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Silver And Ash

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 14, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Of her musical objectives, indie songstress Clare Burson explains, "I've always leaned towards poetic simplicity and subtlety in my music--wanting to express as much as I can with the fewest possible words and musical flourishes."

Burson builds upon this aesthetic with SILVER & ASH, an album, performance piece, and songbook that imagines her grandmother's life in Germany, from her birth in 1919 to her escape in 1938. For this project, Burson visited her own childhood home in Memphis, where she conducted interviews with her grandmothers, and ventured to the childhood homes of her ancestors in Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Ukraine.

The result of Burson's travel, research, and ancestral archeology is a stunning album of 10 original songs that inhabit and give life to her grandmother's story as well as Clare's own struggles with rupture, silence, guilt, empathy, and continuity. The album was produced by Grammy nominee Tucker Martine (R.E.M., The Decemberists), and created with the help of her band, Mark Spencer on guitar (Son Volt), Tony Leone on drums (Levon Helm), and Andy Cotton on bass. Burson's lush string arrangements and rich vocals - at times wistful, at times full of desperation, but at all times direct - come together to fill the 10 songs on SILVER & ASH with nostalgia and longing.

A classically trained violinist, and later, conversant in fiddle tunes, Burson began playing guitar while studying history at Brown University. After college and a year in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar, Burson returned to Tennessee where she recorded with T-Bone Burnett and played around town. Currently, Clare lives in Brooklyn, NY.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 14, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder
  • ASIN: B003XQRYY8
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #383,178 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By M. Scalin on October 17, 2010
Format: Audio CD
If you like Neko Case and other new American folk rock type musicians this will be a welcome addition to your playlists. Beatiful voice, talented musician and thoughtful writing.

NPR did a great feature on the story behind this album. [...]
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Format: Audio CD
This terrific album combines smart and interesting lyrics (some/most of the songs are based loosely on Burson's grandmother's experiences as a Jewish refugee from Hitler's Germany), sweet acoustic guitar that is appropriately moody in spots, and accompanying instrumentation with Burson's tender, intelligent, passionate voice. "Goodbye My Love" has a gorgeous sadness that is never maudlin. "The World Turns on a Dime" breaks your heart. In the best folk tradition, each song tells a little story -- and is meaningful and important. I really like this album and find myself listening to it repeatedly. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Love this album. Clare Burson doesn't have a classic singing voice, but she brings magnificent emotion. I recommend reading the liner notes, it adds context to the music.
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