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Who Are You Redbird?

October 25, 2019

Getting back to my main theme, music:

Who Are You Redbird is a 2019 hit release by Buddy Melton and Milan Miller. I say hit because it is catching on quicker than white lightning here in the Carolinas. It will probably (according to this author) be nominated for Bluegrass Song of the Year and win. Here are the particulars for those of you who like the juicy details I often supply:

The song was written by Beth Husband and Milan Miller in 2016 and published by Red Desk Publishing (SESAC) for the album Songs from the Stillhouse (SESAC).

Here are the players:

Buddy Melton- Lead Vocal, Upright Bass
Milan Miller- Acoustic Guitars, Baritone Vocal
Missy Armstrong- Tenor Vocal
Aubrey Haynie- Fiddle
Noam Pikelny- Banjo
Seth Taylor- Mandolin

So why am I featuring this particular song in this week’s post? Well, number one, the song is simply a great song that combines a superb melody with solid acoustic backups. It’s not fancy or show-offy but rather straightforward and to the heart. The second reason is that the song tells of a timeless belief that the presence of a redbird is really a visit from a departed lover or friend. With a red cardinal sighting, it’s almost insistently trying to gain your attention and it’s likely you’re receiving a message from a spirit of someone from your past. Messages from a spirit can come in many forms, but the red cardinal has long been held as the most notable spiritual messenger. Male cardinals in particular are certainly hard to ignore with their striking red feathers and melodic yet almost “pay-attention-to-me” chirps. I’m not into hocus pocus but when I see a cardinal in my yard, I always think back to a departed friend or family member who may want a moment with me. I always oblige.

The song is in the key of D (Capo Third Fret) with lots of little minors thrown in to make you reflect and think of your personal losses through the years, especially when bringing to mind a particular someone you miss. Give this one a listen folks. You can also help support Western North Carolina music by purchasing a copy of this song online. I did! This fine group can be found online here:

If you are inclined, try picking this tune at the fifth fret and have a little fun with it. If you don’t know what the fifth fret is, well don’t fret. Just sit back and enjoy this tune and think of someone you are missing in the moment. You will be glad you did!

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  1. Grazie di questo interessantissimo post.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like bluegrass music and this is so nicely done. Crisp vocals and spare instrumentation. I had not heard the redbird legend before. But then, I don’t live where any red birds roam!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely song! Cardinal is the state bird of North Carolina AND New Jersey. Go figure…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh yeah, it’s just gorgeous.


  5. It’s not just the great pickin, it’s the harmony too.


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