Portland’s Black Prairie has just released Fortune, their fourth record, and one which points to something of a new direction. Increasingly, the group sounds like.. a rock band. The band told us their beginning had to do with a desire to play more acoustic instruments: upright bass for Nate Query, dobro for Chris Funk, accordion for Jenny Conlee — all three are members of The Decemberists. (Guitarist Jon Neufeld, violinist and vocalist Annalisa Tornfelt, and Decemberists drummer John Moen filled out the band.) Black Prairie’s early sound mined the kind of eclectic Americana you might find on a record by Sugar Hill labelmate Jerry Douglas. As the band’s toured widely, released second and third records, and as Tornfelt assumed a larger role as lead singer, they’ve also cranked up the volume on songs like Fortune‘s title song, edging back closer to a rock sound. In the Performance and Interview, the group talks about how they got started and how their sound has changed, and they play an energetic set of songs from Fortune before a live audience at Mississippi Studios.
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Audio Mixes: Chris Funk, Jon Neufeld
Recording and Interview: Graham Nystrom and Steven Kray
Director: Matthew Thomas Ross
Editor: Matthew Thomas Ross
Videographers: Matthew Thomas Ross, Nate Sjol, Jarratt Taylor, Gary McLeod, Hannah Andrews
Lighting: Matthew Rosvold
Executive Producer: David Christensen