Rock And Roll

The Velvet Underground originally issued “Rock And Roll” on their iconic 1970 studio album, Loaded. Acoustic Syndicate added their own spin to the track while keeping in the same key as the 1970 recording. Bryon McMurry handled lead vocals and contributed a banjo solo to “Rock And Roll” while guitarist Steve McMurry honored Lou Reed’s signature riff, drummer Fitz McMurry paid homage to Mo Tucker’s excitable drumming and bassist Jay Sanders steadied the cover.

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Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground

“I have always been, and will always be a devoted and loyal follower and fan of Willie Nelson,” confesses Steve McMurry. “We got to meet Willie and hang out with him some when we played Farm Aid way back in 2001. He was so humble, gracious and just a true gentleman in every regard and made us feel so welcome and a full on part of the event.

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Simple Dream

Between a years-long break from the studio and a year of performance lost to the pandemic, Acoustic Syndicate’s reemergence as recording artists has proceeded in ways that inevitably mirror the world in which they live. After their first new single, “Sunny,” a character-driven study of emotional ebb and flow, and a nod to forebears in their second — a delicious reworking of the Grateful Dead’s “Bertha” — the North Carolina legends have dished up a masterfully rocking electric anthem with their third of the year, Bryon McMurry’s “Simple Dream.”

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Bertha

“‘Bertha’ is one of the quintessential feel-good, toe-tapping Grateful Dead songs that tells somewhat of a hard-edged story while helping us dance and boogie our blues away,” banjoist Bryon McMurry said via press release. “The song still can bring a tear to my eye to this day, depending on the mood I’m in, and Fitz’s vocal is — in my opinion — tailor-made for the song… I still feel the same emotion to ‘Bertha’ whether hearing the Dead perform it or when we are on stage performing it ourselves! It’s a joy to play.”

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Sunny

“‘Sunny’ is one of those things that’s been on my ‘list of things to finish’ for quite some time. Based on an idea for a short story that I was working on some years ago, it’s a discussion about love, coping with loss, hope, and ultimately, redemption. I’ve been carrying that melody around in my head for years and finally got lucky enough to find the right words to go with it. The tune was one that I was kinda holding in reserve for a possible solo project at some point. After putting it together and sharing with the other fellas, they were all in to record it. The piano (Brian Felix) and violin (Lyndsay Pruett) were part of the original idea, and it was such a pleasure to watch it materialize in the studio on a super solid track by Fitz, Bryon, and Jay. Being back in the studio after seven years has been a real treat. I love the process of recording, and I have missed it very much. Our engineer, Clay Miller, is a ‘steely eyed missile man’ and has the patience of Job! He makes the recording process an absolute joy. I’m so grateful and honored to be making new music with these dudes again.”

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