Just in time for your summer road trip, we want to show you some videos of Oregon bands getting out to play in the oddest places — from the jaw-dropping interior of Vista House, in the Gorge, the historic lighthouse at Cape Meares, and the wind-blown fields around Fort Stevens.

This can only be the work of one man: Slater Smith, who spent last summer traveling all of Oregon’s State Parks, making a super-edit of himself singing an original song. His new Oregon Road Sessions shot five bands playing
their songs in five state parks.

“When I was on the road that summer it was a very powerful experience, but I was trying to hit every single park I could before the sun went down and I ran out of light to film with. One of the things I’d intended with this project was to go back to some of these favorite spaces and create more stories.”

Smith’s band Weather Machine, is one of the five featured. His bandmate Colin Robson has a studio in Pacific City, and landed the job of making the bands sound great in wild and unlikely places.

“I mean we did one inside of the Cape Meares lighthouse, which is a tiny space. We had a drum set and guitar amps, and we put the singer and guitar player up in the lens of this lighthouse, which had glass that was 100 years old. [The lighthouse’s managers] were like ‘It’s not going to be very loud, right?’ And we were like, ‘No problem!’ ” We were trying to dial in the sound of the band, being in a space that is not conducive to recording at all.”

You will be glad to hear they teased out some really lush sound, despite the challenges. Take a look.

Note: you can listen to the story on State of Wonder, Saturday at noon on OPB Radio.

Video credits:

Director of Photography: Will Walle
Editor: Mimi Bergen
Shooters: Will Walle, Mimi Bergen, Chris Sawiel
Audio Recording & Mixes: Colin Robson
Audio Assistant: Chris Riedl
Motion Graphics: Nathan Holstedt
Producer: Slater Smith