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SXSW 2009: Blind Pilot

There's nothing innately flashy about the Oregon-based folk-pop duo Blind Pilot. But the songs on its marvelous debut, 3 Rounds and a Sound, are uniformly sturdy and sweet, drenched in brightly rustic instrumentation and some of the sweetest harmonies this side of such likeminded peers as The Avett Brothers and Fleet Foxes.

Blind Pilot released its album with no label support, but the duo has already won widespread national attention and made its late-night network TV debut. Still, a do-it-yourself spirit persists: Members Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski have done most of their touring by bicycle. In recent weeks, they've added enough supporting players to make that arrangement less practical than it already was, and have acquired a van for the nationwide tour that brings them to SXSW. Hear Blind Pilot live in concert from The Parish in Austin, Tex., on March 19.

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