Belgium-born Durant honors bus-crash victims in song.
  • Belgium-born Durant honors bus-crash victims in song.
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Carl Durant has released a new single and video for his song “(Not Our) Ride Home,” dedicated to the 22 sixth-graders and 6 adults killed in the crash of a Belgian tour bus in Sierre, Switzerland, earlier this year.

“I couldn’t sleep for two days after reading about it online,” says Durant. “I think it was around 10 p.m. here in San Diego when the news was announced that a bus with Belgian kids had crashed in the Swiss Alps. Although I’ve been living here for ten years, it still felt like a bomb dropped at home....

“One day, I picked up my guitar again and I started playing sad chords. That’s what I do when I feel down. And suddenly it started flowing out: a melody, the concept for a song about an older sister left behind. And I knew this would take time to get it right but would be worthwhile to finish.”

Recorded in Durant’s home-based studio, the song features backing vocals from San Diego Music Award winner Veronica May, who is part of the old-timey music duo the Lovebirds.

Originally from Belgium, Durant, a Sorrento Valley–based singer/guitarist, relocated to San Diego in 2002 to take a job with a newly founded electronics firm. “I published my PhD about integrated circuit design as a book in 2003. It made me a whopping $100 in royalties.”

Once he discovered open-mic nights, “I started turning up more and more with my guitar. It became more of a focus, especially my songwriting.” His songs feature vocal harmonies that musically and lyrically linger somewhere between Mraz and Coldplay, REM and Muse. Although often starting from a base of acoustic guitar, this is not country or folk music.

Carl Durant appears Friday, November 30, at Tin Can Alehouse with SDMA “Best Acoustic” winner Colin Clyne.

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