The Infamous Stringdusters: Giving Back While on Tour

Stringdusters Cleanup Drop Missoula, MT | © Michael Fiebig

The Infamous Stringdusters lend a hand at a National River Cleanup® event in Missoula, MT | © Michael Fiebig

August days in Montana tend to be hot, dry, and sunny. This day was no different, making the cool water of the Clark Fork River feel that much more refreshing on our legs as we picked up plastic soda bottles, beer cans, and the dozens of lost flip-flops that littered the shoreline through downtown Missoula.

But this was no ordinary river cleanup. The Clark Fork Coalition and American Rivers put together this National River Cleanup® event in response to a special request from members of the band, The Infamous Stringdusters during a tour stop on their American Rivers Tour.

Though the Dusters had just played Sand Point, ID, the night before, and had driven overnight to get to their show in Missoula, MT, these guys still wanted to spend what little time they had before sound check picking up lost belongings and discarded trash along a local stretch of river. Longtime advocates for conservation, the Stringdusters don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk.

Stringdusters Cleanup Missoula, MT | © Michael Fiebig

Volunteers removed 40 bags of trash from the Clark Fork River, MT during a National River Cleanup® event | © Michael Fiebig

A small group of volunteers joined members of the band for the cleanup, picking up 40 big bags of trash from the banks of the river. After the last wayward sandal and discarded pair of shorts was stowed, the whole crew went for a swim below Brennan’s Wave to cool off. Volunteers that did not already have tickets to the show that evening were added to the guest list, and then the members of the band made their way back to the Wilma Theatre to get ready.

Later that night the Infamous Stringdusters put on a high-energy, crowd-pleasing performance, and in between sets even gave a shout out to the river cleanup participants from earlier that day. The Missoula crowd loved it. But instead of basking in the glow of a great performance after the show, the guys were off again to their next destination, no doubt planning to give a little back to Driggs, ID, before they hit the stage at the Targhee Bluegrass Festival.