September 7, 2010

sometimes the blues is just a passing bird


In the early pre-dawn hours of this morning while I was floating through dreams of swimming pools and apples, the folks at iTunes were busy activating the sale of the newest Tallest Man on Earth EP, which no one knew was coming.

Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird contains four new songs and a reworked version of “Like The Wheel” – originally a bonus track from his latest full-length album The Wild Hunt. The original version shone a darker radiance, with doleful piano instead of the intricate guitar construction it has become on the new EP:

Like The Wheel (original piano version) – The Tallest Man on Earth [from this post]

Like The Wheel (new EP version) – The Tallest Man on Earth

I couldn’t be more pleased to hear this song again. This was a standout from the first time I heard Kristian perform it live back in May. It held me rapt when he closed his rather earth-shaking set with it.

In those shining, final moments of the night, the crowd fell quiet as he played this song. It took me by surprise with the visceral tug, as he’s honest with all the uncertainties he’s parsing through.

…In the forest someone’s whispering to a tree now
this is all I am so please don’t follow me
And it’s your brother in the shaft that I’m a-swinging
please let the kindness of forgetting set me free

And he said oh my Lord…
why am I not strong?
like the wheel that keeps travelers traveling on
like the wheel that will take you home

And on this Sunday someone’s sitting down to wonder,
‘Where the hell among these mountains will I be?’
There’s a cloud behind the cloud to which I’m yelling
I could hear you sneak around so easily

And I said oh my Lord…
why am I not strong?
like the branch that keeps hangman hanging on
like the branch that will take me home …

Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird will be released in physical form on Dead Oceans on November 9th, and Kristian is on tour all over this Fall. His show remains one of the most captivating and rich that I have seen.


  • Thanks Heather… I can’t wait to download this… and like you said, who knew this was coming?!

    Ads — September 7, 2010 @ 10:59 am

  • Wow. This makes me more than happy. I pretty much need the next 4 hours to fly by. If the reworked version of Like the Wheel is like the version he plays live then I am one happy man (I thought it was more powerful with the guitar). I cannot wait to get home.

    Adam — September 7, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

  • it is arranged like the one he plays live. and yeah, i agree it is more powerful when not so slow like the original. hurry up 4 hours! :)

    browneheather — September 7, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

  • Actually, I heard a rumor this was coming out but now the time has come, o happy day lol. There was a youtube clip going around with a fabulous new track, I hope that’s an indication for the quality of the EP. For those who can’t wait…[url][/url]

    Christof — September 7, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

  • Yeah, this more than met my expectations. I had my first listen this crisp Midwest morning on the way to work through the trees. It was perfect, with the first three songs absolutely fitting the mood as the sun came up. It’s obvious he’s growing as a songwriter and storyteller, but he hasn’t lost that urgency and ability to compel the listener to listen to what he has to say. He has absolutely owned my headphones this year since The Wild Hunt, and this is a great little addition. Sadly this came out just after I sent my Fall mix to my friends. Guess I have a starting point for the Winter one.

    Adam — September 8, 2010 @ 7:26 am

  • How great is ‘The Dreamer’?!

    Ads — September 8, 2010 @ 7:39 am

  • that was totally a standout track for me too – immediately. bluesy, wonderful.

    browneheather — September 8, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

  • Oh, my lord is right. This is just too beautiful.

    Koan — September 9, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

  • TTMOE has definitely been my artist of 2010. seeing him in chicago next week. cannot wait.

    rick — September 9, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

  • Finally got around to listening to this…wow! “The Dreamer” immediately joined the running for one of my favorite songs of the year! I listened to it at least 20 times the first day. I’m loving the somewhat restrained vibe of the record. As always, thanks for the recommendation!

    BeeJayGee — September 18, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

  • [...] b. a new Tallest Man On Earth EP is out NOW. [...]

    Thepunkguy » the last clue is yours.. — February 16, 2011 @ 11:20 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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