While principal songwriters Andy Vietze and Alan Gibson can both “Garfunkel” with the best of them, and while the band does “fuzz up” its folk rock tunes, r.e. have their own distinctive style.
The band came together when Andy (park ranger) and Alan (carpenter) met on a Maine soccer field. Soon after, they discovered a mutual interest in artists like Vic Chesnutt, Billy Bragg, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Elliot Smith, singer-songwriters who brought punk rock sensibilities to their acoustic and folk based tunes.
The pair recorded their self-titled debut in 2002 to much acclaim and radio play – in Maine. At the time, rural electric was playing as a duo – if Billy Bragg wanted to be a one-man Clash, Vietze and Gibson wanted to be a two-man Billy Bragg. And their first record reflected that, entwining their twin electric guitars and harmonizing voices.
For their sophomore release, the pair added a friend, Andrew Carpenter (soil scientist), to fill out the low end, and they filled out their sound, too, adding piano and keys, cello and vibes to their dual guitar attack. The result is “the road to hell is paved.”