THE LOWER 48
Ben Braden and Sarah Parson began writing and singing folk music together in the winter of 2009 in Minneapolis, MN. Within a few months they were playing shows in Minneapolis, Chicago and other Midwestern venues, and before summer they had finished recording their first release, the critically praised EP, Everywhere To Go. Following the release of Everywhere To Go, Ben and Sarah headed west, relocating The Lower 48 to Portland, OR.
Playing regularly on the West Coast, they developed a more mature sound and wrote a host of new songs. In the summer of 2010, Nicholas Sadler, another Minneapolis native relocated to Portland, and joined the band as percussionist. Soon after the Lower 48 began recording their first full-length album. Titled Where All Maps End, this record reveals the band’s collaboration to portray the pain, pleasure and uncertainty of being young and making one’s way in the world. Finding it's strongest influence in music from the 1960’s, Where All Maps End proves The Lower 48 to be a quintessential organic band in the digital age.
City on the Make is a band from South Minneapolis, Minnesota comprised of childhood friends Mischa Keegan (guitar, vocals), Mike Massey (vocals), Stephen Rowe (bass, vocals), and Colin Stumbras (drums). Making music together for years, the band City on the Make emerged onto the Minneapolis scene in 2004.
I’ve been waiting for this record to see the light of day after seeing Cjell Cruze’s name on random live bills the past couple of months. It’s a tremendous debut and one that has seemingly appeared out of nowhere. “Train Song” is tinged in lo-fi Americana and there’s harmonies that sound straight out of the rainy Pacific Northwest. It recalls Vashti Bunyan’s song of the same name — they’re much in the same vein, evoking a familiar sense of travel imagery and that all-to-frequent human crossroads condition.