Bishop Killlborne, aka Gabriel Strycharz, witnessed Pedro the Lion perform their record “Control”. He was given a copy of Jeff Buckley’s “Grace”. A friend told him of a guy named Elliott Smith. These were all spiritual moments. Unlike anything he had experienced. Unlike anything the man behind the pulpit could ever conjure up. And so he, like a born again believer, dug. With his bare hands, he clawed his way out of the grave he was placed in as a child.

For reasons unknown, Bishop Killborne needs to say something and question everything. To make sense of sadness. To love and be loved. And, to make noise. Gabriel met Adam Morgan in Santa Barbara in 2004 while playing an acoustic set at a wine bar. They collaborated for the years that followed. Just writing and recording, writing and recording, sifting through what seemed to be hundreds of songs, like leaves purged from my weathered frame, lying exposed on the soggy ground. Finding one’s voice can be a sad sight.

They both found themselves living in Austin in 2008, continuing this process of searching and sifting. Then, as circumstance allowed, they met Nick Price in 2011 and formed The American Spirit. They released two EP’s and after a brief hiatus, a relocation west to California, and a sudden burst of inspiration, again they are searching.

What started out as a folk/rock/Americana project is now becoming something more expansive. Bound less by a specific genre but playing more with vocal and rhythmic space. The more The American Spirit write, the closer they get to where they’re supposed to be, however unclear that destination is. All one can hope to do is move forward. And, collectively they will hope to do just that.