Premiere: Pert Near Sandstone "I've Been Traveling" [LYRIC VIDEO] - Festy GoNuts!
Pert Near Sandstone - photo credit: Tony Nelson

Premiere: Pert Near Sandstone “I’ve Been Traveling” [LYRIC VIDEO]

by Sep 6, 2023Featured, Premieres

Listen to the PREMIERE of Pert Near Sandstone’s “I’ve Been Traveling” from upcoming new album, “Waiting Days”

The 8th studio album from the Minneapolis/St. Paul-based Pert Near Sandstone, Waiting Days will be released on October 20, 2023.

Image by Tony Nelson


Back when Festy GoNuts was still an infant running around in diapers, we were lucky enough to find ourselves at the inaugural Blue Ox Music Festival.  Blue Ox is a magical place in space and time, and our experience there helped validate our plan to fully go nuts in the world of festivals.

Aside from the friendships we formed at that first Blue Ox, what stuck with us the most were the new-to-us bands we were lucky enough to discover, and none had more of an impact than Pert Near Sandstone.

As the curators and hosts of Blue Ox, Pert Near certainly has a presence at the Eau Claire, Wisconsin festival, but being a couple of kids from Colorado, we had yet to see or hear them.  By the end of that epic weekend, we were fully on board and proudly sporting Pert Near stickers, singing their praises and humming their tunes in our heads.


So here we are, 10 years later.  Festy GoNuts has developed into… something, and Pert Near Sandstone is continuing to make incredible new music, which we are honored to premiere right here on our now pre-teen (but occasionally still diaper-wearing) website.


Pert Near Sandstone “I’ve Been Traveling”

One of many songs about traveling that appear as a theme on the upcoming album, I’ve Been Traveling is representative of a band that has hit the road hard in their years together.  It serves as a soundtrack for late-night drives and long hauls that fans can appreciate as much as the band does.

Nate Sipe, who penned the tune, says of I’ve Been Traveling, “This is the latest addition to my ever-expanding catalog of traveling songs. In large part, my adult life has been spent moving between places for work or recreation. With backpacking, hitchhiking, road-tripping, train hopping and touring, traveling has been fundamental to my personal identity. I have thrived on it both artistically and philosophically. Many of my strongest relationships were formed as travel partners, including my wife. I still spend much idle time daydreaming in anticipation of the next trip. After relocating from my home state a decade ago, what was once an escape into experience and discovery is now a connective path that returns me to friends and family. Truly, the road is an abstract home where far away places are now a vast terrain of tender memories and formative associations. This new album has a strong theme of reconciling the inner and external worlds. For me, traveling is where those two worlds best intersect. It takes courage and faith to venture away from what’s comfortable and familiar. This is a song for following wanderlust, bisecting lives and blazing anew. This is a song for seekers of wilderness and urban tramps, long haul truckers and road bikers, working musicians and RV retirees, armchair daydreams and those who deserve more vacation time. Saunter on!” 


Enjoy I’ve Been Traveling, and pre-save Waiting Days ahead of the Oct. 20 release!


Pert Near Sandstone "Waiting Days" album cover

Pert Near Sandstone’s “Waiting Days” – Available October 20, 2023.

ST. PAUL/ MINNEAPOLIS, Minn — “Our waiting days are finally over,” the title track from Pert Near Sandstone’s new album decries, echoing the sentiment of a community recently pent up and beyond longing. What can develop from the turbulence of a still dwindling global pandemic and also respond to the noise of prattling politics? Art has its purpose in this exact hour.

It’s a strikingly different world than when Pert Near Sandstone first began nearly two decades ago near the sandstone river bluffs of St. Paul. The former latchkey kids who grew up together a few Mississippi-miles upstream have grown into a band of brothers, bonded together as family. By contrast to tik tocs, reels, and tweets in an ever-changing terrain that is digitally enhanced and quickly refreshed, this album was formed from the wilderness and carved from the heartwood.

Waiting Days has all the merit of maturity and the strengths of its four songwriters (all of whom are vocalists)—Justin Bruhn (bass), Kevin Kniebel (banjo), J Lenz (guitar), and Nate Sipe (mandolin, steel guitars, fiddle)—offering responses to each other’s compositions through a long camaraderie. Chris Forsberg, a recent inclusion to the outfit, puts his fiddle stamp on the overall sound with turnbuckle solos and harmonious response to the melodies. The album is set for independent release on October 20.

