Pinebox Serenade
Gig Seeker Pro

Pinebox Serenade

Denton, Texas, United States | SELF

Denton, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Folk Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Pinebox Serenade - Let the River Take Them Home"

"Let the River Take Them Home" is the second long-player from Texas septet Pinebox Serenade. Fans of alt-country should probably own this already. If they don't they should pick it up right now.

'Serenade mix indie rock (provided you consider a style that can trace its roots back to The Band indie) with real bluegrass/roots music. Overall they remind me of early (and *very* late, think "Rainy Day Music" era) Jayhawks. But only if the Jayhawks had truly immersed themselves into americana instead of just sitting at the shores of roots music.

All of the elements of good roots music are here: instrumentation (guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, accordion), arrangement (clever but not pointlessly complex), themes (alcohol, god, love, death). There is a somber (occasionally morbid) view-point here that typifies contemporary gothic-americana/blackgrass music. I enjoy this but I was raised on 1940s & 50s country music (which fell into two camps: good time dance music and white/dark blues). As such where others hear Leonard Cohen or the Pogues I hear Hank Williams. And that couldn't be a better thing.

True the vocals are gruffer than the old country greats, think Mark Lanegan with bits of Eddie Vedder. But not only does the style work perfectly for the music it's acts as a nice sign post that this isn't the bland, safe contemporary pop music that's been masquerading as country music.

When it comes to the songs my personal preferences lead me prefer the circus swirl of "Darkness Falls" and the rough wildness of "The Lash". Though "Bottle and Rusty Blade", "Sons of Soil" and "Witch on the Mountain" all hold their own.

PS: I LOVE this album cover. -


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. -

"Pinebox puts lots of rock into its folk"

Pinebox puts lots of rock into its folk

Chris Welch said Pinebox Serenade got its start in 2003 as an acoustic trio devoted to bluegrass and American folk.

The band now weighs in with a much meatier sound, thanks to the tastes and influences of seven musicians.

It started with three and grew to seven. Pinebox Serenade, a Denton indie folk-rock band, plays its first gig of 2011 on Friday at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios.
“Over time, we’ve grown into more of a rock band, really,” said Welch, the band’s guitarist and singer. “We mainly have acoustic rock sound. It’s kind of weird, Chris Ott [the band’s lap steel player and cellist] is kind of a metal head. He’s also classically trained on the cello. It might sound strange, but when you think about it, metal and classical music have something in common.”

Pinebox hasn’t had a Denton show in a while. The group performs Friday at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, with West End Motel and Fiend Without a Face.

Pinebox Serenade released its self-titled debut in 2005 on Hot Link Records. Three years later, the band released Let the River Take Them Home on Devil’s Ruin Records. Welch said a third album is being mixed, and the band is shopping for a new label. Welch said the band hasn’t announced a release date for the upcoming record.

“On the latest album, we have a big rock sound. We actually kind of go over the top,” Welch said. “We’re using a bigger arrangement of strings. We’re still writing songs the same way we used to. We’re still writing folk songs.”

Welch said the next album was planned as a more old-fashioned album, a throwback to when bands put music on vinyl.

“We didn’t want it to be a bunch of singles,” he said. “We wanted it to be an album, something that you can listen from start to finish. I love albums. I love experiencing music like that.”

The members of Pinebox Serenade — Welch and Ott, Patrick Newkirk on mandolin and vocals, Holly Manning on violin, Jeff Barnard on drums, Tyler Adams on bass and Nick Foreman on banjo and accordion — are just like other busy Denton bands. The group lends its personnel to other bands, and few of them are folk outfits.

“Pinebox is an amalgamation of all these things we’re involved in,” Welch said. “It’s a little bit of indie rock, a little bit of the blues, a little bit of metal, a little bit of punk. It’s all those things.”

The stage is different from the studio for the band, Welch said. While the studio is a place where musicians can experiment and master the details, live shows are about a give-and-take with the audience, and following the whims of the music as it happens.

“I’ve had fans from other countries e-mail us and tell us that they watched us on, and that they’d love to see us live after hearing our recordings. There’s a difference,” he said.

Details: Doors at Rubber Gloves open at 8 p.m. Friday. Cover is $8 for ages 21 and older, $10 for ages 18 to 20. The venue is located at 411 E. Sycamore St.

—Lucinda Breeding - Denton Record Chronicle


Pinebox Serenade - 2005
Let the River Take Them Home - 2008



Guitarist Chris Welch and mandolin player Patrick Newkirk started Pinebox Serenade as an acoustic three-piece group with bluegrass leanings, playing their first shows in early 2004. Since then, the group has become one of Denton's larger groups, weighing in with seven members who each add a layer to the band's brand of dark acoustic folk.

Band Members