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The Builders and the Butchers

Idioma disponível: inglês
Offering a rugged hybrid of folk, country, and twangy rock, Portland outfit the Builders and the Butchers built a reputation around the Pacific Northwest as a rowdy and exciting live band. Their lively 2007 debut directly reflected their stage show, though they also experimented with a more polished approach on 2009's Salvation Is a Deep Dark Well. Tours of the U.S. and Europe further expanded their audience and they soon found a home on the Badman imprint which released a string of acclaimed albums including 2011's looser Dead Reckoning and 2017's The Spark. After a five year gap, the band doubled down on their patent sound with 2022's Hell & High Water. The group's beginnings date back to fall 2003, when frontman Ryan Sollee relocated from Anchorage, Alaska to Portland with his then-current band, the Born Losers. A fascination with blues, country, and gospel music convinced Sollee to launch a different project, and he soon teamed up with several local players including bassist Alex Ellis, organist/percussionist Ray Rude, drummer Paul Seely, and mandolin/banjo player Harvey Tumbleson -- to form the Builders and the Butchers. Playing their first show on Halloween weekend 2005, the Builders quickly found an audience with their dark, Southern gothic songcraft, most of which was played on acoustic instruments with little amplification. Although they were forced to add amplifiers as the crowds increased, the down-home appeal still remained, and local Americana label Bladen County Records soon signed the Builders and the Butchers to their roster. A self-titled LP followed in March 2007. Despite being recorded in a studio, the band's debut was essentially a live record designed to capture the loose energy of their concerts. Released in 2009, Salvation Is a Deep Dark Well proved to be a different story, featuring a more polished Americana sound courtesy of the Decemberists' Chris Funk, who produced the album. After logging several tours of the U.S. and Europe, the Builders and the Butchers went back to their original approach for their third effort, Dead Reckoning, which was recorded in a series of inspired live takes over eight days. It also marked their first release for Portland-based indie Badman Recording Co. By this time Ellis and Seely had been replaced on bass and drums by newcomers Willy Kunkle and Justin Baier. In 2013, the band released its fourth studio outing, the more layered and apocalyptic-sounding Western Medicine. The Spark followed in 2017 and also sported a foreboding, though energetic sound. A self-produced album, it was pieced together digitally due to members being spread across (and in one case, out of) the country. Heading into the next decade, the Builders and the Butchers remained active, though geographically scattered. As with The Spark, they captured much of their next project remotely and over a period of five years before finally emerging with the 2022 LP, Hell & High Water. The album boasted a few additional layers, but otherwised remained true to their core folk-rock sound.
© Andrew Leahey /TiVo
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