Raise up Roof Beams

Raise up Roof Beams


Raise up Roof Beams is a universally appealing indie folk rock band that seeks to communicate beauty to people in unique ways. The music is catchy and inventive and the lyrics are deep and human. The instrumentation is intricate and every word is used to illustrate the depth of the human experience.


In the summer of 2004, Raise up Roof Beams (an allusion to the novella by J.D. Salinger) was born out of Nathan Robinson’s (guitars, ukulele, harmonica, vocals) interest in songwriting and quickly growing catalogue of original folk songs. Through practice and mutual innovation, Harrison Gordner (drums, percussion, marimba) reined in Nathan’s raw energy to create a mixture of folk and indie rock that sounded fresh and poignant. They played local shows, put together a rough recording, The Ezekiel Demo, and added organ to the mix during that spring.

The addition of good friend and fellow local musician Justin Arawjo (mandolin, banjo, lap steel, accordion, melodica, guitars) in the fall of 2005 was just the change necessary to fill out their sound as they moved toward a more folk-influenced and intricate sound and Nathan’s lyrics delved deeper into his personal experience. Justin had been making music for years with folk and punk bands on a local and national scale. The band expanded again in 2006 with Alan Carroll [digital piano] and Kelly Musser [upright bass, vocals] rounding out the five-piece. Kelly's trained bass and gorgeous vocals layered with Nathan's inspired and erratic vocal and guitar performance dance over Alan's deep and rhythmic piano chords to give the Roof Beams more life and body than ever before. The most obvious influences to their eventual collective sound are Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, the Decemberists and Bright Eyes, with more discerning listeners detecting the subtle presence of Neutral Milk Hotel, Radiohead, The Avett Brothers and mewithoutYou.

The band’s song repertoire is deep and fertile, with raw emotive indie rock mixing in with delicate and ambient folk-inspired journeys into Nathan’s literary and philosophically challenging words. Their growing list of songs was brought to fruition with their first full-length record, Fingers and Photons, which was self-released in March 2006 after the bands first self-supported US tour. Hundreds of shows and dozens of songs later, Raise up Roof Beams is now playing shows in support of the May 2007 release of their second full-length recording, Oh, Great Paradox, which features their developing sound and matured songs in a patient display of musicianship and soul.

Raise up Roof Beams has an organic and pure energy that communicates thought and beauty in a way that any fan of music can appreciate. Their compelling live show is dynamic and raw, and the audience finds itself surrounded by the powerfully intricate instrumentation and unexpectedly honest lyrics communicated with passion, conviction, and human understanding beyond the band members' years.


Letter to Alyosha

Written By: Nathan Robinson

It is getting harder now to remember all the places I have been and all the people I have hurt (they will not speak to me again). I have been counting them out on fingers and toes since your mentor died and decomposed. You did not expect him to pass that way, and his stench almost destroyed your faith.

Now I am holed up in a basement in the South, writing notes to the whole world from the underground. Why would I be born just to die young? Could it be that some little demon has me all high-strung? I am not going to string myself up, and I am not giving up belief because existence should not be a reason to grieve. But what if it is? Then grieve with me and move on.

You have to believe I would love to tell you what is going to become of me. You have to believe I would love to tell you what is going to become of me. But there is just no way to know. There is just no way to know. So don't lost hope. Don't lose hope because existence should not be a reason to grieve. But what if it is? Then, grieve with me, and we are all going to move on.

Heavy Machine

Written By: Nathan Robinson

Finally, I am surrounded by friends and numbers. The night is a heavy machine.
The curbs are all parking lots here, and the cigarettes are free. She had me over like a promise for peace. She sounded so good on the phone. But the air is a blind hypocrite, and sleeping next to her felt so alone.

It felt like an emptiness I had felt for years. It felt like an emptiness.

I felt it in Virginia; I felt it in Spain. In New York City, it was January’s pain,
January’s chill, January’s confusion. It was refusing to progress in spite of the caress of Providence (oh, the sweet caress of Providence).

It was human meaninglessness: all of the perfect grievances that can not be redressed.

I cannot emphasize enough the need for compromise. I cannot cauterize without smelling my own lies. I am only searching for the beauty of self-sufficiency, but that beauty only serves to frustrate me

Because I find it in you. I find it in you.

Oh, great paradox: I find it in you.

Drinking to You

Written By: Nathan Robinson

She said, "Your ears must have been burning because I have been talking about you. I have been thinking about you. I have been drinking to you."

I said, "I wish you would go away because I have reading to do. I have thinking to do. I have drinking to do. Well, okay. Well, okay: I don't have songs of sadness pouring from my broken nose anymore, and everyone is probably better for it. I don't have dances of infidelity, baby, because I found another way to feel important. I am sorry. I just like privacy. I just seek an inner peace. You are not a part of that because God made Appalachia. Yes, God made the mountains between us, and I will not fight all of the reality that brings because I am in love now, and we are all smoking outside of sex shops under oven clouds, laughing out loud. 'Hahahaha,' we are laughing out loud. These things do not surprise me. Every day falls asleep the same way. Every twilight is giving me the same face. Every city is all black and grey and, all these homeless people? They have homes, but, God, they are alone. Oh, my God, they are alone. They are alone."

Then I said, "My ears have not been burning. It took me four long years of learning to find out what you mean to me, but do not worry. Do not worry, because Sartre will forgive you for using his copyrighted sickness for your own personal gain. Yes, Soren will forgive you just like he has forgiven me again and again and again and again."

"Oh, not again."


"The Ezekiel Demo" (2004)
"The Shivering Cold EP" (2006)
"Fingers and Photons" (2006)
"Oh, Great Paradox" (2007)

Set List

Original Songs:

Like Children Astray
Burning Building
The Things I Do
Other Lovers
Pablo Picasso
Drinking to You
Heavy Machine
Carried Away
She'll Be Fine
My Forbidden Fruit
Shivering Cold
Keep Warm
Faux Revolutionary
Letter to Alyosha
Strange Perfume

Cover Songs:

“For No One” –The Beatles
“Motion Picture Soundtrack” -Radiohead
“Red Right Ankle” -The Decemberists
“I won’t share you” –The Smiths