Nashville-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Baiman, and BBC award-winning Scottish folksinger and guitarist Kris Drever have announced a co-billed tour this spring across the UK. This coming Wednesday, 20th April, they are releasing a new single, a stunning remake of Eliza Gilkyson’s “Hard Times in Babylon”, featuring lush layers of guitar and vocal harmonies.
The song, written by Gilkyson after the suicide of a friend, is a stark reminder to lean into our love for one another, in hard times more than ever. “You could have called out” sing Baiman and Drever, “there’s not a man or a woman, standing here tonight in the big house / who wouldn’t run to pull you through”.
“I first heard this song at the beginning of a long solo drive”, says Baiman, “And I must have listened to it twenty more times before I reached my destination. I think what grabs me about it is the sense of community that Gilkyson is referencing. The descriptions of musicians and creatives living together under one roof, trying to make it through the hard times together. Seeing the ghost of a lost friend at a venue they used to haunt, and mourning in community with one another.”
Working with Drever remotely, the pair sent tracks and ideas back and forth until the song took shape. “I recorded the track with a full band, in a simple, understated, folk style that I thought would be the extent of the vibe for the song. But the Kris came back to me with these incredible vocal harmony ideas and guitar lines, which brought out an entirely new shape in the arrangement. I know he was watching that Beatles documentary at the time, and I’m pretty sure I can hear that, which I love!” explains Baiman.
The track was primarily recorded at the Tractor Shed in Nashville, TN by Sean Sullivan (Sturgill Simpson, Tyler Childers), and features Lauren Horbal on drums, Riley Calcagno, and Josh Oliver (Watchhouse) on guitar, and Adam Chaffins on bass. It was mixed and mastered by D James Goodwin (Bonny Light Horseman, Kevin Morby).
Drever and Baiman will be on tour together from the 24th of May through the 5th of June, with shows at King’s Place in London and The Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh among others (see the complete tour schedule below).
Rachel Baiman & Kris Drever UK Tour
MAY 24 TUE – Railway Inn, Winchester
MAY 25 WED – Kings Place, London
MAY 26 THU – Rook Lane Chapel, Frome
MAY 28 SAT – Pavilion Arts Centre, Buxton
MAY 29 SUN – The National Centre for Early Music, Percy’s Lane
MAY 30 MON – Cambridge Junction, Cambridge
JUN 1 WED – Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
JUN 2 THU – The Met, Bury
JUN 3 FRI – Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle Upon Tyne
JUN 4 SAT – Brewery Arts, Kendal
JUN 5 SUN – The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
Tickets and more details via: |