The Pines, a folk band native to Iowa, will perform in concert at the Grinnell Arts Center on Friday, Jan. 27. Grinnell's own Pink Neighbor will perform a short set at the opening reception, which begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Arts Center, 926 Broad St., Grinnell. The concert will start at 7:30 p.m.
Center for Prairie Studies, directed by Jon Andelson ’70, Rosenfield Professor of Social Science-Anthropology, is co-sponsoring this special one-night performance.
Erik Jarvis ’12, events manager for the Grinnell Area Arts Council, says, "Professor Jon Andelson reached out to us, saying 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."
Benson Ramsey, Alex Ramsey (sons of Iowa music veteran Bo Ramsey), and David Huckfelt make up The Pines. The men now live and work in Minneapolis, but came back to Iowa last year to record their latest feature-length album, Above the Prairie. The album, which blends indie and folk music, was praised by publications such as Rolling Stone and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
"We went back to Iowa and just did it in three days, and that was pretty much it. It's almost like a photograph," says Benson Ramsey.
Jarvis says of the album, "Each of the artists Jon and I looked at had lyrics that reflected the prairie in some way, but The Pines were the only group whose arrangements and soundscapes gave me that feel of the prairie. When I listen to their music, it feels like the slow bends of Highway 6. It's at once familiar and yet constantly oscillating."
Grinnell-based band Pink Neighbor will perform before The Pines. Comprised of Jarvis and Katie In ’13, who also works at the Arts Center, Pink Neighbor has performed at a variety of venues across Grinnell.
"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 for the general public are $10. The concert is free for Grinnell College students, faculty, and staff, as well as individuals under 18. Tickets are available at the Macy House, 1205 Park St., Grinnell; by calling emailing Jan Graham; at the Grinnell Arts Center; or at the door.
In addition to Grinnell College's Center for Prairie Studies, other co-sponsors of the performance are the College's Office of Alumni Relations; Relish, a Grinnell restaurant; and RSVP, a stationery shop in Iowa City.