Song Review: Gregory Bortnichak “I’m On Fire”

Ben Allen, music editor

Gregory Bortnichak’s cover of the Bruce Springsteen classic “I’m On Fire” begins so hushed and reserved, you may feel guilty for intruding on this intimately recorded moment. Bortnichak’s captivating, haunting vocal is accompanied solely by a gently plucked cello. There is not a hint of irony in this passionately delivered interpretation, as Bortnichak painstakingly deconstructs the original down to its essential elements. Later, some ambient and repetitive noise further intrigues while an echo-laden cello mimics the vocal harmony. It is an unusual accomplishment for music this subtle and unassuming to be so captivating.

In his own words, Bortnichak elaborates, “I’m On Fire” by Bruce Springsteen was but a dream of longing for what could be, and as a ‘Jersey Boy’ myself (well sort of), became my introduction to the glorious kingdom of Devil’s Music.”

“I’m On Fire” is the first track available from Gregory Bortnichak’s debut solo album “Locution,” available this Spring. Catch him on tour this month with RedRumsey.

4/19 -Olympia, WA @ Olympia Pub and Eatery (early acoustic show, all ages, 6pm)
4/19 -Olympia, WA @ Cryptotropa (10pm, 21+)
4/23 -San Francisco, CA @ The Knockout
4/24 -San Jose, CA @ TBA
4/25 -Oakland, CA @ Secret
4/26 -Los Angeles, CA @ The Eagle’s Nest
4/27 -San Diego, CA @ The Go Club
4/28 -Los Angeles, CA @ The New California Barbershop

About Ben Allen

Our music editor Ben Allen was born one stormy evening in a quaint Northern California coastal village. Upon birth he was immediately exposed to the soothing analog sounds of artists such as Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Captain Beefheart and Santana. As the lad grew, so did his appreciation for an assortment of abrasive hard rock. A pubescent flirtation with butt metal was shattered in the early 1990’s by exposure to Nirvana and other so-called “Alternative” bands. While in college, our protagonist became a DJ on a local station, and began work as a freelance music journalist. During this period he became entranced with artists such as Tortoise, Slint, Modest Mouse, Guided By Voices and Pavement. Currently Allen resides in Arcata, CA where he continues to obsess and salivate over new recordings by his favorite artists. He works with music industry people to ensure that Savage Henry’s contributors receive music and other promotional materials. He also writes a silly monthly list titled “Ben’s 10.”

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