Much like hiphop, roots/country music is often written off when performed by artists who do not fit the general stereotype of the genre: whites from the suburbs shouldn't rap, much like city-dwellers above the Mason-Dixon line shouldn't bother with country. This in turn leads to the "I'm more real than you" pissing match, with MCs trying to one-up each other (I'm still waiting for the rapper who can top 50 Cent's nine bullet holes), or country artists acting more comically Southern than any one person should be. So the concept of an absolutely bone-dry authentic roots band just happening to be from Portland, should not matter--and with Clampitt, Gaddis & Buck it doesn't. Their second full-length Cascade Serenade! is a splendid collection of country/roots/bluegrass originals (not one Carter Family cover!) that act as a perfect soundtrack to a hot PDX Summer of sitting on the porch and drinking some sweet tea and spiked lemonade. Erik Clampitt takes the time to talk about Jessica Simpson and the touchy subject of his color-blindness.

Clampitt, Gaddis & Buck perform Saturday July 9 at ACME, SE 8th and Main

Have you found that people will write-off a country/bluegrass band just because they aren't from the South?

What? I am from the South. The South Bay... San Jose, CA. Honestly, this issue has never been a problem for us. In fact, the idea that your creativity should somehow be limited to a region is absurd. And those sick purists who subscribe to such a doctrine should be taken out behind the shed and thrashed.

After writing a song like "Hazel's Hoedown," did you ever think about just ditching the band and making getaway music for The Dukes of Hazzard?

Yeah, if the Duke boys are good enough for Willie and Waylon, they're good enough for us. Besides, you should hear our track off the motion picture soundtrack: "CG&B, featuring Jessica Simpson." The video is hot. I directed it. It's got Marley Gaddis and Jessica Simpson washing the General Lee in daisy dukes. Go to to check it out.

Since CG&B has toured quite a bit, do you find crowds are more receptive to the sound in the Red States or Blue States?

Oh... I get it. Time to bring up the fact that I'm color-blind. I have no idea which state is what color. Low blow, bro. Besides, a fan is a fan--even if they voted to put Satan in the White House... again.