"Folk Rock Jangle Jangle Music"
CITY DWELLING NATURE SEEKERS have remained outside of the maze of mediocrity that swallows so many bands trying to reconcile traditional American musical ideas in a modern frame. Their dual-message moniker evokes familiar imagery that could apply to much of today’s Americana musical droves, but there’s something truly unique about this six-piece band from Pittsburgh, PA that demands attention.
Songwriter Michael McCormick assembled the band in 2008 with drummer/guitarist Chris Parker, mandolinist/vocalist Lee Hintenlang, and bassist Matt Booth. The group learned several of McCormick’s original compositions, which grew out of an infatuation with the work of artists such as Neil Young, Ryan Adams, and the Band. After time and personal discovery between the players, the group’s unique blend of country, bluegrass, indie-rock, and psychedelia evolved into a sound that clearly indicated their connection with the heart, hands, and hips. And people have taken notice — the band’s 2009 EP and 2010 debut full-length album received critical praise and airplay from many prominent outlets including NPR stations like WYEP (Pittsburgh) and WXPN (Philadelphia).
The new release The Winter Year continues along the same path musically, but the writing has evolved into something more exploratory, such as the hook-laden opening track “Halfway Home,” or the grandiose string outro on “He Had a Head”. They’ve maintained their ability to perform all of the recording, production and mixing within the band, resulting in a work that does not compromise any of the group’s intentions or ideals. A significant addition to the sound is the presence of pedal steel guitarist Peter Freeman, who’s been playing live with CDNS since 2010. Half of the songs feature his dynamic musicianship, from the warm textures of “Certain Things,” to his sublime lead work on “I Took Lefts”. Another facet of the band’s growth is the emergence of Chris Parker as a co-writer on several tracks. His contribution has added color to the already vibrant musical palette this group offers on The Winter Year.
At times swimming in harmony, at other times breaking out into exploratory instrumentation, The Winter Year is an album that defies pigeonholing. The sophomore album from the Pittsburgh alt-country band is a solid mix of imagery-laden songs and layered instrumentation.”
-Barbara Bruederlin, No Depression
There is a comfortable sound to the City Dwelling Nature Seekers. The recent release, The Winter Year, showcases a sound that spends the colder, darker months that the title suggests in the warmer tones of the California coast. Sonically, CDNS have songs influenced by decades of California Country from the first footsteps into the genre led by musicians who heard little difference between country and rock such as Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, The Byrds and Poco and into bands who hit the stages in the new millennium from Beachwood Sparks to I See Hawks in L.A.”
-Danny McCloskey, The Alternate Root
This is a surprising collection, in part because just as you think you know where it’s going, it catches you unaware and leads you along another route. It is produced and mixed within the band and this keeps the whole production true to its original intentions. Well worth a listen.”
-Paula Cooke, Americana UK
No-frills hangdog folk rock.” -C-Ville Weekly
Check out this video from City Dwelling Nature Seekers!
Doors 9:30 | Music 10. 21 and up with proper ID.