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“The Bird and The Bear consists of Garry Wood from Saratoga, Wyoming and Mirthe Bolhuis from Groningen, The Netherlands. Both with a background in songwriting and performing, they eventually found each other in Nashville, TN in the summer of 2011. When The Bird and The Bear perform together people can’t help but take notice. They treat every note as an intimate moment; not just between the two of them but with the audience. To listen to them is to observe a balancing act of vulnerability, sincerity, and effortless musicality.”

The Bird and The Bear are a folk duo from Nashville, TN who’s latest effort is the beautiful “Build a Fire“. I want to thank Mirthe Bolhuis (The Bird) and Garry Wood (The Bear) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?

Mirthe Bolhuis: “Solid HarmoniE”.

Garry Wood: “Thriller” by Michael Jackson.

Your last album bought?

“The Phosphorescent Blues” by The Punch Brothers.

Favorite album of all time?

Mirthe: “Nothing is Wrong” by Dawes.

Garry: “Time (the Revelator)” by Gillian Welch.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?

Mirthe: “Human Again” by Ingrid Michaelson. I’m such a big fan and I anticipated this album so much but it didn’t live up to my expectations. But she made it all up with her last album!

Garry: “Supernova” by Ray LaMontagne. I love the rest of his stuff and I tried to let this album grow on me, but it just never did. At all.

First concert attended?

Mirthe: Krezip (a Dutch pop/rock band in the early 2000’s) at de Oosterpoort in my hometown of Groningen.

Garry: Alan Jackson at Cheyenne Frontier Days.

Last concert?

In December we saw Jason Isbell perform an acoustic show at City Winery Nashville with his wife Amanda Shires.

Favorite concert ever?

Dawes at the Ryman with Shovels and Rope opening. It was an incredible show that we shared with one of our very good friends.

Least favorite concert?

Mirthe: I’m a big fan of Alison Krauss. On one of my early trips to Nashville I had the chance to see her and Union Station at the Grand Ole Opry, an hour after I arrived at the airport. I was so excited! There were about 5 more bands that night, and Alison Krauss was the last one to go on. It was a show that was being taped for television, and everything took so long. By the time (about 5 hours later) Alison Krauss came on stage, I was so tired and jetlagged I couldn’t really enjoy it.

Garry: A few years ago I saw a co-headlining bill at the Ryman with Buddy Guy and BB King. The show itself was incredible, it was my first time seeing Buddy Guy and my second seeing BB King. Near the end of King’s set (he closed out the night) he was taking longer breaks between songs to catch his breath. For some reason, the staff turned the houselights on while the band was still clearly waiting for BB’s word. The night ended with people shouting requests at the clearly exhausted legend. It was pretty upsetting for me to see one of my heroes treated with such disrespect.

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?

We’ve never been but we would love to go! We’ll have to set up a show there…

Thanks, guys. That’s a terrible BB King story. Sometimes enthusiasm gets the better of people. I’ve seen a lot of disrespect from crowds at shows in my day. Just terrible.