Continuing a creative serge of late, Bard Edrington v releases his newest album, Burn You Up. As his name indicates, Bard is first and foremost, a storyteller, with a tie to a timeless tradition of storytelling - winter nights, dying embers, fortuitous gathering, type storytelling. A stone mason by day and a songwriter by night, both crafts depend on firm foundations. In the album, Burn You Up, that foundation of authentic and emotionally real narratives is built onto by his tight and talented backing band, The Blackbirds. Bill and Jim Palmer have played music together since childhood. Brothers raised in East Texas, they have a connection between bass and drum that runs deep and effortless, like the roots of the red oak. Karina Wilson’s mesmerizing violin and vocals drip with empathetic emotion for the tale being expressed. She brings the depths of classical understanding of how deeply notes communicate into the salted songs of honky tonk.
Burn You Up was recorded in May of 2022 in Jim Palmer’s casita in Santa Fe New Mexico. The band spent two days recording while only miles away the largest wildfire in NM history raged. During breaks in recording the band could see the glow of the fire in the distance. Only days before, Bard wrote the song Fire and Rain. A song that sheds some positive light a midst the helplessness that was felt. Lush electric guitar melodies temper the flames. “We pray for rain to put out the flames, ain’t it funny how fire and rain both sound the same?”
The album opens up with Sand and Gravel. A song about Bard IV, the dump truck driving, drag racing shade tree mechanic from lower Alabama. Quickly the mood shifts to Fire and Rain. A powerful song that rises out of the ashes of the Hermit Peak fire. All I Can Do lopes down the road like a flat tire. The Palmer brothers connection shines through on this country tune. "Anxiety rages through the day but a touch of your hand and it goes away" sings Bard on the title track, Burn You Up. It's a reminder to not let daily pressures of life burn you up.
Chiapas sounds like the steep mountains of southern Mexico. Two Days in Terlingua was a co-write with Bill and Karina, written days after the last album session in Terlingua. A heavy dose of psilocybin therapy resulted in the next two songs. Die Into It and Back Roads of my Mind. Both narrate Bard’s experience while taking psilocybin. “There’s no courage without fear” he sings on Back Roads of My Mind, a reminder that to be brave you must face your fears. “I’m spread too thin, and the water’s seeping in, even in times of drought” sings Bard on the short and sweet waltz of Spread Too Thin. Sometime you wake up in the morning and you just want to start it all over. Taos Lightning tells the story of the famed liquor that was distilled in northern New Mexico during the 1840’s. It was famous among trappers and settlers, and it also played its part in the Taos Pueblo Revolt that resulted in the death of the New Mexico Governor. The album comes full circle as Bard and Bill record while a summer monsoon rages outside. The pounding of the rain is the sound of prayers being answered.