LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEAU) – The Pump House Regional Arts Center has done it again. They continue to provide La Crosse and the Coulee Region with impressive, and moving, works in a multitude of mediums. Just recently they wowed us, visually, with the Polymorph exhibit from Rufus Jupiter and the Mexican Folk Art Collective exhibit, entertained the theatre goers with altogether spooky “The Thin Place” from Grey Area Productions and closed the period by being a Midwest Music Fest venue for the first time. The next phase is just as impressive. The galleries are already filled with evocative and beautiful pieces of various forms, and on November 18th, a duo of musicians named Goldpine will be in town to connect with everyone in the building.
Goldpine is Ben and Kassie Wilson who, in their own words, are, “living the dream.” The dream being a married couple that get to connect with audiences and wake up next to each other. As Kassie put it, “I do think we are living the dream. We get to play music and connect with people all over the country. In that way, I really feel like I am fulfilling my purpose.”
That word, “connection,” comes up a lot when talking to them both. You can tell it’s a major part of who they are and what they are about. And the music bares that out. They write songs that feel like the soundtrack to your day. The type of songs that makes you wonder if the writer has been spying on your deepest thoughts and secrets. Relatable. Raw. Just… real.
Goldpine currently has two, full length, studio albums, “One” and “Two”. Ben says they are writing music for a third album that they will call, you guessed it, “Three”. According to Ben, when this current tour wraps in December, Goldpine will be hopefully recording and moving right along. According to Kassie, there will be some bathtub and relaxation time first. Either way, we can expect another set of songs about the human condition, about connection… about feelings. Real music for real people with real emotions.
For the nerds out there (me), they are at home right next to Jason Isbell, or Zack Bryan, or any of those singer-songwriter/Americana acts that are gaining in popularity these days. They are folksy and raw, and utilize bold harmonies and innovative arrangements. They sound like everything and nothing all at the same time. Familiar and brand new. Like home and a vacation abroad. Kassie can make you cry with her tenderness, and then blow you out the back wall with the power of her voice. Ben is that sneaky kind of guitar player that has you humming along and recalling riffs days, weeks, months later.
They are about as breezy as a couple of people can be. Talking to them feels like talking to a pair of friends you’ve known forever. It is easy to see how that would translate to a special and engaging concert experience. The type of personality that makes you lean forward in your seat and want to be a part of whatever moment they are crafting for you. They lull you into sense of comfort with their light and airy easiness then they hit you with songs about your own life. You’re left wondering what just happened and why you can’t stop dancing and singing.
What I love about musicians like Goldpine, what really excited me about them, is there is nowhere to hide. They are out there singing songs they wrote, with only each other and their talents to lean on. That is bold. That is daring. That is the type of highwire act I am here for. I hope you will be as well, November 18th when they visit us at The Pump House.
From Kerrville Folk Festival main stage and Americanafest Nashville to listening rooms throughout the United States, Goldpine has been offering their own brand of raw Americana to audiences large and small. WINNER of the 2022 Rocky Mountain Songwriter Contest, the duo’s bold harmonies are clearly a channel for their highly charged songwriting. Exposing the pains of severed relationships and unearthing the pursuits of love and purpose, Goldpine is cathartic, moody and relevant.
“Goldpine is folksy and falls within the Americana genre but their musical arrangements are very innovative and eclectic.” – Melissa Clarke (Americana Highways, July 7, 2022)