"As I sit writing this now, I am at home at my desk, occasionally looking out my window, thinking about life and everything in front of me,” begins the note from Dallas Burrow about his new single.
The singer songwriter from New Braunfels, Texas, has had just about enough of it all on this delicious slice of honky tonk-blues flavoured Stax-country soul. With a Wurlitzer wheezing away over the crisp country funk rhythm section, ‘Out My Window’ sounds like it could have come crawling out of 3614 Jackson Highway in Muscle Shoals in the early hours of any morning during the mid-70s. Although in reality, that sound came blasting out of producer Jonathan Tyler's studio in South Austin.
“Look out my window and what do I see? / Things are even stranger than they look on TV / I’ve got to believe things are gonna be alright / When my children lay their heads down at night,” growls Dallas Burrow, channelling Dr. John in this strangely optimistic State of the Nation Address.
“That’s sort of where this song comes from,” he continues, “except even more than that, it’s a look at the world in general, our divided politics, the corrupted soul of capitalists and modern man, our polluted environment and peoples’ seeming inability at times to show one another common decency. On the whole, this song is a bit of a tongue in cheek, if not slightly embittered gospel song, but ultimately, it’s also a sincere prayer for humanity, and the future of our children and the Earth itself, beckoning to God above, 'Lord, send your angels down, tell ‘em to pick up the pace.'”
“It’s set to a funky halftime E minor blues, brought to life by the Tijuana Trainwreck horn section, a mean slide guitar, Wurlitzer electric piano, and once again Taylor Rae gracing this track with her signature vocals."
Taking from his forthcoming album, Blood Brothers, the song is just one of the many that pay homage to his musical roots, starting with his father, Mike Burrow, who, in the early 70s, became actual "blood brothers" with Townes Van Zandt at an after party in Nashville. You clearly hear the influence of his father and Townes and other troubadours like Guy Clark and Billy Joe Shaver all over this record. Covers of Zandt's hit ‘Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold’ and his father's song ‘X Old Flames’ even made their way onto the album tracklist.
Every time he steps on stage, Dallas Burrow dedicates a portion of his set to telling a story about his dad and his relationship with Townes Van Zandt. These are stories that are deeply personal to Dallas and his life as a husband and father, yet he sings with a relatability and universality that turns these diary entries into relatable anthems.
This is a song for anyone looking for a little bit of light and hope during these turbulent times, for anyone down but not defeated, ready to get back up and fight for what they believe in.
The video is premiering exclusively on Holler below. We sat down with Dallas Burrow to talk through the making of the incredible new video and how it all came together.
How did the concept for the video come together?
I have a great working relationship with a brilliant videographer and filmmaker out of Dallas, Texas, named Corey Morrison,” Burrow explained. “I worked with him previously on a music video for a song called ‘Guitar Man’ from my 2019 album 'Southern Wind.' Since the last time we had worked together, I think he and I have respectively honed our crafts a bit and it was very cool to reconnect and pick up where we had left off, but with even more experience under our belts.
This time around I wanted for there to be an element of social commentary in this video to reflect some of the themes of the song, i.e. social unrest, issues with the environment, a politically polarized world, rampant greed, a general lack of empathy, etc. Over dinner, in the midst of the couple of days we took to shoot, I was telling him a little about how on the one hand I want for there to be a positive mention and message about a higher power (God) in my music, because I personally have found great peace and hope through my own faith, but that I also want to do that without beating people over the head with it or being too preachy. I also understand that there are a lot of people who have had negative experiences with religion, which can in some instances make church feel white-washed or inaccessible.
The landscape and the set looks amazing, where was the video shot?
One of the first scenes we shot, we pulled up to a local church which was incidentally painted a stark white and had its gates locked. Let me be the first to say, I am sure this a wonderful little country church and the people who worship there, too, I'm sure are great folks, but the whole scene did sort of in a theatrical way, help to paint the dramatic picture we were after.
Most of the outdoor scenes which feature different members of my regular touring band were shot out on the old family farm where I live on the banks of the Guadalupe River in central Texas, which was left sometime in the last century to my great grandmother, who was in fact a real life faith healer. Drummer Cameron Martin set up shop in an old abandoned farmhouse on the edge of the pecan orchard; bassist Sterling Finlay perched himself on the porch of the old fishing cabin / boy scout hut where years ago my grandfather had been the scout master; guitarist Chad Pope sat himself on what's left of a pier my father and I built when I was a kid; I posted up out in front of a pile of cotton wood logs I recently stacked.
How long did it take to make the video?
We shot the video in two days during which time it just so happened that a big freeze came through, so in most of the outdoor scenes we were battling the harsh cold, which in many ways leant itself to the bluesy tone of the piece. We were downstream from a stretch of water that is used primarily for tourist industry in the summertime, so consequently there are literal decades worth of beer cans which wash up in my front yard, which without much effort helped illustrate the polluted reality we sometimes find ourselves in.
For the crescendo of the video, which features a full band performance scene, including my old pal Jonny ‘Keys’ Grossman on piano and the always groovy 'Tijuana Trainwreck Horns,' D. Tiger Anaya and Mark L. Wilson, we assembled at The Redbird Listening Room, which is a music venue that I own and operate with my family in New Braunfels, Texas, which felt like the perfect place to put it all together, musically speaking, for the big finish. Together, Corey and I and the fellas put our heads together, had some loose concepts that we wanted to execute and ultimately, the final product I think not only reflects the ideas in the message of the song, but also, thanks to Corey Morrison's brilliant filming, editing and storytelling, exceeded all my expectations. The opening title frame and retro closing credits, as well as a few other little surprises, I feel, put the perfect Tarantino-esque final touches on this short film.
Dallas Burrow’s forthcoming album, Blood Brothers, comes out on June 16 via Soundly Music