Jason Tyler Burton
Label: Self Released
Jason Tyler Burton’s second album “Headwaters”is beautiful and pure and great, just like the nature of Wyoming and Utah that inspired it. This album contains so much clarity and naturalness that even without knowing where its inspiration came from you can just feel the closeness and inspiration from nature. More than once I couldn’t help thinking of the movie “Into the Wild”. This music would certainly be an equally suitable soundtrack to Eddie Vedder’s soundtrack is. The difference: Headwaters isn’t exactly a sad album, it’s peaceful, yes, and not loud but it’s full of hope and also full of a deep thankfulness and worship of life and nature. “Silver Linings” beautifully combines the distant sounds of David Tate’s distortet rock guitar and the tender sound of a mandolin (Jason Tyler Burton) mixed with a great little solo on dobro (Ryan Tilby). The sounds are perfectly balanced, Burton’s vocals always in focus and everything else in exactly the right volume. There’s so much to hear in this and in fact in all the other songs that it’s a wonderful thing to listen closely. At the same time you can also let the album run over and over again without getting tired of it.
All the songs are well worth listening to but let me just mention a few that have had made a special impression on me: Just like the already mentioned “Silver Lining” certainly the title track “Headwaters” has: This songs slowly builds up, starting off nicely and romantic and then getting really emotional – the wonderful backing vocals of Katy Taylor certainly helping to build up this emotiveness. It’s a song about finding your own headwaters – to me this is a wonderful image for the phenomenon that many of us are trying to chase: finding your inner self – some call it enlightenment. I like the thought that Burton’s inspiration for this song actually roots in finding the actual headwaters of a real river in the mountains. Experience in nature and in yourself here come to resonate with each other – something that many of us have lost, living in cities and being part of a tight schedule there is not much nature to be felt.
There is some captivating tenderness and love in “Fly” and “The Waltz” that just get you and two great country ballads “The Garden Grows” and “Carried Away” that make you tip your toes or even dance. The most upbeat and maybe lightest hearted song of the album “Tightrope Walker” definitely does. It really makes you want to do something great right now. And so little is there that is used in this song to create such an effect: It doesn’t even need any drums, just a guitar and a violin (Lynsey Shelar) as well as Burton’s mandolin for a lovely jolly solo. Surely the intensity of Burton’s vocals play a great part in making this work just as much as his inventive talent for creating dynamic and engaging chord changes.
Jason Tyler Burton from Kentucky decided well when he went out to the West to discover life in its essence. It helped him release an essential album with all the qualities that songwriting is all about: Purity and depth mixed with a certain lightness that guarantees accessibility.