave the trio an opportunity to create the bluegrass style harmonies and the improvisational jams that have been thrilling audiences since October, 2021. As they worked out their distinctive vocals and musical parts, the guys realized that there was a piece missing. In the fall of 2022, that missing piece was filled by percussionist, Bryan Finke, who shares the same musical interests.
While the band members have a deep appreciation for the Grateful Dead, and that music was the seed that has blossomed into this group of musicians, it would be a mistake to consider them a Grateful Dead cover band. With four strong singers, any song with the potential for harmonies has a chance of being added to their set list. From bouncy pop hits, country and blues classics, to 70s easy listening, the tunes are a delicious playlist on shuffle. You never know what you’re going to get, but it’s going to be tasty.
Always A Hoot! is Eric Shirazi, bass and vocals, Steve Dearborn, guitar, mandolin, mandola, harmonica, and vocals, Bryan Finke, percussion, and vocals, Rob Cork, guitar, and vocals.