The Brown Mountain Lightning Bugs

Kendra and Zack Harding form The Brown Mountain Lightning Bugs, a folk(ish)/Americana group hailing from Winston-Salem, NC. The band made its debut in 2015, shortly after the two tied the knot in an old chapel in the heart of the Piedmont.

Combining their unique backgrounds that range from classic rock to classical guitar, they create a blend of original music with deep roots in the past with a contemporary twist here and there.

The Bugs have played extensively throughout the Southeast, including performances on The Grey Eagle’s Patio Show Series, Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival, and at Awendaw Green. They’re currently in the studio working on their second album, due out in 2020.

Song-by-Song: Ember

From Kendra:

This is another one of those obscure literary reference songs of mine. Zack wrote the main guitar lick, and invited me to come up with some lyrics. I had been reading the second book in Jeanne DuPrau’s Books of Ember series, had just wrapped up playing Supergiant Games’ Bastion, and had wanted to write something based on C.S. Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew. So I decided to write lyrics that referenced all three, and thus “Ember” was born.

I think this was the first song Zack and I cowrote that lent itself really nicely to being a jam song, and I think we captured that really nicely in the recording. This one is always gets me pumped up during a gig and I think it does the same thing as we approach the end of the album.

From Zack:

Musically, this song is heavily inspired by Neil Young’s jam songs like “Down By the River” and “Cowgirl in the Sand.” The progression is dead simple, giving plenty of room for the lead guitar to do it’s thing. Ember really cooks when there’s two lead guitar players weaving around each other through the song. Kendra’s vocal is fantastic on this one, and I think Wayne’s production hit exactly what we were looking for: it’s straight to the point, rocking, and punchy.

The last third of my solo sounds like a thunderstorm to me.