The Builders And The Butchers Announce US Summer Tour, Play Lollapalooza
Sophomore Record Salvation Is A Deep Dark Well On Gigantic Music June 30th
It was a typical rainy Portland afternoon at Ray Rude’s house (who plays “drums” in The Builders), hanging with friends when Ryan decided to show them what he was working on. Something clicked that afternoon and within minutes everyone in attendance found something to play. Alex Ellis happened to have an old acoustic bass, and Harvey Tumbleson had borrowed a Mandolin, Ray sat down at the piano and they just started playing. Paul Seely joined the band a week later as a drummer and instrumentalist and the Builders and The Butchers were born.
Starting innocently enough as a fully acoustic rambling bunch, seeking out audiences on street corners and outside of venues, make no mistake this is not another story of busking come good, The Builders were not looking for money nor were they looking for fame, they were just playing the music they wanted to on their own terms. The band didn’t work out parts on these early songs, they were developed playing on the street, and this philosophy carries through today, by choosing to develop songs live or at rehearsal.
Ryan Sollee says “Something special happens when we get in a room and try to work out a song. If I come in with a developed song it never seems to sound as good or it does not sound like The Builders.”
In particular it was at these performances that Ray and Paul worked out their unique “deconstructed” drum style.They played in the rain and cold of Portland winters until instruments were warped and broken, then one day the Builders sold out and booked a real show, then another, and crowds soon were seeking the Builders out.
At the early shows it was hard to distinguish the band from the audience, nothing was mic'd or amplified, and seemingly everyone in the audience had a shaker, washboard, or were just beating on the wall and singing. All in attendance saw something special happening, a Portland audience was having fun, singing along and participating, the music demanded a celebration.
Within a year, the Builders would win the Willamette Week’s “Best New Band of 2008” and Seattle Sound’s “Best Live Performers 2008”and completed supporting tours with the Helio Sequence, Brand New, Langhorne Slim, Amanda Palmer, Dax Riggs, Murder By Death and Port O’brien.
The Builders don't pay homage to old America, they channel it. All of the basic instruments are there, acoustic bass, drum, guitar, banjo, and mandolin. They mix gospel, blues, and bluegrass and howl desperate story-songs that latch onto your brain and demand immediate attention.
The timeless sound of their songs, harkens back to a time long passed in music, but reflecting the dark times of the present.
Their self-titled debut was released in 2007 and showcases the bands early raw sound. Their latest release titled “Salvation Is A Deep Dark Well” is a much more complete work showcasing the bands full potential. On Salvation, the Builders worked with producer Chris Funk from the Decemberists who brought with him a throng of expertise, patience, instruments, and some of the best musicians in Portland.
Salvation record combines the immediacy of the Builders early work with more a developed songwriting, each one with its own personality and story to tell. In the vein of the Southern Gothic tales Ryan weaves stories of struggle with the usual cast of characters God, the Devil, soldiers, branches, wind, rain and hell fire. The record starts with a piano chord and an eerie wind escalating into the thunderous “Golden and Green”, stomp and grinds its way through “Devil Town” and “The Short Way Home”, to the Spanish tinged “Barcelona and “Raise Up”, and the soaring chorus of “In The Branches”, ending with a lesson of hope in the gospel homage“The World is a Top”.
The story of “Salvation is a Deep Dark Well” is that there’s joy and celebration through the darkness, there’s light in the hardest of times, and when you reach the bottom may salvation light your way.
Summer 2009 US Tour
* Illinois Supporting
Thursday 06/18 Portland Wonder Ballroom
Friday 06/19 Seattle Neumos
Wednesday 07/15 San Francisco Bottom of the Hill
Thursday 07/16 Visalia Cellar Door
Friday 07/17 Los Angeles Spaceland
Saturday 07/18 San Diego Casbah
Monday 07/20 Salt Lake Urban Lounge
Tuesday 07/21 Denver Larimer Lounge
Wednesday 07/22 Wichita Fischhaus
Thursday 07/23 Lawrence Replay Outside
Friday 07/24 St Louis Off Broadway with those darlins
Saturday 07/25 Cincinnati Mad Hatter
Monday 07/27 Cleveland Beachland
Tuesday 07/28 DC DC 9
Wednesday 07/29 Philadelphia Johnny Brendas
Thursday 07/30 Brooklyn Bell House
Friday 07/31 New York Pianos
Saturday 08/01 Boston TT the Bears
Monday 08/03 Detroit Pike Room
Tuesday 08/04 Pittsburgh Brillobox
Wednesday 08/05 Columbus Skully's
Thursday 08/06 Indianapolis Vollrath
Friday 08/07 Chicago Lollapalooza
Sunday 08/09 Madison High Noon TBA
Monday 08/10 Minneapolis 400 Bar
Wednesday 08/12 Missoula Palace