B'eirth

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B'eirth
Born (1973-03-25) March 25, 1973 (age 42)
Origin United States
Genres Country
Experimental folk
Neofolk
Psych folk
Traditional
Years active 1994–present
Labels World Serpent Distribution
Bluesanct
Helmet Room Recordings
Little Somebody Records
Ahnstern
Shayo
Merlins Nose Records

Bobin Jon Michael Eirth, better known as B'eirth or B'ee, is the lead singer, lyricist and sole songwriter in the experimental psych folk band In Gowan Ring and folk band Birch Book.

Biography[edit]

Rarely mentioned in articles and reviews without an adjective, B'eirth has been called "mysterious," "reclusive," "nomadic," "effusive," and "singular." Much of this attention is due to his cultivated image as a modern-day troubadour, often performing music (and presumably living) in old-fashioned clothes or costumes, and preferring instruments with Renaissance roots.

He explains his moniker and artist name B'eirth as a contraction for his "less wieldy" given name, and B'ee as a simpler version still, with a fitting polysemy: His father was a beekeeper. On his mother's side, he is related to the fourth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Wilford Woodruff, his great-great-great grandfather. Despite this, he does not follow the Mormon discipline. He was born in the U.S., but is vague about where he was raised, saying it was "further east in green territory" rather than in Salt Lake City proper. He currently lives in downtown Portland, Oregon, United States.

B'eirth is proficient at playing a myriad of instruments, including guitar, cittern, harps (both mouth harps and folk harps), harmonica, recorder, reeds and flutes. He is largely self-taught (though says he has didactically studied "16th century polyphony"), and designs and fabricates his own stringed instruments. He is also, unless otherwise credited, the designer and artist of In Gowan Ring's album artwork.

As a live performer, B'eirth is commonly associated with his easily recognizable "double-necked guitar. This instrument is actually a guitar/cittern hybrid made by B'eirth himself in 1998, which he calls the Stringed Spade. It is, in his own words:

...a standard 6 string on the top neck and 9 strings in 5 courses (low course single) on the lower neck. I wanted the combination so as to avoid changing instruments between songs during performance. Occasionally I play both necks during one song and sometimes use the cittern neck as resonant strings while the top neck strings are sounding. [1]

In November 2005, he released the first self-titled album of his new project Birch Book - a more Donovan-sounding classic folk album than any of his previous releases. The project's MySpace description explains:

Birch Book’ marks an evolution in sound away from the overtly psychedelic towards a simpler, highly effective, direct song based approach ... This album is not what many expect, it is not overly experimental or droning but it simultaneously brings the older mystical folk into the current and points a new individualistic way forward for the artist. [2]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

In Gowan Ring[edit]

  • 1994 : Love Charms
  • 1997 : The Twin Trees
  • 1999 : The Glinting Spade
  • 2002 : Hazel Steps Through A Weathered Home

Birch Book[edit]

  • 2005 : Vol. I - Birch Book
  • 2006 : Vol. II - Fortune & Folly
  • 2009 : Vol. III - A Hand Full Of Days

External links[edit]