The music of Birdie Busch is the concise sound of a well defined personality unfiltered by the social trends or factors that often define what people are or aren’t listening to. Writing in deceptively simple terms, she reveals very complex and nuanced emotions and complicated narratives with stark phrases and novel turns of speech, creating a musical balance that is comfortable, understandable, and yet unique.
In 2006, The Village Voice said of her acclaimed debut, The Ways We Try [Bar/None] is one of the slyest neo-folk records in recent memory, it’s blues loopy and eccentric, and it’s simple melodies often as inspired as Syd Barrett’s.” Recorded with friend, producer, and all around madman musician Devin Greenwood (Norah Jones, Amos Lee) just a few years after learning guitar and crafting songs, it was an intimate collage of journal meanderings and quiet vignettes about Philadelphia neighborhoods, multi-generational ties, and coming-of-age amidst all of it.
In September of 2007, Penny Arcade [Bar/None], recorded again with Devin Greenwood, built on the promise of The Ways We Try and Birdie continued to win over discerning ears. The All Music Guide exclaimed, considering her voice, “One of the most affecting altos around,” and iTunes included Penny Arcade in their “Top 20 Indies of 2007” being described as an “utterly entrancing collection of songs.” Penny Arcade proved to be a rousing musical manifesto with declarations of forgiveness, mercy, mysticism, and beyond and included Birdie’s interpretation of the Steve Miller Band gem, “Wild Mountain Honey.”
And now, for 2008, Birdie gathered up the gear and band and set up in the house of her friend, band member, and producer Craig Hendrix north of Philadelphia to record what will be her third LP. “I really feel like I’ve been working with a core of musicians here in Philly for awhile and consider them just as much a part of this as myself, so I wanted to get that down. I love witnessing the quality of music that comes about when people are thrown together because they are neighbors and friends, believers and musicians, all able to have this dialogue that somehow seems more intimate. There’s a certain feeling that is transmitted in making use of that. I’m conscious of wanting to make meaningful work with the people I’ve come to know meaningfully.”
You can hear in this new record her writing, melodies, musical colorings, and arrangements continuing to grow, expand, and incoporate more thought. Birdie shifts from being more of just a rhythmic player, to honing in on creating guitar parts and exploring her love of blues and classical music. She takes on personas such as that of a Mexican dishwasher. And thru it all, she still manages to bring her voice into everything. This is music to sit and listen to carefully, with words that strike too close to home sometimes and melodies that at once sound familiar and at the same time never, ever wear out. Keep your ears peeled for its 2009 release……