Paste’s Band Of The Week : http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2009/07/band-of-the-week-the-builders-and-the-butchers.html
Daytrotter Sessions : http://www.daytrotter.com/dt/the-builders-and-the-butchers-evidencing-the-raw-new-hell-castle-concert/20030448-3737826.html
NPR Song Of The Day : http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105818961
RCRD LBL : These guys are infamous for riotous live musical performances- the kind that explodes sweaty southern roots gospel music throughout the room until everyone feels warm, gooey and swampy inside…Really, if you haven’t seen it yet, see it soon. ”
My Old Kentucky Blog : “…their music harkens back to a time of great wide open western coastal state expansion.â€
Seattle Weekly : “…twangy, bloody masterpiece rife with religious imagery and boot-stomping banjo breakdowns.”
Seattle Times : “This will be the year for the Builders and the Butchers.”
Hear Ya : “The music blends gospel, country, folk in a bouillabaisse of noise and sound that leaves you on edge, but wholly satisfied.”
It was a typical rainy Portland afternoon at Ray Rudeâ€™s house (who plays â€œdrumsâ€ 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 didnâ€™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 â€œSomething 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.â€ In particular it was at these performances that Ray and Paul worked out their unique â€œdeconstructedâ€ 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 Weekâ€™s â€œBest New Band of 2008â€ and Seattle Soundâ€™s â€œBest Live Performers 2008â€and completed supporting tours with the Helio Sequence, Brand New, Langhorne Slim, Amanda Palmer, Dax Riggs, Murder By Death and Port Oâ€™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 â€œGolden and Greenâ€, stomp and grinds its way through â€œDevil Townâ€ and â€œThe Short Way Homeâ€, to the Spanish tinged â€œBarcelona and â€œRaise Upâ€, and the soaring chorus of â€œIn The Branchesâ€, ending with a lesson of hope in the gospel homageâ€œThe World is a Topâ€.
The story of Salvation is a Deep Dark Well is that thereâ€™s joy and celebration through the darkness, thereâ€™s light in the hardest of times, and when you reach the bottom may salvation light your way.
US Tour With Brand New And Manchester Orchestra
10/08 – in Fillmore – Denver, CO
10/09 – Salt Palace Convention Center – Salt Lake City, UT
10/13 – Roseland – Portland, OR
10/15 – Rabobank Arena – Bakersfield, CA
10/16 – Event Center at San Jose – San Jose, CA
10/17 – Hollywood Palladium – Los Angeles, CA
10/20 – House of Blues – San Diego, CA
10/21 – House of Blues – San Diego, CA
10/22 – Mesa Ampetheater – Mesa, AZ