Music

Song Premiere: Martha Scanlan's Old-Time Journey 'Brother Was Dying'

Yogesh Simpson

Montana-based singer-songwriter Martha Scanlan weaves together music and landscape, creating a sense of place and belonging within her songs. Scanlan's forthcoming album, The River and the Light (out on Oct. 19 on Rock Ridge Music) is no different. It's a collection of quiet reflections of places, travels and missing home. So it makes sense that the lush and spacious opening track "Brother Was Dying," which Wide Open Country is premiering today, was inspired by the serenity and isolation Scanfield felt while living and working on a Montana ranch.

Scanlan says the album, produced by guitarist and longtime collaborator Jon Neufeld, was inspired by various journeys and the landscapes that have shaped her.

"I don't know where songs come from, or why certain lines or images stay with me the way they do.  When I was living on the ranch, I became really interested in this concept, especially because my world was so quiet and so located in that work and that landscape -- the songs seemed to reveal themselves long after I wrote them, and had their own stories to tell over time," Scanlan tells Wide Open Country. "I feel like that about this record; it's felt like a very interactive process from the start - from writing to recording and Jon's producing and now starting to play the songs live, like we're riding this current along with everyone else.  Putting this song out there feels like placing a leaf on the surface of a creek."

Listen to "Brother Was Dying" below.

The River and the Light is the follow-up to Scanlan's 2015 album, The Shape of Things Gone Missing, The Shape of Things to Come. She released her debut solo album, The West Was Burning, in 2007. In 2003, Scanlan was featured on the Cold Mountain soundtrack as part of the string band the Reeltime Travelers.

For upcoming tour dates, visit here.

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Song Premiere: Martha Scanlan's Old-Time Journey 'Brother Was Dying'