Memphis native-now-Brooklyn-based singer Clare Burson’s latest album draws from something poignant and personal in her family history: It was inspired by the story of her Jewish grandmother’s early life when she fled Nazi Germany to America on the eve of Kristallnacht (translated as the “Night of Broken Glass”)–she never saw her parents alive again. Silver and Ash is a musical journey of what Burson’s grandmother’s and great grandparents’ lives were like in those times. The music mainly has a contemporary country-folk sound, with the exception of “The World Turns on a Dime,” (about fate) which echoes the old European style of that time. Other than that, the sentiments from each of the songs are devastatingly poignant, from “The Only Way,” “Goodbye My Love” and “Everything’s Gone,” which recounts Burson’s grandmother hearing Hitler’s voice on the radio from her youth. Silver and Ash can be interpreted as Burson’s tribute to her grandmother and family heritage and the resiliency of the spirit in difficult times.
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New York-based musician Clare Burson is set to release her new album, Silver and Ash, on Rounder Records later this year. As part of NewBeats’ 10th anniversary, here is an interview that the magazine did with Burson a couple of years ago; since her debut EP Undone, she has put out three more releases: In -Between, Idaho and Thieves
Clare Burson: Troubadour with a Twang
by David Chiu
Sometimes when you enter a bar or a club to listen to live music from a new artist, it can be hit or miss. When it misses, at least you could go back to the bar, order a tall cool one, and flirt with the person next to you. But when it the music hits, it makes the evening more interesting than you expected. And if that person goes on to superstardom, you can be proud to say you were one of the first to witness how it all happened.
That is what happened to this reviewer when he saw Clare Burson perform at the Luna Lounge on a hot August Saturday night. Despite the lack of name power, this young artist managed to play strong and convincingly to a small but very appreciative audience in the Lounge’s performing space. Somewhere down the road Burson has the potential to ascend to the stratosphere of recognition. View full article »