Denton, Texas’ Pinebox Serenade are on the roster of one of my new favorite labels, Devil’s Ruin Records.  Last month they announced that they have begun the process of recording what will be their third, as of yet untitled, album. That announcement coincided with me hearing their second album, Let The River Take Them Home, for the first time.

The Pinebox Serenade are seven musicians; Chris Welch, Patrick Newkirk, Holly Manning, Tyler Adams, Chris Ott, Nick Foreman and Jeff Barnard playing every single instrument you would expect to find in a roots-meets-bluegrass-and-goes-goth band. If I had to describe their music in a single word I would use ‘tense’. Listening to the album doesn’t make you feel tense, but you can tell there is an underlying intensity to these dirges of desperation and despair. While I type that there’s another side to it all. Those same songs are these full, multi-layered beautiful songs that are absolutely perfect for getting my undivided attention during a session with a glass of warm bourbon and a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Had I known of this album last year it would have easily found it’s way onto my year-end top 10 list, and even now I’ve gotta say it’s Essential Listening.

Keep this band and record label on your radar folks. They’re doing good things.

The Pinebox Serenade – Woven Arms
The Pinebox Serenade – Neches River
The Pinebox Serenade – Bottle and Rusty Blade

The Pinebox Serenade’s Official Site, The Pinebox Serenade on myspace, Buy Let The River Take Them Home