Songcraft at the CLC DIY Fest

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(L–R) Zach Lees and James Moyar of The Soggy Scots meld traditional and quirky aspects into their bagpipe playing, and will sound the call at the CLC DIY Fest. Photo: Gavan Nelson

It may be presumed that the Craft Lake City DIY Festival on Aug. 9 and 10 is limited to showcasing handmade crafts to hold and take home. However, joining the surplus of local artisans and DIY Engineers are 50 local musicians and performers who will show off their talents in the form of instrumentation. These DIY bands work on their craft with the intention of inspiring their audience, and the handful we spoke to all shared the same sentiments of interacting with other talented musicians and artists to propel their motivation.

The Soggy Scots will kick off the festival with a march through Gallivan Plaza and some epic piping. The two friends, Zach Lees and James Moyar, from Payson, Utah have played bagpipes together since high school, and with the variety of events and venues they’ve performed at in the past, they’re certain to initiate the activities on a monumental note. “We’ve played pretty much everywhere you can think,” Lees says. Their Facebook page ( boasts of playing at “funerals, birthdays, committee meetings, celebrations, weddings; indoors, outdoors, in the sun and rain, on street corners, in forests, and even once atop a barn.” There is one event they haven’t played, and the two find it regretfully so: Know anyone throwing a bar/bat mitzvah? Expect to see kilts and hear “Scotland the Brave,” but don’t expect everything to be traditional: “Zach here will make up stuff as we’re playing. He’ll start to play a harmony, and bust it out … I follow him—he’s the piper extraordinaire,” Moyar (the alleged “fashion sense” of the group) says. While the two have no blood-ties to any clans in Scotland, that doesn’t stop them from hearing all about the history of bagpipes. “A lot of people walk up to you, even if you’re just warming up in the park, and they’ll tell you it’s beautiful, and thank you, and they’ll tell you their whole Scottish lineage, which sometimes can get a little tedious because you just want to play, but it is rewarding because then they might even cry about it … It’s a nostalgic sound for a lot of people,” Moyar says. For the two of them, playing bagpipes has developed into a fun activity to share time with each other. Since the two of them grew up together, they had plenty of tales of adventures in cemeteries and belting their pipes around their neighborhoods late at night. Although they predominantly play bagpipes, the pair may pull out the banjo, didgeridoo, drums, bell horn or even whistle. Make sure to catch them opening the DIY festival on both days, and see them in the busking area Friday at 5 p.m. and Saturday at 12:30 p.m. 
Friday also features the sweet harmonies of The Souvenirs. This sisterly-trio (Marie Bradshaw and Kiki Buehner are sisters, and their close friend, Corrine Gentry, might as well be) has recently parted from their previous project with The Folka Dots to focus on their three-part harmonies. “The Folka Dots actually started with just the three of us initially, and we added members as time went on. It seemed natural to go back to our roots and play with each other,” Bradshaw says. With this new transition, the trio complements each other, and their focus is easier to maintain, as they can balance hanging out with working on their songs. This came as a surprise to them, but as Gentry says, “The way that our harmonies form when it’s just the three of us in a room figuring out a song gives you goosebumps, because there’s nothing else that can distract you from the three voices coming together, besides the guitar and maybe a fiddle here and there. It’s been really cool to see how the harmonies develop, because that’s what we focus on.” Buehner adds to that, saying that she “was surprised to realize, when we switched back to just the three of us, that a lot of the harmonies I was doing were the same as [Bradshaw] or [Gentry]. I had to change a lot of things because I didn’t notice them—I didn’t have the time to really dig that deep before.” With the simplicity and intimacy of the trio, the songs are lyric-heavy and will come as a delight to deep-music listeners. Catch them on the 90.1 FM KUER Stage Friday at 5:30p.m.
On Saturday, you’ll find a showcase of Vincent Draper and the Dirty Thirty and Worst Friends, who all boast of great chemistry between their respective bandmates, enabling each set of musicians to progress and grow as a band. The name “Vincent Draper” (his real name is Carson Wolfe) is an homage to two men that he admires: Vincent van Gogh and his grandfather, named Draper. Their new album, SAM, released on July 27, was created as a tribute to his grandfather.