The Courage

The Courage
The Courage
Origin Seattle, Washington
Genres Folk rock[1]
Years active Circa 2005-present
Labels Independent
Associated acts Garage Voice
Tom Rorem
Paper Mache
Karli Fairbanks
Ben Blood (Photographer)
National Theatre Project
Noah Gundersen
Abby Gundersen
Ivan Gunderson
Travis Ehrentrom

Michael Porter
Chris Judd
Michael Rabb
Drew Konzelman

The Courage (formerly known as "Noah Gundersen & the Courage") is an indie band initially started in Centralia, Washington by siblings Abby & Noah Gundersen and expanded to Travis Ehrenstrom and Ivan Gunderson. The group has two EPs, a live CD, and a studio album. Before the removal of Noah Gundersen's name from the title and the incorporation of the entire band, a majority of the songs were written and recorded by Noah and Abby.



Noah Gundersen began playing music when he was 10 or 11 years old when his parents had him take piano lessons. Later he taught himself to play the guitar and recorded songs with his father's recording equipment. Around the age of 16, Noah was performing solo in local cafes. His sister Abby began to accompany him with violin and harmonies in 2006 .[4] Noah Gundersen & the Courage began in 2006 in Centralia, Washington.[5] They began playing shows throughout the Washington/Oregon region, and quickly gained a fan base there. Noah's first CD, "Brand New World" (recorded by himself, Abby Gundersen, and Michael Porter) was recorded in Eugene, Oregon in a home studio.[6] It began to be sold on the internet in 2008.[7] That summer, an internet hacker named "andrewlandon" discovered Noah Gundersen's music and stole his song "Winter" (as well has three songs by a neighboring musician, Jacob White, and several other artists) and put it on his own MySpace.

In mid 2008, Live at the Triple Door, the band's first live CD was released independently as they toured throughout the west coast. In May, Noah and Abby made another western tour with Garage Voice and Tom Rorem, an ensuing two month tour alongside Chelsea Seth of Paper Mache occurred that August. On October 9, The Courage played a show at The Q Cafe to release Noah's newest album, "Saints & Liars". Paige Richmond, a Seattle Weekly reporter attending the show gave the band's performance and new CD an outstanding review, titling the review "Noah Gundersen Brings Q Cafe Crowd to Its Feet"[8] As winter set in, the band became stationary while Abby began to pursue her college education and the other three set out finding other jobs. Noah Gundersen & the Courage continues to rehearse and play shows in the WA/OR area at venues such as The Round and the Triple Door, while staying less active.[9]

On December 10 at midnight, The Courage released a new song on their myspace, "Moles", which is the only studio recording of The Courage. The song was only on their music page for a few days but physical CDs were released when they performed at the Triple Door on December 29. In the following February, the track "Middle of June", off of Saints & Liars, appeared on an episode of One Tree Hill.[10][11]

The band announced through their new website, as well as with an interview with Seattle Weekly, that their first full-length album would be released in the summer of 2010.[12] The album, according to Seattle Weekly, marks a transition in the band as the group moved from a singer/song-writer led band fronted by Noah Gundersen—one that frequented solo acoustic songs—to a functioning unit that creates songs that incorporate the entire band.[13] Noah Gundersen has even considered removing his name from the band's title.[4][5]

Recording for The Courage's studio album began on March 16 of 2010. The band announced their progress with several updates through their Twitter account revealing that on the 27th of March, they had finished recording the album and in early July, they had started mixing the album.[14] The album is the first full-length recording to be released by The Courage.[15]

Fearful Bones and name change (2010-present)

By the beginning of August 2010, recording, production, and mixing for the new album had been completed in a barn in Sisters, Oregon. On August 3, the band announced the change of their title as well as the name of their debut album via their Twitter page,

The name of this band is The Courage. Our new CD is titled 'Fearful Bones'[16]

A new song, "Frequency," was streamed for free off of their official website in the beginning of September. On September 11, The Courage played a release show for Fearful Bones and followed up with a three week tour of the West Coast with the album's producer, Matt Lee, playing lead guitar.

