Laugh, cry, sing with Never Come Down


Fans of bluegrass music can enjoy Never Come Down as they perform for the first time at the Black Swamp Arts Festival.

Never Come Down is a five-piece band based out of Portland, Oregon. They feature vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin and bass.

They formed in 2018 and have since released two albums. During the Black Swamp Festival, they plan on performing most — if not all their songs — from both albums.

Joe Suskind, the band’s guitarist, said during shows they play mostly original music and very rarely play covers.

“You’ll hear a variety of original music that ranges from stuff that’s really close to traditional bass bluegrass to really well-crafted songwriting and instrumentation,” Suskind said.

The band members pride themselves on their songwriting and arrangements. Crystal Lariza, the lead vocalist, said people who listen to their music can expect dynamic and lush vocal arrangements and thoughtful songwriting.

“Some stuff is really high energy and some are mellow, but we like to take people on an emotional guide,” Lariza said.

Each member of the band comes from a different musical experience. Brian Alley, the banjo player, said their different experiences allow them to challenge each other and learn new things about music. That individual musical experience is one of the things he values most about the band.

Kaden Hurst, the mandolin player, said that their music often reflects something they’ve gone through in life.

“I think sharing any individual experience via song, the goal of that in my mind, is to find somebody else that has that experience and for them to feel connected to either you or to the people around them by that shared experience,” Hurst said.

When the band members first started playing together, they just performed at a local place in Portland on Tuesday nights. Suskind said they wanted to perform elsewhere and when they were given the opportunity to record their music, they jumped on it.

At the time, they didn’t have a band name yet and were in search of one. Lariza said she came up with their name. She said she had been driving in Portland with a friend when they drove through an area with large homes. The friend asked her what she would do if she lived in a house that big.

“I was like, I’d just sit up there all day and watch the traffic and just never come down,” Lariza said.

After that, she thought Never Come Down would make a good band name. She said she texted Suskind immediately and the name stuck.

At the Black Swamp Arts Festival, the band is performing Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on the main stage.

Ben Ticknor, the band’s bass player, said the festival will be their first performance in their September tour. He said in this tour they will be traveling up and down the east coast as well as a few central zones.

More information about Never Come Down can be found at their website

“I just hope people feel like it’s a safe place to emote, to laugh, to cry, we really do try to make it an experience for people,” Lariza said. “We try to arrange the setlist in a way where energetically it moves and swells.”

Never Come Down

Check out the band on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on the main stage.

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