A couple of weeks ago, five men in similar plaid shirts and jeans filled the Lake County Courthouse atrium with music.
One of those men was Wally Congdon, who works as the deputy civil attorney for Lake County.
The string band, the Best of Bannack, has members from around Montana and Idaho that get together and play benefits.
Their show at the courthouse was a preview of their showcase the following evening at The Idle Spur in Dayton, during a benefit for the community’s elementary school.
Named after the territorial capital of the Territory of Montana, Bannack, Congdon explained the band was borne of musicians that play together for an annual show the third week of July.
The Best of Bannack, he said, “is a consortium of people from different” backgrounds that have time to play outside of the yearly meeting.
There are nine members of Bannack, and whoever can play an event, attends.
“Sometimes more people can come than not, but that’s all right,” Congdon said.
The band only plays benefits, and usually for food and board.
The Best of Bannack played for the centennial milestone of the National Park Service, and the 150th anniversary of the Terrority of Montana, and other specialty functions.
Congdon, who has played the stand-up bass for 50 years, said he plays for “a lot of people” who need his talent, and plays with Bannack from time to time.
Bass isn’t the only instrument Congdon plays; he said he’ll play anything with strings. “It’s music and it’s fun, so just play,” he said.
Taking time to play together and “take it easy,” Congdon said members of Bannack were already local so they decided to play for the Dayton function.
“It was just good luck those guys were coming” coupled with the owner of The Idle Spur willing to help organize food and provide a location, Congdon said.
“It was a treat to say they’re (Bannack) here and Dayton (Elementary) could use the benefit for the school,” Congdon said.