Spencer Burton - "Broken Hearts and Broken Chains" (Dine Alone): This track from roots songsmith Burton has the best opening of a country song we’ve heard in a while: “Got no God that I can thank, got no money in the bank."
This is punctuated by a mournful sounding pedal steel that accompanies Burton’s rich voice, but the insertion of a wailing gospel-ish female backing singer helps the tune soar, rather than sink into a pit of self-pity.
Burton explains the song this way: “I had a young lady come to me and pour her heart out with a whole lot of ‘I’ve got nothing.’ I’ve heard the story before, I’ve lived the story. I lived the story until I realized that I had everything I need and so does most everyone else. Sometimes it takes losing everything to realize you have everything – ‘Broken Hearts and Broken Chains’ are sometimes one in the same.”
The song will appear on Burton’s upcoming full-length, Songs Of, out May 5 on Dine Alone.
Recorded in Nashville, the album was produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray For The Riff Raff), and features members of Margo Price’s band.
Like his close collaborator, Daniel Romano, Burton is deeply immersed in authentic honky tonk music but fortunately, he brings a fresh energy to the form.
He has had a chameleonic career, first making a splash in southern Ontario rock band Attack In Black, alongside Romano. He has recorded country-folk under the moniker the Grey Kingdom, and has written songs and performed live with City and Colour (Dallas Green).
Burton plays Toronto’s Cadillac Lounge on April 20 with further shows TBA.