The Stray Birds "Let It Pass"
Friday, June 15, 2018
– The Strays Birds are back with "Let It Pass" on Sept. 7 on Yep Roc Records.,
The release came after the tro was at a self-described crossroads career-wise since the release of 2016's "Magic Fire."
During the period, fiddler/guitarist/banjoist/vocalist Maya de Vitry and fiddler/guitarist/mandolinist/vocalist Oliver Craven ended their romantic relationship. Along with bassist/banjoist/vocalist Charlie Muench, they faced an uncertain future.
The band out "Nothing To Say About It Now," the first single from the forthcoming album, today. Muench calls the song a meditation. He said, "During a lot of the writing of this record we were reckoning with both past resentments and anxiety about where we were headed. The simple onenote verse melody and the airy haries create otherworldly and timeless qualities to the song while the backbeat feels like deep breaths."
The band also announced a fall tour with dates ranging from early September in Philadelphia to late November in Asheville, N.C., routing through the midwest, along the West Coast, and down into the southern U.S. with more dates to be added in the coming weeks.
"Let It Pass" is the band's fourth studio album, developed over the course of what totaled to nearly a th of dedicated writing sessions, the trio around a table and, for the first time, created an entire album from scratch. Where previously the band had been a showcase for the songwriting of de Vitry or Craven, here all three members brought fragments of melodies and sketches of verses, often generating music and lyrics together in real time.
"I wanted everybody to experience wrestling with our collective state of mind and the uncertainty that goes into writing music together," said de Vitry. "It's a delicate thing for people to create together like that, but seeing each other in our moments of frustration and in our creative breakthroughs created even more trust and possibility than we'd ever had before. It enabled us to peel everything back and make the most honest music we possibly could."
Originally hailing from Lancaster, Pa., the band first broke out in 2012 with their selftitled/selfreleased debut. They follo it up in 2014 with "Best Medicine."
Unlike with previous records, the band took the new material that would end up being known as "Let It Pass" on the road to Folk Alliance for a series of live performances, which provided a unique opportunity to step inside the songs and truly live. "Playing the new songs live was an important step for us," said de Vitry. "As soon as you're performing a song in front of an audience, it becomes all about communication, about tapping into the lyrics and the feeling. It requires another kind of vulnerability, and it was something we needed to do completely on our own terms."
Recording only took five days with the idea of loss part of the lyrical equation.
"There can be such a sense of loss at the end of any relationship, a sense that the time and energy and emotion that went into it was wasted because you have to start over," said de Vitry. "But it's all worthwhile, and it's all a part of this journey. Loss actually creates room for growth and strength."
Tour dates are:
Aug. 4-6 Canmore, Alberta Canmore Folk Festival
Aug. 17 Manchester, VT Green Mountain Bluegrass Festival
Aug. 25 Asheville, NC Jam in the Trees
Sept. 6 Philadelphia, PA PFS Listening Room (Philadelphia Folk Society)
Sept. 7 Saratoga Springs, NY Cafe Lena
Sept. 8 Elizabethtown, NY Otis Mountain Getdown
Sept. 9 treal, QC Petit Campus
Sept. 19 Louisville, KY Zanzabar
Sept. 20 Chicago, IL The Hideout
Sept. 21 Minneapolis, MN The Cedar
Sept. 22 Lincoln, NE Lincoln Calling Festival
Sept. 23 Columbia, MO Rose Music Hall
Sept. 30 Cleveland, OH The Music Box
Oct. 1 Pittsburgh, PA Club Café
Oct. 2 Washington D.C. Union Stage
Oct. 3 Charlottesville The Southern
Oct. 4 Lancaster, PA Tellus 360
Oct. 5 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
Oct. 6 Boston, MA Sonia
Oct. 10 San Luis Obispo, C SLO Brewery
Oct. 11 Los Angeles, CA The Resident
Oct. 12 San Francisco, CA Brick and Mortar
Oct. 18 Portland, OR The Old Church
Oct. 19 Spokane, WA The Bartlett
Oct. 20 Prosser, WA The Roots Cellar
Oct. 21 Seattle, WA set Tavern
Sept. 1 Wray, CO 4th and Main
Sept. 2 Denver, CO Daniels Hall
Sept. 3 Basalt, CO The Temporary
Sept. 4 Ft Collins, CO Downtown Artery
Sept. 9 Houston, TX The Greenroom at Warehouse Live
Sept. 10 Austin, TX The Mohawk
Sept. 15 Atlanta, GA Eddie's Attic
Sept. 16 Nashville, TN The Basement
Sept. 17 Asheville, NC The Grey Eagle
CD reviews for The Stray Birds
The difference between current successful Americana road veterans like Mandolin Orange and Mipso, on the one hand, and lamented, late bands like Joy Kills Sorrow and The Deadly Gentlemen, on the other, is razor-thin. "Magic Fire" amply supports The Stray Birds' bid to be an act in for the long haul. "Magic Fire" is a sharp-tongued lyrical success with harmonies and clever arrangements in abundance from the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania band, which has spent the last few »»»
"Best Medicine," the opening song and title track to The Stray Birds' album, is a beautiful, touching ode to music and the record stores that still survive in this digital age. With a few sly musical references in the lyrics ("Doctor tells me he can hear the beetles in my bones...") and some gorgeous three-part harmonies, it's one of the best and most heartfelt songs of the year.
