New Kitchen Dwellers Single “Stand At Ease” Highlights Mental Health And Benefits Backline

Alternative Bluegrass group Kitchen Dwellers have released new single “Stand At Ease” today ahead of World Mental Health Day on October 10th. The song is a direct address to mental health struggles, and particularly to mental health struggles within the music industry. Following the tragic suicides of a personal hero and close collaborator, the quartet, including Shawn Swain (Mandolin), Torrin Daniels (banjo), Joe Funk (upright bass), and Max Davies (acoustic guitar), created the song to remind anyone struggling, “You’re not alone.” They have also pledged proceeds from the song to benefit music industry mental health and wellness resource Backline.

Joe Funk comments:

“The main thing we want to do is raise awareness and create engagement with people who are struggling, but also encourage those who aren’t struggling to support the community. It’s a big issue in the music industry. Road life escalates any mental health issue present in someone’s life, so we’re trying to talk about it.”

For Kitchen Dwellers, the background to the song has been the 2019 suicide of Yonder Mountain String Band co-founder, mandolinist, and singer, Jeff Austin. As one of their longtime inspirations, the his death really impacted Kitchen Dwellers.

“Stand At Ease” took shape over the next year, and was recorded during the 2021 sessions for their third full-length album, in Minneapolis with producer Cory Wong of Vulfpeck. It addresses suicide directly with the hook, “I can’t stand to see what you’ve done to be free.”

Joe Funk adds:

“Initially, I wanted to write it from the perspective of kids who lost their parents to suicide. It’s a reminder there are people who love you and you probably have no idea. The song portrays you’re not alone. You can reach out. Personally, it’s the song I’m most proud of. I really want it to do good in the world. Whether you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or substance abuse, maybe the song can trigger a happy thought or urge you to reach out to a friend, organization, or even lift yourself up. Maybe we can uplift even one person with this.”

You can also catch up with Kitchen Dwellers on their current tour:

Oct 8 @ High Noon Saloon | Madison, WI

Oct 9 @ Martyrs’ | Chicago, IL 

Oct 14 @ The Charleston Pour House | Charleston, SC

Oct 15 @ Smith’s Olde Bar | Atlanta, GA

Oct 16 @ The High Watt | Nashville, TN

Oct 21 @ Salvage Station | Asheville, NC 

Oct 22 @ The Music Yard at SouthBound | Charlotte, NC

Oct 23 @ Pour House | Raleigh, NC

Oct 26 @ 8×10 | Baltimore, MD

Oct 27 @ World Cafe | Philadelphia, PA

Oct 28 @ Brooklyn Bowl | Brooklyn, NY 

Oct 29 @ The Hollow Bar + Kitchen | Albany, NY

Oct 30 @ Electric Haze | Worcester, MA 

Oct 31 @ Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas | Las Vegas, NV

11/3 @ The Press Room | Portsmouth, NH

11/4 @ Higher Ground | South Burlington, VT

11/5 @ Brighton Music Hall | Boston, MA

11/6 @ Portland House of Music and Events | Portland, ME 

11/7 @ Bank of NH Stage | Concord, NH 

12/10 @ Knotty Pine | Victor, ID 

12/11 @ The Depot | Salt Lake City, UT 

12/30 @ Elm | Bozeman, MT

12/31 @ Elm | Bozeman, MT

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