Ryan Sollee (of The Builders and the Butchers)
w/guest Lewi Longmire
- Crystal Hotel - Al's Den |
- Tuesday, October 29, 2013
- 7 p.m. |
- Free |
- 21 and over
About Ryan Sollee (of The Builders and the Butchers)
Ryan Sollee, lead singer of The Builders and the Butchers, has been endlessly touring throughout the last few years. From his beginnings playing on rainy Portland streets for random passersby, to the early unplugged Mississippi Pizza and Valentines' shows, to the last three years of endless touring - Ryan and the band live and die for their connection with the audience. Whether playing bar gigs for 50 people or opening arena shows for 3000, Ryan builds a connection with the audience every time he takes the stage.
The Builders went into the studio with the idea of peeling back layers to where the essence of the song lies, and to try and finally fully encapsulate their raucous, impassioned live show. Joining up with Adam Selzer (The Decemberists, M. Ward, She & Him), who worked on their sophomore album Salvation is a Deep Dark Well, and engineer Dylan Magierek (Mark Kozelek, Starfucker, Thao Nguyen), the band created their third album, Dead Reckoning, using the recording style of the 1950s and 1960s, where the magic of a song was captured by the band playing together live and with minimal overdubbing. The Builders tracked almost all of Dead Reckoning in live takes, with Ryan handling vocals and guitar in one room and the rest of the band playing in the other. With tracking and mixing taking a total of only eight days, the energy and intensity of time spent in the studio is immediately apparent on each song.
"In the studio, the most difficult element for a band to achieve is a fusion of the live performance with the recording. The act of recording is quiet, serene, and controlled - the opposite experience of a live show. Sound engineers, studio builders and audiophiles work their hardest to make a ‘dead room' to record in," says Ryan. "It's no wonder so few records capture a band's true identity."
Dead Reckoning is an age-old method of sea navigation that involves using past position, speed, and drift to calculate current and future location. Dead Reckoning, with its classic, timeless sound, is a measure of where the band and its music, as well as these times in which we live, have been, are now, and where it all might be going. "I thought it would be a perfect title for the album given its stripped down sound, and how most of these songs tell stories, many of which are set in the past, " Ryan reveals. "Like our previous records, the settings of the songs follow a few main ideas: the father and the son, early 1900s America, absolute good and evil, addiction, and religion. On this album, I really thought a lot about the end of the world and the dark times we live in, how the feelings we feel and the world we experience is not that different from 1930s America, and I thought about the music that was created at that time. This is where the inspiration for these songs originated."
The Builders and the Butchers have had the opportunity to tour with Heartless Bastards, Portugal. The Man, Amanda Palmer, Brand New, and Murder By Death, to name a few.
About w/guest Lewi Longmire
Lewi Longmire has built a reputation as Portland's multi-instrumentalist "go-to guy." In the years since relocating to Portland from Albuquerque, New Mexico, he's been included on shows and recordings by national acts like Michael Hurley, Victoria Williams and Tara Jane O'Neill as well as many of the Northwest's finest bands and songwriters – Fernando, James Low, Little Sue, Casey Neill, Michael Jodell, the Freak Mountain Ramblers and The Peasants included. More recently, though, Longmire has taken all the things learned from working with these fine performers and has been spending his time leading a roots-rock/Americana band of his own, singing his own original songs. The group owes much to the American tradition of good songs played with high energy, deep roots and an unpretentious sense of fun. Their sound finds the connection between the basement feel of The Band, the raspy blue-eyed soul of Joe Cocker, the desert space of Giant Sand, the "without a net" deep space improvisations of the San Francisco Ballrooms, the punk abandon of The Stooges and the quiet contemplation of Johnny Cash playing solo.
Helping the songwriter achieve his sound is the Lewi Longmire Band, a stalwart group of Portland musicians. Bill Rudolph (bass and vocals) played with the Crackpots and Little Sue for years, driving their home crowd into an energetic frenzy with his low tones. Ned Folkerth (drums) has toured the world over with many groups, including the midwest's Pinetop Seven, always laying down the perfect groove to cure whatever ails ya. The band is at times augmented by some of the other fine players in Portland's rich musical family: Bingo a.k.a. Kevin Ritchey (guitar), David Lipkind (harmonica), Jenny Conlee (keyboards), Paul Brainard (steel guitar, trumpet), and Eddie Lakkaidan (percussion).
Longmire can also be found playing in an acoustic duo with Annalisa Tornfelt, a fine fiddler blessed with a beautiful voice and an arresting presence. The two trade off songs , harmonizing and generally amusing each other on stage.