This week we have a Basic Folk hero returning to the pod! Tré Burt is back today, going track by track through his new album, Traffic Fiction. I am a longtime fan of Tré’s music, and this new release on Oh Boy Records is my favorite of his records so far. It combines what fans have come to love about Tré’s writing and unmistakable vocal performances with a new infusion of soul and Motown-inspired styles. The soulful grooves of Traffic Fiction are souvenirs of Tré’s close relationship with his grandfather, who recently passed away. Tré recalls listening to his pops’ favorite records and invites us into his family’s musical lineage.
The heart of the album are field recordings that Tré made of his grandfather while he was still alive. Just two people, talking about music, talking about life, encouraging one another. The simple moments that mean the most when somebody is gone. And they give us insight into one of the greatest triumphs of Traffic Fiction, which is the transformation of melancholy into dancing. You can’t help but move your body when you hear this music, even as Tré deals with profound loss. He reminds us that being an Important Artist is not incompatible with having fun. And isn’t that what great Black artists do? Tell you the story of a tragedy in a way that somehow makes you feel joyful?
Photo Credit: Justin Hughes