Escaping Pavement

Escaping Pavement

 Ferndale, Michigan, USA
DuoAmericanaFolk

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

Biography

  • Detroit Music Award Winners for Outstanding Americana Recording 2017 (The Night Owl)
  • 2017 Official Showcase Artist at Folk Alliance Region Midwest Conference
  • 2018 Official Showcase Artist at Southeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference
  • 2018 Official Showcase Artist at Listening Room Network Festival
  • 2017 Honorable Mention for Bryce (from Wilderness Cathedrals EP) in Instrumentals category of Mid-Atlantic Song Contest

From Detroit to Pasadena, to the high seas and then back to Detroit; it’s only when the Detroit-Music-Award-winning, singer/songwriter duo Emily Burns and Aaron Markovitz escaped the neon blitz and car-strewn concrete of the city that they discovered how well their music could bloom when they brought it back to the roots. There is so much life and vitality in the Americana-folk journeys of Escaping Pavement, sprung entirely from an acoustic guitar, a mandolin, and two voices. Fiery passion, wistful reflection, awestruck adventurousness, and heartstring-plucking poignancy, the duo discovers, through song, the range of human emotion and celebrates the purities of what we’ve left behind for the artifices of tech trends, drug stores and cacophonous city centers. 

Their romance together came only after they started singing songs together, having met in 2005, as teenagers, at an open-mic night. From there, they would continue collaborating in several other bands together, but they stepped up their game when they both got accepted to the Los Angeles College of Music. When they graduated, they hopped a cruise ship as part of a band running through covers of Top 40’s hits for waltzing baby-boomers. They came back to Detroit, but discovered that after two years of singing songs together on that cruise ship, for four hours a day, seven days a week, their singing voices had become fused into a perfect harmony. 

Started in 2012, Escaping Pavement released their debut, Uprooted in the summer of 2013, with the stomp of drums and the growl of the guitars giving it more of a blues-rock feel. However, soon after,  Burns and Markovitz felt their inspirations being drawn toward the sounds of folk, country, bluegrass and Americana, and so Escaping Pavement became a duo, with unplugged string instruments, and centered on the surest magic of their musical collaboration, their voices in melodic unison. The grit and swagger of “Burn This Bridge” (from Uprooted) sounds a world away from “Fuel The Fire,” the lead single from 2016’s The Night Owl, where the eureka being shared by its two singers is palpable, that they’ve discovered their natural environment. That the music they make should, itself, sound like a natural environment. 

The talent, the chemistry, the holistic mindset, it shines in every song. Burns and Markovitz have dismissed glitz and glamour, no amp feedback or laser light shows, no bandwagons hopped nor convoluted fusing of disparate subgenres; just the beauty of acoustic music and the warm rejuvenation of two vocal intonations that perfectly complement one another. It's chemistry like this that led to the duo being an official showcase selection at Folk Alliance Region Midwest conference 2017.


The Detroit Music Award winning album, The Night Owl was released in summer of 2016, and songs like “Fuel The Fire,” “Derailed,” and “Mary” crackle and shine with the synchronicity they’ve built up over a dozen years together. With Escaping Pavement, we’re reminded about how vital of an instrument the human voice can be, how much a shared relationship manifests harmonic magic, and how restorative it can be, as a listener, to get back to the basics, the roots, the acoustic timbres and twangs, the elegance of which we may have forgotten while we were distracted by billboards, nightclubs and Instagram feeds… How wonderful it is, to escape the pavement, and get some dirt, and gravel under your shoes again. Have you escaped the pavement, lately? 


Lyrics

Fuel the Fire-The Night Owl

Written By: Aaron Markovitz,Emily Burns

Why'd you call me out,
why'd you call me out
why'd you call me out tonight
I heard your name
on the wind
and it was
something I could not fight
oh something I could not fight

I know a place where the river is wild
and the water runs deep and cold
just the way I would feel if I lost you and I
hope I never know
Well I hope I never know

We don't need to Fuel the Fire
it's already burning red hot coals
we don't need to lead desire
it's already found us all on its own
Please oh lord bring the morning light
before things get out of control

Meet me where
the road runs out and the moon's the only light
If I'm not there
don't bother waiting round
he's already got me in his sights
he's already got me in his sights

We don't need to Fuel the Fire
it's already burning red hot coals
we don't need to lead desire
it's already found us all on its own
Please oh lord bring the morning light
before things get out of control

We don't need to Fuel the Fire
it's already burning red hot coals
we don't need to lead desire
it's already found us all on its own
Please oh lord bring the morning light
before things get out of control

Dumb Luck-The Night Owl

Written By: Aaron Markovitz,Emily Burns

What is it
that lies beneath this house
the ground
my feet?

