Five years ago, Patrick Harrington and Jackson Clarendon started playing music together which led to the creation of the Libby Creek Original.
“We had the same friends but we never met and then we started playing together and it worked out,” Harrington said.
The two founding members grew up on opposite sides of the Big Horn Mountains and even skied at the same ski area, but their paths never crossed, until Clarendon was in search of a guitar player.
“I came back to school looking to play more music and asked some folks, ‘Who’s a good guitar player? Who’s writing a lot of songs?’ and they pointed me to Patrick,” Clarendon said.
Since then, the Libby Creek Original has played shows across the state and released three EPs, which are available for streaming on Spotify. Harrington and Clarendon pull inspiration for their music from different areas, but the main source of inspiration is their home state of Wyoming.
“The songs I write are about Wyoming for the most part. A lot of outdoor stuff, a lot of imagery,” Harrington said. “They are Wyoming songs for playing in the woods, basically.”
Clarendon said they utilize the wide open spaces Wyoming has to offer as a retreat and inspiration for the song writing process.
“You know, there might only be 5 or 600,000 of us here, but we write songs for these people that live here as well,” Harrington said.
In terms of the creative process for the Libby Creek Original, Harrington will usually come to Clarendon or the entire band with some lyrics that he has written. Clarendon then plays around on the mandolin or fiddle in order to create a melody.
“I kind of view the mandolin as, it embroiders over the storytelling of the lyrics,” Clarendon said.
Harrington said he believes there are two “try out processes” to a song after he writes the lyrics and presents them to the band.
“I think that first practice with that song is a try out period for that [song]. There’s a handful of songs that I really wanted to work for Libby Creek and they just weren’t the tune for Libby Creek,” Harrington said. “And the other one is playing it in front of people for the first time and how people respond to it.”
Harrington credited Clarendon with holding down the analytical side of things, while he managed the more creative side for the band.
“That collaboration between the analytical and the creative is kind of fundamental to our style and our group,” Clarendon said.
Over the years, the band has had the opportunity to play many shows, with the goal being to play more shows around the entire state of Wyoming. Harrington said the Libby Creek Original does not play as many shows in Laramie as most local bands do and that is done intentionally.
“We’d also like to play some of the places that don’t get a whole lot of music,” Clarendon said. “There’s so many different little communities that bands don’t really look at, they’re not on the radar for a great place to play, but those communities need music.”
Harrington and Clarendon said they are working on taking all of the steps necessary to start working on the band’s first full-length album.
“We have a number of songs ready to put on a record,” Clarendon said. “We’re locking in all the parts, and there are so many moving parts in putting together a record. Once all of those parts get put into place we’re looking at options for where we’re going to record, who we’re going to record with, there’s so many different questions with that.”
Harrington said once the album is recorded they will start to self-promote it. Until then, the Libby Creek Original will be playing the ACRES Student Farms’s fundraiser, “Dance for the Plants” this weekend at the Laramie Train Depot.
Music by the Libby Creek Original can be found on Spotify. More information on events can be found on the Libby Creek Original’s website or Facebook page.