In a mostly square room on a mostly triangle stage, the trio of Humbird made their debut appearance at the Rieder Homestead in Delano, MN.
At the first indoor show of the season inside the historic barn, erected in 1881, Humbird hugged the intimate crowd with humor, stories, and fairy tale magic dust songs. Siri Undin, Pat Keen, and Pete Quirsfeld have been playing together for over five years, and you immediately sense the love and respect each has for the music.
The Rieder Homestead is an enigma. A family-driven venue almost single-handedly built by secondhand wood, the mesmerizing space has hosted an eclectic variety of musicians. An exclusive pocket of impassioned music fans gather for every show, taking in stories and songwriting on a more personal level.
Fresh off an overseas solo tour and prepping for a monthlong East Coast tour, Humbird didn’t disappoint. For first time listeners, the ability to hear the stories and meanings behind each song was a special opportunity to connect. “Plum Sky” took on a heavier anal-lization, while “Lincoln, Nebraska” and “Kansas City, Missouri” received explanations on the location names for their titles.
For those that had a deeper knowledge of Humbird’s music, there was a long swath of new music to take in. “Quickest Way,” “August,” and the “Saint and St. Paul” are impressive new additions to her catalog, each carrying her trademark storytelling, deep lyrics, and emotional ties.
“Cornfields and Roadkill” has continued to evolve as we heard a heavier version of the song, with Pat diving into a grungy bass solo to communicate the frustration of being on I-94. “Fresh Water” showcased a more jazzy dynamic of the trio, with Pete showcasing his groove on drums.
Tucked into the set were the nostalgic favorites like “Pharmakon,” which felt like a childhood blanket surrounding you. “Eve Boards a Train” was an audience request that exemplifies Siri’s ability to twist history on the retelling of Adam and Eve. Newer favorites from Still Life like “May” and “Summer Storm For Charlotte” re-centered the importance of the unrest and geographical landscape of the Twin Cities.
The value of the venue comes in the quieter moments, as attentive audience members soak in every word and strum. This intimacy was especially effective for a cover of Richard Thompson’s “Beeswing,” which Siri had only learned three days prior to the show. Her voice seeped into the wooden beams. It was a beautiful moment that will live on in memories.
Tucked in the small spaces of our state, music thrives in warm, twinkle light settings like the Rieder Homestead shows. The opportunity to immerse yourself in an artist and listen intently is the foundation of becoming a fan. As Humbird dove into “On The Day We Are Together Again,” the reminder of the value of community hit harder in a space supported by family and friends.
The full gallery of photos is below.