The October 4 release of The Mountain Man (via Dine Alone Records) marks a new change in path for Pelham singer/songwriter Spencer Burton. His fourth studio record will differ greatly from his previous output as The Mountain Man marks Burton’s first foray into the world of children’s music.
“I kind of look at this record and project differently than from my other music. They’re two completely different worlds,” said Burton, the father of two. “One won’t overpower the other because it’s a whole different audience, vibe and experience.”
Burton explained that the record was created to offer some guidance to not only his own little ones, but to children in general through their early years. The seven songs on The Mountain Man showcase the beauty of nature and offer a trip into a pastoral world that is led by his thoughtful lyricism and gentle guitar.
“I never wrote these songs to make a record. I was at home one day and my kids were listening to music. It was the first time I really noticed them actively listening to and sitting around the radio, and thought ‘how awesome is this, my kids are legitimately listening to music,’” explained Burton.
“So, I went downstairs to see what they were listening to and it was absolute trash, just sheer garbage. Music spans all age, but the stuff they were listening to, the content and the context were just so beyond what I thought they should be listening to. So, it was then that I decided I should write some songs with some content that I knew they were interested in.”
Songs like the lead single and title track, “The Mountain Man”, are quite different than the songs that the general public have thought as children’s music in recent years. The soothing nature and reflective messages of the songs are more akin to the likes of other ‘children’s musicians’ like Fred Penner, and offer both children and adult alike to reflect on these messages.
“The whole idea is to try and bring them back to the roots. Bring them back to the grass and the back yard. One thing led to another and then Dine Alone caught wind that I had been writing songs and they liked them and wanted to put them out.”
Before The Mountain Man had even been released, Burton was already on the road to Nashville to work on his follow up to 2017/2019’s Songs Of & Songs Of (Acoustic). When asked whether or not this foray into children’s career could alter his career trajectory, Burton suggested that if that’s where his path takes him, that’s where it goes.
“I’m a very open minded person. I have no idea where this record will take me, but if it takes me down a path, I’ll follow it,” he said. “I’m not too focused on one thing right now, but this is where my life is. If that’s what happens, I’m going to go down that road. If not, that’s cool too, right?”
Spencer Burton performs at Cicada Music & Arts Festival on October 5 at 1pm.