Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased tracks, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “All Night Long” by Pert Near Sandstone from their 2011 self-released album, Paradise Hop.
If old-timey bluegrass brings to mind toothless hillbillies and an empty jug as rhythm section, Pert Near Sandstone hasn’t hit your eardrums yet. The band, whose name is based on the affinity toward the bluffs of the Mississippi River and whose sound is steeped in barn dance and traditional stringboard revivalism, joins the ranks Minneapolis alumni of such lauded roots musicians as The Jayhawks and Bob Dylan.
The group members — Nate Sipe on mandolin and fiddle, Kelvin Kneibel on banjo, J Lenz on guitar, Adam Kiesling on bass, and Andy Lambert on washboard — came together without any intention of making much out of it but just to have fun over a few days of picking sessions. But they discovered that their chemistry was a force to be reckoned with, and it inevitably led them to taking the show on the road.
Today’s featured song, “All Night Long,” is rollicking, foot-stomping, and rich with call and response harmonies with plenty of twang and touch of gravel. The originally crafted song launches traditional bluegrass/country/roots into the present without changing much of the old charm. Trying to keep up with the finger picking banjo is breathtaking and positively dizzying.
Keeping up with their tour schedule is a little less challenging. Just check out their website for the latest tour dates. Check out this video for the title track to Paradise Hop. Since nothing is on the books for Seattle, or the West Coast for that matter, let this tide you over: