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Band Spotlight: Pert Near Sandstone

Pert Near Sandstone want to be the band that takes Bluegrass music into modern times by getting rid of the ‘back porch, hillbilly’ reputation that the music has and make it appeal to modern audiences all over the country.

How they have been doing this is by taking the music directly to the people and touring tirelessly all across the USA. Their raw energy evokes the Bluegrass of old, as it was played in dance halls when people got up and danced to music played by actual musicians.

Modern bluegrass musicians with an old school spirit: Pert Near Sandstone

Pert Near Sandstone hail from the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area. The Twin Cities boast a thriving local roots music scene. Notable bands that they play along side include 4onthefloor, Charlie Parr and Trampled by Turtles. The band trace their lineage in the roots scene even further back to include The Jayhawks, Spider John Koerner and the great Bob Dylan.

The band credit their formation to many whiskey tainted nights spent plunking around on instruments in an old home that the original friends, and band founders, use to hang out at in St. Paul. Their initial chemistry, and ability to get people up off their seats and shaking what they were once sitting on, soon earned them appearances at some of the best venues in Minnesota.

If you’re looking for a highly dramatic TV story as to how the band formed, you won’t get it. A bunch of friends got together, drank, had fun and discovered their musical synergy over time. That’s how it is suppose to be done.

Albums and sharing the stage with incredible talent

The band has recorded 5 full length albums since 2005. This includes:


  • Live: Just Outside of Sandstone

  • Up and Down the River

  • Needle & Thread

  • Out On A Spree

  • Paradise Hop

Each album has allowed the band to further refine and perfect their music. While they have the traditional instruments of Bluegrass down, they have also added one more: Andy Lambert is on clogs and washboard. He keeps the beat for Nate Sipe on Mandolin and fiddle, Kevin Kniebel on banjo, J Lenz on guitar and Adam Kiesling on upright bass. The addition of Andy, with his percussion duties, really gives them a sound all to their own – one which is still unmistakable as Bluegrass.

The band have been proud to share the stage with some noted musicians within the Bluegrass and folk scene. This includes Steve Martin (yes, the comedian. He’s also a banjo player), Ralph Stanley, Wilco, Yonder Mountain Stringband and the Steep Canyon Rangers.

Other points of interest for the band

Between touring and recording albums, the band has received heaps of critical praise. Their cover of the Beatles ‘I Am the Walrus’ was featured on the Minnesota Beatle project, it won acclaim both locally and nationally.

Their album Paradise Hop was given positive reviews by local press, such as the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the City Pages, as well as nationally by the No Depression roots specialty magazine and the difficult to please Onion’s AV Club.

Their upcoming album is one of the most anticipated new albums to be coming out in Bluegrass. You can be sure that when it hits, Bluegrass lovers all over the country will take notice!



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