Breedlove artist Slater Smith doesn’t know how many miles he drove last summer, but it was a lot. The 23-year-old crisscrossed the state of Oregon with his Breedlove C25/CRe in his mom’s Honda Element (his Bronco II was deemed an unreliable gas hog) to play the same song in nearly 200 Oregon State Parks…
It wasn’t performance art, he was filming a music video for his song “Back O’er Oregon.” The final result is a 5 ½-minute video that could inspire the most travel-resistant curmudgeon to immediately book a flight to the Pacific Northwest.
Subsisting on a diet of Cliff Bars and fresh tomatoes, Slater camped and couch surfed his way to every nook and cranny of the beaver state. In the video you’ll see Slater, sitting in a folding chair (he found the chair in his parent’s garage, it once belonged to his great aunt), singing and playing “Back O’er Oregon” in 185 gorgeous Oregon parks. There are guest appearances by his Weather Machine bandmates, a couple of dogs (Gus and Lacey), a grazing horse, a little girl doing a pirouette, a newlywed couple, and an elderly bugler.
The video shows such a rapid fire of beautiful locations, you’ll be tempted to freeze frame to take in the splendor, but you won’t want Slater to stop singing. It requires multiple viewings to even begin to process a fraction of the vistas: Ooo, fireworks! Is that Smith Rock? A horse! I’ve been there!
Breedlove is an Oregon-based company (our headquarters and workshops are a quick 30-minute drive from Slater’s hometown of Sisters, Oregon), so we couldn’t be prouder of Slater’s work, and this project where he shares so much beauty – his talent, the stunning vistas of Oregon, and the distinctively crafted sound of his Breedlove guitar.
Q&A WITH SLATER
Who are the other musicians in the video?
My bandmates from The Weather Machine: bassist Jack Martin, cellist Matthew Cartimill, drummer Tanner Smith (my brother), and drummer Corey Kintizi.
Who's the guy playing the trumpet?
He’s the park host at Fort Yamhill. Each of the state parks has a park host who lives at the park. Fort Yamhill is an old military fort, and he plays the bugle when he takes down flag at the end of the day.
Where’d you sleep, and were you really stinky by the end of the summer?
I was technically a volunteer with Oregon State Parks, so when I wasn’t staying with friends or back in Portland, I camped for free. The State Park bathrooms are actually really nice, so when I needed a shower, they were great.
Did you shoot in/around Bend?
Yes, Tumalo, Pilot Butte and Klein Falls. To see a full list of locations with timecodes, check out our website: Weathermachinemusic.com/overoregon
How did you end up with a Breedlove for this project?
I wanted an Oregon-made guitar. I called Brad Tisdel at The Americana Project in Sisters and Brad put me in contact with Breedlove. I totally bonded with that guitar over the summer. Right after I picked up the Americana from Breedlove’s workshop in Bend, I was at a coffee shop that had stickers that said, “Be nice, you’re in Oregon,” so I bought one and stuck it on the case, and then over the summer, covered the case with as many Oregon stickers as I could find.
Do you still perform with your Breedlove American C25/CRe?
Yes! I use it a ton for open tunings. It sounds amazing in open D.
What’s your favorite thing about your Breedlove American C25/CRe?
Well, I love that it’s made in Oregon, and it resonates really, really well. It surprised me, the sound is so rich and full even for having a smaller body.
Do you have any upcoming shows?
Yes, January 16th and 17th at the Adrift Hotel in Long Beach, Washington.