2.2
July 21, 2010

elephant journal reviews: Paper Bird’s new album. ~Melanie Freeman

elephant journal gets an early look at Paper Bird’s newest album:

When the River Took Flight

“Music has the power to make people happy and feel inspired.” ~Paul DeHaven.

Like origami paper, they’ll fold you into the prettiest paper bird and release your soul into the free world to finally feel the release of dancing joyfully, singing at the top of your lungs confidently, and tapping your shoes at full force.

At any moment you can close this article and go buy their music!

I highly recommend it. You will enjoy all the trinkets, trumpets, trombones, thumps, strums, tunes, and soulful songs on this entire album. I promise.

We’re co-sponsoring their CD release party:

July 29th, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA)

with the Beaten Sea.

Tickets $12 members/ $15 non-members.

7pm.  Space limited. For all ages.

And July 30th: Gothic Theater w/ Ian Cooke, & the Beaten Sea.

Tickets $8 adv/ $10 day of. 9pm. Ages 16+.

The banjo playing on the track “Colorado,” one of my favorite ol’tracks, will tangle your intestines into a bluegrass, folkin’, stomping, square dance! Heck, the harmonica, standup bass, guitar, vocals, the whole song will make you wish it was the new state song! While you wait for this artistic playground release, listen to Colorado, and float down the smoothest river your heart could ever desire. As they gather you into the wild, you’ll grow the fullest wings and escape into your excited childhood imagination.

“When you get here, we all know you’re gonna yell: COLORADO!”

Paper Bird has been carrying an antique suitcase full of their eclectic blend of Colorado joyfolk, their handmade trinkets, and smiles aplenty for four years now.  They have managed to tour both coasts, and “many places without coasts,” release two EPs (A Sky Underground, Live at Twist & Shout), a debut full-length (Anything Nameless & Joymaking), and are about to release their sophomore full-length (When the River Took Flight) this July 29th & 30th, all without the help of a record label.  The group is as much a family as it is music makers, comprised of 7 members: Singers Sarah Anderson, Genny Patterson, and Esme Collins; upright bassist Macon Terry, guitarist Paul DeHaven, trombonist Tyler Archuletta, and banjoist Caleb Summeril.

You will be dancing in your chair, whistling while you work, and tapping your toes to this wonderful music that originated just a few years ago in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Paper Bird is a most appropriate name for this band. They’ll leave you as light as paper and as free and chirpy as a bird on the best day of the year. Each note, every harmony, every pluck, each tone, every key, raises your hair, lifts your soul, and improves your posture in a matter of a seconds, only to increase this levitation throughout every song.

You will feel such a light-hearted release from the seesaw ride of wonderful lyrics.

~ more information follows ~

Macon Terry, upright bass player:

“It is an incredible honor to perform with everyone in Paper Bird.  There is such a family dynamic with us, and we sincerely love one another.  It is just as much of an honor to perform for all the people who come to our shows.  We never take a performance for granite because it is always such a privilege to look into an audience and see how we directly affect our listeners.  It is a dream come true to participate in the cycle of inspiration!  Music saved my life when I was much younger, and I vowed to spend the rest of my life giving back to the spirit of song.  This group has allowed me to fulfill my oath to music in ways I could have only dreamed of.

As far as starting a band goes, it is not always a cakewalk, but this group came together with a unique sense of serendipity.  I have been in countless bands before, and it can be rather crushing to watch a group fall apart due to creative differences.  You just can’t give up though.  Always be on the look out for someone to collaborate with.  I feel that music is the language of the soul, and we owe it to ourselves to participate in music making with others.”

Paul DeHaven, guitarist:

“I’m still very excited about our band.  We have only touched the tip of the iceberg as far as what we are capable of. Everyone in the band writes music, and we arrange the songs together, so there is no leader, which makes for unlimited possibilities and permutations.  I believe we are just getting started, really. This band has been through so much together, it is miraculous that we are still so enthusiastic about putting sounds and words and art together.  We have very open communication, which sometimes makes things difficult, but ultimately it helps us all grow collectively and individually, doing our best to make sure everyone is heard, everyone is happy, and we can all explore other dimensions of our selves outside of the band as well.  We have some more ambitious, collaborative work slated for the months to come. So we are very excited about these opportunities to expand our sound and songwriting.

I’d say it was easy for us to form a band.  It kind of just happened.  We went to the mountains, we wrote some songs, we started playing them on the streets, and people showed a genuine interest and appreciation for what we are doing.  I think it depends on the commitment level of everyone in the project, how passionate they are, how much time and energy they are willing to expend.  Ultimately, it takes only one inspired and motivated person to make music, and that sort of ambition can be totally contagious.  I think it is important to find people you get along with, not just the best shredders you can think of, because if you’re serious about having a band, you’re going to end up spending a lot of time together, often touring in cars or vans and practicing in tight quarters.  It is pretty essential to make sure you can form lasting relationships that go beyond making music, because eventually your friendships or quarrels will show themselves through the music or on stage.  Love.  That’s pretty much the most important part. Love of music. Love between musicians.  Love between performer and audience.  We have discovered that music has the power to make people happy and feel inspired and so that’s what we want to keep doing.”

Some of their favorites on the new CD are: Riches to Rags, Yellow Sun, and Spit Spot, which are songs they’ve been playing live for some time now, and are all so excited to have people singing along to!

For more articles and videos with Paper Bird:

video: elephantjournal.com/2009/05/walk-the-talk-show-with-waylon-lewis-ft-paper-bird-music-interview-video/

elephantjournal.com/2009/02/in-love-with-paper-bird-join-the-club/

elephantjournal.com/2008/10/music-review-paper-bird-anything-nameless-joymaking/

Melanie Cora Freeman is a new Boulder, Colorado adventurer from Austin, Texas and is an avid explorer for anything outdoors, unmarked, natural, genuine, and musical. Meditation, Energy, Length, and Strength. www.melsboulderyoga.com

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