this is a collaboration between songwriters David P. Smith, Troy Bubba Cook and Ben Sures. The idea was to compose some fact and some fictional modern murder/death ballads based on current events.
here are the liner notes:
Country and folk have a history of addressing some pretty dark subject matter. Cheating, fighting, stealing, gambling, lying, mysterious disappearances… but the darkest comes when someone dies. And then, out of the darkness, comes the beauty. A narrative, told in a classic voice, with details (sometimes gruesome but always poetic), action, rhythm, movement and a distractingly beautiful melody for such a subject. With an easy flow from unsettling to entertaining, verse by verse, murder ballads are a notable genre in themselves.
Traditionally these murder and other ballads were passed on orally. Some of the most beautiful ballads have been lost to time as they weren’t recorded or notated, while others - like ‘Banks of the Ohio’, ‘Down in the Willow Garden’, ‘Little Sadie’, and ‘Pretty Polly” - have traveled into modern culture as mainstays of the folk, country and neo-folk scenes. Sometimes a way to remember a true crime, sometimes a mythical one to serve as a cautionary tale, they might be from the murderer’s point of view, the victim’s, or told from a distance with with no sympathy for the victim or the murderer.
The Death Ballad Love Tellers are following in the footsteps of a deep tradition. An honest addition to the canon, they take themselves with the same humor, respect and desire for a good story that have made murder ballads such an essential part of folk music.
- Pharis Romero
released December 25, 2018
Troy Cook Ukelele, Necklace Drum Machine, Vocals, Percussion
Don Kerr Bass, Foot Beats
Chloe Lampman Vocals
Ben Sures Acoustic and Slide guitar, Percussion, Vocals
David P. Smith Accordion, Vocals
engineered by Myke Hall at MFH Studios Victoria, Bc.
mixed and mastered by Don Kerr and Ben Sures at The Rooster Toronto,Ontario
produced and conceived by Troy ‘Bubba’ Cook, David P. Smith and Ben Sures
Art, Design and Layout Betty Ann Lampman
Ben Sures sings in English, French and Spanish. Plays mostly folk meets roots meets world originals and and a few cover songs by Boubacar Traore, Los Zafiros and Blind Lemon Jefferson. He more recently has dabbled in electronic collaboration.