Alaskan funk |

Alaskan funk

CAROLINA THIBAUDspecial to the daily
Special to the Daily

KEYSTONE – Kliff Hopson, John Knechtel and Dave Parks met in Fairbanks, Ala., in 1994. They had all moved there independently and gotten to know each other at local “open mic” nights.They all moved to Alaska for different reasons: Parks for school, Knetchel on a whim and Hopson to follow the girl he was dating back then. They first started rehearsing together in a rental cabin with no running water and no electricity. They used Hopson’s little generator to plug in their instruments. Slowly but surely, they became pretty well known in the Fairbanks area and all around the state. They recorded two full length albums, “Northern Town” and “All Access” (a collection of live recordings from 2004), and opened Leftover Salmon, Soul Asylum and The Jazz Mandolin Project.”There aren’t a lot of bands competing for spots,” said Hopson. “So we got some pretty big opportunities just because we were here.”

After touring Alaska for several years, Gangly Moose is visiting Colorado for the first time and playing at the Snake River Saloon in Keystone tonight. They will also perform in Denver, Telluride and Gunnison before heading back to Summit for another show at the Snake River Saloon Thursday, Feb. 9.”We are doing eight gigs in two weeks,” said Hopson. “We have never played in Colorado before and we couldn’t be any more excited.”During the winter months, the band performs regularly in the Fairbanks area but they “try not to play there more than twice a month to avoid people getting burnt out.” They travel around the state, but the more than freezing temperatures make it difficult. “We do try to play in Anchorage and Juneau but it is not easy during the winter time,” said Hopson. “During the summer, though, we travel a lot. There are some pretty good venues all across the state and the whole scene just explodes with tourism.”

Even with the frigid Alaskan weather, Hopson bikes to work every day. “The temperature gets down to -60 degrees Fahrenheit sometimes, but we still like it here,” he said. “Right now, there are seven minutes more of light every day but you can definitely feel those seven minutes.””Funky, fast-paced, dance and drinking music” is how Hopson defines what they do. To check it out before the show visit Tickets will be sold at the door for $5.What: Gangly Moose

Who: Kliff Hopson (drums and percussion), John Knechtel (bass) and Dave Parks (guitar) Where: Snake River SaloonWhen: Sunday, January 29 at 9.30 p.m. Tickets: $5

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