Guerilla grass |

Guerilla grass

Oakhurst performs acoustic attacks on unsuspecting victims

Allison Plean

Whether on a cruise ship or armed with a golf cart, you could be the next victim of a guerilla grass acoustic assault by Oakhurst.

The bluegrass band’s “assaults” began on the Xingolati Groove Cruise after promoters asked its members to perform in random places on the ship.

“We ran around the boat attacking people with some version of folk or bluegrass music,” said Oakhurst lead vocalist and guitarist A.P. Hill. “It’s a different flair of what we do on stage.”

When the band is plugged in on stage, it plays “high-octane roots rock with a bluegrass injection.” And Oakhurst certainly enjoys its flair for the dramatic.

At one music festival, a promoter gave the band a golf cart that its members used to drive around to different campgrounds and perform for surprised audiences.

“We kept showing up at random campfires and wowing people, and then all of a sudden we’d take off and people would be like, ‘What was that?'” Hill said. “Now we do it at house parties and shows. You never know when it’s going to come out.”

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Oakhurst has had many opportunities to spread its sound this year. The band has played more than 200 shows in 2006, including stops in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. The band members found Europeans to be very receptive to live music, especially outside the big cities.

“They were appreciative of live music because it is not super popular in the smaller towns,” Hill said. “It’s a different impact altogether and a bit more relaxing because you’re not getting on the bus every day and can soak up the local flavor.

“And we found ourselves in a foreign country where they were singing along to our music, yet there was a language barrier in casual conversation.”

When attending an Oakhurst performance, expect to get out of it what you put into it.

“Sometimes we get so darn excited, we can’t be calm and play quiet,” Hill said. “We just feed off the crowd. Once the crowd gets rowdy, we start getting rowdy, too. We never deny that.”