Americana/Folk Rock singer songwriter, Braison Cyrus has released “Across The Great Plains,” as the 1st song from his upcoming album, which was produced by former White Denim member, Austin Jenkins at Castle Recording Studios in Franklin, TN. The album will be released in 2021 but its lead track is now available now.
“Across The Great Plains” was written by Cyrus and features vocal harmonies with Daisy Bernet of Five Islands. The song is told by a young man whose life was changed by the Civil War. It is addressed to the woman he loves, who left him behind and moved West while the narrator fought to preserve the Union. As a contemporary folk singer who counts Dave Van Ronk and Levon Helm as influences, Cyrus tells a story of love paused, families divided, being uprooted and traveling through a new and changing landscape.
“One of my favorite songs is The Band’s ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.’ I wanted to write from the opposite perspective – a Northerner who won the war but lost everything else. Through his eyes, we see a post-war country experiencing growing pains as it expands westward.”
American iconography and natural elements reoccur throughout Cyrus’ lyrics. As the son of Billy Ray Cyrus and grandson of a Democratic congressman from Kentucky who led a coal miner’s union, Braison grew up in Franklin, TN confronted daily with history.
“Stone walls built in the Civil War and historical markers are all around where I grew up,” explains Braison. “They’re like time wounds that make you conscious of the past in a really present way. The reality is, we live in a world where objective truths compete with moral truths.”
He continues, “Folk music has a duty to highlight the moral truths of love, faith, freedom and creativity. The bison on the cover represents the western frontier and the gold foil is the human heart, the sovereignty of the individual.”