Signup for a folk alley account


Hear It First: The Stray Birds, 'Magic Fire'

August 11, 2016

by Cindy Howes, FolkAlley.com

The Stray Birds Magic Fire cover400.jpgAnyone worried about the legacy of Levon Helm and The Band need not worry; the first 10 seconds of The Stray Birds' new album, Magic Fire will ease your mind in more ways than one. Produced by Larry Campbell, a man who was actually in Levon Helm's band (and who also has worked with the likes of Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Willie Nelson), the record was created in 10 days in New York State's Hudson Valley. Campbell's studio served as a retreat for the group, who had never worked with an outside producer. His vision aligned with theirs, plus he offered to play on whatever song they wanted. His production-lead and contributions on pedal steel, fiddle, mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar have taken this band to the next level.

Magic Fire - The Stray Birds' fourth full-length album - sees the band expanding and broadening their sound while adding Shane Leonard (drums/percussion/vocals) as a new member. Leonard heightens that rhythmic quality that the group always had and his groove settles right in on record. He'll be bringing it out on the road too, as he's now an official member of the band in concert as well as in the studio.

The first thing that strikes you when listening to The Stray Birds is the voice of Maya de Vitry, who also plays acoustic guitar and fiddle. In the past, her vocal style was the center the band, with Oliver Craven (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, fiddle, slide guitar, mandolin) and Charlie Muench (vocals, upright bass) as important supporting roles. The depths that de Vitry's voice reaches are quite unusual and extremely captivating. You could write an entire essay on the emotions this woman is able to encompass on just one song. However, discounting the contributions of the very talented Craven and Muench would be unwise. Craven's smart writing and sharp playing abilities are incomparable, while Muench's steady bass beat and vocals add to the distinct character of The Stray Birds. This album proves to be their most collaborative release with songwriting contributions from each member, including Muench's first complete composition "Where You Come From."

Something that has remained constant through their change in sound is The Stray Birds sweeping and massive harmonies. The band has masterfully crafted their choruses, which bring to mind those amazing refrains you'd hear from The Band in songs like "The Weight" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." If the late Levon Helm were still around, you know he'd be hosting this young band at one of his famous Midnight Rambles at his barn in Woodstock, NY.

###

The Stray Birds' Magic Fire is out via Yep Roc Records on Friday, August 19 and is available for pre-order HERE!

Upcoming Tour Dates

LISTEN:

Posted by Linda Fahey at August 11, 2016 4:17 PM


Support Folk Alley During Our Spring Fund Drive!

 

Recent Topics

 

 

December 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
               1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                  


December 2017


November 2017


October 2017


September 2017


August 2017


July 2017


May 2017


April 2017


March 2017


February 2017


January 2017


December 2016


November 2016


October 2016


September 2016


August 2016


July 2016


May 2016


April 2016


March 2016


February 2016


January 2016


December 2015


November 2015


October 2015


September 2015


August 2015


July 2015


June 2015


May 2015


April 2015


March 2015


February 2015


January 2015


December 2014


October 2014


September 2014


August 2014


July 2014


June 2014


April 2014


March 2014


February 2014


January 2014


December 2013


November 2013


October 2013


September 2013


August 2013


July 2013


June 2013


May 2013


April 2013


March 2013


February 2013


December 2012


November 2012


October 2012


September 2012


August 2012


July 2012


June 2012


May 2012


April 2012


March 2012


February 2012


January 2012


December 2011


November 2011


October 2011


September 2011


August 2011


July 2011


June 2011


May 2011


April 2011


March 2011


February 2011


January 2011


December 2010


November 2010


October 2010


September 2010


August 2010


July 2010


May 2010


April 2010


March 2010


February 2010


January 2010


December 2009


November 2009


October 2009


September 2009


August 2009


July 2009


June 2009


May 2009


April 2009


March 2009


February 2009


January 2009


December 2008


November 2008


October 2008


September 2008


August 2008


July 2008


June 2008


May 2008


April 2008


March 2008


February 2008


January 2008


December 2007


November 2007


October 2007


September 2007


August 2007


July 2007


June 2007


May 2007


April 2007


March 2007


February 2007


January 2007


December 2006


November 2006


October 2006


September 2006


August 2006


July 2006


June 2006


May 2006


April 2006


March 2006


February 2006


January 2006


December 2005


November 2005


October 2005


September 2005


August 2005


July 2005


June 2005


May 2005


April 2005


March 2005


February 2005


January 2005


December 2004


November 2004


October 2004


September 2004


August 2004


July 2004


June 2004


May 2004


April 2004


March 2004


February 2004


January 2004


December 2003


November 2003


October 2003


September 2003


August 2003