The Earworm: Murder City Sparrows “Burn in Water”

Murder City Sparrows: “Burn in Water”


Photo: Meaghan Baxter

An old adage offers that timing is everything. This seems to be the case with former Canadian band, Murder City Sparrows.

Formed in 2004 in Edmonton by Jay Sparrow, the band made an early splash. While playing a music festival in the province of Alberta, the band was noticed by Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar. Johnson was intrigued by their sound and agreed to produce their debut E.P.

Dovetailing with their “Texas punk” sound, the group chose to record at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales Studio, the following spring.

MCS quickly made the rounds in Canada, playing festivals and getting exposure on Canadian juggernaut, MuchMusic.

They toured the country diligently for the next four years. However just as they picked up steam, the music industry imploded. They became a hot act just as the industry crumbled.

From the December 23, 2015, edition of Vue Weekly:

“It was an odd time to be doing well as a band,” Sparrow says, a wry laugh in his voice. “We had an unbelievable amount of opportunities that were hard to realize, because all of the labels and the funding bodies were in flux. Everyone was losing their jobs at that time, the major labels were downsizing to next to nothing and being eaten up by other major labels.”

January 31, 2009. The Murder City Sparrows play their last show. At the time considered just another gig, within weeks the band decides to take a break. Mike Nash (guitar), Doc de Groot (Bass), and Sparrow continued on in the music business doing their own projects. “The Lanny” (drummer) pulled back and disappeared.


December 31, 2015. The band reunites for one final show. They wanted some closure because the ’09 gig didn’t feel like a fitting end.

That brings us to The Earworm. From the self-titled, Murder City Sparrows, this week’s featured song is “Burn in Water.”

Enjoy. You can thank me later.

More Music:

Joey BadA$$ “Haezus View”

Lil B “California Boy”

Luminari XI

-Zep the Bear





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