with HILLFOLK NOIR
Pert Near Sandstone emerged from the same roots-based musical hotbed in Minneapolis that gave birth to Bob Dylan, The Jayhawks and Spider John Koerner. Originally formed by four friends from the same hometown, Pert Near Sandstone formed unintentionally over weekly, whiskey-fueled picking sessions in an old house in St. Paul, MN. They decided without any real intentions to start playing shows and the chemistry of their music and friendships, even early on, left people feeling like the party followed them everywhere they went. Word of the bands’ uncanny ability to whip audiences into frenzies spread and they were invited to play some of Minnesota’s most legendary venues including First Avenue, the Cedar Cultural Center and the Historic Orpheum Theater.
With previous appearances at Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Prairie Home Companion, Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour, Music City Roots and the International Bluegrass Music Conference plus four well received full-length original records and a 7” single (‘Ship of Fools’ out April 2, 2013) under their belt, Pert Near Sandstone continues to build momentum as they prepare to release a new album of original material in April of 2014. The forthcoming record promises to showcase the evolution of the band’s sound and will push them further into the spotlight as international leaders of the modern American stringband movement.
Fronted by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Travis Ward, Hillfolk Noir is a trio of neo-traditionalists playing traditional music on traditional instruments for non-traditional times. They call it Junkerdash, and it’s a sound brewed from folk, bluegrass, punk, string-band blues and other influences musical and otherwise. Recommended pairings: Drinking and dancing.
Hillfolk Noir has performed with Built to Spill, Neko Case, Justin Townes Earle, James McMurtry, Deer Tick, Gourds, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, The Devil Makes Three, Charlie Parr, Dark Dark Dark, Finn Riggins, Gerald Collier, Caleb Klauder, Train, Glen Phillips, Jesse Dayton, Neva Dinova and tons of other great acts that you may or may not have heard of.
A sampling of accolades for Hillfolk Noir:
“If John Steinbeck owned a speakeasy, Hillfolk Noir would be the house band.” — John Doe (X, The Knitters)
“Brilliant, edgy punked-up acoustic hillbilly blues.” — American Roots UK
“Hillfolk Noir have fine-tuned their dark, Depression-era jangly blues to become one of the most incredible bands in [Boise]. They are as honest as they come.” — Seattle Weekly
“I love this.” — Ricky Ross, BBC Radio Scotland
“Too authentic to be considered alt anything. Ward is an evocative, charismatic singer-songwriter who embraces diverse shards of Americana. Time-warped kaleidoscopes —sparse, historically reverent and pretty terrific.” — Michael Deeds, Idaho Statesman
“You guys sound like Johnny Cash on Robitussin.” — Ryan, Pengilly’s Saloon bartender