Track Premiere: Yarn “Cocaine Bear”

Photo: Eric Rayburn

You’ve maybe heard the story – a plane load of cocaine being smuggled ends up separated from its owner and lands on the Tennessee / Georgia border.  Where a bear finds it.  It doesn’t turn out well for the bear who seemingly got quite a taste for his find and then…died.  They’ve made a movie about it, but Yarn had a song about it first.

Yarn came out of New York with their storytelling chops honed to a fine point – yes, it’s that kind of yarn, not the making jumpers out of kind of yarn.  Tall tales and true tales and true tall tales are their remit – “That’s what we do, we tell stories, live and in the studio, truth and fiction”, says singer/songwriter Blake Christiana.  “We don’t always opt for consistency. There’s a different vibe onstage from what comes through in our recordings. There’s a difference in every show as well, you never know what you’re going to get. 

Having heard of the film, and having a song already in their back-pocket, Yarn thought – well, why not?  Turns out that the movie makers didn’t take the bait, but since they had the studio time booked already in preparation for the band’s next releases Christiana decided that the time was also ripe to cut this song in the studio for the first time – allowing it the opportunity to transition from a live fan favourite to a fleshed out studio recording.

Blake Christiana told Americana UK about how he came to the story and the song: “It was a random afternoon in February of 2019 and my buddy from Virginia texted me a link to an article about the true story of the cocaine bear.  I read the article and immediately started writing the song.  It’s a tragic but funny story so I felt it needed to be a tragic but funny song.  I wrote it very quickly, the mood of the song represents the tragedy and the lyrics are the humor.  Together they definitely create a vibe.

About Jonathan Aird 2691 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?
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