Starlings, TN Come Out of Hurricane Katrina Induced Hiatus With New Album

Starlings, TN returns from a five-year hiatus with a new album of odd country sounds. The Steve Subblefield project emerges from Katrina with "How Dark It Is Before The Dawn."

Since hurricane Katrina ravaged the gulf coast in late August of 2005, Steven Stubblefield has been working on a new Starlings, TN record. "That storm was like a bad acid trip," Stubblefield says. "It lasted as nearly as long too. It was eight hours of chaos that left years destruction in its wake."

With more than $10,000 worth of damage to his home from Katrina, Stubblefield spent the next three years helping others recover from the storm. He worked for the first ten months in Biloxi, MS with the humanitarian organization, Samaritan's Purse. But, when a job working for the American Red Cross opened up in his home town of Hattiesburg, MS, he made the move back home.

"I enjoyed the time I was in Biloxi and will never forget the things I saw, heard, and the people I met while I was there. There were many precious moments," Stubblefield says. When Katrina blew in I had already begun recording the 'next album.' I lost the hard drive I had been recording to during the storm and when I discovered several instruments were also lost, I was devastated."

Stubblefield, who had been exposed to gospel music in his Baptist minister grandfather's church, drew inspiration from listening to the archival albums of renowned folk collector Alan Lomax and from meeting noted dulcimer player David Schnaufer (Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams Jr.). Stubblefield eventually came upon the sound he wanted when he bought a dulcimer and took lessons on the instrument from Schnaufer.

Over time, these instruments and hard drives were replaced and in early 2009 the bug struck and Stubblefield began writing and recording once again. "I'm really proud of the way How Dark It Is Before The Dawn came out as finished album. It was a tough record to make. I went through a lot during the time I spent making this record and am looking forward to brighter days."

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