Alex and Kurt wrote songs with such energy and had a contagious level of fun on stage. Upon moving to Chicago in 2010 they put up an add on Craigslist for fellow musicians looking to join The Puffins. Jennifer Silverstone (a music teacher living in Chicago) answered the ad on a whim when she was looking to play more violin. Jen's perfect ear for music and electrifying talent added another element to the group to fill out their sound and define their genre. Jen connected immediately with the group. So well in fact that she married guitarist and band mate Kurt Page 2 years later.
The Puffins started as a project with Kurt Page and Alex Hall. At 26, Kurt picked up a guitar for the first time and began a percussive strumming style that would inspire some of the catchiest folk songs in a two and a half minute pop music package. But this paled to his perfect twangy vibratto singing with such emotion topped off effortlessly by Alex Hall's smooth tenor.
Shortly after Jen joined, Ben Marx, one of the most solid bass players I've seen, answered the Craigslist ad and The Puffins were officially a group. Four dynamite musicians all working together to create a perfect country folk sound.
My introduction to The Puffins was at Gallery Cabaret in early 2011.
I was there with my bandmate and we were playing the famous (infamous?) Gallery Cabaret Thursday Night Open Mic; where you hear everything from metal guitarists playing over looped drum recordings, to 15 minutes of unaccompanied harmonica, to experimental poetry, to cringe-worthy stand-up comedy to some of the best musicians I have met in Chicago. After watching an open mic set from Kurt and Jen I introduced myself and we began playing at each others shows around Chicago.
It was an amazing experience joining the Puffins in the beginning of 2013. Growing up I just assumed country music wasn't for me until I heard Kurt Page sing. He has a voice filled with the weight of his stories. He finally made me understand what my friend once told me when we were young "country music makes me cry." And I realized that what I had thought was country music was not the only country out there. The Puffins taught me to love country in its purest form and my banjo playing is better suited for it.
Listen to The Puffins' third album (and my first Puffins album!) below: