Singer-songwriter Bart Crow assembles a winning combination of participants on his sixth album, The Parade, due October 2nd via Thirty Tigers. Crow, who independently released his five previous albums, teams up with producer Justin Pollard for the project, which consists of eleven tracks, nine of which Crow wrote or co-wrote, including current top ten (on the Texas Music Chart) “Life Comes At You Fast.”
Through its themes of life, love and music, The Parade has an extremely personal (yet relatable) feel, and by the end you will have a clear picture of who Crow is both personally and professionally.
Mandolin and guitar blend on the autobiographical “City Limit Signs” chronicling childhood through adulthood and that one constant which is there “when you hit the road again.” A related sentiment runs through “Come Back Tomorrow.” Co-written with Mando Saenz, the mid-tempo song quietly reflects on where one grew up and the need to leave and follow your path. “I could come back tomorrow, make it alright/Watch dreams disappear in the dead of the night……Someday that’ll be alright.”
Saxophone (yes!!) provides the atmosphere on “One Night With You” which has him reminiscing about an old love, but unwilling to act on feelings and sacrifice what he has now with another. “The woman of my dreams she gave her heart to me and I can’t hurt nobody else.” “Queen of The Heartache Parade” finds him getting the “air knocked from his lungs” from a woman who broke his heart. Alternating between mid-tempo and full on 90’s rocker, “Baby Come Back Home” merges a broken heartedness and being unable to find a song to “move him inside….to keep him in line while his world falls apart.” “Vapor Trails” (penned by Drew Kennedy) uses simple imagery, and a soaring chorus, to convey an aching sadness about two people, one of whom can’t/won’t reconnect with the other.
“Dear Music,” is a slice of rootsy goodness (a la The Lumineers); an ode to love and the power of music. “Take my fears when I’m afraid when I’m lost you find a way/You turn tears into a smile, it really drives me wild/So here’s to the songs that I play and the love that music saves.” Blending honky tonk and rock, the cleverly written (by Jonathan Terrell) “Top Of Rock Bottom” laments the state of radio and where not following the trends will leave him. “If they don’t have to think, boy that’s when you got ‘em……..Just because you’re hungry don’t mean you’ll eat it if it’s rotten/We’ll have a beggars banquet at the top of rock bottom.”
Crow partnered on Mando Saenz on two additional tracks; personal favorite “Here We Go Again,” and “Free Like Me.” The former, with its light as air emotive fiddle and lovely harmonies focuses on letting love in and not letting moments pass you by while the latter closes out the record. The organ filled first, a shuffling, somewhat sad tune about being a free (and lonely) spirit segues into a rousing bluesy piano filled sing along (of The Stones "Let It Bleed") about having supportive friends and family, perfectly balancing the former. “Yeah we all need someone we can dream on and if you want it, well, you can dream on me.”
Parades provide a little something for everyone and in doing so often bring out a myriad of emotions in all of us. The Parade is no different; ballads, dance hall tunes, roots and rock make the personal, universal. However, unlike parades which only come around every so often, The Parade is there to listen, enjoy and repeat.