Bone Soldiers...

Baby Eagle and the Proud MothersBone Soldiers

In just a few weeks, Arts East will release its spring issue themed “nu music”. This will be interpreted in numerous ways, including pieces on operatic wonder Measha Brueggergosman and her new outlook on life and ECMA Week’s upcoming presentation of talent and business opportunities for musicians.

Recently Arts East chatted to Matt Charlton, the owner of Pigeon Row (a music PR firm in Sackville, NB) about “new music”. When asked who is the most groundbreaking of his musicians, he replied, “Baby Eagle's album Bone Soldiers would stand out due to the lyrics. No one is writing like Steve Lambke right now”.

“There are not many artists out there that are making pieces like this that are so worth exploring on a really deep level,” adds Charlton. “I’m a publicist, so obviously I’m a little biased, but I find Bone Soldiers to be a totally fascinating record. Steve has this way of just talking to you in a very straightforward voice and then when you look back at what he said, there’s this really beautiful image or poignant observation that he’s made”.

The reviews have already started to pour in for Lambke aka Baby Eagle’s fourth album since it was released last week. Evaluations of his singing/speaking vocals overtop the Proud Mothers’ rock-ish instrumentals range from, “Lambke can’t sing, or maybe he just chooses not to” (Telescope Media) to “There are few other figures that have commanded such distinctive voices and perspectives to tap into something so pure” (Exclaim!).

What most of the reviewers seem to agree on, however, is that Lambke’s lyrics are distinctive, whether they be considered beautiful, disturbing or ‘poetic metaphors’. When asked if they were based on his own experiences, Lambke shares, “I’m a little ashamed to say that they are on this one”. He adds, “It led to some pretty dark, personal places this time. You can either fight that or embrace it when you see it happening, and I did a little bit of both”.

One can only fathom Baby Eagle’s meaning behind his lyrics, such as these from track four, “Rebel Crimes”: "…Impersonation of a soldier with bullet wounds and a faith in duty. I've come to serve you, darling, loyal in body, but not in mind. I saw a pattern in the soup and murmuring in the rice, too. Strange visions in the Russian tea; I took it as a warning, a punishment for a mutinous mind and intestinal worms…"

Understandably, Lambke does not go into the exact experiences or contemplations that inspired each verse, but does share the intertwining themes of the album. “The idea that being faithful to something, like to your duty, is both one of the most positive things a human being can do, and at the same time it can lead to absolute craziness. There is a downside to any sort of unquestioning loyalty, but there is also an elevating quality to it”.
The intrinsic beauty to any artistic piece is that it is appreciated for many different reasons or in some cases not at all. This range of impressions is what makes art alive. (This particular listener took comfort in the folk rock sounds of Bone Soldiers and then, even more so, after delving into the lyrics, although remains mystified).

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