Picking up immediately where they left off with Pasture I: Folk Songs, The Pines have just released their breathtaking followup, Pasture II. Every song on the 6-track EP speaks to—and continues to define—the group’s self-proclaimed genre of Transcendental Folk.
The group, whose core creative intelligence consists of guitarist/vocalist David Huckfelt, guitarist/vocalist Benson Ramsey, and keyboardist/harmony vocalist Alex Ramsey, have continued to make the music which they—dare I say—need to make, despite an industry and a popular culture that seem to demand, and drift more and more quickly toward, an abundance of empty and meaningless pieces of sound pretending to be music.
With ballads from the public domain as well as a few fellow folk musicians, these six songs rival anything they’ve recorded to date. I personally have seen The Pines perform live on over 20 occasions. And I’m thrilled to say that Pasture II finally gives permanent access to a few songs that I’ve cherished, but could only previously experience at their shows.
Opening with Blind Fiddler—performed and arranged as only The Pines could—the song behaves like a gentle, etheric wave, passing over the listener, telling the sad story of the “every-man” whose wounds were forgotten by everyone but him. The guys take their time telling this story, allowing the music itself to deliver far more than words alone could.
It Don’t Make Sense (You Can’t Make Peace) Reprise floats by so subtly, the first time I listened to the album, I thought I’d imagined this track. It’s attitude is not so subtle, however. Singing lead on past songs like Pray Tell and Rise Up And Be Lonely, Huckfelt seems to have taken the role of the band’s activist, which continues in dark, edgy fashion with this fleeting rally cry for peace and logic.
Even When & Hard Times Come Again No More quench a thirst for real music telling real stories…stories that were not contrived to force emotion or profit. But simply written to unburden the teller and the listener. These are songs we can all relate to, without having to fantasize or dream…these songs are crucial.
Our Favorite Track:
On The Range is a song I’ve heard the fellas play live many, many times. It’s the kind of music that makes me go back to their shows, over and over again. Written by Benson and Alex’s father, Bo Ramsey, the song is immediately accessible, and opens up that soft little tender spot just behind the sternum. I have to believe, that in order for a piece of music to soften me in this way, it must be performed with clear intentions, with humility, in as pure a way as possible. But, maybe it’s just me.
The Train That Carried My Girl From Town, is a classic Pines rendition of an old folk classic. Endings, I believe, should be gentle and leave you wanting more…check.
While The Pines’ 2012 release Dark So Gold is, in my humble opinion, their best work, Pasture II, could very well be argued to hold that spot as well. This band seems to have figured out how to become more and more themselves with every project they release. Their style and sound seem to be maturing into some form of sonic respite for the weary and tattered. I cannot overstate how powerful it is when an outfit like this finds the courage to allow their collective heart to lead when making their music. The affect? Well…it transcends record sales, profit, celebrity, even happiness or fun. And replaces them with something far more real.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. There’s no one quite like The Pines, and I’m sticking with my original description a few months back…old school Bob Dylan records a modern album with Enya’s producers to create something raw, honest, haunting, and utterly beautiful.
BELOW, you can listen to/watch music from The Pines album, Pasture II, connect with their website and social media platforms, check out their live show/tour schedule, and find their booking & contact information. Please support The Pines by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music. And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
Listen to/watch, Train That Carried My Girl From Town, from The Pines’ album, Pasture II:
Follow, stream, download & connect with The Pines online:
Check out The Pines’ live show/tour schedule:
Booking & contact information for The Pines:
Booking USA & Canada:
High Road Touring
Frank Riley, Booking Agent
info (at) highroadtouring.com
Grapevine Music Agency
Bob Butler & Claire Stein
info (at) grapevinemusicagency.co.uk
Email The Pines:
thepinesmail (at) gmail.com