Bard Edrington V
Boris McCutcheon and Bard Edrington V began “Workin’ and Dreamin” in the winter of 2017 while pruning fruit trees together. Music was the constant conversation that played to the rhythm of saws raking and pruners clipping in the apple orchards near the Chimayo sanctuary or the old plazas of Santa Fe.
Both artists had solo careers and were working on their own albums. Bard was recording Espadín and Boris had just released I’m Here Let Me In. Yet, musicians talk music, on the ground or atop a ladder in a tree canopy. And, from amidst this manual labour under the dry desert sun, this album began to emerge.
Finally, on Wednesday February 15th 2019, Bill Palmer set up his portable studio at Bard’s house. After three colossal days, the new HOTH Brothers material was recorded.
Of course the wild, loose and homemade percussion
of Greg Williams and the instinctive brilliance of Sarah Ferrell on upright bass and vocals, brought it to a level otherwise unreached by just the duo.
Bard and Boris wanted to create a true folk album and be as minimalistic as possible. It is earthy and understated. Inspiration was drawn from old-time mountain music from the Harry Smith anthology, each other’s feel and creativity, Hampton Sides’ epic historical novel on Kit Carson and the shaping of the early American West, called Blood and Thunder.
The album contains some of Boris and Bard’s most politically charged material. From the gospel based Trees of Heaven to the blatant call to sharpen your pitchfork and remove the ‘orange man’s liver’ in the ant-Trump inauguration song, January.
They prove too that they can co-write an epic river ballad as in Wild Robby. Old-time clawhammer banjo licks keep tunes like Chili Line and Bitter Frost flowing in the right direction.
After spending many days, 15 feet up in a century-old apple tree, Bard would go to sleep at night and prune branches in his dreams. On the title track Dreamin’ and Workin’, he sings: “I’m dreaming when I’m working and working in my dreams, as I stand on this branch I bend in the breeze”.
Together, this formidable pair lay rail lines through the deep wonders of the American West. It’s a long ride - sixteen songs - that us listeners to experience a journey of truth and wonder and the American wilderness.