By now, Black Prairie has clearly outgrown its roots as a casual side project, solidifying into a primary, creative focus for its members—a band with its own internal momentum, genuine character and style. Still, it’s only become harder to describe what that style is. “I gave up a long time ago,” guitarist Jon Neufeld says. When asked what kind of music Black Prairie plays, Neufeld usually just says “soft rock,” and walks away. Black Prairie’s fourth full-length record Fortune is an unexpected departure— which is, strangely, exactly what everyone’s come to expect from the band. This group of seasoned musicians from Portland, Oregon—each steeped in traditional American acoustic music—has become hellbent on taking one imaginative leap after another. “We’re a much more fearless writing team now,” says bassist Nate Query. The band that started as an informal collective has now materialized into its own, fully living thing. Getting together to write Fortune last fall after a busy year of touring and tackling smaller, unconventional songwriting projects, the band felt like they had a well-bred, spirited animal hitched up and waiting for them—a horse flaring its nostrils, ready to run—and they wanted to keep driving it through as many different landscapes as they could.
Tiburones is a wild new musical project joining the sometimes unhinged vocals of Y La Bamba's Luz Elena Mendoza with fiery intensity of Nick Delffs of The Shaky Hands and Death Songs. Luz and Nick began collaborating when Y La Bamba and Death Songs toured the west coast in 2012. During that tour, they discovered a mutual reverence that sung louder than words. After touring with The Lumineers in 2012, Mendoza finished writing Y La Bamba's EP "Oh February." Inspired by the adventure, Nick and Luz began to collect their songs with a raw approach.