“The Builders And The Butchers have specialized in a kind of white-knuckle Americana: Their acoustic folk-rock sound is shot through with nervy, hellfire-and-brimstone intensity.”
– Stephen Thompson, NPR
“these guys will appeal to Decemberists fans… It’s almost as though, while Colin Meloy was down in Missoula studying literature, Sollee and company were somewhere deep in the woods, working out the bylaws of their own sovereign nation.”
“The group’s albums keep getting better, the content distinctively creative, with quality to lean on from end to end.”
– Consequence of Sound
Portland-based folk rock band, The Builders and the Butchers, announce their forthcoming album, The Spark, due out May 19th. The band’s fifth LP will be released on Badman Recordings Co., which will be their third release with the label.
Their last album was hailed by Consequence of Sound, who said, “The Builders and the Butchers make records the way the bards used to pass on stories. They’re poetic and captivating, and do to songwriting what Clint Eastwood does to movies,” and this new record follows the same, narrative-driven path.
With comparisons to The Decemberists coming from Pitchfork and The Washington Post, among others, their brand of folk-rock is best served live. Audiences can look forward to lively performances, where fourth wall is broken and the audience is able to participate in call and response sing-a-longs. Sometimes the band will hand out instruments for fans to play, and they’ll even get down off stage to perform right on the floor.
The Builders and The Butchers formed in 2005. Ryan Sollee fronts the band, sings and plays guitar, joined by Willy Kunkle (bass, guitar, vocals, percussion), Justin Bair (drums, backup vocals, percussion) and Harvey Tumbleson (mandolin, banjo, guitar, vocals, percussion). The Portland-based band gained a strong following after years of playing anywhere and everywhere across the city. They quickly grew to become one of the most exciting live bands in Portland and throughout the Pacific Northwest.
The band toured throughout the US and Europe from 2007-2012, playing music festivals, such as Sasquatch and Lollapalooza, and acting as support for Portugal. The Man, Heartless Bastards, Amanda Palmer and Murder By Death. To support their forthcoming release, The Spark, the band will be playing their first US and European tour in multiple years.
This new album features a wider array of sounds and shorter, impactful songs, while remaining a Builders’ record at heart. The process of creating The Spark was the longest of any Builders’ record to date. They spent the last five years writing the music and a year mixing. With several band members living out of state (Justin in Colorado, Willy in Malta, Harvey in Washington and Ryan and Ray in Portland), many parts were recorded remotely. Drums and much of the electric guitar were recorded at Revolver Studios and the rest was laid down piece-by-piece and mixed by Edgar McCrae at his home studio. Influences for the record range from Tom Waits to The White Stripes.
Photo Credit: Cameron Browne
The Builders and the Butchers were formed in the Fall of 2005 in Portland, Oregon. The bands’ first two years consisted of busking, playing house shows, and showing up unannounced anywhere around Portland, where people were gathered. People began to take notice and the band transitioned slowly, going from playing on the floor of venues unplugged to gradually adding a mic here, an amp there, until they organically grew into one of the most exciting live bands in the Pacific Northwest. Even when plugged in, a cornerstone of almost every Builders’ show is playing on the floor at some point during the set.
In the past few years, the members of the Builders and the Butchers have laid roots all around the world. They have come together for shows, wrote new material and toured whenever they could.
The members are all originally from Alaska. Justin, the band’s drummer, bought a home in Colorado and makes gin and whiskey for a living. Willy is a captain on a ship, and has been based in Malta for the past couple of years. Harvey lives with his family in Washington state, and Ryan and Ray reside in Portland, Oregon. With all of the logistics involved, The Spark was a challenging record to make.
Touring relentlessly from 2007-2012, the Builders gathered a cult-dedicated fan base across the US and Europe. Playing dozens of music festivals, such as Sasquatch and Lollapalooza, as well as supporting amazing bands and artists like Portugal. The Man, Amanda Palmer, Murder By Death and Heartless Bastards.
The Builders have scheduled their first US and Europe tours in several years to support their latest release The Spark. They hope to make music that brings people together for many years to come.
The Spark – TRACKLISTING1. All Turn To Fire Pt. 1
2. All Turn To Fire Pt. 2
3. Older Than Sin
4. Let it Shine
5. Casket Lands
6. No Grave
7. Never Tell
8. Darker Day
9. Edge of a Knife
11. Let the Wind Carry Me Home
5/4 – Sunset Tavern – Seattle, WA (LP Release Show)
5/5 – Ft George Brewery – Astoria, OR (LP Release Show)
5/6 – Old Church – Portland, OR (LP Release Show)
6/7 – Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco, CA
6/8 – Crepe Place – Santa Cruz, CA
6/9 – Cellar Door – Visalia, CA
6/11 – Casbah – San Diego, CA
6/27 – Replay Lounge – Lawrence, KS
6/28 – Fisch Haus – Wichita, KS
6/29 & 6/30 – Hi Dive – Denver, CO
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