Tré Burt releases his music through Oh Boy Records, set up by the great John Prine and his manager Al Bunetta back in 1981. It remains the oldest independent, artist-owned record label in Nashville and is a fitting home for Burt’s output, which has been influenced clearly by Prine’s literate folk. The new single, ‘Dixie Red’, is a heartfelt, honest ode to John Prine, paying tribute to his musical hero. He’s joined by label-mate Kelsey Waldon and the combination of their voices is a delight. The smart lyrics share imagery from Prine’s creative career, such as: “Donald and Lydia in disarray,” making reference to one of the greatest songs about isolation and loneliness.
Burt explains how he was inspired to write the song: “I prayed under an old oak tree in my neighborhood a lot for John and his family while he was in the hospital last year. In the days following his passing I was mostly silent and listened to ‘The Tree of Forgiveness’ non-stop. One night, I was standing on my porch looking at the full moon through a break in the trees over my street. It was especially silver and awfully large. The moon looked as if it were signaling John’s safe arrival to the other side. I felt privileged to witness this message sent for his family. ‘Dixie Red’ is a southern grown peach and that line from ‘Spanish Pipedream’ has always been so potent to me. So I used a peach as imagery to represent John’s body of work he left behind for all of us.”
The video was directed by Lance Bangs, who shares Burt’s hometown of Sacramento and has created videos for the likes of R.E.M. and Sonic Youth. We see the sun’s light streaming behind him as Burt sings, surrounded by beautiful sunflowers. It seems to be saying that John Prine will shine on, especially through the creativity of newer artists like Tré Burt. It works.
Look out for the new album ‘You, Yeah, You’, which is out now. Burt is a fresh voice that takes the roots of music’s past and grows them into something new.