Sharing the stage: Love, music and partnership on Montana’s bluegrass scene

Years after their bands shared the stage at Pine Creek Lodge, Ryan Acker and Lena Schiffer were married there in Sept. 2021.

Courtesy photo

You can fall in love on a stage.

Public performance puts you into a heightened state of being. Endorphins crackle through your fingertips. It’s one of the most passionate things you can do. Everything emotion feels stronger.

The real trick is keeping it going off stage.

Just ask Lena Schiffer and Ryan Acker. She’s the lead singer and guitarist for the local stomp-grass titans Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs. And he’s a vocalist and Swiss army knife multi-instrumentalist for the Americana three piece Last Revel.

Both Bozeman based, Schiffer and Acker are cornerstones of the roots music tradition in Montana and surrounding areas. And oh yeah, they’re also married.

The pair met at the Red Ants Pants festival in 2015. The Last Revel were big dogs that year. They’d won the emerging artist competition in 2014, which meant they led off the main stage in 2015. Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs won the competition that year.

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