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MusicUnderFire | February 8, 2016

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Warm Up With The Autumnal Glow of Pawns or Kings’ “Silo Sessions” Recording

Warm Up With The Autumnal Glow of Pawns or Kings’ “Silo Sessions” Recording
Looking for some cool new music that will keep you company through fall and winter? Missouri’s Pawns or Kings are a solid folk band with a beautiful, warm vibe you’ll warm right up to.

Their brand new EP is The Silo Sessions, a live recording made inside an abandoned silo at Devils Icebox State Park near Columbia, Missouri. A group of students hiking through the area stumbled upon the band performing live, and became part of the recording session as well.

Their newest effort opens with the stirring, acoustic “The Enemy,” a Mumford & Sons song the band took, re-wrote, and made their own. Taylor Swift’s “Safe and Sound,” from The Hunger Games, follows. You’ll love the way their lilting harmonies sound against the backdrop of a stark, acoustic arrangement.

Original songs and re-written covers
Band frontman Ed Stengel has been performing in bands of various genres since the ripe young age of 16. Early last year he and fellow band mate Ben Bigelow recorded an acoustic demo that was well-received by fans – enough so to inspire its followup, “Letters to Lucy,” a mix of original songs and re-written covers, at the end of last year. Again, the response was positive, with more than 6,000 downloads of “Letters to Lucy” thus far.

While “The Silo Sessions” weren’t originally planned for public consumption quite so soon, an equipment failure this summer destroyed 6 tracks the group had originally intended to release, and “we wanted something to give our fans,” said Stengel in a recent telephone interview. Thus, the band decided to master and release “The Silo Sessions.” 

“Names and Maps” is an uplifting and catchy track…by the 3rd or 4th listen, it’ll feel as familiar and comforting as your favorite winter coat.  Unless you’re already a fan well-familiar with Pawns or Kings, you can skip “Creed,” a spoof on the song “Arms Wide Open.” On the other hand, you’ll love the majesty, power, and banjo of “England,” as well as their cover of City and Colour’s “The Girl,” another highlight. 

The last track on The Silo Sessions, a tender, beautiful recording of the obscure Avett Brothers’ “Souls Like Wheels,” is another standout.

Pawns or Kings are: Ed Stengel, vocals, piano, banjo; Ben Bigelow, guitar, backup vocals; Devin Langer, bass guitar, backup vocals; and Justin Arndt, percussion.

[quote]We thank the power of the internet for our fans,” says Stengel, “we also have a lot of fans in England, and hope to get over there eventually, too.[/quote]

You can check out The Silo Sessions on The music’s currently free though the band requests music fans leave a “tip,” and rightly so.

You can also find their music and videos at:

Letters to Lucy
You can find “Letters to Lucy” on the band’s website.  You’ll enjoy “Sister of the Sun,” and the lovely and reflective “Come to Pass.”