RECORD LABEL:Mountain Home Music Company
LOCATION:Asheville, North Carolina
Though they’ve gone from success to success in the decade-plus since its formation, Balsam Range remains driven by a collective determination to find a great song and give it a great performance. Whether it’s a soulful appreciation of perseverance like “Grit and Grace,” the spirited meditation on what’s really valuable that took “Richest Man” to the top of last year’s charts, or the dramatic depiction of undeniable love in their previous single, “Rivers, Rains and Runaway Trains,” the combination of the group’s insightful song choices and powerful interpretation has resulted in a long list of fan favorites and the industry awards to go with it.
On their new single, “Santa Barbara,” the quintet offers yet another of the many outlooks and attitudes their music exemplifies. Sung by two-time IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year, Buddy Melton (fiddle), it’s a song that captures the complicated attitude of a man too self-aware to deny the gap between the life he lives and the one he wants—or to deny his own responsibility for the difference. “I’m tired of looking at you/Knowing I’m the reason that you’re crying,” it begins, and with each successive “I’m tired”—it’s the start of every line in the song’s two well-crafted verses—Melton convincingly conveys the narrator’s unsparing self-evaluation before leavening the verdict with an unexpected dash of humor that puts an exclamation point to the irresistibly hooky chorus:
Sometimes I get to thinking someone oughta just knock me down
Sometimes I get the feeling that all I do is just run my mouth
And if I had a dollar for every bit of trouble that I’ve caused
We’d be living in Santa Barbara in a house the size of the Taj Mahal
Built on an archetypal three-chord, up-tempo bluegrass frame provided by hot songwriter Adam Wright and punctuated by high-energy solos from Melton, mandolinist Darren Nicholson, Caleb Smith (guitar, harmony vocals) and banjo master Marc Pruett over a steady pulse supplied by Tim Surrett (bass, harmony vocals), “Santa Barbara” is quintessential Balsam Range, offering one more reason why the group has earned multiple IBMA awards in categories that include Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year.
“I’m so excited for the release of ‘Santa Barbara’ written by one of my favorite writers, Adam Wright,” says Melton. “With clever lyrics and an upbeat driving tempo, it is sure to have your foot tapping and mind wondering, ‘What if?’”
KEY SELLING POINTS
- Two-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year
- Two albums debuting Top 5 on the Billboard Charts (Mountain Overture, Mountain Voodoo) and previous long-player Aeonic debuting #1
- Multiple #1 singles across several radio charts, including their last three singles spanning 2020-21 reaching #1 on the Bluegrass Today chart