Dallas Burrow

REVIEW: Dallas Burrow “Blood Brothers”


Dallas Burrow recently released a new album, Blood Brothers. It was produced and engineered by Jonathan Tyler at Clyde’s VIP Room in Austin; mixed by Chris Bell in Wimberley, Texas; and mastered by Lurssen Mastering, Inc. in Los Angeles, CA. This is an album that closely follows the theme of its title.  Friendships in rural America, growing up, testing the world, writing songs and vowing blood brother loyalty.

“River Town,” with its widely empathetic “I grew up in a river town,” launches the theme of the album with fluid and gentle steel sounds, and a nostalgic song of growing up in a small town, finding a girl and hanging out down by the river banks — relatable to us all.  Cody Braun (Reckless Kelly) adds perfect and subtle accents on fiddle and then there’s the sultry electric guitar by Brett Moore of Wild Feathers.  With the next song, “Starry Eyes,” the theme of growing up together in a small town continues with Taylor Rae singing sweet harmonies.

“Out My Window” features Taylor Rae on harmonies again, along with horns by the Tijuana Trainwreck horn section (Shinyribs) and Dallas’ delivery here is darker and groovier than some of other songs.

The main theme here, however, is more than simple nostalgia, as powerful as that may be in and of itself.  It’s in the title — Blood Brothers — and it becomes more fully fleshed out the further in the album you listen.

“Only Game in Town” was co-written by Dallas and Charley Crockett (Charley’s version of the song appeared on his #1 charting Americana album Music City USA), a game of five card stud “it’s the only game in town… you might have aces hidden up your sleeve but that don’t matter because this joker’s king….”

We come to the title track, 8 songs in.  As Dallas put it: “‘Blood Brothers’ was co-written with Jonathan Tyler and is the true story of my father becoming blood brothers with Townes Van Zandt, Richard Dobson and John Lomax III in the early 70s outside of Nashville.” There are layers of story unfolding here. A story that he kept up his sleeve, Mike Burrow’s relationships with guitars, whiskey and Townes Van Zandt “digging up songs like ghosts out of the ground.” Marty Muse’s (Shinyribs) pedal steel buoys this one along with ease and grace.

Aptly, this is followed by an interpretation of Townes Van Zandt’s “Mr Mudd and Mr Gold” — a song of a card game that was so much more. The cello on this one is a nice touch along with Dallas’ vintage vocal delivery.

Then, delightfully, next in the sequence is “X Old Flames,” a song written by and performed as a duet with Dallas’ father, Mike Burrow, to tie the blood brothers theme together further and more tightly. “You just want to leave, it shows in your eyes,” and “I guess we’re just ex old flames” and it’s a sad song of endings.

Willis Alan Ramsey sings guest vocals “You Go On Ahead,” a song with hearty fiddle and a sorrowful song of mortality and the missing one who left us here behind.

Blood Brothers ranges from old flames, card games, mortality, blood brothers and time spend conjuring songs from a whiskey bottle.  In real down home country style.

Musicians on the album are Dallas Burrow on acoustic guitar, xylophone, rhythm guitar  and vocals; Cody Braun (Reckless Kelly) on fiddle and mandolin; Brett Moore (Wild Feathers) on electric guitar; Jonathan Tyler on electric guitars, harmonica and backing vocals; Marty Music (Shinyribs) on pedal steel; Jimmy “Dreams” Graves on electric guitar;  Jonny “Keys” Grossman on organ, keys, mellotron and piano;  Drew Scherger on bass guitar; and Josh Greco on drums, bongos, shaker and percussion; Larry Chaney on nylon string guitar and background vocals; Tijuana TrainWreck Horns (Shinyribs): D. Tiger Anaya on trumpet, Mark L. Wilson on saxophone; Mark “GumB” Williams on cello; Serling Finlay on vocals; Mike Burrow on vocals; and feat. Taylor Rae  and Willis Alan Ramsey on background vocals, and Mike Burrow, Jonathan Tyler, Taylor Rae, Sterling Finlay, and Larry Chaney on gang vocals.

Find more information and tour dates here: https://www.dallasburrow.com

All songs were written by Dallas Burrow, except “Only Game in Town” ( written by Dallas Burrow and Charley Crockett), “Blood Brothers” ( written by Dallas Burrow and Jonathan Tyler), “X Old Flames” (written by Mike Burrow), and “Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold” (written by Townes Van Zandt).

Album art design was by Keith Brogdon at Thinking Out Loud Design in Nashville, TN.  Album photography was courtesy of Madison Taylor in Austin, TX.


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