Blind Pilot

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Blind Pilot
Blind Pilot.01.17.09.png
Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski at the Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon
Background information
OriginAstoria, Oregon
GenresIndie folk,[1] indie pop
Years active2005–present
LabelsExpunged, ATO
MembersIsrael Nebeker
Ryan Dobrowski
Luke Ydstie
Kati Claborn
Ian Krist
Dave Jorgensen

Blind Pilot is an American indie folk band based in Portland, Oregon, United States. They have released three albums and one EP since 2008.


On July 15, 2008, Blind Pilot released their debut CD 3 Rounds and a Sound on Expunged Records.[2] "Go On, Say It", was chosen to be a Single of the Week on July 7, 2008 on Apple Inc.'s iTunes Store[citation needed], and for the week of July 26 the record reached number 13 on the Billboard Top Digital Albums chart.[3] Allmusic gave the album 3.5/5 stars.[2]

Originally a duo between Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski, the band added four touring members in February 2009.[4] On December 29 of that year, the band released an iTunes only live EP. This EP featured a cover of Gillian Welch's "Look at Miss Ohio".[5] The EP also included new versions of previously released songs, along with a new song, titled "Get It Out". The EP was mixed and recorded by Tucker Martine.

Blind Pilot released their second album, We Are The Tide, on September 13, 2011 as a sextet.[6] The album featured the song "Get It Out" from the previous EP. Allmusic praised the additional members, whom they said "add bigger, brighter colors to the mix" in a 4.5-star review.[6]

On June 1, 2016, Blind Pilot announced their third album, And Then Like Lions, would be released August 12 on ATO Records.[7] The album received 'universal acclaim' from Metacritic, getting a user score of 9.3 and a critic score of 71.[8]

Origin of the band name[edit]

During a 2009 interview with LAist, Israel describes how the original duo came up with the name:[9]

A blind pilot is one of the scariest things I can think of. Why did you choose that name?
When Ryan and I came up with the name in Astoria, when we were planning our first bike tour. It seemed fitting for what we were trying to do. We hadn't heard of anyone else who had done it and we hadn't booked that many shows. It was as if we were flying into the unknown. We couldn't see what's going to happen.

Performance and touring history[edit]

The band completed a bicycle tour in 2008,[10] biking from Bellingham, Washington to San Diego, California, carrying their instruments on custom bicycle trailers they fashioned themselves. They made more than two dozen stops along the way, including Port Townsend, Seattle, Olympia, Portland, Corvallis, Eugene, Coos Bay, Arcata and Santa Cruz.

Touring for their debut album continued in 2009. On February 12, Blind Pilot made their network television debut on Last Call with Carson Daly.[11] In May, they played at the Sasquatch! Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington, and in August they played at Lollapalooza in Chicago and Outside Lands in San Francisco.[12][13][14]

To promote We Are The Tide on January 6, 2012, the band made their second network television appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.[15] Subsequent touring for the album included a performance at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee on June 9, as well as returns to Lollapalooza and Sasquatch.[16][17][18] Their song "Half Moon" was performed on Ellen during the host's birthday episode on January 25, 2013.[19] Blind Pilot's music has been featured in some television programs, including Chuck, One Tree Hill, Californication, and Private Practice.[20]

The band finished their tour with Vance Joy on December 3, 2016. Their most recent tour with Bad Bad Habits, Anna Tivel, and Gregory Alan Isakov ran from 2017 to mid-2018. As of late 2018 the band is working on writing and recording their 4th studio album.

Band members[edit]



Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales




3 Rounds and a Sound
  • Released: July 15, 2008
  • Label: Expunged
149 22
We Are the Tide
  • Released: September 13, 2011
  • Label: Expunged
56 10 2 14 19
And Then Like Lions 79 7 2 4 7
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released

Drummer Ryan Dobrowski did the artwork for both 3 Rounds and a Sound and We Are the Tide.


Title Album details Peak chart positions


iTunes Session - EP
  • Released: December 29, 2009
  • Label: Expunged
6 39
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released


Year Title US

2008 "Go On, Say It" 3 Rounds and a Sound
2012 "Half Moon" 17 We Are the Tide
2013 "We Are the Tide" 20
2016 "Umpqua Rushing" And Then Like Lions
"Packed Powder" 9
"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released


  1. ^ Ruehl, Kim. "What Is Indie Folk Music?". Retrieved July 7, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "3 Rounds and a Sound - Blind Pilot". Allmusic. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  3. ^ "Digital Albums". Billboard. July 26, 2008. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  4. ^ "Almost there!". February 27, 2009. Archived from the original on 2015-09-25. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  5. ^ "Blind Pilot iTunes EP Available Now | Blind Pilot Official Website". Archived from the original on 2010-04-06. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "We Are the Tide - Blind Pilot". Allmusic. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  7. ^ "Song Premiere: Blind Pilot, 'Umpqua Rushing'". NPR. June 1, 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  8. ^ "Reviews for And Then Like Lions by Blind Pilot - Metacritic'". August 19, 2016. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  9. ^ "Meet Israel Nebeker - Lead Singer of Blind Pilot". LAist. Archived from the original on 2017-11-06. Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  10. ^ "Burnside helps local artist hit digital paydirt - Portland Business Journal". August 8, 2008. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  11. ^ "Live on Carson Daly". February 16, 2009. Archived from the original on 2015-09-25. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  12. ^ "Sasquatch! 2009 Line-Up: Jane's Addiction, NIN, YYYs, Animal Collective & Zach Galifianakis". February 17, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  13. ^ "It's The 2009 Lineup". Lollapalooza. April 21, 2009. Archived from the original on 2015-09-25. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  14. ^ "Outside Lands 2009 Line-Up". April 13, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  15. ^ "Late Show With David Letterman". January 3, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  16. ^ "Bonnaroo 2012 Lineup". Bonnaroo. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  17. ^ "Lollapalooza 2012 Lineup: Black Sabbath, Chili Peppers, Black Keys Headlining". Billboard. April 11, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  18. ^ "Sasquatch! 2012 Lineup". February 3, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  19. ^ "Episode Calendar January 2013". Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  20. ^ "Blind Pilot". Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  21. ^ "Blind Pilot - Billboard".
  22. ^ "Blind Pilot - Billboard Alternative Albums".
  23. ^ a b "Blind Pilot - Billboard Americana/Folk Albums".
  24. ^ a b "Blind Pilot - Billboard Independent".
  25. ^ "Blind Pilot - Billboard Rock Albums".
  26. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on July 2, 2016. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  27. ^ "Blind Pilot – Chart History – Adult Alternative Songs". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 19 September 2016.

External links[edit]