The Builders and The Butchers concert preview

On Friday June 10th, Portland Folk/Rock band The Builders and The Butchers celebrate the release of their album Hell & High Water at Polaris Hall.
Get tickets here:

The 2022 album Hell & High Water was written in a boat house owned by Bassist Willy Kunkle. Frontman Ryan Sollee describes the creation of this album as a collaborative process where the band “would gather weekly, make a fire, drink beer and whisky and try to find some cohesiveness in these tunes. This gathering place was the most inspiring we have had in any creative process for any album up to that date.”

The song “West Virginia” on Hell & High Water is classic The Builders and The Butchers. The intro builds tension. Intense lyrics evoke hellfire, grief, and vengeance in a quiet rural evening. The sound explodes with drums pounding in time to guitars while a banjo picks out the melody accented by shakers until they all meet in a single dizzy rhythm and suddenly pauses to hear Sollee’s voice hauntingly call out a few dark lines only to jump back into the wild energy of instrumentals that makes you want to dance. You can watch an unplugged version of this song on their Facebook page:

The Builders and The Butchers at Willy Kunkle’s Boathouse in 2019

The Builders and The Butchers started out with street performances gathering crowds in a circle around them. Crowds participating in call and response songs lent a southern gospel element to their otherwise Folk/Americana music. You can hear this on their earlier albums; particularly songs like “Black Dresses” and “Find Me in the Air”.

Their sound began to evolve with the release of Salvation Is a Deep Dark Well. Less call and response, but the gospel element was found in the percussive sound crowds would stomp and clap to. Those growing crowds began gathering in music venues such as the Crystal Ballroom and The Doug Fir Lounge. Their 2017 Live from Doug Fir album being recorded at the name sake venue.

Hell & High Water is a further evolution of The Builders and The Butchers sound. More rock than previous albums with heavier guitar and bass lines, less stomp and clamp but more crescendoing percussion, capped with emotive strings, horns, and vocal harmonies amplifying it all. The track “God Help Us” is a great example. They are starting to veer slightly towards a Country Rock sound with songs like “Out of the Rain” and “Name in the Sky” which are slower tempo and have a punchy chorus that’s easy to belt out.

Hell & High Water is available for purchase everywhere music is sold including:

Music Millennium:

Stream it here:

Through all their musical evolutions the powerful layered sound and dark gothic story telling has been maintained. The Builders and The Butchers consistently put on a high-energy show that no matter how big a crowd somehow manages to make an intimate connection with audiences. June 10th show details below:

Doors Open: 7pm
Opening band: Help
Admission 21+

Polaris Hall
635 N. Killingsworth Court
Portland, OR 97217

Tickets available online: or at the door day of, if not sold out.

Tour dates:
June 9, 2022 Seattle, WA, Sunset Tavern
June 10, 2022 Portland, OR, Polaris Hall
June 11, 2022 Sheridan, OR, Roshambo Art Farm
June 24, 2022 Los Gatos, CA, The Treehouse
June 25, 2022 San Francisco, CA, Bottom of the Hill
June 26, 2022 Mariposa, CA, The Grove House

Additional US and Europe tour dates coming soon. Check: or click the icons below to check their social media pages for tour dates:

FROM LEFT The Builders and The Butchers 2022 (top); Ryan Sollee at KPSU in 2010 (bottom); The band at Willy’s Boathouse