"Help Me Build a Ladder" expresses a wistful hopefulness. "Help me build a ladder/To climb out of this hole...." Sometimes we all need a little help to make our way home again. "Help me brother/Help me sister/Help me Lord 'cuz no one gets outta here alone...." It's a message we all should remember now and again.
"Behind Me" is all about gratitude and simplicity I wish I could achieve personally. "I don't need no diamonds/No special recognition/Don't need more than both my hands can hold ... nothing puts my mind at ease/Than when I know that she's behind me." This is a song about love and along the way, there are some rich harmonies from Mooney, Holley, and Himmelman. (For more harmonies, check out some parts of "1000 Blackbirds Fall.")
"Death by Snakebite" is harder, with a simple, beautiful piano melody behind it that the group plays around with through guitar, feedback, and a driving drum beat. "Guess I lost my concentration/Damn thing bit me in the vein/It's an ice cold sensation/Equal parts pleasure and pain...." Though the lyrics may be dark, the blues riffs echoed throughout on acoustic and electric guitar pushes this one regularly to the top of my playlists.
Are You There manages to express itself in a myriad of ways, but boils down to the trials and tribulations of the human condition. Love, despair, hope, longing, doubt... And the crew of Minnesota manages to evoke all of those emotions and more.
For more about the band, be sure to check out their website MinnesotaBand.com and pre-order the album to be released on November 6, 2012!