Sacramento-based artist Tré Burt shared a new protest song called “Under The Devil’s Knee,” which features Our Native Daughter’s Allison Russel and Leyla McCalla, as well as L.A. songwriter Sunny War. Sept. 22 is historically significant because on this day in 1906, dozens of Black people were murdered in the streets of Atlanta by armed mobs of white Americans.
The Black Lives Matter-inspired track was written about the murders of George Floyd, Eric Garner and Breonna Taylor. The racist violence that is ever-present today is precisely what Burt is calling to attention here.
Burt said of “Under The Devil’s Knee”:
Humanity feels like it’s slipping away from us, as a country. I wanted to reinstate the humanity of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner and so many other brothers and sisters slain by police in the way I know how. I wanted to immortalize their dignity and make the work easy for future historians and remind the present that no matter what side of the aisle you’re on, this is about actual pain and real human suffering caused by a system of governance that is morally bankrupt. 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.
Earlier this year, Burt released his debut album Caught It From The Rye via Oh Boy Records. Read Paste’s review of the album here.
All proceeds from the new song will go to the Community Justice Exchange’s National Bail Fund Network.
Watch the video for “Under The Devil’s Knee, produced by Karlos Rene Ayala, below.