Video Premiere: Kristen Rae Bowden “My Father’s Daughter”

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We’re premiering Kristen Rae Bowden’s song “My Father’s Daughter” here today on Americana Highways. The song appeared on Bowden’s release Language & Mirrors, which was recorded at The Sound in Charlottesville, VA, engineered by Mark Graham, with additional engineering by Rob Evans at Haunted Hollow, Charlottesville, VA; mixed by Micah Wilshire and mastered by UE Nastasi.

The video was directed and edited by Aaron Farrington, filmed in Earlysville, VA, by Aaron Farrington, Abel Okugawa, and Jay Taylor, and features Kristen Rae Bowden, Laura Dillon Rogers, Tom Garstang, Peter Markush, and Jay Taylor.

“My Father’s Daughter” is Kristen Rae Bowden on piano and vocals; with Richard Bowden (Ryan Bingham) and Cleek Schrey on fiddle.  Kristen Rae Bowden has the richness of style to carry a meaningful song like this.  She has an inherent feel for the profound in all three: her lyrics, and the nuance of her vocals and playing.  

I lost my Dad when I was 18. He was far from a perfect person, but he was my hero all the same… a charismatic music man who could light and liven any room. Years later, I found myself deeply in love with a similarly charismatic man. (I was aware that the similarity was part of the attraction.) His artistic father had died more recently than mine, and part of our bond was this shared event in our pasts – the loss of our fathers.

Sometimes shared sadness or trauma can spark attraction, but it’s a shaky foundation upon which to build. Our romantic relationship was unstable and chaotic. I wrote this song in the middle of the night, during this confusing time in my life. The lyrics speak to the complexities of a doomed relationship where there truly is love, and the fact that “daddy issues” are definitely not limited to daughters.

This recording is especially meaningful to me because it includes my brother, Richard Bowden (Ryan Bingham’s touring fiddle player).

We shot the video in Earlysville, Virginia last fall, before social distancing. When I’d sketched out a bit of what I wanted it to look like in my mind, I immediately thought of Aaron Farrington, an incredible artist who also works with wet plate photography (think photos circa the late 1800’s). You get to see that process in the video. A happy couple stands before an old fashioned camera for a beautiful portrait, but when the picture is developed, their faces are obscured by grotesque masks. I think it’s a perfect way to show how sometimes you can be lovers, but strangers all the same. — Kristen Rae Bowden

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