Portland folk band finds Camas ‘feels like home’

Fox and Bones will perform at Salud! Wine Bar on Friday, Nov. 16

Portland-based folk band Fox and Bones hopes to arrive at Salud! Wine Bar on Friday with all the familiarity of a recurring guest on your favorite sitcom.

“As artists, we tend to be drawn toward places that feel like home — that kind of ‘Cheers’ atmosphere where you go in and everyone knows your name,” Scott Gilmore, one half of the Portland duo, said. “It feels like there’s a little more room for creativity.”

Gilmore and Sarah Vitort make up Fox and Bones, which will be returning to the downtown Camas venue for what Gilmore said was at least the sixth time.

“We try to get over to Salud! as often as we can. The staff is so nice and the atmosphere is pleasant. We have a lot of fun playing there,” he said.

Fox and Bones formed in early 2016. The pair got off to a running start, and already have three European tours and two full-length albums under their belts, including their October release “Better Land.” They were first runner-up in a crowded contingent for Best Folk Band according to a 2017 reader poll conducted by Willamette Week. The band cites Fleetwood Mac, The Band and the Civil Wars as influences to the dueling vocals and acoustic folk backdrops that accentuate their tunes.

Attendees at the band’s Friday night show at Salud! will find a stripped-down performance: Gilmore and Vitort sing without a backing band and share one guitar between them. The show will be intimate, too, because it’s a Clark County homecoming for Vitort. She grew up in Vancouver and her parents now live in Camas. Gilmore said it usually feels like a reunion at Salud!.

“We get to play for people that Sarah has known since her childhood,” Gilmore said. “(Her parents) come over for shows in Portland too, but I think they appreciate a show being right in their backyard.”

A tried-and-true venue may be just what Fox and Bones needs — the duo just returned from a two-month tour in Europe and is about to dive into a West Coast run to support their new album.

“Being on the road for two months, you find solace in the routine of going somewhere new every day. You find a bit of comfort in how different each day is. But there’s nothing really like sleeping in your own bed and seeing your friends and family — and being on your own home turf,” Gilmore said.

The Nov. 16 show at Salud! will run three hours, consisting of three 50-minute sets. A timeslot that lengthy lets Fox and Bones play nearly all of their material.

“With three hours, it’s kind of all hands on deck,” Gilmore said.

In a place they’ve played before, it’s also nice to keep things fresh, he added. They’ll be taking requests throughout the night.

“We’ve done anything from a ‘Purple Rain’ a capella request to Garth Brooks to Jimi Hendrix. Any song that we’re vaguely familiar with, or even ones we haven’t heard, we’ll do our best,” Gilmore said. “By the end of the show we tend to have too many requests to fit in.”

With Vitort’s parents in the crowd, and an unpredictable setlist, it should be a chance for the band to let loose a bit heading into another long stretch away from home.

“You play for hometown crowds and they know you,” Gilmore said. “It’s very relaxed and we can kind of goof off and play with the audience and learn new things as we go. There’s something very nice about that.”