Studio Session: Twisted Pine

KGNU’s D Rider brings the band Twisted Pine into the studio. They discuss their musical style, which blends bluegrass, funk, jazz, and R&B. The band also overviews their future performances in Colorado and beyond, and chats about their new singles and upcoming album.

D Rider: We have, straight from Boston, the band Twisted Pine. They are Kathleen Parks on fiddle, Dan Bui on mandolin, Chris Sartori on bass, and Anh Phung on flute, and they’re in studio right now. Guys, you want to start us off with a tune?

Kathleen Parks: Yeah, this is called “Papaya”.

D Rider: First, I wanna welcome you to KGNU.

Kathleen Parks: Thank you. It’s so lovely to be here.

D Rider: I wonder if you could tell us a little bit about that configuration of your group, where do you throw the flute in? It takes you to a lot of different places. I know people might expect bluegrass, but that wasn’t straight up bluegrass.

What do you call that? Your music?

Kathleen Parks: Yeah, we’re still trying to figure that out. It changes every day, but we started in bluegrass. We love funk music. We love jazz. We love R& B. And so combine all those things together and you get Twisted Pine.

D Rider: I think that came out pretty well in that first tune.

We’re going to hear a couple more tunes, but first spokesperson, who are we talking to here?

Kathleen Parks: My name is Kathleen Parks. We’ve got Anh Phung on the flute, Dan Bui on the mandolin, and Chris Sartori on the bass.

D Rider: Okay, Kathleen, this isn’t your first trip to Boulder, right?

Kathleen Parks: No, we’ve been out here many times.

We’re really excited. We’re playing the Velvet Elk tonight. And yeah, it’s great to be back in Boulder. We love Boulder.

D Rider: Oh, great. I think we love you too. So I’m glad you could stop by the station this time. Just for those listeners who may not know about you, how did you get together?

Was it from Boston or different places?

Kathleen Parks: Yeah, some of us went to school in Boston, some of us grew up in Boston, and Anh would tour through the Boston area with different bands. We met in the Boston community music scene and found the bluegrass scene there. There’s a good bluegrass scene in Boston.

So we all started playing together there and started hanging out with Anh whenever she would tour through. And eventually, we just formed this band, asked Anh if she would want to do a couple tours with us. She said yes, and we were like, alright, let’s just give it a go.

D Rider: Alright. What was the name of that first tune?

Kathleen Parks: So that was called “Papaya”, and that was off of our last record called Right Now. And yeah, it’s a little funky fruit song. 

D Rider: Okay. Do you have a couple more fruity songs?

Kathleen Parks: Yeah, we’re gonna do a fruit cover now. This is a Frank Zappa song tune and it’s called “Peaches and Regalia”.

D Rider: Let me just ask you, after here in Boulder and Denver, what’s the plans for the rest of the summer?

Kathleen Parks: We’re going to be doing a bunch of festivals over the summer, so we’ll head back east, and we’ll play festivals like Gray Fox, Bluegrass Festival, Green Mountain Bluegrass, Green River, there’s a lot of different festivals. So yeah, we’re going to be doing that. We’re going to be putting out some music. We put out a new song yesterday.

D Rider: We’ll get to that in a little bit.

Kathleen Parks: All right, we’re gonna do a song. For the people. This one is called “Funky People”.

D Rider: I hope you don’t mind, but there is one of my favorite bands out of Boston, Lake Street Dive. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard them, but same configuration, two, two guys, two girls, two women, and just sounding great. And you mix things up. I hate to pigeonhole the type of music you play, but I would categorize it as great music.

And it’s just a great blend of things. All four instruments and your voices are outstanding, and I think if people can make it to the Velvet Elk tonight, they’re really going to be in for a treat. And the next couple nights, you’re going to be at Cervantes. So before we get into that, I want to let people know, you’re going to be there Friday and Saturday night.

But also, if anybody’s planning to get out there, be careful, there’s street closures going on because of Five Points Jazz Fest, so 26th Street and 27th Street will be closed, so take that into consideration when you head out there. 

Now you have a new single that dropped yesterday and it’s gonna be on a new album coming out sometime in the August time frame?

Kathleen Parks: We can’t actually say quite yet, but yeah we have a new single and we have more singles. Anybody out there who’s listening be sure to follow us on social media or follow us on Spotify or wherever you listen to music because there’s going to be a whole bunch more new music that we release throughout the summer.

D Rider: So there’ll be singles coming out leading up to the final release of a full album. This new tune called “Lone Star”, it it calls back Bill Monroe. Can you tell us a little bit about what’s going on here? Are we gonna hear Bill Monroe? Is he in the back there?

Kathleen Parks: He’s deep within these instruments somewhere.

Yeah, we really went for the ancient tones sound that Bill Monroe talked about a lot, and Peter Rowan talks about that too. So we really tried to channel him and Peter Rowan and capture that really high and lonesome bluegrass sound with this next song. But yeah, maybe Bill Monroe will show up.

Maybe his spirit will be here.

D Rider: All right. I’ll check the parking lot while you get it started.

And we’ve been listening to the band Twisted Pine, and that’s just a taste of what you’ll be able to hear the next three nights they’re gonna be in town, tonight at the Velvet Elk in Boulder. Tomorrow night, Friday and Saturday at Cervantes at Five Points in Denver. Thanks for stopping by the station.

Kathleen Parks: Thank you so much for having us. This has been such a great time.

D Rider: Yeah if you want to hear more, go to one of those three shows, I hope you can. Look for their singles dropping on your favorite media channels in anticipation of an LP coming out later this year. Thanks again!

Kathleen Parks: Thank you!


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Anya Sanchez


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