Dallas Burrow self-titled
In all of the varietals of today’s country music, one characteristic is surprisingly lacking – earnestness. With all of the subtlety and poetry found in Americana and the wordplay and outright bombast on radio-friendly country, not many writers choose to come straight down the center line, eschewing metaphors and archetypes for simple statements of purpose. Born-and-raised Texan Dallas Burrow declines to lay it on thick on his second, self-titled release, instead choosing to use his own story to tell the listener a little about life the way he sees it.
Burrow’s blood runs with musical history. His father, Mike (a songwriter and guitar player in his own right), hung with Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. The younger Burrow’s own itinerance landed him in a place where he was seeking both sobriety and a home. Produced by Bruce Robison and recorded live in studio with a crack Texas band, the album is notable for its unfussiness. The lead track, “Country Girl,” is dedicated to a true woman for all seasons – “In the winter when the air gets colder/The Lord sent her there so I could hold her.” “American Dream” is a harmonica-tinged, upbeat appreciation of his Texas upbringing, warts and all – “After my parents divorced/Everything changed…Started playing my guitar/Chasing after the girls.” That love of home continues in “Born Down in Texas,” a tune paced by great slide work from co-writer Chad Pope as Burrow sings of all the places he’s been while declaring his final destination – “Up north of the Rio Grande/That’s where they’ll dig my grave child/I hope you understand.”
Along this road of redemption, Burrow found something else that doesn’t come up that often in Americana – God. “Easter Sunday” bears the weight of mistakes and simmering regrets – “It would be a miracle/If you’d forgive the things I’ve done and said” – which the singer hopes he can make good in time for the most Christian of all holidays. “Holy Grail,” featuring a nice acoustic solo from Robison, finds happiness not only on the road and “the trail of God and song,” but in the love he finds with family. And in “The Other Side,” a rocker with a cool pedal steel solo from Cody Angel, Burrow warns the listener to avoid the path he watched many others take – “They saw that devil grin/Thought he was their friend/They let him in their hearts/Got lost in the dark/Never to be seen again.” Coming from a man who may have put a foot or two down that path himself, his own change of heart (and, yes, his earnestness) give his words some significant weight.
Song I Can’t Wait to Hear Live: “Country Girl” – A Celtic-tinged, mandolin-laced ballad about a special girl – what’s not to like?
Dallas Burrow was produced by Bruce Robison, engineered by Steve Mazur and mastered by Dave McNair. All songs were written by Burrow, with co-writing credits going to Dallas Burrow and Chad Pope. Additional musicians on the album include Larry Chaney (electric guitar, baritone guitar, mandolin, lap steel and background vocals), Sterling Finlay (standup bass, electric bass, background vocals), Kullen Fox (piano, Hammond B3, Fender Rhodes, accordion, banjo, trumpet, background vocals), Chris Kues (electric guitar, baritone guitar, background vocals), Cody Angel (pedal steel, Weisenborn, background vocals), Josh Blue (drums, percussion, background vocals), Bryan Duckworth (fiddle) and Dan Johnson (pedal steel, Dobro).
Order Dallas Burrow, out July 23, here: https://dallas-burrow.myshopify.com/
Find tour dates on Burrow’s website: https://www.dallasburrow.com/