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: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

From Kendra:

Zack wrote this one long before I ever came onto the scene, but he pulled it out of the Rolodex last year to see if it might work in our live show. He invited me to tweak the melody and lyrics, and after playing it live, rewriting it, playing it live some more, and doing some last minute studio rewrites we arrived at the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” we have today.

Ryan came in and added his harmony to the banjo riff that we hear under the refrain, along with some acoustic guitar and glockenspiel played by Wayne, elements that I think make the piece into the airy musical wonderland that it is. When we were listening back after tracking it and it hit the outro with Wayne’s acoustic lead riff I knew it would be the track to wrap up the album. Something about this song just exudes both finality and possibility and I can’t think of a better way to end our debut album.

From Zack:

Most of the songs I write are written under the concept of having a lot of parts and layers built on top of them. Isolated, the banjo riff in this song would be boring and repetitive, but with the parts that every else adds, it sounds great. I’m particularly fond of the harmonies Ryan wrote for the refrain lick. He’s got a knack for harmony that I lack, and I’m always impressed with it. Trevor actually apologized to me for his solo at the end, but I think it’s fantastic!

I also write songs sometimes that I have absolutely no business singing. This is one of those. When I sing “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” it’s a disaster, but Kendra altered it just enough and sang it beautifully.

This is the oldest song on the album by at least a couple of years, but like Kendra said above, we knew it would be the perfect ending track.