Pasture: Volume II EP (CD)
The Pines are pleased to announce the arrival of Pasture II, the second installment in their series of EPs exploring the timeless tradition and passage of the American folk song. With ballads unearthed from the public domain alongside contemporary songs from their native Iowa, Pasture II blurs the line between past and future, giving a glimpse into The Pines’ creative process of imagination and re-interpretation. Raw and urgent, Pasture II was recorded in just two hours, live and without over-dubs, by songwriter extraordinaire and close friend of the band Mason Jennings, whose production and vision brings an immediacy to these tracks. As The Pines examine the lines between lo-fi and hi-fi, tradition and innovation, the “Pasture” series are like field recordings from a place where mystery is alive and well.
Picking up where Pasture I: Folk Songs left off, the songs emerge from somewhere in The Pines’ repertoire, each with their unique touch and treatment. “Blind Fiddler” and “The Train That Carried My Girl From Town” are traditional songs from deep in the American psyche and songbook — still relevant as testimony to life’s basic struggle for security. “Hard Times Come Again No More,” the Stephen Foster classic, comes not as a lament but a rallying cry against turning away from our fellow man. “Even When,” written by Iowa folk songstress Pieta Brown, and “On The Range,” written by Benson and Alex’s father, Bo Ramsey, stand as art without expiration, the central yearning of the individual’s place among the collective, and interconnection. “It Don’t Make Sense (You Can’t Make Peace),” the great Chicago blues songwriter Willie Dixon’s favorite of his compositions, comes and goes like a dream of peace imagined, yet unrealized.
The cover photo for Pasture II is part of an ongoing collaboration with visionary Iowa photographer and filmmaker Danny Wilcox Frazier, whose work The Pines greatly admire. Frazier’s travels around the American Midwest gave rise to his unique perspective of the vitality, complexity, and humanity of the people who dwell there. His photographs document those individuals who continue to live traditional lives in rural communities across the Midwest, people challenged economically but often unwavering in their conviction to stay.
Mastered by Minneapolis engineer Tom Garneau, and featuring The Pines main touring trio of David Huckfelt, Benson Ramsey & Alex Ramsey, Pasture II is a snapshot of a band reaching backwards and forwards … simultaneously.The Pines – Pasture II
1. Blind Fiddler (2:59) – Traditional, adapted and arranged by The Pines
2. It Don’t Make Sense (You Can’t Make Peace) Reprise (1:39) – written by Willie Dixon
3. Even When (4:29) – written by Pieta Brown
4. Hard Times Come Again No More (3:10) – written by Stephen Foster, Public Domain
5. On The Range (3:10) – written by Robert Franklin Ramsey
6. The Train That Carried My Girl From Town – Traditional, adapted by The Pines
Produced by Mason Jennings & The Pines
All songs arranged by The Pines
Benson Ramsey – acoustic & electric guitar, vocals
David Huckfelt – acoustic guitar, vocals
Alex Ramsey – keyboards, harmony vocals
Mason Jennings – drums, harmony vocals
Recorded & Mixed by Mason Jennings at Arrowhead
Mastered by Tom Garneau at AUDIOACTIVE