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"Like a star fallen from some corner of the night — songwriting found me instead of the reverse," Batterson says. In 2012, having seen some poetry that S.R. Batterson had written on recent travels, Felix Reyes and Dave Herrero asked him to help write songs for a new album. Steve was initially reluctant because he'd tried previously to write songs but hadn't been able to figure the song form out in a way that he could feel good about. A year-long process of weekly writing sessions followed, each one hours long and consisting of mountains of rough poems, random lines, ideas in notebook margins and marginal ideas. Dave released Corazón in 2013, and many of the songs had S.R. Batterson's imprint. Since then, he's written with Paige and The Reverent Few and others.


Somewhere along the way, he taught himself the guitar and kept working on it, using certain creative resourcefulness to counter his limited musical knowledge and skill. Over the next decade, he developed songs and a style of his own. His writing invites you on an expedition, inviting you into the wilderness that inspires his curiosity and craft. Fly fishing, camping, roadtripping and traveling are where he writes his material and what he writes about.

My vision point behind everything I do is to create

the feeling of camping at the edge of the world

His debut EP "Firewood Burning" — seven tracks recorded partly in nature and partly in studio — released on March 1, 2024. The collection offers a combination of sounds and production levels, with some of the songs as simple as just Batterson with an acoustic guitar by a campfire and others including his mentor and producer of the album Felix Reyes on guitar and bass, and his creative collaborator, multi-instrumentalist Jeremiah Klinger on electric guitar and synth. The mixing and mastering of the album, with the hand of Dave Herrero, brings the sonic quality together while still honoring nature as another contributor or character in the overall experience, something Batterson and Reyes both knew they wanted from the start. 

"There's a throughline for me in the influences I've been keeping closest in to my field of view, and that is how they each inform a sound I'm after that I call Driftlessness. It's inspired by but not beholden to the boundaries of the Driftless Area that holds my home waters for fly fishing. I spend a lot of time in this region, and so it's naturally also central to my creative process," says S.R. Batterson. Like a river has currents at different depths, each moving at their own pace and intensity, there are deep undercurrent influences like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty and Townes Van Zandt, riding beneath more immediate influences, like Jeffrey Foucault, Josh Ritter, Phosphorescent, Erik Koskinen, Pieta Brown and Caitlin Canty. All flowing together into a stream that's at once old and ever changing.

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