The Local Lounge

On January 11, 2009, Noah Gundersen played live for 45 minutes on KCDA during the "Local Lounge". He performed the songs "Poor Man's Son", "The Ocean", and "No Fairness" and aired the songs "America", "Nine Pound Hammer", "Current State of Things", and "Oh, Momma".[6]

Live performances

The Courage's live performances vary greatly from Noah's studio recordings: while the studio recordings are usually only Noah and Abby Gundersen, the entire band takes part in performing live. The line-up is also constantly changing, guests may appear at shows with additional guitars, saxophones, and other instruments.


The core of The Courage is

But additional artist play varying roles in the Courage, often playing with the band live

  • Michael Porter - Electric Guitar, additional guitar on "Brand New World"
  • Chris Judd - Bass guitar, Vocals
  • Michael Rabb - Keys, Tambourine, Vocals (appears on Live at the Triple Door)
  • Drew Konzelman - Mandolin, Violin, Octave Violin, Electric Guitar
  • Matt Lee - guitar (Fearful Bones tour in September 2010)


The first two studio albums from The Courage are credited mainly to Noah Gundersen as the singer/songwriter with accompaniment from Abby Gundersen with vocals and violin.


Brand New World

Brand New World is Noah's first CD, it features Abby singing backup vocals and playing the violin, and Michael Porter playing an additional guitar.

  1. "Brand New World" - 4:48
  2. "Moss On A Rolling Stone" - 4:53
  3. "Burning Fences" - 5:03
  4. "The First Song" - 4:53
  5. "Winter"* - 6:18
  6. "The Current State Of Things" - 5:11
  • The song "Winter" was hacked and made to look like the creation of a notorious Internet hacker, "andrewlandon" [sic].

Live at the Triple Door

Live at the Triple Door is the first CD by The Courage to include the entire group, and is Noah's second recording released. The album was recorded at the The Triple Door venue in Seattle, Washington.[18] The Triple Door has had several artists and groups record live albums in its lounge and The Courage is one of the more recent bands to do so.

Saints & Liars

Saints & Liars was released by Noah Gundersen on October 9, 2009; although tracks 2, 3, 5 and 6 were already on the bands myspace. The album was released at a show in The Q Cafe and was sold digitally later that month. The CD/show received an outstanding review from the Seattle Weekly saying "Noah Gundersen Brings Q Cafe Crowd to Its Feet".[8] The EP has been compared to Damien Rice, Jeff Buckley, and Ryan Adams. In February 2010, the song "Middle of June" appeared on the television series One Tree Hill.

Fearful Bones

Fearful Bones is The Courage's debut album, sold on September 11, 2010 at the Crocodile Cafe for the audience, and recorded in a barn in Sisters, Oregon. The album is seen as a turning point in the band's direction, aside from dropping Noah Gundersen's name from the title and sharing song-writing among all members, the album is described as "less folky, more country-rock.[19]


We Love This Comp. Vol. I

The Courage's song, "All You Know," was released on Building Burning Record's 16-track compilation called We Love This Comp. Vol I on March 29, 2011.[20] The album features several Oregon based folk and indie bands.[21]

Associated acts

National Theatre Project

Bassist Travis Ehrenstrom leads an acoustic Oregon based band, National Theatre Project.[5][22]

  • Travis Ehrenstrom - Vocals, Guitar
  • Seth Rodriguez - Saxophone
  • Matt Cartmill - Drums
  • Patrick Pearsall - Bass

Beneath Oceans

Noah Gundersen was frontman and singer for a post-hardcore group called Beneath Oceans. While the group was active, the band played shows throughout the West Coast, and recorded an unreleased EP. At the end of 2008, with the departure of Keelan O'Hara, Gundersen announced that the band was done.
Beneath Oceans Myspace profile


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ a b c
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ News section
  13. ^
  14. ^ The Courage Twitter account
  15. ^ Boards -> Posts from the band -> New blog from Abby
  16. ^ August 3rd, 2010
  17. ^!/pages/Noah-Gunderson/66583399539?v=wall
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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