Iowa-born/Minneapolis-based folk rock artists the The Pines have created a loyal following for their lush, layered sound and poetic lyrics inspired by the land and folklore of the American Midwest. Bridging the folk, roots and indie worlds with their modern take on American music, frontmen/songwriters Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt share a common musical language rooted in the songs and songwriters of their native Iowa, while each bringing a distinct voice and sensibility to a sound that Rolling Stone’s David Fricke dubbed “quietly gripping.” The Pines’ sound balance Ramsey’s ethereal, somberly beautiful songs with Huckfelt’s darkly romantic, cinematic tales for a sweeping sound that evokes the vastness and loneliness of the Great Plains. Their instrumentation blends traditional acoustic instruments with electric guitars, bass and drums. The intricate guitar interplay between Benson and David is layered over the atmospheric keyboard work and vocal harmonies of Alex Ramsey (Benson’s brother) to form the core of The Pines’ instantly recognizable sound.
The son of Greg Brown’s producer and sideman Bo Ramsey, Benson was reared on folk and blues music and found a kindred spirit in David, and they’re known for resurrecting vintage folk songs in their live performances, interpreting them with their own arrangements and full, haunting sound.
Creating a buzz around the Twin Cities, The Pines caught the attention of Red House Records and signed with them in 2007, releasing their breakout album Sparrows in the Bell, named one of the top roots releases of the year by Q Magazine. The Pines wowed audiences at the 2008 South By Southwest (SXSW) and were named one of the musical highlights by CMT.com. They followed up this success with Tremolo, an album that garnered rave reviews in magazines like Rolling Stone and got airplay on tastemaker stations such as KCRW and KCMP The Current as well as a performance on NPR Mountain Stage and Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour. It landed them on Bob Harris’ renowned BBC Radio show, winning them new fans across North America and Europe. It also brought them to the attention of High Road Touring, who now represents the Pines.
2012’s Dark So Gold, coming in at #3 in the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s list of the decade’s best albums, featured the single “Cry Cry Crow” and saw the band opening a US tour for S. Carey along with headline dates. The band played a historic show in 2014 featuring the first Minnesota performance of Native American activist and poet John Trudell in over a decade. Trudell appears in a spoken word piece closing their 2015 album, Above the Prairie. Also in 2014, Faribault Woolen Mills, 150-year-old Minnesota company, contacted the Pines to make a special Pines-designed, limited-edition camp blanket. The Pines’ devoted cult following and has led them to share the stage with such diverse acts as Jolie Holland, The Arcade Fire, Iris DeMent, Mason Jennings, Mavis Staples, Bon Iver and The Holmes Brothers.
Utilizing various strains of folk music Builder of the House welcome their listeners in from the cold digital world to enjoy a warm potpourri of all-embracing indie pop.
In 2011 Rob Cimitile moved to Portland, reignited a relationship with his Martin guitar and began experimenting with his baritone voice which he left dormant for over three years, dismissing it when it failed to complement the grunge music he loved as a teen. But now, after soaking in some serious life experience and obtaining a Master’s degree in music composition, its warm tone felt just right when applied to a more diverse musical palate.
A year later Cimitile was releasing Builder of the House’s debut EP I Am a Tidal Wave and pushing forward as a solo act until a chance meeting with Elliot Heeschen. They had both joined a Zimbabwean marimba band and seemed to trust each other’s sensibilities implicitly from the get go. Heeschen began holding down the drums and percussive elements for Cimitile while the strong world music vibes they initially bonded over found their way into their music.
Now functioning as a full-fledged collaboration, the band’s live act began to pick up steam with opening slots for Pearl and the Beard & Dylan Leblanc as they toured the Northeast while buzz from their second EP, 2015’s Hourglass (sonaBLAST! Records), resulted in features on Reverbnation, SoundCloud(er) of the day and CD Baby’s DIY Musician blog. Around this time Cimitile discovered a passion for adding visuals to the music of Builder of the House, something that has become a trademark of their evolving aesthetic. Their music videos have gone on to be written about by the likes of Paste Magazine, Consequence of Sound, and We All Want Someone to Shout For. Their music videos have also been venerated on the international festival circuit with several nominations and 1st place honors for Best Music Video at MOVE Music Festival and Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema.
The band recently headed to Acadia Recording Company to work with engineer Todd Hutchisen on their first full length album, Ornaments. The detailed arrangements and production nuances were overseen by Cimitile who is prone to sweat the details in every aspect of the release. Ornaments already has a stellar music video to complement its release in “Look at the Man” which draws attention to gender identity issues while conjuring up the kindred vibes of Feist, Timber Timbre, Lumineers & Fleet Foxes.
7pm doors – 8pm show | $10 adv. – $12 day of