One of my favorite albums from 2009 was “We Go Way Back” by H-Burns, the solo project of Frenchman Renaud Brustlein. Voice slightly pinched and somewhat off-center, accent present but difficult to place, the music folky with an Americana bent and a little indie buzz. Catchy and engaging, wonderful arrangements, at turns downcast and almost-upbeat, always haunting. “We Go Way Back” was H-Burns third release, and I’ve been looking forward to news of something in the works. And it’s coming. September 12th.
And given the name of this blog, it’s very good. H-burns has teamed up with Chris Bailey (co-founder, singer of The Saints) to record “Stranger” for the French label Vicious Circle. One full song, “Hey You,” and one snippet, “Stranger,” are available for preview.
“Stranger” sounds like classic Bailey relaxed blues rocker. “Hey You” harkens back to some of my favorite lush solo Bailey records, 1991’s “Demons” and 1994’s “54 Days At Sea.” Hearing a little bit more of H-Burns in “Hey You,” but maybe not. According to a Bailey interview earlier this year from Australia’s Mess+Noise, the album is only being marketed as Bailey and H-Burns to capitalize on the French recording artist’s name (which, according the Bailey, in France reads as Hash Burns). Sounds a bit like interview cheek, but I don’t know. It was Bailey who asked Brustlein to join his band, General Dog, after wrapping up his 2010 Australian tour with Saints co-founder Ed Kuepper. And the duo have been performing some shows in France with more dates scheduled for later in the year.
If you can find it, check out H-Burns cover of “Massacre” (off The Saints “Prodigal Son”) from the first release, “Songs From The Electric Sky.”
Unfortunately, it looks like ‘We Go Way Back” is not longer available in the US. So pick up his second album “How Strange It Is To Be Anything At All.”
Buy H-Burns: Amazon
Buy Chris Bailey: iTunes