The interplay of mandolin and fiddle carry much of the music across the songs, but it’s the mixture of guest instrumentalists that gives this album a unique tapestry of sounds and texture, with accents of piano, trumpet, choral vocalists, steel guitar, and percussion. As longtime stewards of the modern stringband revival, their studio recordings have continuously pulled the genre toward a more contemporary perspective, meditating on the present and rich with reference. This isn’t music reaching for the banality of pop hits, instead they provide fresh air for blades of new grass to grow in.

Trampled By Turtles’ fiddler and original Pert Near member, Ryan Young, recorded and mixed the album—the fourth he has gifted his audio wizardry to— and added his fiddle and other accouterments to bolster the energy of the songs. The intimacy of collaboration is at the heart of this new project, which was recorded during several of the harshest weeks of a midwestern winter in Ryan’s NeonBrown Recording Studio in Crystal, Minnesota.

“Out of Time,” the album’s heaviest hitting song, is a gazette of concerns that we face in troubled times. The explicit itemization is an alarm for movement; the singer’s vocals singe of desperation is motivation to confront the things most feared and to hold on to what is most dear. Lest we get lost in despair, we can find rejuvenation in one of the strongest songs, “All Waves Break,” which gestures with surrealism to offset the bleakness of a just-as-wacky reality.

They released the first glimpse of the new tunes with “All Waves Break” as the album’s first single. Listen here →

In “Clouds Are Gathering,” the story and images reach into a field that isn’t always aglow with sunlight, while finding beauty in the tenderness of relationships. In “Believe,” we are granted access to an inner world propelled by an almost symphonic string section. “Lay Down Your Burdens” has a simplicity that indeed helps us believe the genuine intentions of Pert Near Sandstone’s creative resolve.

“Who To Choose” gives permission to an indeterminate personality to decide their own path in this human condition. The railroad laden album cover looks as though it could be an illustration, “End of The Line,” wherein a conversation between a hobo and railroad brakeman confront the possible obsolescence of their livelihoods. A distant whistle is heard as a token of hope with Sipe’s electric steel guitar sliding into the conversation with a nod to early country music.

“I’ve Been Traveling,” “Soo Line,” and “On To Dawn” are traveling songs, sung by a band that has hit the pavement hard over their time, simultaneously creating a soundtrack for those all night drives that music festival devotees well know.

Well known for their humor and levity, with charm that is never far from the surface, the connectedness to community is at the core of Pert Near’s music and philosophy. Nobody on earth is having a singular experience, as these songs shine a light upon. We are all here together. As the title track declares, “… I want to take you with me when I go.” Let’s get ready. Now is our time. The waiting days are over.

Pre-save Waiting Days on Spotify:

MORE ABOUT Pert Near Sandstone: 

Crossing old-time instrumentation with contemporary sensibilities, Pert Near Sandstone first emerged from Minneapolis in 2007 with their acclaimed debut, Up And Down The River. Pert Near performs with infectious energy and an undeniable joy. Over the years of producing albums and playing shows, they established themselves as standard-bearers for the versatility and vitality of the Midwestern roots music scene, performing onstage with the likes of Steve Martin and the Flaming Lips and earning dates along the way with everyone from Trampled By Turtles and Del McCoury to Yonder Mountain String Band and Sam Bush.

NPR’s Mountain Stage hailed Pert Near Sandstone for putting a “Midwestern stamp on Appalachian [sounds],” while A Prairie Home Companion described them as “a force on the Minnesota roots music scene and beyond,” and The Current praised their live performances as “a frenzied string shredding spree that takes audiences under its spell.” 

After establishing themselves as festival favorites in both the US and Europe, the band helped to launch the Blue Ox Music Festival in 2015. Acting as curators and hosts for this prestigious and eclectic roots music event, they have brought in a slew of their favorite performers including Bela Fleck, Tyler Childers, Jerry Douglas, Margo Price, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Billy Strings, The Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass, and more. They are thrilled for 2024’s event which marks the 10th year! 

Find out more at and stay up to date with Pert Near Sandstone news at and

About The Author


Jason has been in love with the festy lifestyle ever since his first festival experience, The Great Went in August of 1997. Whew. That was a while ago. Jason loves the way festivals free us from the constraints of the outside world, and let us be our true "fest" selves!

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