Silver and Ash
by David Chiu
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.