Listen to Tre Burt's powerful song, 'Under The Devil's Knee'

Tre Burt - 'Under the Devil's Knee' featuring Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell and Sunny War. (Oh Boy Records)

Tré Burt, a singer-songwriter based in Sacramento, Calif., has released a new song, "Under The Devil's Knee," a song he wrote in response to the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the civil-rights movement that has followed. In addition to Floyd and Taylor, Burt's song recalls the life of Eric Garner as well. "I wanted to immortalize their dignity," Burt says.

"The title of the song 'Under the Devil's Knee' resonates deeply with me," says Derrick Stevens, production manager at The Current. "The first time I ever heard someone call a white man the devil, I was in 5th grade, and a teenager from the neighborhood was beaten brutally by NYPD officers. I remember the teen's father being very distraught, and he referred to those officers that beat his son as devils.

"Forty years later, as I watched the MPD officer with his knee on the throat of George Floyd as he took his last breath, I too referred to him as a devil," Stevens continues. "To disregard someone's humanity because of the color of their skin is evil and inhumane, and when a man is unjustly killed by those in power sworn to protect and serve, that is the work of the devil."

"I almost cried when he sang about Breonna Taylor, and I think that's the point," says Sanni Brown, The Message co-host and a host on Purple Current. "It's so you walk away understanding that these are PEOPLE. These are HUMANS. If we lose compassion for each other, what do we have left?"

Tré Burt's anthem about Black lives continues the tradition of outspoken political folk songwriters. "This is about actual pain and real human suffering caused by a system of governance that is morally bankrupt," Burt says. "This I felt was my duty as an American songwriter to do. Music is a powerful force, especially when you put it through a protest song. It makes the fight more tangible. Reframes perspective. None of which entered my mind when writing this, at all. That was out of anger. I wrote this song out of anger. They should all be alive."

"There's something powerful about songs like this," Brown says. "I grew up when music was still in the schools. I went to Chicago Public Schools, and it wasn't uncommon for my teachers to use music to teach us lessons. Those were the best days in school, honestly! I could totally hear our teachers playing this for us if I was still in elementary school to help us try to understand what was going on in the world."

Listen to the full song by Burt — featuring Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell and Sunny War — and watch the video in the player above.

Burt is a recent signing to Oh Boy Records. His debut album, Caught It From The Rye, was re-released on the label on January 31 of this year.

External Link

Tré Burt - official site

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4 Photos

  • Tre Burt press photo
    Tre Burt is a singer-songwriter based in Sacramento, Calif., and the newest signing to Oh Boy Records. (Louis Rua)
  • Tre Burt, 'Caught It From The Rye'
    Tre Burt, 'Caught It From The Rye' (Oh Boy Records)
  • Derrick Stevens
    Derrick Stevens, radio production manager at The Current, seen here at the board in MPR's Maud Mood Weyerhaeuser Studio. (MPR photo/Luke Taylor)
  • The Current's Sanni Brown
    Sanni Brown is a co-host on 'The Message' and a host on Purple Current. (Nate Ryan | MPR)