TODD BURGE - YOUR REFLECTION WILL KILL YOU
From his recent work with Tim O’Brien, to his early days as an alternative rocker at WVU in Morgantown, If it’s been discovered by man, West Virginian Todd Burge has written about it. Born to ponder and observe life, each of his songs tells a story. Whether drawn from personal experience or a tale of poetically woven fiction, you’ll live every second of it through his songs.
Your Reflection Will Kill You, shows that, like good whiskey, Burge has refined with time. On the making of the new record, Burge tells us, “I wanted to be as comfortable as possible, so I asked Don Dixon (James McMurtry, REM) to come to my home. Don is a master at capturing a live recording session and making everyone feel comfortable. He has a great set of ears and great taste. You can trust his opinion, and that is important as, after a while, when I record, I don’t trust my own.
“The only rule I brought to the table was that we would not use anything but our acoustic instruments. Steel string guitar for me, nylon for Ryan (Kennedy), upright acoustic for John (Inghram). See, I have this emotional attachment to that sound that dates back to when I was five or six years old, back when I was still taking naps, I think. I would ask my mother to play Roger Miller’s greatest hits. You know Roger Miller’s “King of the Road”? Miller played a nylon string guitar. It’s a sound you don’t hear often in country music, but Roger Miller was not typical. I’ve been a huge fan of Willie Nelson’s since I was in grade school as well. Another nylon string guitar player. That guitar sound is just embedded in me. It moves me more than most sounds do.”
“Don’t Water My Whiskey Down”, the fourth track on the new album, pairs those nylon strings with some heavy, honest words about parenthood and the state he calls home: “Irish whiskey being my adult beverage of choice, this phrase just popped in my head one day, and I wrote a bunch of verses. As our kids get older, more and more I find myself talking to them like they are my friend, and I will sometimes think to myself, did I say too much? Did I just change their life for the worse by telling them that family story? It also talks about West Virginia, and how it has been oppressed for years. Our land has been raped and our people ripped off. Our water poisoned and our beauty diminished. In the song, I use whiskey as a metaphor for both strength and weakness.”
TRACK LISTING FOR DJS
Your Reflection Will Kill You – by Todd Burge (2018)
1. Back To The Races (Burlap) (4:11)
Life’s journey can be like a running a three-legged race with a parent.
2. Your Reflection Will Kill You (2:18)
A tribute to the present brought on by the fear of becoming the worst of one’s parents.
3. That Sorry Guy From West Virginia (3:10)
A parent hides and denies his checkered past.
4. Don’t Water My Whiskey Down (4:52)
A parent says too much and reveals his family’s checkered past.
5. Comic Book Sleeve (3:47)
A comic sleeve to cover the memoir that no one gets to read.
6. Down At The Mill (3:19)
A grandparent hides and denies their family’s checkered past. Down at the mill, each heir looms a dark tale.
7. Droppin’ Meat (2:27) A family hunting song. When you look them (deer) in the eye you see the love of this green earth, and the reflection of the you, that you once were back at birth.
8. I’ll Never Make It Out of Here Alive (2:27)
Truth be told, no one really ever knows, what will begin, after we’re old.
9. Born Again (3:45)
You must die a little bit, before you’re born again.
10. Lotus Flower (Lakshmi) (4:45)
What does grow up from the mud, yet remains unstained. Must be sacred and expanding as it holds my body mind and soul.