Alaska-born/Portland residents, The Builders and the Butchers, originally formed with no intention of touring, putting out records, or doing anything more than playing to strangers on the streets of Portland. Since then, the band has developed a loyal international fan base and their past support spots have included tours with The Cave Singers, Heartless Bastards, Portugal The Man, Amanda Palmer, Brand New, and Murder By Death, among many others.
Following the enthusiastic media and public response to their 2011 album, “Dead Reckoning”, The Builders and The Butchers are proud to announce that they will be releasing their fourth disc, “Western Medicine”, on July 2 on Badman Recording Co. For vinyl fans, the record was released on June 4, and is available through retail sites/outlets and the Badman site (http://www.Badmanrecordingco.com).
On “Western Medicine”, The Builders and The Butchers (Ryan Sollee – vocals/guitar; Harvey Tumbleson – guitar/banjo/mandolin; Ray Rude – drums/organ/piano; Willy Kunkle – bass; Justin Baier – drums), set off to create an album that built layers around the already powerful electrified-folk sound they have honed over the years. They gave themselves permission to spend almost a full month in the studio with producer/engineer Dylan Magierek (STRFKR, Mark Kozelek, Lovers) to fully explore the dark and twisted terrain that became “Western Medicine”. Influenced largely by the post-apocalyptic writing of Cormac McCarthy, the new album delves deep into epic sonic territory that the band has yet to venture.
The first new track, “Dirt In The Ground”, which the band previewed in April, has already received praise from the media, and now prior to the release of the new disc, The Builders and The Butchers premier a new album track, “Desert on Fire”.
You can download and stream “Desert on Fire” here:
When speaking of themes for his songwriting, lead singer/guitarist Sollee remarks, “the folklore that the American west holds always has always been my favorite well to draw from. The west is comparatively young, like a child learning how to behave. The west is vast and dangerous as anywhere on earth, but holds enormous beauty as well. The songs on “Western Medicine” are still just stories, mostly taking place in the past, but darker times lie ahead.”
On their previous releases, the musical influence reflected all of The Builders general appreciation for American Folk music.In reality, each of the band members listen to almost every genre of music from metal, punk, classic rock, hip hop and electronic music. On “Western Medicine”,The Builders embraced their diverse musical tastes and weaved different ideas, sounds, and textures into the songs to give them a rich and deep sound scope while staying true to the dark and epic nature of the songs. Instrumentally, the band expanded their cannon quite a bit on the new album: there is electric guitar on most songs, baritone guitar, synthesizer and even flute.
Sollee says, “There are all kinds of sounds we’ve never touched before, synthesizers, flute, and orchestra strings. We didn’t tie ourselves to traditional folk instruments, and experimented with electric guitar, and crazy percussion set ups. We threw everything into these songs, then peeled pack the layers in the mixing process to find the real essential parts.”
“Western Medicine” also features some of Portland’s finest musicians playing guest roles. The amazing Kelli Schaefer and Cristina Cano (Siren and the Sea, Albatross) sang most of the harmonies; Sebasitian Bibb-Barrett (Federale) played and wrote the trumpet parts; and Anna Fritz (Portland Cello Project) and Amanda Lawrence (Loch Lomond/Albatross) played strings.
To support the upcoming release of “Western Medicine”, The Builders and the Butchers have been doing shows in select markets. Their recent Denver show was reviewed by “The Denver Post’s” Laura Keeney and she proclaimed, “This band takes the folk-rock genre and turns it up to 11, with the soulful voice of front man Ryan Sollee and the masterful Harvey Tumbleson adding the perfect amount of sweet banjo and/or mandolin to the tunes to balance out the dual drummers and incredible bass fills.”
The band has confirmed the following performances, with more to be added shortly:
JUNE 22 – PORTLAND, OR – MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS (CD RELEASE SHOW)
JULY 21 – PORTLAND, OR – 8 TRACK RELAY – INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
AUGUST 7 – MONMOUTH, OR – MAIN STREET MUSICFEST
AUGUST 9- TURNER, OR – ENCHANTED FOREST GREAT IDEA FEST
AUGUST 10 – MCMINNVILLE, OR – GRANARY DISTRICT FOLK FESTIVAL