Gordie Tentrees Reappears at The Dive
By Peter Erickson
Glacier City Gazette Intern
Singer, songwriter, guitarist, mandolin player, musical-saw artist, porch-board-bass enthusiast, harmonica man; Gordie Tentrees fits into all of these categories, yet somehow still defies classification.
Girdwood was graced with the sometimes solo artists’ presence at the Chair 5 back on Jan. 25, and it was a performance those in attendance won’t soon forget.
In classic small town style, Tentrees called out those he knew by name, turning the one-man gig into a participatory show, edging for those paying attention to break out of their shells and sing along.
Tentrees’ mixture of folk, rock, country, and blues fit right in. It seemed as if the Whitehorse native had been a part of the local music scene for decades.
“I like to call it Yukon roots music,” said Tentrees. “A lot of the genres there lean heavily towards bluegrass and blues to old time jazz to rock and roll and that’s what I got immersed in there. It’s what was accessible to me… so I stole the bits I liked and made it my own.”
But what brought Gordie Tentrees to Girdwood, Alaska in the middle of winter? For one, Tentrees is almost constantly on tour, visiting places like Glasgow, Scotland and Canberra, Australia.
“I’ve been on perpetual tour for the past three years with another guy [Jaxon Haldane]. We’ve been around the world a few times,” said Tentrees.
It was only a matter of time before Southcentral Alaska saw his return. According to the musician, he’s been here a number of times before in fact, each time as enjoyable as the last.
“I like to come to Alaska in the winter when the real people are here. You know, the people that actually live here,” said Tentrees. “By January, February people are starving for entertainment so you don’t even have to be good,” he added with a grin.
And it was that kind of comedic zest that Tentrees wove into his Thursday night set that made it so unique and enjoyable.
There’s no set return date for Gordie Tentrees, it may be another three years before he makes it back this way. Between now and then, he’ll keep doing what he does, spending time learning to be a better musician and having fun while doing it.