Some songs take you on a dreamy ride as soon as they start, and that is the case with ‘Redbird’, the debut single from Meghan Maike, a singer-songwriter originally from Montreal, now living in Melbourne after seven years in Mississippi. And while there is an ethereal quality to ‘Redbird’ it’s also the case that it grounds the listener in its story, with Maike’s warm vocals calling us closer to it. The overall effect is charming and memorable, and the song announces Maike as a true talent.
Maike grew up in a folk community on the west coast of Canada, but her more recent influences have all been of the country music variety, although some of the song’s lineage sounds like it’s from the musical traditions of Canada’s Maritime provinces.
The video, which is having its premiere here today, is as charming as the song. It is, says Maike, ‘very much a lo-fi DIY project my partner and I undertook. It’s a bit like riding a hobby-horse to a rodeo, but we couldn’t produce something grandiose and flashy to tell the story of a simple life well-lived in the rural Mississippi Delta.
‘This is a slideshow of where I used to live, snapshots of the vastness of the surrounding areas. I couldn’t be over there to take video for this clip, but these slides and archival footage tell the story as good as any.
‘There is one shot from the bridge, overlooking the Sunflower river, where the split water converges.. Our redbird, Jimmy, lived right nearby. I took this photo to remember the day I wrote this song for him, sitting on the bridge, not too long after he passed away …
‘I can’t take y’all there, but if you sit a spell, I can bring a bit of it to you. Thanks for coming to my slideshow!’