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Dave Heumann, a musician with something of a rustic, poetic bent who backed up musicians like Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Cass McCombs, started Arbouretum in the early 2000s. The band was comprised of Heumann's friend Walker David Teret on guitar, ex-Lungfish member Mitchell Feldstein on drums, and Corey Allender on bass. Arbouretum's debut, Long Live the Well-Doer, was released in 2004, and their second album, Rites of Uncovering, came out three years later. The latter was recorded in part by Paul Oldham and, according to Heumann, was influenced by the works of writer Paul Bowles. Solidifying themselves with Corey Allender on bass, Daniel Franz on drums, and Steve Strohmeier on guitar, Heumann reentered the studio with Rob Girardi again in 2008 and finished Song of the Pearl in only two months. Thrill Jockey released the record in February of 2009. The band toured the United States in support and immediately reentered the studio with producer Matt Boynton, who had recorded much of 2007's Rites of Uncovering. Arbouretum underwent a lineup change in 2010: guitarist Steve Strohmeier was replaced by keyboardist Matthew Pierce. Following the inspiration of archetypal psychologist Carl Jung's The Red Book (at least the images that led to his writing it), Arbouretum released the expansive, mythology-drenched effort The Gathering in 2011. Around this time, Heumann formed a friendship with Hush Arbors' Keith Wood. The two bands planned a joint European tour, and in 2012 released a split LP, Aureola, to showcase their likeminded sounds. In 2013, they followed it with the full-length Coming Out of the Fog and nine months later, the four-track, 26-minute Gourd of Gold EP; the latter was comprised entirely of Gordon Lightfoot covers. ~ Margaret Reges & Jason Lymangrover, Rovi