Pert Near Sandstone
“Our waiting days are finally over,” the title track from Pert Near Sandstone’s new album decries, echoing the sentiment of a community recently pent up and beyond longing. What can develop from the turbulence of a still dwindling global pandemic and also respond to the noise of prattling politics? Art has its purpose in this exact hour.
It’s a strikingly different world than when Pert Near Sandstone first began nearly two decades ago near the sandstone river bluffs of St. Paul, and their music has grown to reflect that of a band of brothers. As longtime stewards of the modern stringband revival, their studio recordings have continuously pulled the genre toward a more contemporary perspective, meditating on the present and rich with reference. This isn’t music reaching for the banality of pop hits, instead they provide fresh air for blades of new grass to grow in.
Waiting Days, Pert Near Sendstone’s 8th studio album, is set for independent release October 20. It has all the strengths of its four songwriters (all of whom are vocalists)—Justin Bruhn, Kevin Kniebel, J Lenz, and Nate Sipe— offering responses to each other’s compositions. Chris Forsberg, a recent inclusion to the outfit, puts his fiddle stamp on the overall sound with turnbuckle solos and harmonious response to the melodies. Trampled By Turtles’ fiddler and original Pert Near member, Ryan Young, recorded and mixed the album and added his fiddle and other accouterments to bolster the energy of the songs.
The intimacy of collaboration is at the heart of this album, which was recorded during several of the harshest weeks of a midwestern winter in Ryan’s NeonBrown Recording Studio. The interplay of mandolin and fiddle carries much of the music across the songs, and the mixture of guest instrumentalists gives this album a unique tapestry of sounds and texture—with accents of piano, trumpet, choral vocalists, steel guitar, and percussion.
Pert Near Sandstone to Release 8th Studio Album, Waiting Days, Oct 20, 2023