When a song expresses the kind of deep longing found in “Timber Nails and Tears,” you know the songwriter has left a part of himself, along with people and places, behind him. Portland’s Barna Howard, born in Missouri, formerly of Chicago and Boston, is one such songwriter. Fellow native Missourian, Mark Twain once said, “The longing of my heart is a fairy portrait of myself.” Howard’s brand of folk music is shaped as much by Neil Young and Townes Van Zandt as it is all the places he left behind. I can hear it echoing in this song about a man who left is cherry tree and his love when he went off to war promising, “I’ll send you kisses across the water, for I’d go mad if love weren’t true.”
Howard recorded his self-titled debut in a Portland basement and it was released in February on Mama Bird Recording Co.
DOWNLOAD: Barna Howard – “Timber Nails and Tears”