Black Balsam is the name of a gentle rolling mountain visible from the Blue Ridge Parkway in western North Carolina and on this mountain lead singer Jesse Wooten once climbed with a tent and no stakes and he made his camp with no campfire on the bald summit and watched a good sun set and after the sunlight drained the quiet giant got angry and a heavy wind rose and blew through his unstaked tent and brought with it a cold and unkind rain which fell through the screen sides and were it not for the dark and the clouds beyond the zippered tent door Jesse may have walked the thirty minutes back to his truck but for fear of getting lost perchance to stay lost he stayed huddled in his damp and windswept tent and slept no winks but instead blinked his way through the wet hours of passage through the night until the sun came back and the wind went to sleep and the rain rolled away and Jesse packed up and walked down.
Black Balsam is five boys (Arron, Mateo, Luke, Daniel and Jesse) whose paths have crossed on the asphalt trails of Austin, Texas and whose hearts and instruments intersect in bursts of song and bent notes documenting in the detail the glow of campfires and hot moonlight as well as the sound of the rain while driving down certain highways and also that brief and heavy moment of stark startling quiet found while passing beneath bridges and later after the rain clears to reveal stars soon extinguished by the morning they will play a song for that first cup of coffee that found you. They're the ones who gave you whiskey for your coffee and played some backwards progression by the fire before wandering off to follow a deer they swear they saw right walk behind that tree.
Q. But How Do They Sound?
Black Balsam's full-length debut, See You Later See You There, was recorded over the span of five strange years in bedrooms, basements and cabins in both North Carolina and Texas, and will be paroled by Punctum Records in early 2016.
Members of Black Balsam also play in Tapajenga, Marijuana Sweet Tooth, Legs Against Arms and The Loblolly Boy and they mean every damn word.