Old Salt is an Americana band based out of Ghent, Belgium, performing original and traditional music since 2015. The international members have individually influenced Old Salt with their heritage sounds from the USA, Belgium, Sweden, France and Scotland. In 2016 the band released their debut album ‘Up River Overseas’. Only one year later they won the ‘European World of Bluegrass’ award 2017. Old Salt approach the folk music that they play not only as a monument to the past, but as a living and breathing reflection of modern times steeped in its historical and cultural context, informing both this present and the uncertain future. They try to balance serving the folk traditions they draw from while expressing their understanding of the societal and environmental challenges we must face together.
By naming this album ‘Commons’ they attempt to boil down that what is most important to them as friends, and as a band from different cultures; these ‘commons’ being the natural and cultural resources that all members of a society can draw from, fostered and served in common, for and by all people.
Inspired by these cultural commons, they play both traditional music and write originals with themes that address the issues that are important to them today. Some songs are about personal and projected stories, telling the experience of moving into the unknown (Shades), that of confusion and commitment in love (Thin Ice); other songs are about the perpetual tragedy of people being forced to embark on perilous journeys leaving everything behind (Cherokee Trail), or about the disparity between ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ of our cruel economic systems which feed on the poor at the expense of empathy (Grow); songs that celebrate our conscious farmers (Farmer’s Anthem); and finally songs that simply pay their respect to the cultural commons of folk music.