Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags: We Will Be Forgotten

Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags began in 2004, primarily as a studio project to record Scotland Barr's rapidly expanding catalog of songs. It became clear that these songs needed, wanted to be played live; the band began playing out in early 2005, releasing the album Legionnaires' Disease in September of that year, to uniform acclaim.

Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags quickly became a fixture in Portland's roots-rock scene, logging over 200 shows in the three years following the release, playing venues across the Western U.S., including a stop at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, in 2008. That same year, they released their second album, All The Great Aviators Agree. By this time, the sound of the band had evolved: what began in 2005 as a classic four-piece was now six, with keyboards, pedal steel and four-part vocal harmonies playing prominent roles in the band's textures. Critics saw fit to compare the band to such luminaries as The Beach Boys, The Band, The Allman Brothers, Wilco, Steve Earle, and Merle Haggard, among others.

In the fall of 2008, the band embarked on what was going to be the farthest-reaching and most promising tour yet. But after only a week on the road, they received an unexpected and devastating blow: Scotland Barr, the lead singer and songwriter of the group, was in the advanced stages of pancreatic cancer. The tour was canceled and the band rushed back to Portland to regroup. As Scotland's focus turned to his health, the band's focus turned inward, to recording a long-planned but stalled double album.

Progress over the next year was slow and halting, as Scotland was often too ill to record. A year after his diagnosis, Scotland Barr passed away. The unfinished album, already a landmark in the band's progress, became so much moreā€”an ultimate tribute to Scotland Barr. Slowly, painfully and carthartically the band finished writing, recording, and mixing the album, and in July 2011, 22 months after Scotland Barr's death (and two and half years after the first tracks were laid down), the album, We Will Be Forgotten, will finally be released.

A note about Scotland Barr from his band, the Slow Drags.  

2008 Band Bio:

Contrary to contemporary music trends, Scotland Barr and the Slow Drags do not fit neatly into a scene, nor do they care to. Instead, they play gritty, melodic songs that float somewhere between an old school 60s/70s songwriter aesthetic and a contemporary alt-country Americana furnace blast. Barr's disturbing yet comfortable boozy vocal style and emotionally incisive songwriting sit front and center, flanked by a 6-piece outfit that can deliver weepy grooves, jangly tin-pan alley pop, suicidal ballads, garage rock, grinding two-steps and near psychedelic opuses, all while sounding like a true band. Acoustic guitar, pedal steel and keyboards tangle with overdriven guitar; four-part harmonies recall the Beach Boys and the Band; full throttle drums irreverently confuse country and rock. Their style can be reminiscent of Steve Earle, Elvis Costello, the Pogues and Pink Floyd, all within a single song. With influences ranging from Merle Haggard to the Flaming Lips, their sound undeniably borrows from the classics, draws from their contemporaries, and crosses many borders - yet remains distinctively their own. Their new CD, All the Great Aviators Agree, is available now. More up-tempo, experimental and band-oriented than their singer/songwriter debut, Legionnaires' Disease, this CD promises to be a substantial benchmark in the evolving work of Scotland Barr and the Slow Drags.


Style: Americana / Alt. Country / Folk Rock / Psychedelic
From: Portland, OR, USA


Legionnaires' Disease, released September 2005
All the Great Aviators Agree, released May 2008
We Will Be Forgotten, released July 2011

Press Kit

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Legionnaires' Disease produced by Rob Stroup at 8 Ball Studios, Portland, OR.
Guest appearances on Legionnaires' Disease: Derek Brown (The Eels), Rich Lander (Richmond Fontaine, Telephone, Floater), Skip VonKuske, Chris Robley (The Sort Of's), Rachel Taylor Brown, Marilee Hord, and Steve Wilkinson (Mission 5).

Picked up for national distribution by Burnside Distribution Corp.
Legionnaires' Disease debuted at #29 on the Roots Music Report radio airplay chart (the biggest indie radio chart in the world), reaching #17 for 5 straight weeks. The album shared the charts with such artists as Ray Lamontagne, John Hiatt, Rodney Crowell, Southern Culture on the Skids, Jackie Greene, and Alejandro Escovedo.

Regularly placed on the Euro-Americana Chart throughout 2006.
Regularly featured on KINK FM's Local Music Spotlight and hundreds of college/indie and podcast radio programs worldwide.

Played nearly 100 gigs in 2006 without tour backing.
Selected to participate in the nationally acclaimed DEEP ROOTS PROJECT, 2007.
National/international tour in support of All The Great Aviators Agree, spring 2008.