In a town of countless musical acts it is hard to stand apart, however Ribbonpigeon has created a name for itself in the music scene of Middle Tennessee and abroad.
Currently preparing for the release of its second album on Sophomore Lounge records, Ribbonpigeon has come a long way since the beginning. Kent Goolsby, Blake Loftis and Jonathan Merritt have been playing music together since they were 16 years old.
Throughout their journey, the gang has seen many musicians come and go. Notable for Ribbonpigeon was the loss of fiddle player Rebecca Ryan. However, her replacement by Andrew Mosman and the solid lap steel/lead guitar sounds of Mike Burgess has left this band with a tight-knit group.
When asked how the alternative country sound of Ribbonpigeon spawned, Goolsby explained that he grew up in a home filled with his parents’ vinyl collection?which included artists such as The Band, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young. Kent said, “I didn’t really get it [Southern music] growing up because I always played punk music. Right around the time that we [his former band] were going in our weirdest direction, I starting thinking that I would just like to write real songs. I started having trouble finding purpose in really weird music. I was just losing my drive.”
This new direction birthed Ribbonpigeon and a few years later its first full-length release, Young Lungs, a nine-song collection that kicks off with the immediately catchy track “Modern Men.” From here, the album progresses through a warm path of poetic lyricism and the Southern sounds that have put Nashville on the map. “Devil Wind,” recorded only with acoustic guitar and Goolsby’s raspy vocals, stands out as an evocative creation. Tracks like “Do You Wrong” and “Bad News” are quickly characterized by demanding lead guitar divisions and driving bass lines. Young Lungs is clearly an album these guys poured a lot of heart into.
Now, less than a year later, Ribbonpigeon is stoked to release its second full-length recording. Focusing more on memorable songwriting and less on poetic verse, Steel Hearts will feature 12 new tracks. While being released as a free download from ribbonpigeon.net, Steel Hearts will also be sold as an album with artwork.
Working with a brand new recording setup at Grand Palace Records seemed to be an amazing experience for the band. Goolsby described Grand Palace as an incredible studio and said, “It was so much fun. I miss it already.” Along with members of Ribbonpigeon, Steel Hearts will feature guest appearances by members of Zombie Bazooka Patrol and some contributing vocals from Joey Kneiser (Glossary). Fans can look for the release in February.
As for the future, Ribbonpigeon’s plan consists of playing shows, then playing some more shows, and when that is done, playing some more shows. Along with bars and venues, the group also plans to stop by more houses and art spaces on a small February tour. Then in March, the boys will hit the road for a full-blown tour.
Visit ribbonpigeon.net for tour dates and make sure to come out for Ribbonpigeon playing the Blue Rooster on Wednesday, Feb. 25, as part of the 2009 Murfreesboro Pulse showcase series.