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Rootdown
From left: Rootdown's Craig Paulsen, Jackson Michelson, Paul Wright and Matt Salinas. (Contributed photo)

CORVALLIS - If you need more "sweet sweet lovin'" for your "summer summertime in the city," head to the Courtyard Music Festival at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, at the corner of 25th Street and Harrison Boulevard.

The apartment complex will host dedicated Corvallis singer/songwriter Casey Hurt; the sounds of Caleb & Sol, identical twins from Eugene; Seattle singer Mark Wagner and finish the night with the reggae-infused wanderings of Rootdown featuring Paul Wright.

All the bands share the Christian rock ethic of uplifting, empowering music. Yet each has such an individual take on the genre that any one of them could get away with not using the Christian music label at all.

Rootdown, who will finish the night, infuses a classic college party band lineup with island beats and Northwest lyrics hailing everything from the Burrito Boy chain of restaurants to Oregon sunshine.

"The name comes from putting our roots down in the community," lead singer Paul Wright said. The Eugene native recently moved to Corvallis.

If you listen closely, beneath the reggae beats and laid back vibe, in a style similar to Jack Johnson, Wright ruminates on serious issues of faith and humanity.

"When I started I was a little nervous playing in bars," Wright said. "Since then, I've learned people are people. Our music is really entertaining and that positive feeling and spirit of encouragement fits in anywhere."

The band is just back from a East Coast tour with gigs from Washington D.C. to Jacksonville, Miss., to play songs of their new EP "Summer of Love," which is available on iTunes and at the show.

The band is currently working on 40 to 60 new songs from which they will choose a dozen for their next album.

"I think that every time we get together, we're working on new music," electric guitar player Matt Salinas said.

"It's definitely a collaborative effort," Wright said.

"It's very organic," agreed bass player Jackson Michelson of Corvallis.

"I think we write them faster than any other band I've been in," Salinas said. "When we're creative, we are creative."

The band will be joined by their brass section, saxaphone player and Albany native Chris Rogers and trumpet player Tim Hemphill for the Friday show.

The concert is meant to be a welcoming back party for Oregon State University students and the community.

Rootdown's music and lyrics should also provide an appropriate farewell to the summer months as well with one last blast of shameless summery sounds before OSU classes are in session.

"We all love summer and I think Oregon summers are the best," drummer Craig Paulsen said.

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