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Blind Pilot

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Portland, United States (2006 – present)

Blind Pilot is an American indie folk band based in Portland, Oregon.

The band has performed on Carson Daly’s show, opened arena shows in England and been selected as iTunes’ Single of the Week. After a busy summer that included the Lollapalooza, Sasquatch!, and Outside Lands festivals and a high-profile slot opening for fellow Portlanders the Decemberists on select dates, Blind Pilot is embarking on a national headlining tour to support their magnanimous debut, 3 Rounds and a Sound, released last year on Expunged Records. Initially a duo of Nebeker and drummer Ryan Dobrowski, the group now includes Kati Claborn on banjo and dulcimer, Luke Ydstie on upright bass, Dave Jorgensen on trumpet and harmonium, and Ian Krist on vibraphone.

Nebeker and drummer Ryan Dobrowski first met as college students at the University of Oregon. They played together in the occasional band, but the roots of Blind Pilot didn’t take hold until the two friends spent a summer abroad in Newquay, England, a laidback surfing town in the coastal county of Cornwall. Nebeker says, “The first night we saw a musician playing on the street. A cop came up and we thought, ‘This guy’s going to get busted.’ But the cop stood and listened, then flipped a pound into the guy’s case and walked off. So we said, ‘Oh, we’re doing this!’” Nebeker strummed an acoustic guitar while Dobrowski, a fine art student, kept time on a makeshift percussion kit constructed out of a sketchpad and pencil tin. “I used that sketchpad more as an instrument than for artwork,” laughs Dobrowski. “By the end of the summer, the tin was all flared out from me hitting it.”

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