Lara Downes releases 'Steal Away' From forthcoming album / American Songwriter
There are several ways to experience history. One can glimpse at the surface of it, looking at historic events as points on a linear chain, and keeping in mind that these are all events that have passed and are no longer with us. But one can also choose to fully immerse themselves in history, and attempt to place themselves back in time, which allows one to feel a shared connection with those who came before them. Actively working to empathize with those who've preceded us changes how we view the present. The past isn't entirely in the past, and all that has come before is coded into the DNA of the present.
Pianist Lara Downes takes the latter approach, diving deep into the well of the past on her forthcoming record ‘Some Of These Days', which is out in April. And today she's released the first single from the new record, "Steal Away" featuring folk-blues guitarist Toshi Reagon. Downes recently gave American Songwriter some insight into the genesis of the new track, explaining how the song's roots are deeply embedded in American history. "The piano track on this song is from Charles Ives' "Concord Sonata", music that depicts the bright possibilities of the world at the other end of the Underground Railroad. It's a portrait of a community committed to freedom – freedom from slavery, freedom of thought and freedom of faith, " she said.