World’s Finest

Courtesy photo

Portland, Oregon, band World’s Finest will perform its bluegrass-inspired compositions Saturday night at The Lariat in Buena Vista.

by Andrea Newell

Times Correspondent


Touring in distant towns becomes much easier when the venues become friendlier and more familiar. Such is the case for World’s Finest, which will play at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at The Lariat, 206 E. Main St. in Buena Vista.

Based in Portland, Oregon, the band took its roots in early 2011 as an acoustic trio playing Americana and jamgrass. In mid-2012, some new members came on board and the band brought in some electric shows.

Now, in addition to Americana, the full band creates bluegrass-inspired compositions that transition seamlessly into funk, dub and trance soundscapes and performances peppered with punk and ska.

The band features Chris Couch on vocals and guitar; Dan Hurley on electric banjo and vocals; Sean McLean on saxophone, lead guitar and vocals; Evan Malfer on bass; and Kirk Kalbfleisch on drums.

“Every show has a unique set list, and we try to set the vibe accordingly. We call ourselves dance floor instigators, because that seems to most fit what we do in a live setting,” Couch said.

Each of the five has had some experience in performing, such as high school bands and classical guitar. When they met, they were each in a different band in Portland, sharing shows around town. When their other projects came to an end and the opportunity arose, they joined together as World’s Finest.

“We have grown so much in our live performances since that starting point,” Couch said. “We listen better. We pay attention to what works and try to duplicate those moments for maximum enjoyment for everyone. I mean, who doesn’t love to see a band enjoying themselves on stage? That’s been our goal the whole time, and to see audiences respond to that has been great.

“We have gotten to play with a bunch of our heroes over the years, and it’s been a pleasure to be part of this touring musician world.”

Now they’re returning for their second performance in Buena Vista after having a blast here a year ago. “The sound was great, the crowd was very welcoming, and we loved the town itself,” Couch said.

He said to get ready for “a show where you can relax and forget about the troubles of the world for a few hours. It’s a crazy world out there, but music helps. We come only to have a good time with y’all, so that’s the vibe we try to bring to all of our shows.”

Tickets cost $10.

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