It’s not too often that a group of Alaskans make it to the top of the national music charts.

They don’t play country music, but we are still proud of them.  Portugal The Man won a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

Lead Singer John Gourley grew up in Alaska.  He’s the son of Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race veterans, who would get up early in the morning to feed his family’s dog team.  John and band member Zach Carothers, started playing music when they were attending Wasilla High School.  They re-located to Portland where they signed a recording contract.   Eric Howk, also from Wasilla, headed to Portland to join the band.

They still consider Alaska their home.  During their acceptance speach, John expressed his Alaskan pride.  “We’d like to rep this for all the kids in the villages — Shishmaref, Barrow, Bethel. All the indigenous people in Alaska and around the world. You’re beautiful and your culture’s beautiful. Thank you for inspiring us. Hey man, rep where you’re from. Be proud of who you are and where you’re from.”

“We keep it pretty real. We’re from Wasilla, Alaska, and we don’t forget where we came from.”


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