The Stray Birds

stray birds

The band – multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Maya de Vitry, Oliver Craven, and Charlie Muench – hails from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. All three are classically-trained musicians who’ve been making music of all kinds since childhood (before they reconnected through the local music scene, de Vitry and Muench first met in middle school orchestra); however, they were also all raised with a steady diet of music ranging from pioneers like The Carter Family and Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys to the joyous invention of The Beatles and The Band, to the groundbreaking artistry of Jimi Hendrix.

stray birds2Their 2012 eponymous first recording was recorded at Stonebridge Studios in Leesburg, VA and produced by the band and Stuart Martin.

With three-part harmonies which fall somewhere in the sonic spectrum between Gillian Welch and Crooked Still, their songs are at once resonant and emotional, dreamy and sad.

This tune, “Dream in Blue,” recognizes the opportunity that can come from heartache – a chance to move on to something better. “I left home on account of you always loving someone new,” sings lead vocalist Maya de Vitry, before the band lights into instrumental solos so dripping with lonesome-and-moving-on, all you can do is shake your head along with the heartache.

Two years, hundreds of gigs, and thousands of highway miles after their self-titled debut album was released, the genre-melding acoustic trio makes its Yep Roc Records debut, Best Medicine, was released on October 21, 2014.

During a visit to Schenectady, NY, a city hit hard by the loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs, the band discovered a secondhand record and bookstore called The Re-Collector. De Vitry noticed people from disparate backgrounds and circumstances in the little downtown shop, searching for treasures among the old vinyl and paper. The scene inspired her to write the title track on Best Medicine, a tribute to music’s ability to unify and heal:

“If the body is a temple / The soul is a bell / And that’s why music is / The best medicine I sell.”

“Music is powerful because it creates common ground,” de Vitry says. “People go through life not thinking about the moments that are passing. But when they get swept up in a song, they’re suddenly aware of that moment in time. I think music can just be a highlight of living. That’s the sense of that song.”

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