Even after leading off with that kind of highlight, the rest does not disappoint. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: With Sugarland, the wait was worth it
A few songs into Sugarland's show, Kristian Bush referenced the band's five-year gap between tours saying, "A lot of people think Jennifer and I have been on a five-year vacation. Actually, we've been very busy."
Clearly a lot of that time was spent in rehearsal. The duo put on a two-hour high energy gem that started out big... »»»
Concert Review: With Tuttle, the music's in good hands
Molly Tuttle, preternaturally talented artist and current reigning IBMA Guitar Player of The Year (2017) lives up to the hype. Her songs are well-crafted and soulfully delivered.
Boothbay Harbor Maine is a typical seaside resort town (perhaps slightly more upscale than most), which is somnolent, if not downright dead, 8 1/2 months of the year.... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
William Shakespeare noted a few centuries back that a rose by any other
name would be equally aromatic, and that general idea has musical
implications as well. The Cadillac Three knows a thing or two about maintaining
a sonic identity after a name change;... »»»
Those aware of the late Owsley "Bear" Stanley likely know him for one of two reasons - his pioneering work manufacturing lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in San Francisco during the mid-to-late 1960s and his role as an innovative sound engineer. Most notably, Bear worked...... »»»
Headed into 2015, Imelda May was on a hit streak. Her rockabilly career was in full swing, nurtured by the likes of former Squeeze keyboardist Jools Holland and guitar icon Jeff Beck. Her albums routinely topped the charts in her native Ireland.... »»»
It's difficult to know where to start when praising Lori McKenna's "The Tree." It's so good in so many ways. Artists like Little Big Town and Tim McGraw have benefited greatly from recording McKenna songs, yet it's unlikely many mainstream country music fans recognize her name. »»»
Circus of Life
"Circus of Life," the title of Kinky Friedman's album, is a little misleading. It conjures up images of carnival barkers and circus freaks and songs as odd as its cigar-manufacturing, politically-astute novelist author/songwriter. The album is far more sensitive than that title suggests, though. In fact, it's a welcome respite from modern day circus-like life. »»»
Outlaws 'Til The End: Vol. 1
Many mainstream country artists will point to their Southern roots as proof of their country music credentials. These roots seemingly give them liberty to stray just as far from typical country music instrumentation as they like. However, how does this rule apply to Santa Barbara, Cal.'s DevilDriver, which applies its hard-rocking groove metal chops to a set of outlaw country music? »»»
Kick Out the Twang
The cliché goes "They live and breathe music." Consider the case of Speedbuggy front man Timbo, who led the band back from a seven year hiatus after he survived and healed from a brain aneurysm only to endure a major house fire five week before the band departed on a European tour. »»»
Epilogue: A Tribute to John Duffey
Not many folks are twice members of the Bluegrass Hall of Fame: John Duffey is. A legend in mandolin musicianship and lead and harmony singing, a gregarious stage personality and master of repartee and fashion sense (okay, perhaps not the latter: many remain scarred from the early '90s animal print pants)... »»»
Sugarland is back with "Bigger," its first studio album in nearly a decade. And its arrival says more about branding, than anything else. Although his voice is heard often enough on this album to make his presence felt, it's still difficult to get away from seeing Kristian Bush in the Oates to Hall or Ridgeley to Michael role in this duo. »»»