THE IN-BETWEEN Clare Burson
A touching, wonderful disc. Clare's a comer, for sure.
I've seen her play in Nashville a couple of times. Always thought she was really good, but this record is a treasure. The tones and the arrangements are bare and beautiful. Co-producer Lex Price's spirit resonates throughout, and he plays lovely electric guitar that seems to melt into the other tracks, never sticks out, that's hard to do. And his mandolin work is always top shelf.
Long on charisma and short on melisma, Clare's alto is disarmingly honest and brought peace to my Sunday troubled mind. The relaxed feel of every track speaks to a wisdom beyond her years. Her players are inspired choices, Dave Jacques and Charlie Chadwick on upright bass, and Daniel Tashian plays superbly quiet drums on several tracks. Steve Conn brings so much feel to the table, and here contributes organ and accordion. Jonathan Trebing tracked a few key guitar parts, and Bruce Bouton added great lap steel to "Another Day Down." And frequently featured on harmony vocals is the inimitable Sarah Siskind (see our review of Sarah's album from 2002).
I've come to think it's peculiarly telling to note the lyrics with which a record begins:
moon got its head on where you are tonight
And the feeling tone set there grows in various directions, but is not backtracked upon throughout. Bittersweet, upbeat. Since she's an excellent violinist and fiddler, it's curious that the instrument does not appear until the closing cut. But for all her good looks and ivy league smarts, the woman is remarkably understated. She came to songwriting late after playing music throughout her life, and did so naturally to rare result. She cut a 5 song EP with T-Bone Burnett and Mark Collie producing, and was off and running, in Boston and then Nashville.
With The In-Between, Clare Burson has already carved a place for herself as a true musician in the world of singer songwriters, and that's rare enough. But this is still just the beginning for this artist, and there is no limit to where she may go. We loved it, and are sure you'll buy it when you check out the clips on the Listen page. FG