From our home in the mountains of Rollinsville, CO—Byrd Nest Recording Studio—to County Kerry, Ireland—Mhic An Daill Studio—and back, Strangebyrds—Cari Minor & Ray Smith have put these songs together over the course of the last two years for our new album "Star Crossed Lovers."
From Cari's love of books and history comes a flurry of brand new ballads to Ray's contemporary, moving and rockin' songs of love, life and the beauty of the world around us. Songs about "Star Crossed Lovers" inspired by the 1913 book O Pioneers! by Willa Cather to "Willy", a song inspired by the over 1200 women who dressed as men and fought in the Civil War. "Willy" garnered a top ten songwriters award in both the 2016 Rocky Mountain Folks Festival New Song Competition and the 2017 Telluride Bluegrass Festival-Troubadour Song Competition.
Ray Smith's song "Back Roads" won an honorable mention at both of these events as well. "You Won't Leave My Heart" written by Smith is a tribute to our hero Tom Petty and to all the great musicians who have now passed on who influenced Ray as a young musician.
Minor has recently added the Irish Bouzouki to the Strangebyrds quiver and her love for her Irish heritage & Irish music and lore is evident in the writing of a true story "The Ghosts Of Duffy's Cut"—the tragic tale of 57 men who came from Donegal, Ireland in hopes of a new start in America only to come to a bitter and brutal end within weeks of their arrival. It was only fitting that it was first recorded in County Kerry, Ireland.