There is no way of knowing
and there may be no signs
keep digging but the task may never be complete

We'll keep digging this hole as far as we can go till our
brows our full of sweat
and our fingers are worked to the bone

We'll keep chasing our blind faith till we find any kinda
dumb luck we can get
and we'll run with it just like a pot of gold

So complacent
with this disrepair
alright with those few things broken here and there
Like that gap
in the trim that don't quite
meet the wall
the garden's overgrown but I could not heed the call

Can I do it all tomorrow save it for another day
put these things upon a shelf?
They're not going anywhere anyway

Let's keep digging this hole
until we find any kinda dumb luck we can get
and we'll run with it just like a pot of gold
just like a pot of gold

Oh let's just keep
digging this hole as far as we can go till our brows are full of sweat
and out fingers are worked right to the bone

Oh let's just keep chasing our blind faith till we find any kinda
dumb luck we can get
and we'll run with it just like a pot of gold

Wanderers-The Night Owl

Written By: Aaron Markovitz,Emily Burns

Hey there darling
Take my hand
Trust in me to
understand
and We'll do
just what we want to
soon as we can

Once in a lifetime
one of a kind
choosin' to hear not
going blind
to a world of standing
still

Saying nothing is impossible we ride
with the wind on our nose
running uphill into the sun with the
scorching sand between our toes
if we were to ever let the feeling go
would it ever be the same
Everything seems impossible come on and blow
the winds of change

Sometimes you'll wander
You'll take it slow
A time to ponder
sometimes you'll know
where it is you need to go

Saying nothing is impossible
we ride with the wind on our nose
Thousands of miles worth blown through our hair and wrinkles in our clothes
Slowing down every now and then to a road just to see what lies between
where we're going where we've come from what we want and what we need.

Hey there darling
Take my hand

Hetch Hetchy

Written By: Aaron Markovitz,Emily Burns

Oh there's space between the stones in the floor,
for the ferns to grow
And the river runs through the corner of my room
Lulling me to sleep at night,
singing me a holy tune,
Ringing true today as it ever has
Well I spent three days with the president,
Just to try and save our home
He left office and the devil came in droves

Have we lost the valley
For the sake of San Fransisco
Do the mountains look down weary on the reservoir?
Do the trees fear for their brothers as they see them swallowed whole?
Was the flooding of the valley and the damming of my soul

This grass and seed I gather
From this valley floor
Provide for my people once more
And the animals who gather we will hunt and they'll provide us
food for the winter to survive
But you said we need a reservoir
for the San Fransisco boom
So Hetch Hetchy comes to meet its doom

Have we lost the valley
For the sake of San Fransisco
Do the mountains look down weary on the reservoir?
Do the trees fear for their brothers as they see them swallowed whole?
Was the flooding of the valley and the damming of my soul

Oh the war it waged on and each side they sang their song
Centuries of care had moved along
No holier cathedral had ever known the hand of man
Use his might so swiftly to mar the land
A land that's survived earthquakes
flood and fire, too
But the good lord cannot save this land from fools

Have we lost the valley
For the sake of San Fransisco
Do the mountains look down weary on the reservoir?
Do the trees fear for their brothers as they see them swallowed whole?
Was the flooding of the valley and the damming of my soul

(This song is about John Muir and the Native American's struggle in the early 1900's to keep the Hetch Hetchy Valley, located inside of Yosemite National Park, from being flooded to make a new water source for the city of San Fransisco.)

White Pines

Written By: Emily Burns,Aaron Markovitz

Oh the pines
the white, white pines
calling home to me
Telling me to go back to Michigan
When will they let me be?

Tried to make me a sound in a great big sea of noise
With my head above water I was doing fine
Till the big dogs of LA began to bark and I slowly did slide
Beneath the water's tide
Pulling me on back to the east side

Oh the pines
the white, white pines
calling home to me
Telling me to go back to Michigan
When will they let me be?

The door flung open in Austin, just a 22 hour drive
standing in between myself and everything just turning out fine
Hear my tires humming past that city limit sign
Gonna get me, a house up on the hill
Everything was moving fast I was standing still

Oh the pines
the white, white pines
calling home to me
Telling me to go back to Michigan
When will they let me be?

Give Me A Break

Written By: Emily Burns,Aaron Markovitz

Growth and change
comes with growing pains
and these growing pains they hurt
Like a knife to the heart
every time I start to make things better for myself
Got me singing

Oooo, C'mon and give me a break
Oooo, C'mon and give me a break

Got a dollar in the bank
100 bills to pay
And the odds are getting worse
Of ever getting above water again
'Fore the repo man's at my door
Got me singing

Oooo, C'mon and give me a break
Oooo, C'mon and give me a break

If I make it through this alive
It'll be a miracle
If I make it to the otherside
If I make it through this alive
It'll be a miracle
If I make it to the otherside

Oooo, C'mon and give me a break
Oooo, C'mon and give me a break

Discography

Wilderness Cathedrals: A Tribute to America's National Parks-June 4th, 2017 (4 song EP consisting of songs written about different National Parks)

What Will We Do Then?/So-Called-Uninformed-April 22nd, 2017 (Earth Day Single)

The Night Owl-June 4th, 2016

Uprooted-released July 26th, 2013

Set List

Winter Homecoming
Mary
Silver Lining
Dust From the Moon
Fuel the Fire
Derailed
Burn This Bridge
Here Again
Zion

Bryce

Hetch Hetchy

Give Me A Break

Wanderers
4th of July
The Sweetest Lady
Leave the Light On
The Night Owl
Dumb Luck
What Will We Do? (What Will We Say)
Girl From the North Country
Watching the Wheels

White Pines