Video: Jackie Bristow & Barry Saunders “Good Miles To Go”

Jackie Bristow and Barry Saunders came together by chance when global lockdowns prevented Bristow from returning to her home in Nashville.  Stuck in her homeland of New Zealand, Bristow connected with Saunders when they both appeared at a festival.  The pair soon became good friends and Saunders helped Bristow cope with being far from home.  ‘Good Miles To Go’ reflects the experience of navigating that tricky period together.  Saunders’ wailing, lonesome harmonica calls out and is answered by the pair performing beautiful vocal harmonies together, their vocals forming an excellent melodic blend.  This is an example of quality songcraft from two experienced performers and songwriters.

The accompanying video features images of stunning landscapes, the open road and camp fire cooking – there’s a feel of adventure and it reinforces the sense of a journey we embark on together.  ‘Good Miles to Go’ is a hopeful song that celebrates perseverance during difficult times and highlights the transforming power of music and human connections in helping us to overcome obstacles.

Saunders explains the song’s theme: “Jackie and I have always seen music/songs as a sort of “ticket to ride” and that’s a lot of what this song is about, realizing the beauty of ‘moving on’ without getting ground down by the way of the world. Taking roads with little idea of where they will lead is the way to being an artist, and realizing there are ‘good miles to go’ is a liberating thought. Move on, and take a bit of the past with you, it will lead somewhere!”

Bristow adds: “In the big world lockdown, when I could not return to my home in Nashville, a big silver lining was connecting and building a great friendship with Barry Saunders, I grew up listening to Barry’s band the Warratahs and was in awe of them when I was a teenager  (we were actually on a documentary together many moons ago about the Gold Guitars in Gore where I got my start in music and my hometown.)  In 2020, Barry and I were on the same bill at a festival and I asked him to sit in and play with me, it was like magic and we couldn’t deny our musical connection. Barry was so kind and supportive to me and we always had such optimistic conversations about the artist’s life, moving on, and really taking it all in our stride.  The USA was my home for 17 years and I had not planned to be living back in beautiful New Zealand.  Barry welcomed me into the NZ music community and always reminded me of the ‘Good Miles To Go’. We started playing shows together in NZ and we sang high and we sang low.”

Saunders continues: “There is nothing quite like the first time you write / sing a song and realize that it talks, and has some imagery, and singing with a kindred spirit  gives it some  spiritual connection which is rare, That is why we kept coming back to the bare bones take, didn’t seem to want to be chased any further. Alan Galbraith who recorded the song was quick to point this out, and we thank him for it.”

Bristow sums up the recording experience: “The recording was so refreshing, it felt great to sing live with Barry in the studio and capture a feeling rather than being 100% perfect and editing vocals.  We sang and performed live and we went for a vibe! No overdubs just a raw performance.  Alan Galbraith was so great to work with and had great energy in the studio, which is gold.”   

Bristow, who shares her time between Nashville and New Zealand, has released five well-received solo albums and has toured with the likes of Chris Isaak, Bonnie Rait and Tommy Emmanuel.  Meanwhile, Saunders, the principal songwriter for popular country band The Warratahs, has six solo records to his name and has collaborated with artists like Sam Hunt.  Enjoy ‘Good Miles To Go’ – a song for resilience and togetherness.

About Andrew Frolish 1412 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Nils Lofgren, Ferris & Sylvester, Tommy Prine, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...
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