Ky Burt’s debut full-length studio album, The Sky In Between (Release date: April 5th, 2019) features ten richly crafted songs rooted in the sounds and settings of the American landscape. It’s the culmination of several years of intensive writing, performing, and re-working of songs, that span a Midwest upbringing, career as an environmental educator in Arizona, and ultimately landing Burt in his new home in the Pacific Northwest. Reflecting on connection, love and loss, the bustle of city life, the desire for and decline of small towns and quiet grounding places, it’s a chronicle of how nature is a guide for our lives, and how impermanence and the passing of days is both beautiful and difficult. It’s also an homage to ancestors, and the inherited yearning to re-root, reach for one’s dreams and build new life again. As Burt relates, “Life is not a straight path, it’s your own version of some crooked winding road that might just take you home again.”
For The Sky In Between, Burt enlisted Tyler Fortier (Jeffery Martin, Anna Tivel), well known for his production artistry in preserving the beauty of a well-written song, to record and produce the album. Burt (vocals, guitar, banjo) was accompanied by Matthew Holmes (bass), Collin Stackhouse (violin), Phillip Rogers (drums, percussion), Philippe Bronchtein (pedal steel, keys), Anna Tivel (harmony vocals), Jeffrey Martin (harmony vocals), and Fortier (harmony vocals, piano, guitar, percussion). The album was primarily recorded at Fortier’s home studio in Eugene, Oregon with a few songs recorded by Matt Greco at The Rye Room in Portland.
A multi-instrumentalist (acoustic and electric guitar, five-string banjo) with a wide range of influences spanning Appalachian string music, old country, and contemporary folk, Burt pulls inspiration from a wide vocabulary of American root forms to create a sound full of stunning imagery and melodic depth. Born in the American Midwest to a long ancestry of craftsmen, farmers, and teachers, Burt has been seeding his own unique craft through the art of song since childhood. His lyrics tell a story of miles traveled, landscapes gone by, lovers won and lost, and the search for a sense of place in an ever increasingly complex world. Time spent living in different regions of the U.S. (Appalachia, Northeast, Midwest, Southwest, and Pacific Northwest) has deeply informed his playing and songwriting, exposing Burt to numerous local and regional musical acts, and allowing him to develop an engaging, dynamic, and diverse musical style. Music has been the well-traveled suitcase he carries on his journeys.