Heavy Diamond Ring is trying to keep things light.

The band, born out of the ongoing collaboration between Sarah Anderson and Paul DeHaven of indie folk band Paper Bird, brings their debut tour to Little Thistle Brewing June 20.

Lead singer Anderson and guitarist and songwriter DeHaven are joined by Blake Stepan on bass, Mike Lang on keys, and drummer Orion Tate Ignelzi for the new folk-rock-leaning project.

Paper Bird built a following touring for years on multiple albums. This won’t be Anderson and DeHaven’s first trip to Southern Minnesota. Paper Bird was part of the Winona-based festival Boats and Bluegrass lineup in 2012.

That familiarity has helped lift Heavy Diamond Ring’s warm-up debut tour, DeHaven said.

"I’m surprised by the number of people who know Paper Bird," he said. "Hopefully we can take those people along with us for the next segment of the ride."

Despite their following, stable success was still elusive for the group.

"We were still coming home from tours without a lot of money," DeHaven said.

As Paper Bird wound down, Stepan joined DeHaven and Anderson. The other Denver-area musicians joined the new project somewhat organically by first sitting in for jams and informal recording sessions.

"Once it was in place, we didn’t need to look any further," DeHaven said. "They just really fit."

The group has already built some chemistry, he added.

"They’re great human beings — that’s an important part of it — we all make each other laugh," DeHaven said.

Without the pressure of trying to make ends meet by touring, Heavy Diamond Ring has been having fun and getting good reception.

"We’re putting less pressure on ourselves and less pressure on this project," DeHaven said.

That doesn’t go unnoticed by their audience.

"We have a good time and they (see) us having a good time," he said. "It’s super symbiotic."

Their album release show earlier this month was sold out and one of the best shows DeHaven can remember.

"I never played a show with that kind of energy before," he said.

"Everyone was engaged the whole time," he added. "I don’t know what the elements were that made the show so special."

Will it happen again on this tour?

"I hope we can replicate it, but again, we’re not trying to put any pressure on this," he said.

Heavy Diamond Ring has multiple shows in the region as part of a soft debut tour. One band member has a cabin near a small lake in Minnesota which will serve as a temporary home base. The group has already started writing new material.

The business end of things can wait, DeHaven said.

"The music industry can be ruthless and not fun," he said. "Hopefully we can glide through some of the nonsense and have some fun."


Heavy Diamond Ring


5 p.m. Thursday, June 20


Little Thistle Brewing, 2031 14th St. NW, Rochester