April Fools

One thing I always look forward to each year is the ridiculous April fools posts that Portland’s beer community manages to pull out of their glasses.  Last year, Belmont Station’s beer blog announced the release of Westvleteren beers for sale.  This year, the might Alworth in his Beervana, unveiled that BridgePort IPA will flow freely from Skidmore Fountains on July 4th, as once prescribed by Henry Weinhard.  Boy, a brother can dream, can’t he. But of all the shenanigans that came to light today, this press release from Hopworks has to take the cake:

Southern Highway
Southern Highway, a band with chops

PORTLAND, OR – April 1, 2009 – The brewing team at Hopworks Urban Brewery is proud to announce that their collaborative southern rock band, Southern Highway, has been signed to a four album deal with indie rhythm & blues label Backroads Records. The band’s first album entitled “Ramblin’ Band” will be released on Saturday May 16, coinciding with their first live performance, opening for The Allman Brothers Band and the Doobie Brothers at the Gorge Ampitheater in George, WA.

The band is made up of Christian Ettinger (Lead Singer/Guitar), Ben Love (Lead Guitar/Vocals), Matthew “Speck” Speckenbach (Bass/Banjo/Vocals) and Jaime “Ocho” Rodriguez (Drums/Vocals).

Drummer Jaime “Ocho” Rodriguez talked about the bands formation, “Well, I was cutting a rug at a place called the Jug with a girl named Linda Lu, we we’re drinkin some beer and having some fun when the thought came to me, Christian and Ben play guitar and Speck plays bass, with all our free time we should start a southern rock band. I figured everyone would be in, and they were!” Lead singer Christian Ettinger said of the band’s choice of southern rock, “While no one in the band is actually from the south, we’ve all been known to put down a lot of southern food and cheap beer”.

The band’s sound is described as classic southern rock with some blues rock thrown in, with a little hillbilly, all finishing in an endless jam. The bands first single, “Marissa” will drop Tuesday May 12, followed up by their second single “Friday Night Special” on Wednesday May 13. “It’s your typical one-two punch. Knock em’ out”, said A&R man Butch Little. The album also includes a cover of the Doobie song “Rockin Down the Highway” with an extensive jam at the end. “The song is 48 minutes in length”, says lead guitar player Ben Love, “It starts with your typical Rockin Down the Highway, then leads into a guitar solo by me, to a bass solo by Speck, followed by a guitar solo by Christian, after that it drops into an extensive drum solo by Jaime, that’s when the rest of us get a drink, then there’s a four part vocal harmony followed by some really loud rockin’ and few more solo’s. It’s epic.” Matthew “Speck” Speckenbach said of the song, “It puts Freebird to shame”.

Tickets for the May 16 concert are currently on sale at all Ticketmaster locations for $51.00 and $101.00.