After seven years, a St. Joseph band is calling it quits.
The folk-bluegrass quartet Under The Big Oak Tree will perform for a final time starting at 8 p.m. on Friday at Unplugged, 2605 Frederick Ave.
“We connected with so many kinds of people. I feel super proud of the music we’ve done and looking back on it and feeling like this was a real band and everybody contributed to it,” Simon Fink, guitarist and main songwriter for the band, said.
Consisting of singer Kristin Hamilton, bassist Doug “Sluggo” Ward, guitarist Jason Riley and Fink, the band released three albums, started a season-themed concert series in Downtown St. Joseph and toured the Midwest.
The group’s music mixed sunny bluegrass and folk with dark tunes about heartbreak and longing. Their thoughtful, energetic shows earned them spots at events like the Crossroads Music Fest, Folk Alliance International Folk Fest and Boulevardia in Kansas City.
Fink said the group had to disband after he received a job opportunity as an orchestra director in Houston, Texas. He said while he’s excited about the career change, it was tough to break it to the band.
“I (would) keep in touch with them every step of the way so it wouldn’t be a shock and they were 100-percent supportive ... The hard part was that meeting where we were like ‘We’ve got to figure out the ins and outs of how we’re going to end this,’” Fink said.
To put a bookend on this chapter of the band, it’s going to do what it’s always done — play a lot of crowd-pleasing tunes as a way of saying thanks to its fans.
“Under The Big Oak Tree is bigger than the people in it. We’ve really connected to people and feel really close to people who come see us. So this is all about acknowledging that part of the relationship,” Fink said.
The band will be breaking out a lot of old tunes it hasn’t played in awhile, as well as fan favorites.
“I’ve got a master list on my computer of all the songs we’ve ever done. (We) looked through it and just chose ones we want to do, even one that are going to be kind of rough, because we haven’t done them and want to do them one more time,” Fink said.
The concert is titled “Farewell (For Now),” which leaves some room for a reunion down the road.. While this will be a joyous goodbye, Fink said that he hopes it won’t be the last one.
“Artistically, I feel like there’s still more that we can do. Logistically, I could come back at some point and have some more time here. That’s not out of the question,” he said.
Regardless of what the future, the group is happy to have played a role in the local scene.
“It means a lot to have been a part of this and have been a part of the music community here,” Fink said.
The concert is open to everyone 21 and older.