Music From the Prairie
General Public $10.00
Grinnell College faculty, staff, students are free. Space is limited, a ticket is required.
On Friday, January 27, the Grinnell Arts Center will host The Pines and Pink Neighbor for a night of music. Originally from Iowa, The Pines now live and work in Minneapolis. The band consists of Benson Ramsey, Alex Ramsey (sons of Iowa music veteran Bo Ramsey) and David Huckfelt.
This special one-night performance is co-sponsored by the Grinnell College Center for Prairie Studies (CPS). Erik Jarvis, the Events Manager for the Grinnell Area Arts Council, says, “Professor Jon Andelson reached out to us. He said he’d like to set-up a performance for a band or artist that sings about the prairie. Of the few artists he had in mind, I was largely drawn to The Pines because of their fresh take on folk music and their appeal to a younger demographic. You still get acoustic guitars and tight harmonies, but their sound is spacier than the average ‘folk’ artist.”
Indeed, The Pines’ latest full-length album Above the Prairie even includes a couple instrumentals. “Each of the artists Jon and I loo ked at had lyrics that reflected the prairie in some way,” Jarvis explains, “but The Pines were the only group whose arrangements and soundscapes gave me that feel. When I listen to their music it feels like the slow bends of Highway 6. It’s at once familiar and yet constantly oscillating.”
This feeling is no accident. Having grown up in Iowa, the band decided to return home to record the album. “We went back to Iowa,” Ramsey explains “and just did it in three days and that was pretty much it. It’s almost like a photograph.”
“There’s a remoteness to the record and the feelings,” Huckfelt adds. He likens those feelings to the “very sparse, rural communities” throughout Iowa.
Grinnell’s own Pink Neighbor will perform a short set at the event’s opening reception. Comprised of Jarvis and Katie In, who also works at the Arts Center, Pink Neighbor has become a local favorite over the past year, performing at a variety of venues around town.
“We are excited to open for such a great group,” Jarvis says. “Bringing a band of this caliber fits into our mission of the Arts Center, but it’s also really relevant to what Katie and I are trying to do with our music in Grinnell. We hope that with all the downtown improvements, particularly the new stage at Central Park, we’re able to keep bringing great music here.”
Tickets are available at the Center for Prairie Studies, 1205 Park Street, Grinnell Area Arts Center, or at the door. For more information about this event and the Grinnell Area Arts Council please visit www.grinnellarts.org or contact Erik Jarvis.