Folk singer Bryan McPherson identifies himself as a troubadour, a designation appropriate to the traveling spirit and weary, heartbroken sound of “Hearts In Boxcars.”
McPherson fits nicely into the archetype of the travelling folk musician, delivering poetry and progressive politics through his music. His forthcoming album, Wedgewood, is based on his experience in the Occupy Oakland protests in 2011 and features songs boasting such titles as “Born On A Highway” and “Here We Go,” evoking movement and momentum. Of course, an ancillary aspect of the constant motion of the troubadour is the experience of leaving things behind, a subject addressed in “Hearts In Boxcars.”
McPherson says, “This is a road song that I wrote in between tours and having to part ways with my girlfriend because we were on two different tracks and that’s just how it had to be. It’s about the journey and the winding roads and destiny and fate, if you believe in that sort of thing.” That weariness and resignation comes through in the song’s Dylan-by-way-of-Oberst melody and musical textures: bouncily strummed acoustic guitar, light piano chords, insistent harmonica and passionately warbled harmony vocals.
Listen to Bryan McPherson’s “Hearts In Boxcars” below: