The last boogie band?
Whispering Pines celebrates new album at HM157 Saturday
By Bliss Bowen 09/20/2012
I’ve always been the kind of man who wanders
This is life, running from town to town
From sunrise to sunset on hard dusty roads
Looking to music to free our souls
We’ve been on the outside, we’ve been through the best of times
It’s just the beginning of our time to shine”
Brian Filosa and Joe Bourdet, “Sunrise to Sunset”
Of the 10 tracks that comprise Whispering Pines’ self-titled second full-length, the anthemic “Sunrise to Sunset” comes closest to a mission statement encapsulating the band’s romanticized vision. Like the rest of the album, it’s a mash note of sorts, celebrating the classic ’60 and ’70s sounds that inspire them. The album itself is divided into A and B sides, just like the vintage vinyl over which guitarist/keyboardist Dave Baine, slide guitarist Joe Bourdet and bassist Brian Filosa initially bonded.
When Whispering Pines first started playing shows around town a few years ago, they had a loose, shambling appeal that called to mind the Grateful Dead and swiftly attracted a coterie of hip-swaying, head-bobbing followers. But it is The Band — Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson — to whom they claim primary allegiance. They named themselves after Manuel and Robertson’s aching ballad “Whispering Pines,” and dedicated their new album to the recently deceased Helm.
They dubbed themselves “the last boogie band,” which is somewhat misleading; there’s plenty of back road country dust between their bucolic grooves. Not unlike Truth and Salvage Co. and Middle Brother, Whispering Pines eschew the one-frontman model, instead boosting their musical dynamic with multiple songwriters. Baine, Bourdet, Filosa and harmonica player David Burden all contribute material and vocals while drummer/percussionist Joe Zabielski holds down the bottom end. They complement each other well: Baine’s “Purest Dreams” and “Fine Time” bring narrative drive, Burden’s “GA Highway” and “Wolfmoon” add picturesque poetry, and Bourdet’s good-natured “Broken Spoke” (about the venerable Austin dance hall) and “Love is Free” offer some of the album’s most quotable lyrics (“The love is free, the music you pay for”).
After a year of fundraising, rehearsing, arranging and recording, they finally released “Whispering Pines” this week. They’re playing a record release party with Amy Blaschke, Brian Whelan and guest deejay Chad Brown at 9 p.m. Saturday at HM157, 3110 N. Broadway, Lincoln Heights; $7 donation. Info: hm157.com. To learn more but Whispering Pines, visit Inthewhisperingpines.com.