by Kelly McCartney (@theKELword) for FolkAlley.com
As the Pines, songwriters David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey — along with keyboardist Alex Ramsey — have set their sights high on their new album, Above the Prairie. The capaciousness of the music and melodies therein give them plenty of room to wonder and wander, as they search for the ever-elusive answers to the existential questions everyone asks.
“Above the Prairie is where intention and actuality dissolve, and eventually, resolve,” Huckfelt says. “Life is so far beyond an inexact science, our tech-no-logic age gives us no apparatus to deal with uncertainty and anything not immediate. Between who we are and who we wish we were, where we are and where we think we should be, the human response lags.”
To craft the collection, the Pines recruited a handful of local talents who just happen to be some of the brightest lights of the Americana world — Greg Brown, Iris DeMent, Pieta Brown, and Bo Ramsey, who co-produced the album. The album’s coda, “Time Dreams,” finds the pair sidling up to Native American activist/poet John Trudell.
All of those guests make perfect sense when the band’s mission and the album’s meaning is taken into consideration. “Music is the forest, creating something breathable (oxygen) out of something we can’t convert (carbon dioxide). The corporate state turns our spirits into factories, so much pollution per square inch,” Huckfelt continues. “Above The Prairie is about trying to find where the air goes clean again, the pause between the ocean floor and the bends. It’s just a feeling, floating upon an attempt at honesty. Just songs, here for awhile then gone like every other living being.”