The Builders and the Butchers
Although the Builders and the Butchers formed in Portland in the mid-2000s, the band's hybrid of folk, country, and twangy roots rock evokes the Great Depression more than the contemporary Northwest. The group's beginnings date back to fall 2003, when frontman Ryan Sollee relocated from Alaska to Portland with his then-current band, the Born Losers. A newfound fascination with blues, country, and gospel music convinced Sollee to launch a different project, and the musician teamed up with several local musicians to form the Builders and the Butchers. The Builders quickly found an audience with their dark, Southern gothic songcraft, most of which was played on acoustic instruments with little amplification. Although the band was forced to add amplifiers as the crowds increased, the down-home appeal remained intact as the decade closed.