FLYING HIGH WITH BLIND PILOT

pilot

 Sometimes you can just feel it.

 

 The momentum. The breaks. The vibe.

 

That’s what it’s kinda feeling like for alt-folk/rock band Blind Pilot at this moment in time.

 

That time in your career when things are just working. The duo from Portland, Oregon recently snagged a national TV appearance on Carson Daly’s program, nothing to sneeze at. The former college buddies also got a break when a big wig at I-Tunes fell for their music and put it up on the site, where it took off. And they’re currently on their first national tour, beginning with appearances at the hipper-than-hip SXSW Music Festival in Austin, and including a stop at the Iota in Arlington on March 27th. And just today, I found out they have also been given a coveted warm up slot on The Decemberists’ upcoming tour swing starting in May.

 

The future looks so bright, you gotta….well, you know.

 

 Israel Nebeker is humble about everything good that’s been happening to him and his Blind Pilot co-pilot Ryan Dombrowski lately.

 

 “It’s been like a steady stream of good fortune,” Nebeker told me by phone this week. “We’re still really flattered and kind of reeling from how good the response has been to [the songs].”

 

The duo has a six-piece band out on the road right now playing songs from their 2008 debut album “3 Rounds and a Sound” as well as other tunes. It’s a road that is new and unfamiliar to them, but that only seems to breed excitement, especially when people seem to know their music.

 

“Right now we’re going to play in different cities, ones that we’ve never seen. I mean I’ve never seen most of the country before, and in places we’ve been so far, there are some really good sized crowds that know the songs. It’s great.”

 

Blind Pilot’s sound is the stuff of college coffeehouses and small clubs, that kind of sound that feels new and youthful; it’s music you could even hear fronting a hip TV show. But it is also steeped in familiar folkish rythyms, and has it’s roots deeply embedded in the Pacific Coast where the band hails from.

 

“The landscape there, the ruralness of that area…today when I listen to the album, it reminds me of there, that’s the best I can describe the sound,” Nebeker said. “I guess I also just wanted to make music that’s simple and personal and honest enough that you wouldn’t have to come from a particular background to appreciate it.”

 

Nebeker wrote most of the “3 Sounds” album on their first tour, when the duo biked from Vancouver to San Francisco.

 

 “The whole point of the project at first was to tour our music by bicycle and trailer from Canada down the west coast to Mexico,” Nebeker told NPR Music. “We only made it to San Francisco cause our bikes got ripped off there.”

 

And what does Nebeker want people to know about Blind Pilot as they criss-cross the US on their first national jaunt?

 

“Our live show is quite a bit different from the album, we’re happy and proud of the other musicians we’re bringing out on the road who aren’t on the album. Kind of the best of both worlds.”

 

“And really, I just hope people come out, because really it’s more fun when people come out to see the shows.” Uh, yeah.

 

Blind Pilot, ready for take-off…fasten your seat belts. 

 

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