Builders and the Butchers – Black Dresses

This song has a small mid-sixties Dylan sound. My cousin texted me a link to this song because he thought I would like it…and I do. I’ve been listening to them and they are raw… which is a plus for me.

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This song is off their 2007 self-titled debut album. The band set up in the studio and recorded it basically live to get the same feel as their concerts. Their influences include Americana, gospel, country, folk, rock, southern gothic, rockabilly, and more. The band has released 7 studio albums and their latest was Hell & Highwater in 2022.

The band formed on Halloween 2005 in Portland Oregon. They began after many bands in that area broke up and they came together and something clicked. Although they started in Portland their members are from Alaska as there is a huge Alaska population in Portland.  Lead singer and songwriter Ryan Sollee said: “For the last dozen years there’s been a huge influx of people from Alaska to Portland, it has all the opportunities of a big city, but it’s affordable to live and there’s a community of bands and other musicians to play with.”

They may be from Alaska but they have a southern feel about them. Whether playing bar gigs for 50 people or opening arena shows, the band has said they strive to connect with the audience, and for the audience to connect with one another, every time they take the stage. They have a great reputation around the Pacific Northwest as a rowdy and exciting live band.

NPR: “A kind of white-knuckle Americana… shot through with nervy, hellfire-and-brimstone intensity. [The Spark carries on] the group’s tradition of tightly wound roots music that never feels tethered to a single era.” 

Black Dresses

Little sister, there’s blood on the tracks
And a lit cigarette, but you’re not comin’ back
To a town that was built on black gold and iron ore

And the kettle got hot, and it boiled, and it steamed
And you can’t run away from the worst of your dreams
They’ll string you up when you’re tryin’ to fall fast asleep

She wore black dresses (black dresses)
And she never cried in the morning
She’s got a bottle in paper
So she can forget her name
She wore black dresses (black dresses)
And she never smiled in the morning
She’s got a bottle in paper
So she can forget her name

Well, her home town was built by a few greedy men
And people tell me she was descended from them
She’s been playin’ in the darkness ever since she was a kid

And she doesn’t mourn for her man’s come and gone
She’s worn the color of black all along
And she was born with a stone where there shoulda been a heart

And she wore black dresses (black dresses)
And she never cried in the morning
She’s got a bottle in paper
So she can forget her name
She wore black dresses (black dresses)
And she never smiled in the morning
She’s got a bottle in paper
So she can forget her name

Did you ever meet a girl who was born the victim of a name?
I know, ’cause I’m a boy who was born the victim of a name
Did you ever meet a girl who was born the victim of a name?
I know, ’cause I’m a boy who was born the victim of a name

Little sister, there’s blood on the tracks
And a lit cigarette, but you’re not comin’ back
To a town that was built on black gold and iron ore

She wore black dresses (black dresses)
And she never cried in the morning
She’s got a bottle in paper
So she can forget her name
She wore black dresses (black dresses)
And she never smiled in the morning
She’s got a bottle in paper
So she can forget her name

She’s got a bottle in paper
So she can forget her name
She’s got a bottle in paper
So she can forget her name

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

15 thoughts on “Builders and the Butchers – Black Dresses”

  1. Interesting. Never heard of them, but it’s a pretty catchy little lo-fi tune. Puts me somehow in mind a bit of Black Crowes. As I think of it, it’s odd that Portland seems to have turned out so few well-known acts (Quarterflash might be only one I can think of off the top of my head) when it’s similar population to Seattle and known to be an artsy, liberal town like the other.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It seemed like Alaska was the pipeline to Portland at this time…maybe still is somehow… they have some good songs…this one stood out to me.

      Like

  2. Ta Max, there’s one going on the playlist. Yes to the Dylan comp, a bit of Crowes, a tad of Drive By Truckers, a lot of influences, all good. That would be a hoot for the band to play, real good time jam stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would have never thought about a pipeline…pardon the pun.. from Alaska to Portland.
      Jeff, I see some of what you go through… it took me forever to find the little info I did on them because they are relatively new.

      Liked by 1 person

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