in Hamburg

Eintritt: 20.40 €

To get to this new alchemy of soul, dub, and more than a little punk, Burt returned to the basics—self-recording in sequestered silence. During a Canadian tour, he set aside a few days to stay in a friend’s spare apartment and write, renting enough instruments from the affordable gear emporium Long & McQuade to build a makeshift studio for his GarageBand demos. The title track soon emerged, its effortless magnetism prompted by a poem he’d written about stupid city congestion and a piece by saxophonist and singer Gary Bartz. Burt recognized he had found the sound of the next album, so he booked another rural cabin in Canada for 9 days and rented more guitars, basses, and the same keyboard he’d bought during the You, Yeah, You sessions. For the better part of a lifetime, Burt had told himself he didn’t have the chops to sing like those childhood heroes from the Cadillac days. But now, as he built his one-man-band demos before returning to Nashville’s The Bomb Shelter to work with a trusted band of pals and esteemed producer Andrija Tokic, his versions of those sounds poured out in circumspect love songs and joyous tunes of existential reckoning. His grandfather was dying. The world was struggling with a pandemic and the specter of a third world war. But Burt gave himself permission to have fun and be funny, to let these songs lift him and, eventually, maybe others, too. Traffic Fiction indeed feels like a buoy amid these turbulent times, something that pulls us above the wreckage. The love-or-something-like-it songs are crucial. With its rocksteady motion, rainbow keys, and slippery riff, “Wings for a Butterfly” is Burt’s honeyed plea to at least try a relationship out. Like The Beatles rebottled in Muscle Shoals, the brilliant “To Be a River” crescendos in a litany of all the things Burt knows he can be for someone—“your favorite word, a letter you read.” It is pure infatuation.
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