Dave Plaehn and Jeff Hino have been performing their own distinct blend of acoustic and electric blues, folk, and original material since 1990. At their core, Plaehn and Hino explore the uncluttered powerful interplay of blues harmonica, National steel slide guitar, and vocals in the tradition of bluesmen like Robert Johnson, Slip Harpo and Elmore James.
A typical Plaehn and Hino set features traditional blues, originals and contemporary and creative interpretations of current artists like Taj Mahal, Sonny Landreth and John Mayall. But Dave and Jeff can just as easily surprise the audience with the high and lonesome sound of a country blues gospel song. It's a blues-based musical Cuisinart, with a enjoyable and varied blend in every performance.
Dave Plaehn, an Iowa boy, grew listening to Sarah Vaughn, Dvorak, and last but not least, Ricky Nelson. His early years in a high school rock band turned him onto Minneapolis folk trio Koerner, Ray and Glover, and early blues artists Robert Johnson and Leadbelly.
Devoting his spare time to songwriting and recording and plugging his songs, Plaehn released an LP, SMOKIN', in 1981 and, then, an EP, MOUTH FULL OF BLUES, in 1982, both on his own label, Pilot Records. SMOKIN' featured all original, mostly pop songs.
"Dave Plaehn has made a fine solo debut SMOKIN', showing a talented hand at a variety of arrangement approaches . . . Plaehn's vocal quality is most reminiscent of country rhumba king Jesse Winchester, while his phrasing often approximates Phoebe Snow's jazzy blues." --- R. Borgerson, Prairie Sun, Peoria, IL
"Plaehn sings in a rich, smoky tenor that needs no accompaniment. . . . The first side is very strong . . . ." --- M. Barron, Isthmus, Madison, WI
"An Iowan worth watching and listening to, Plaehn's nearly flawless six-song EP . . . Plaehn's able-bodied singing and soulful sense of hymnody and rural blues forms that give this rounder it's wings. . . . `Vigilante Man' will make you soar. . . . A-" --- City Pages, Minneapolis
In 1984 Dave left Iowa for Oregon, where he continued songwriting and performing with a number of local acts including the regional act, NEAL GLADSTONE & COMPANY.
Jeff Hino's early musical experiences included run-ins with piano and a cello, until he discovered the electric guitar. Early blues influences came from Michael Bloomfield, Clapton, and Dicky Betts.
Tucson Arizona's country rock crowds lured Hino out of rock and into the high and lonesome bluegrass sound.
In the mid-70's, Hino migrated to the Northwest, where he studied and experimented with country and city swing on dobro and lap steel. He appeared in a mouthful of Mid-Willamette Valley incarnations of bluegrass, country-western, cajun, and hillbilly jazz groups, including the Highwater String Band, Spontaneous Combustion, The Sophisticado Swing Band, Cow Patty & Pals, and Waterbound. It's not uncommon for Hino to have five instruments on stage at one time, including National steel guitar, dobro, acoustic guitar, lap steel, and 5-string banjo. Meeting Dave Plaehn in the late 80's, Dave and Jeff played their first duo performance together in 1990. Five years later, the duo recorded their first CD on Nontrivial Records;On Your Bond, a mix of rural and urban blues, along with a George Jones classic, Buddy Holly's Not Fade Away, and one of Plaehn's originals.
Jeff has become a well-known and respected blues slide guitarist in the Mid-Valley, playing lap steel---not a common instrument--- National steel guitar, and Dobro. But he also brings unique flavors to the bues with 5-string banjo and ukulele.