Escaping Pavement

Escaping Pavement

 Ferndale, Michigan, USA

Americana wildflowers amongst blades of bluegrass. Have you Escaped the Pavement lately?


The phrase, Escaping Pavement means so much more to singer-songwriters Emily Burns and Aaron Markovitz than a name for a group. They also see it as a description of how they wish to live their lives. “In this very technology-based day and age, we feel it is more important now than ever to hold on to the things that ground us and remind us we’re all in this together. It’s about getting back to the essence of the human experience,” says Emily. The newly formed duo that arose from the ashes of a quartet, are getting ready to release their sophomore effort entitled, The Night Owl. “On this album we were striving to keep the human element very present. There might be a slightly off vocal note, or a floor board creaking that was picked up by a mic but it’s all one hundred percent real,” explains Aaron. “Almost every minute of this album was recorded live. I think that really comes across when you listen to the record. It gives you a very true representation of who we are,” adds Emily. 

The Detroit, Michigan-based duo masterfully blends and blurs the lines of bluegrass, folk, country, and rock garnering favorable comparisons to artists as diverse as The Band, tastemaker/producer T Bone Burnett, The Civil Wars, and Emmylou Harris. Their unique, joint front-person arrangement that showcases their lush vocal harmonies is combined with melodic mandolin passages and hard driving guitar rhythms. When all of these elements collide, they allow for astounding musical interplay.

The duo’s new album is a compilation of stories about life’s complexities and the ways in which we deal with them. Themes such as the search for true happiness, the loss of a loved one, or moving on after a tragedy are found throughout the record. On songs such as “The Sweetest Lady” and “Silver Lining” two of these themes shine brightly. The latter was written after the pair had seen a painting of a barn that had burned revealing a full moon. The painting’s artist had been commissioned to create a visual representation of the Japanese proverb, “my barn having burned to the ground, I can now see the moon.” “When we saw the painting and learned the story behind it, we were floored by its simplicity and positivity. It’s wisdom one could only hope to summon when facing a major crisis,” says Aaron. The song "The Sweetest Lady" takes on one of life’s biggest challenges-dealing with the loss of a loved one. The lyrics were written by Emily shortly after her grandfather had passed away. “It was the first time I had experienced the loss of someone with whom I had a fairly close relationship. It was hard to come to terms with the fact that he wasn’t going to be around anymore and to come to terms with the kind of impact his passing was going to have on my grandmother. It wasn’t an easy song to write but in many ways it was very therapeutic. I feel every aspect of the song from the arrangement, to the melody, to the lyrics, to the instrumentation, really captures the essence of how we felt in that time period. It’s a song we’re very proud of and it’s definitely one of the most personal songs we’ve ever written,” says Emily.  

Being hailed as, “One of the best americana bands out of Detroit, MI,” Escaping Pavement hopes to spread their roots-based message far beyond their home state. With a lengthy tour planned for summer 2016, they’ll be taking their “americana-master blend” to the west coast and back making numerous stops along the way in Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, California, Missouri and many other states. Emily explains: “We feel we’ve grown so much as songwriters and people in the years since, UpRooted (EP’s 2013 debut album). This album feels like a huge leap for us. It’s decidedly different from our first in more ways than we can count. We’ve never been more sure of the direction we’re headed with our music than we are with this record. It’s definitely a milestone for us and we hope others will see that too.”


Winter Homecoming-from UpRooted

Written By: Emily Burns,Aaron Markovitz

Fill me in on the good news, I feel uneasy lately
I said as I walked through the door to come inside
It's been rough around here, going through all of this alone Come in shut the door it's bitter cold outside
Now the halfway painted, smoke-tinged and faded walls surrounded me, As I gazed into some photograph's in frames
I came upon a feeling way down deep inside of me
Saying nothin here is ever gonna change
Oh, we've been waiting on a man who's passed away to come walking through that door,
Even though I know that cannot be
But maybe they're gonna make an exception for me
It's been a long year with you away Don't you feel like comin home to stay Oh my feelings are faded more each day Summertime please make it here okay
From this fair city many people come and go
and in this city, things have come undone
I don't know many people who would like to call it home, God I know I'm not the only one
It's been a long year with you away
Don't you feel like coming home to stay? Oh, my feelings are fading more each day Summertime please make it here okay
I said summertime please make it here okay Summertime please make it here okay

Mary-From The Night Owl

Written By: Emily Burns,Aaron Matkovitz

Searching everywhere and looking
Those old memories
In your eye
Fill your plate and consume you
Till your missing
In that time
Aren't there any wonders that you've looked upon?
Are they any blunders that you wish to be undone?
Are there any heroes that you wish to become?
Will you ever join us in the present?

And hide
All those thoughts behind you
Release the fears that bind you
To a place you don't belong

Holding on so tightly
To that bright and shining time
When everything was simple
Life was like a
Natural high
Is it any wonder that this time has passed?
Did you ever ponder how you were going to make it last?
Looking through photographs and through the looking glass
All the while present moments moved on past so

All those thoughts behind you
Release the fears that bind you
To a place you don't belong

When you open
Yourself up to the life that surrounds you
All your actions
Thoughts and deeds will be
All you need
To fulfill
Your dreams

So hide
All those thoughts behind you
Release the fears that bind you
To a place you don't belong

Dust From the Moon

Written By: Emily Burns,Aaron Markovitz

No celebration
Standing ovation
No pomp and circumstance
Just an empty ballroom
Filled with the sound
Of the hopeless waltz again
Solemn person sways to the music
Hoping for sweet romance
But they reach out and there's no one to take their hand

When to turn back
And when to move on
From a road that's
Led nowhere for so long
Beware of those who promise the moon
Often times they'll prove to you
That their lies are worth no more than dust from the moon

Non but a fraction
No chain reaction
No dominoe effect
You stand there slowly
Chipping away
At the wall that's holding you back
You finally start to see the light that
Shines on the other end
But your chisel is dull and you've made
But only a dent

When to turn back
And when to move on
From a road that's
Led nowhere for so long
Beware of those who promise the moon
Often times they'll prove to you
That their lies are worth no more than dust from the moon

Derailed-From The Night Owl

Written By: Emily Burns,Aaron Markovitz

Hides the dirt
All this pain
And this hurt
One more drink before I go
Before I leap
Before I fall
Every night's the same damn thing this road I've travelled heavily

In silence
Inside of these four walls like an island
Just can't wait till the sun goes down
Before I take another sip
Before I drown
Ceilings spinning walls are closing in could I be dreaming?

Screeching steel and sparks are flying oh I'm set back on my heels
Engine steam is rising high oh I just don't know what's real


The Night Owl-to be released June 4th, 2016

Uprooted-released July 2013

Set List

Winter Homecoming
Silver Lining
Dust From the Moon
Fuel the Fire
Burn This Bridge
Here Again
Drive Me to Sadness
3 Weeks
Words of a Dying Woman
4th of July
Empty Room
The Sweetest Lady
Leave the Light On
The Night Owl
Dumb Luck
Running Wild
Second Time I've Breathed
What Will We Do? (What Will We Say)
Girl From the North Country
Watching the Wheels