Pin It
Favorite

Songs from the Wood 

The Rex James Bros. make their own instruments!

The Rex James Trio is a group of young North Idaho lads with a passion for acoustic stringed instruments. We're talking guitar, upright bass, mandolin and fiddle here. That passion, however, transcends the music-making capabilities of these delicate handcrafted implements and runs deeper than a mere appreciation of tonal qualities and textures. These guys are, quite literally, into their instruments.

Born in the Dakota badlands and raised in the Idaho panhandle, brothers David Rex Powell and Anthony James Powell (the "Rex" and "James" of the Rex James Trio) settled into music performance after college. With David on guitar, trumpet and vocals, Anthony on upright (and sometimes electric) bass and vocals and Sandpoint native Avery Anderson rounding out the trio on fiddle, soprano saxophone, mandolin and percussion, the group plays acoustic folk in the vein of Leo Kottke, Michael Hedges, Jerry Douglas and David Grismond -- with no small amount of humor thrown into the mix. The Trio performs a family-oriented post-Thanksgiving show at the Panida Theatre in Sandpoint on Friday night with opening acoustic artist Truck Mills.

Out of the Wood Work, the Rex James Trio's full-length, self-produced CD, is a vibrant collection of original tunes all seemingly built around an Alice in Wonderland theme that showcases the band's considerable songwriting and instrumental chops.

It's also a sly comment on the group's other great love. In addition to performing acoustic music, the Powells also build acoustic stringed instruments in their workshop, the Luthier Shop in Sandpoint.

"As connoisseurs of fine vintage acoustic instruments, we decided to come up with our own exotic instruments," says David.

This endeavor was inspired by the discovery of a cache of 100-year-old furniture-grade mahogany in a Sandpoint home that was being renovated by their father.

In the Luthier Shop, brother Anthony works out the wood's blemishes and around those pesky nail holes to transform this most excellent material into mandolins, harp mandolins, harp guitars and octave harp guitars -- stringed instruments of amazingly rich tone and beauty. Some of his handmade instruments will be played while others will be on display in their current, unfinished state at the Panida show.

  • Pin It

Latest in Music

  • Keepin' On
  • Keepin' On

    All around the Inland Northwest, the music scene continues to persevere
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Latest Puzzle
  • Latest Puzzle

    How the Broken Thumbs find themselves melding rock instruments and a computer
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Modern Cool
  • Modern Cool

    Jessica Hernandez kicks out new jams steeped in Detroit's musical roots
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Yule Sing Your Eye Out!

Yule Sing Your Eye Out! @ Garland Theater

Sat., Dec. 20, 5 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Mike Corrigan

  • Lights, Camera, Skate
  • Lights, Camera, Skate

    Two local artists have transformed their love of skateboarding into a new variety show on Community Television.
    • Dec 14, 2011
  • Time Travelers
  • Time Travelers

    For some local store owners, finding intriguing merchandise isn’t just business, it’s an obsession.
    • Nov 22, 2011
  • For Your Consideration
  • For Your Consideration

    A raucous good time from Thee Oh Sees. Plus, vintage horror and a Berlin filmmaker to check out.
    • Nov 22, 2011
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Fresh Spin

    A local record shop is reincarnated under a new owner, giving this generation a taste of vinyl
    • Nov 25, 2014
  • Hairy Matters

    L.A. glam-metal pioneers Mötley Crüe are calling it quits, and that's not necessarily a good thing.
    • Nov 19, 2014
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

Film


Review


© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation