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Briar Rabbit Kicks Off Concept Album Project With “Coon”

By Sarah Cobarrubias in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 2, 2012 4:00PM

2011_12_BriarRabbit.jpg Local folk-pop musician Briar Rabbit (also known as Phillip-Michael Scales) is celebrating Black History Month with a music project—a 4-song concept album called The Great Routine! that will be released track-by-track through February. The album’s theme is blackface minstrel shows of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly the lesser-known form of minstrelsy that featured black actors in blackface.

How the project works is Briar Rabbit will release one song every Thursday throughout the month. The cost to download each is a tweet or Facebook post to spread the word, or you can just stream the songs over at his Bandcamp page.

Today is the release of the first song, “Coon,” a lovely, melancholy melody with lyrics narrated by a minstrel who mulls over his feelings about performing. Next week’s song will be the album’s title track, followed by “In My Head” and “Afterward.” Check out this introductory video, in which Scales further discusses his inspiration for the project: