Over Blind Pilot
The Pacific Northwest has produced a bounty of moody indie-folkies through the years. And now you can add Blind Pilot to that list. With a hushed, minimalist sound clearly inspired by Sub Pop hotshot Iron & Wine, the duo of Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski came together while attending the University of Oregon in idyllic Eugene. In 2006, after honing their skills in college, they headed north to that mecca of indie cool known as Portland. The year 2008 was a big one for Blind Pilot. Instead of booking a traditional club tour, Nebeker and Dobrowski minimized their carbon footprint by putting together a bicycle tour of the West Coast that stretched from Bellingham, Wash., all the way down to sun-soaked San Diego. They even had snazzy little bike trailers for their equipment. Upon their return, the duo dropped a debut album, 3 Rounds and a Sound, on Expunged Records. In July 2008, (Rhapsody rival) iTunes made the lead single "Go On, Say It" their pick of the week. The song moved serious units and in the process, exposed the band to a national audience. Blind Pilot have since shared stages with everybody from The Counting Crows to The Hold Steady to The Decemberists.