Henry Sparrow | Bird Songs, Volume One

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Bird Songs, Volume One

by Henry Sparrow

The first volume in Henry's neverending cycle of Bird Songs.
Genre: Folk: Folk Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Vultures
3:32 $0.99
2. Strike Up the World!
2:09 $0.99
3. Our Father's Sons
2:09 $0.99
4. Some Prophet Saw it Happen
2:21 $0.99
5. Epic
3:28 $0.99
6. Untitled
0:57 $0.99
7. Irene and the Man of Her Dreams
2:47 $0.99
8. Thread
2:31 $0.99
9. Fahrenheit and Mercury
2:21 $0.99
10. Facsimile
2:31 $0.99
11. Annie Saw the City of God
3:03 $0.99
12. Kerosene
2:21 $0.99
13. All of the Lonely Names
2:44 $0.99
14. Skinny Legs and All
2:59 $0.99
15. Top Hat
2:24 $0.99
16. Wing
1:45 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Henry Sparrow is the nom de guerre of singer/songwriter Brent Ballantyne, who relocated to North Carolina from Portland, Oregon in 2000. Bird Songs is Henry's first release; written and recorded in August/September, 2004 with what materials (pen, paper, and guitar) were close at hand and accessible. Studio time being out of the question, Henry recorded each song immediately after completion, to minidisc, capturing each song at it's "birth", so to speak. Roosters were used for backup vocals, and passing trucks for feedback. The Chatham county farmhouse he shares with his wife, artist Katy Clove, plays an integral part in Bird Songs; the everyday sounds of birds, the creak of floorboards, and the occasional rush of passing traffic make occasional guest appearances that give it the quality of a post-modern field recording. This decidedly lo-fi affair was mixed and mastered by British producer, Simon Widdowson (The Decemberists, Pete Krebs, Little Sue, David Smith).



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an amazing songwriter
In this album, it's all about songs. Just songs. There are no electric guitars, no symphonic orchestra, no electronic sounds. There's just a voice, a guitar, and a rooster. What is fantastic in Henry Sparrow music is the extreme attention given to the note. Some songwriters doesn't pay enough attention to the power of a single note, they put tons and tons of notes in their melodies (the more there are notes the better is the song...). But some songwriters - such as Bill Fay, Jackson C Frank or sometimes Judee Sill, first album period - have an almost frighten relation to the note. They understood that a song doesn't need too much notes, that a single key change at the right moment can break a heart. And I think Henry Sparrow belong to this tradition. My favourite songs on this album (Irene and the man of her dreams, Top hat, annie saw the city of god, strike up the world, Our father's son...) have this sort of humility towards the melody, and by humility I don't mean shyness, (I don't like Iron & wine) I mean a certain consciousness of the forces, the emotions, the landscapes folded in a melody.
In shorter: This is a gorgeous album

I don't know why I only put 4 stars to this album, it definitly deserves a top rating. Sorry