By Jessica Edwards:
Coming to Tudor Lounge this Saturday night is a special “folk, blues, and roots music” concert. With the popularity of bands like Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, and Avett Brothers, this is a chance to enjoy that flavor of music right here in the City.
Pine Fever is one of the bands that will be featured that night. The band is an energetic 5-piece group that describes their sound as “Americana”. My introduction to Pine Fever was a few weekends back at The Old Pink. I noticed the air in the place was more lively than usual, and as I walked towards the back of the bar I could see a crowd. The onlookers were stomping their feet, clapping their hands, and dancing wherever they could find the space. When I finally could get a peek of what the crowd were surrounding, it was Pine Fever putting on a jovial jam session.
The band members are: Alex Cline (trumpet/washboard), Patrick “Thor” Johnson (upright bass), Jacob Verghese (banjo), Andrew Pothier (drums), and Levi Van Cleve (resonator guitar). The story of how they united to form Pine Fever is wonderfully odd and serendipitous.
Alex grew up here, but left at age 18. He was in and out of Buffalo for years until he settled in New Orleans. While residing in The Big Easy, Alex by chance crossed paths with Patrick “Thor” Johnson, who was there on vacation (visiting from Buffalo). They soon figured out they shared The Queen City connection, and by 2009, Alex decided it was time to move home.
Jacob came to Buffalo for an AmeriCorps assignment three years ago, and ended up staying specifically because of the music scene. He was impressed with the opportunity in the local arts community. “I’m way more productive here than back in North Carolina. In Buffalo, if you have an idea and a will to do it… you can get any venue you want.”
Andrew is the sole Canadian and grew up in Burlington, Ontario. He currently lives in Niagara Falls, New York. Andrew and Levi played with each other prior to Pine Fever, so there was an ease going into this new venture.
Although soft spoken in conversation, Levi has been playing rip roarin’ music around Western New York for a few years now. His other band (The Evil Things) has done well performing locally, and this is another chance to hear his unique style.
Through past bands and collaborations, the merge seemed natural and Levi compared Pine Fever to being like the “Brady Bunch.” Experiencing the music live is the only way to see how this band somehow formed a family. Pine Fever is a fun-loving, eclectic group with a unique blend of musical talent; guaranteed to put a little pep in your step!