As this crazy, pandemic-filled year continues, there has been no shortage of references to how live music that has always been taken for granted can survive, and how the ‘new norms’ of self-isolation and social distancing continues to negatively impact the entertainment industry as we know it. This is certainly true for independent artists who do not have the backing of corporate sponsors and huge record deals as their security blanket, and rely heavily on their live performances to sustain an income. And while the attention is often focused primarily on the musicians themselves, who of course are struggling with a significant loss in revenue, it is just as important to spare some thoughts for those beyond the stage, whose livelihoods are also dependent on the live music scene. From stagehands to sound technicians, and from servers to small venue owners, all are feeling the crunch right now during these times when people are being asked to stay home.
For independent artists, such as nomadic singer-songwriter Sarah Burton, the restrictions on live music and touring are detrimental not only to herself, but to her entire network of business-related friends. So what better way for this former Torontonian (who now calls anywhere from Texas to Vancouver home) to raise awareness of the plights of non-artists than through the power of song? With the release of her brand new single today, Sarah introduces us to “LOGAN,” a colleague and good friend who is also currently impacted by the lack of a live music scene. “It’s a song about a bartender who worked every Saturday night while I sang songs in a little bar on the Texas/Mexico border,” Sarah shares. “It was written and recorded back when we were still able to get together with friends at bars. We made a great team, him slinging drinks while I sang songs. Together we entertained tourists and locals alike, helping people have a great time and let loose, or enjoy a lovely quiet evening.”
Rooted in folk, and skirting pop, rock and country, Sarah’s music is a collage of her own adventures and the people she meets along the way (extract from artist bio). We may be living in strange times right now, but with “LOGAN,” Sarah is raring to douse the flames of despair with a lively, guitar driven bar-room ditty that is impossible to listen to just once. “Now he’s living on the border / Slinging drinks and taking orders / Hard work, fast money, take it home to your honey,” she recites, introducing the listener to her charismatic friend. “Logan is a sober bartender, which sometimes leads to funny moments when patrons would want to buy him a drink,” Sarah recalls. “Once in a while if his shift finished early, he might stay and enjoy an O’Doul’s (as mentioned in the song). He’s a huge Taylor Swift fan too, but I didn’t manage to get in a lyric about that.”
“L-O-G-A-N / Can you make me that drink again? / The one that gets me into trouble and then get me off the hook again,” is the catchy chorus that Sarah returns to throughout the song. “L-O-G-A-N / Oh I think I’m in trouble again.” “Maybe it’s funny to release [the song] now, in the midst of a pandemic, but I’m hoping it will be a fun reminder of days gone by and hopefully for future days,” she reflects. “With so many bars closed and bartenders, servers and performers out of work, [this is] a tribute to all our friends who are currently not able to do their jobs. I see this song as a toast to when we can work again and cultivate good times for good people.”
Not content with releasing “LOGAN” solely as a single, Sarah is also encouraging friends and fans alike to assist in creating a unique music video for the song. “I’m going to be making a DIY video of fan contributions,” she offers. “Since we can’t get together quite yet, I want people to send in videos dancing, singing, hanging out at home or with their isolation pod, and I’ll splice them together for the video for this song.” Rest assured that should Sarah be successful in creating this video, we’ll be more than happy to share it here at GDW for your viewing pleasures.
“I’ll never forget the first time I saw Sarah Burton perform, I was completely captured the moment I heard that husky-toned, honey bourbon voice of hers. Sarah’s songwriting capability is superior in the world of pop/folk music and she is hands down one of my favourite artists. To top it off, she’s also an absolute gem of a human being!” Tullara (Australian Folk/Roots Artist)
You can learn more about Sarah’s music here: www.sarahburton.ca
Photo Credit: Jen Squires