Sometimes it’s in the darkest moments that the brightest futures are born. Muddled marriages, divorce, distrust, the loss of faith in yourself and things you once believed in; anyone that has ever been through that cascade of pain knows what it can take out of you. Alas, as any musician knows, the music it can inspire can be seismic.
Separately, Caitlin Nicol-Thomas and Tyler Boydstun know that experience all too well. Surely a dark point in each of their lives, those experiences were what provided the foundation for their new musical effort TheThread. As the saying goes, it’s always darkest before dawn and in this case, the dawn is glorious.
There’s no denying Caitlin and Tyler know music. She’s a classically trained jazz violinist, graduate of the Berklee College of Music and played fiddle in Dolly Parton’s recent Christmas Musical. She also spent years touring with Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, Trent Willmon, Maddie & Tae, and Jo Smith. As for Tyler, he’s a rockabilly drummer who took up the drums in high school after seeing a photo of his mom with a drum kit. A veteran of Nashville’s Lower Broadway scene, his 3-piece rockabilly band The Eskimo Brothers released three records and toured the country, opening for acts like Shooter Jennings, Clint Black, and The Marshall Tucker Band.
When the two came together and started writing songs, both were both reeling in the aftermath of divorce and abusive relationships so they used their music to examine their pains. With a shared love of Johnny Cash (she often collaborates with the Cash family) it’s no surprise they weren’t afraid to let their songs touch on some heavy subject matter. While the full collection of songs come together to make up the duo’s album House On Fire, American Songwriter is giving the world a sneak peek at their song “Blue.”
Never before has a hushed voice spoken so loudly. Stark yet striking with only an acoustic guitar along for the ride, Caitlin takes the lead with Tyler keeping stride in perfectly timed in harmony as they tell the gut-wrenching story that is “Blue.”
“This song has taken on a few different variations. It used to be called “Juries & Judges,” but we changed it over time,” recalls Caitlin. “I love songs that seem to change their meaning each time a chorus comes around. On the first verse, “blue” just means being sad. But by the third verse, it takes on a much more serious meaning – you’re “blue” because you’ve been physically abused, hit and bruised.”
House On Fire is due out August 28th.