Written by: Kara Kundert
Inspiration can come to musicians in many different forms. Some of the more classic sources might be things like going through a bad breakup or falling in love with someone new. But it can also come through more nuanced sources, like seeing a particularly good sunrise or trying to write a song in your friend's style.
Such is the case for George Jackson's "Turtle Rock". Written while camping in a state park in Wyoming with some friends during the summer of 2020, he drew inspiration from the feeling of serenity he had while resting in the shadow of the towering rock formation from which he took the tune's name. He says of the song:
This tune came out as one of my personal favourites on the record. Uma's playing on it is gorgeously precise, understated, and hypnotic and creates a beautifully moody atmosphere, evocative of that moment of calm in a turbulent year.
Like all of the original tunes on the album, Jackson wrote "Turtle Rock" for the banjo player he wanted to play it with. With its blend of precision and undulating mellow rhythm, there is no question that "Turtle Rock" was written for Uma Peters. Asked about the tune, she says: "The melody George wrote for this track is a simple but rhythmic tune that brings you back to the roots of old-time music, which lends itself very well to the deep and modal tone of my gourd banjo. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to play gourd banjo with other people and bring some of the history back into the music."
Hair & Hide will be released on October 29, 2021. Pre-order the album and listen to George Jackson's other work here.