Fresh on the heels of their Record Store Day release of the 7” of Generals, The Mynabirds are excited to announce their return to the road this June. The month long tour will kick off June 8th at Slowdown in Omaha, NE and make an additional stop in August to play the Pickathon Music Festival. Laura Burhenn will also have a solo performance at City Winery in New York on May 20th as part of The 78 Project to benefit the Music Maker Relief Foundation. The foundation directly supports senior (over 55) American roots musicians in need so musicians who represent the traditions of Blues, Gospel, Old-Time String Band, and Jazz may expand their professional careers.
Two pre-order bundle packages of GENERALS are now available at the Saddle Creek store. The first bundle contains the choice of a CD, LP or CD and LP of the album, a t-shirt, an 11×17 poster, a sticker, button, and 320 Kbps MP3 of the album download on May 22nd and may be purchased HERE. The second bundle, containing the CD, a white LP (exclusive to this bundle and limited to 250 copies), a t-shirt, patch set, zine, tote bag, 11×17 poster, sticker, button, and 320 Kbps MP3 album download on May 22nd is available for purchase HERE.
Following 2010’s critically acclaimed debut What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood and a year on the road touring as part of Bright Eyes, singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn teamed up with producer Richard Swift again and emerged with GENERALS, a sophomore album fully armed. In place of the Zen meditations found on the Mynabirds’ first album, GENERALS is filled with armies of stomps and claps, sweeping full spectrum orchestrations, and moments that range from intensely personal pleas to shout-out-loud protests with teeth.
GENERALS is both a protest record and concept album. It’s fueled by a full decade of Burhenn’s political frustration and aimed at finding a revolutionary yet pacifist way in a world where, these days, it seems warring comes quick. Musically you can hear echoes of early PJ Harvey, politically-charged Nina Simone and Low-era David Bowie. It gets down and hip hop dirty, flirts with African melodies and rhythms, goes four-on-the-floor for all out dance jams and has plenty of percussion. Burhenn even plays drums herself on a couple of songs, and a 5-gallon bucket in homage to DC street Go-Go on another.
Lyrically, GENERALS sings the voice of the collective frustration, then moves beyond that. "It was important for me that this record made sense of my own anger and turned it into positive energy," Burhenn says. "I needed it to be transformative – of both the individual and the body politic. It’s as much a meditation on Walt Whitman’s hope for America as Gandhi’s directive to ‘be the change you want to see in the world.’"
The album’s name comes from a Richard Avedon photo entitled "Generals of the Daughters of the American Revolution." Looking at the portrait of upper class ladies in their pristine satin gowns, Burhenn considered her own supposed eligibility to be a member of DAR and thought about what true revolutionary American women look like. The lineage of women that have stood up to injustice for well over a hundred years – women like Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Gloria Steinem, Naomi Wolf – they get their hands dirty. And Burhenn wanted to pay tribute to that.
In conjunction with the release of the album, Burhenn is launching a portrait project called The New Revolutionists (www.thenewrevolutionists.org). In an election year when so much time, energy and money will be spent on political contests, Burhenn wanted to shine a light on women making a difference – often on shoestring or even non-existent budgets – in their own communities all over America, whether they’re making headlines or not.
The single “Generals” is available NOW on iTunes HERE
The album GENERALS (out June 5th) is available for pre-order HERE
The Mynabirds Tour Dates
06/08: Omaha, NE – Slowdown
06/15: Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
06/16: Des Moines, IA – Vaudeville Mews
06/17: Chicago, IL – Schuba’s
06/19: Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
06/20: Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern
06/21: Harrisburg, PA – The Abbey Bar
06/22: New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
06/23: Washington, DC – Black Cat
06/24: Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
06/25: Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506
06/27: Birmingham, AL – The Bottletree
06/28: Atlanta, GA – The Earl
06/29: Nashville, TN @ The High Watt
08/04-08/05: Happy Valley, OR – Pickathon
Listen to the new single “Generals” HERE
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