Guest Room Sessions: Hope Dunbar, ‘Pale Fire’
In her Guest Room Sessions video, filmed in the green room of the world-famous Zoo Bar in Lincoln, Neb., Dunbar shows off her delightfully raspy timbre alongside guitarist and fellow Nebraska musician Mike Semrad. Dunbar tells The Boot that she's "admired his work as an artist and as an advocate for other artists in Nebraska for some time."
"I figured asking him to play with me on this video was the perfect chance to just hang out and play some music together," she adds, "and we had a great afternoon together."
Dunbar says she fell in love with the "sparseness and ghostly quality" of "Pale Fire." The song appears on Shires' most recent album, 2016's My Piece of Land, and was co-written by Shires and her husband, Jason Isbell.
"I find it unique in that, when I listen to the song, I feel a sense of comfort and ease from the lyric but also a distance and space that I know very well from the open plains of Nebraska," Dunbar says. "Shires' album My Piece of Land is a great body of work that I've had on my playlist since it came out."
Dunbar, who released her newest album, Three Black Crows, back in October of 2017, was born and raised in California. Now, she's a resident of the sleepy, 800-person town of Utica, Neb.
"I really enjoy the empty space," she says. "There's no noise where I live in Utica that can get in the way of what my brain wants to write about."
Before releasing Three Black Crows, Dunbar earned praise for her 2013 solo debut, Woman Like Me. Fans can keep up with her via her website, HopeDunbarMusic.com.