Track Premiere: I’ll Be Good from Birds of Play

In addition to a clever name, Colorado’s Birds of Play also have a unique contemporary stringband sound that blends elements of bluegrass and old time traditions with original compositions.

The group, consisting of Alex Paul on guitar and mandolin, Eric Shedd on bass and mandolin, Anneke Dean on fiddle, and Jack Tolan on guitar and mandolin, have offered a track from their upcoming Murmurations, Vol. 2 album to our readers ahead of its February 18 wide release. There is a considerable amount of instrument switching, and all four are involved in the vocals, with Alex serving as primary songwriter.

Today they have chosen I’ll Be Good to share, written by Eric, a ballad which starts with his mandolin intro before telling a story with the general theme of ‘a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.’

Shedd says it comes from his own experience trying to manage a relationship while being away from home for extended periods of time.

I’ll Be Good was written as a reflection on my time as a whitewater raft guide in Idaho. It’s a beautiful job; I got to spend most of my summers sleeping under the stars, living a simple life in wild places. Being a guide has defined me as a person. The only way to go is downstream.

However, it can be very challenging for romantic relationships. It becomes not only long distance, but I am completely out of contact for the majority of the time. I essentially disappear for the summer months. Only to come back in the fall and try to pick back up where I left off.

I’ll Be Good is really about finding a balance between a person I love and an activity that feeds my soul.

Stars above and sand below
are calling me so I gotta go.
Tomorrow I’ll be just going with the flow
on the river I will stay true,
on the river blue.”

Have a listen.

I’ll Be Good from Birds of Play will be available on Friday, February 18, from popular download and streaming services online.

An album release event for Murmurations, Vol. 2 is scheduled for February 25 at the Sheridan Opera House in Telluride, CO. Advance tickets are available now online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.