WATCH & SHARE: The Builders and the Butchers – “No Grave”
“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
” Builders and the Butchers have built a cult following with their no-holds-barred approach to Americana, one that lands them somewhere in between Lucero and the Decemberists.”
– American Songwriter
“The Spark is one of the best folk rock, indie folk records of the year so far.” – PopMatters
Portland-based folk-rock band, The Builders and the Butchers, are now exclusively streaming their forthcoming, fifth album, The Spark, on PopMatters. Listen HERE. The album is due out Friday, May 19th on Badman Recordings Co., and this record will be the band’s third release with the label. The CD and LP are available for pre-order through Badman, and can be purchased HERE.
NPR says, “The Butchers will return with The Spark, which carries on in the group’s tradition of tightly wound roots music that never feels tethered to a single era.” The band’s latest music video, “No Grave,” premiered recently on American Songwriter, who says the clip “takes the term “spaghetti Western” pretty literally.” Consequence of Sound, who debuted the band’s single, “Never Tell,” call the song a “stomping, banjo-led number about the afterlife and a showdown with the devil.”
Their last album was also 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
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
7/1 – Laughing Goat – Boulder, CO