That cover art keeps making me catch my breath. Are any of you absolute suckers for mountains?
Jason Tyler Burton and his wife left Kentucky a few years ago to pursue a more fulfilling life. They’ve lived transiently, working outdoors, living in their van, finding beauty in a simple life among the rockies. I found this album to be reflective of that journey. It searches for something meaningful and finds it among the mountains of Utah. “Headwaters” is Burton’s first album, but I hope that it only the beginning of another journey with much music to be created.
The opening track, “Fly” has a bit of a country feel to it. The guitar has a pleasant twang to it. Burton’s voice is raw and bittersweet. It sounds like the wind in the sails of a boat. The lyrics of this song are so beautiful. They are something that I would sing to my hypothetical children. Gentle, soft. “Don’t you hide beneath your wings. You were made to fly. You were made to sing.” “I want you to fly even if it’s not to me.” So much love in these lyrics, wanting the best for another person and realizing that you may not be in that story.
The guitar in “A Garden Grows” really pulls me in, the gentle notes and rhythms pull you down a highway with scenes flashing around you. This song tells so many stories. It is the first song in a long time that has brought me to tears with its words. It is a simple song. Two voices, a few stringed instruments. The pictures painted here are so real and so beautiful, though. The story of two people and an enormous beautiful world before them, a promised land. If you listen to one song on this album, make it this one. It is so poignant, so real and sweet.
The title track is beautiful. Gosh, listen to that one too. If you purchase it on bandcamp, you will find a reprise of this song which includes harmonica. I am a sucker for harmonica. This song takes you searching for yourself. You’ve gone, gathered, seen the salmon, breathed the air, and it is time to go home.
“Evergreen” takes on a lilting and tipping beat in a minor key. There is a deep beat that seems to start in your soul and end in your toes. The seasons are changing, the summer is gone and winter is coming. The plants are dying, but I–I want to be evergreen, to endure change with vibrancy and strength. Burton’s voice dips into this deeper, earthier range. It sounds like tree roots forcing their way into the stone of a mountainside.
If you like being outside, soft, rhythmic guitar, rock climbing, paddling, hiking, adventures, mountains, Cleveland, California, sleeping, getting dirty, and having a garden–you will love this album. This is one that I will keep in my collection and bring out when my friends are here and I want to share something truly beautiful and special with them. This album is a journey, an adventure. It is fiercely real and wildly beautiful. Please enjoy it and get to know the beautiful souls of the people who crafted it.