Nashville Beats: Alt Country Artist Elise Davis

 

 

edavis

Elise Davis moves between lush alt-country and stripped-down folk on her second album, Cactus. Arriving two years after The Token — the songwriter’s 2016 debut, whose electrified roots-rock sound earned praised from outlets like Rolling Stone Country and The Wall Street Journal — Cactus spins autobiographical stories about a self-sufficient woman in the modern world. Like the desert plant that lends the album its title, Davis takes pride in her own independence, confident that she doesn’t need help from others to grow tall.

PURCHASE CACTUS   

Davis’ independent streak began in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she kicked off her career at 12 years old. Now based in Nashville, she has earned acclaim not only for her live show, but also her sharp, articulate songwriting. She collaborates with co-writers like Grammy-winner Maren Morris on Cactus, whose bold, country-leaning sound was produced by Jordan Lehning. The result is Elise Davis’ most honest record to date — an album about what it takes to stand alone, rooted in the hard-won wisdom of a songwriter who’s unafraid to shine a light on her missteps and victories.

 

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE      FACEBOOK      TWITTER     INSTAGRAM

Advertisements

A Sound Recommendation: Fiddler Gaelynn Lee

37329548_1507286926044165_9211449031547420672_n

Photo by EvrGlo Media

 

When Gaelynn Lea won NPR Music’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest, her two decades as a hardworking and talented musician finally crystallized in a beautiful moment of national recognition. It was also just the beginning of a grand adventure. With the wind of her award at their backs, Gaelynn and her husband Paul sold their house in Northern Minnesota, quit their jobs, bought a van, and hit the road.

Since then, Gaelynn has played over 250 shows in 42 states and seven countries, adding nearly 100,000 miles to their Ford Econoline’s odometer. The singer-songwriter and violinist has performed everywhere from coffee shops, bars, schools and festivals; she’s graced the stage of renowned venues like Nashville’s Music City Roots , The Kennedy Center , House of Blues and even BBC World News . This June she was featured at arts festivals in Iceland and Switzerland, and she played the Winnipeg Folk Fest in July and Travelers’ Rest Fest (curated by The Decemberists).

album

Her new album, Learning How To Stay , is an 11-song collection that runs the gamut sonically from pensive and luscious to aggressive and intentioned, from folk to decidedly pop, and even includes a couple of traditional fiddle tunes. Undoubtedly the connecting thread of this album is Gaelynn Lea herself. With her singular voice and deeply-affecting violin, she guides the listener through a journey that explores the contrasting nature of existence: dark and light, birth and death, anger and forgiveness, sorrow and joy. Learning How to Stay encourages the listener to stay present for it all.

PURCHASE LEARNING HOW TO STAY

In addition to performing and recording, Gaelynn Lea loves to do speaking engagements about disability awareness, inclusion in the arts, and leading an enriching life. Gaelynn has a disability called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bones Disease) and she is a strong voice in the disability community. Gaelynn Lea believes society must prioritize accessibility so people with disabilities can participate in their communities and use their gifts without barriers or discrimination.

 

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE       FACEBOOK      TWITTER     INSTAGRAM

 

New Music and Memoir From American Troubadour Steve Forbert

unnamed

Big City Cat – My Life in Folk-Rock, singer/songwriter Steve Forbert’s exceptional new memoir co-written with Therese Boyd, allows him ample opportunity to candidly reflect on those specific circumstances that first brought him to the public eye.

Originally conceived as a stage play and screen treatment, it finds him documenting his early adventures in the big city while pursuing his quest to make music. Sharing reflections and journals he kept at the time, he weaves an absorbing narrative that fully documents the trials, travails and triumphs that would eventually play out over the course of his prolific 40 year career. Big City Cat: My Life In Folk Rock also features first-person commentary from those who worked with Forbert on the road and in the studio.

The book is accompanied by its own soundtrack as well, an A+ new album entitled The Magic Tree that offers a series of songs gleaned from previously recorded acoustic demos, overdubbed with new backing tracks and fleshed out as a series of songs that ring with the verve and vitality that Forbert’s fans have always come to expect.

Consistently upbeat and optimistic, the songs convey a firm sense that age ought not diminish a lust for living. Then again, that’s been Forbert’s mantra for quite some time-honoring his past while plowing his way towards the future.

unnamed (1)

The Magic Tree track list is as follows:

01. The Magic Tree (Version No 1) 3:51
02. That’d Be Alright (3:12)
03. Carolina Blue Sky Blues (3:02)
04. Let’s Get High (3:13)
05. Tryna Let Go (4:55)
06. Lookin’ At The River in the Rain (3:12)
07. Diamond Sky (2:51)
08. Movin’ Through American (3:40)
09. I Ain’t Got Time (3:35)
10. The Magic Tree (Version No 2) (3:19)
11. Only You (And Nobody Else) (3:58)
12. The Music of the Night (2:59)

Big City Cat – My Life in Folk-Rock and The Magic Tree will be released on September 14, 2018.  

PRE-ORDER HERE

West Coast Beats: Meet MAWD

wandering eye option no eyes

MAWD is the moniker of Madeleine Mathews, a California singer songwriter and multi instrumentalist ( piano, guitar, ukulele, bass, accordion & banjo) , whose influences include, The Head and the Heart, The Staves, First Aid Kit, Nancy Sinatra, Lord Huron, and the Alabama Shakes. MAWD’s sound gravitates towards an eclectic mix of genres including indie rock, folk, folk rock, retro rock, and blues rock. The soulful, textured timbre of Madeleine’s vocals is diverse and ranges anywhere from a breathy sultry folk/blues vibe to a powerful Janis Joplin-esque/Karen-O belt.

Born and bread in Northern California, Madeleine made her mark in her hometown of Placerville playing original songs at a weekly local open mic. She found an even larger audience in Chico, CA, where she attended CSU, Chico’s music program. She quickly became a part of the blossoming local Nor Cal scene fronting and writing for various bands and winning local singer/songwriter competitions, resulting in TV and radio appearances and press. Madeleine’s stunning live performances and the unique vulnerability, power and shear beauty of her voice caught the attention of Roger Gisborne of Los Angeles based indie label Sound x 3 Records, who immediately signed her and sent her to Scandinavia to tour. As a result, she was invited to perform for several international festivals, including the Irish, YouBloom Festival.

Gisborne produced and released MAWD’s first EP during Madeleine’s last semester of school and brought in Brian Lucey (Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys, Beck, Cage The Elephant, etc.) to master the record, which received critical acclaim from noteworthy tastemakers leading MAWD to SXSW and a southwest tour with a new line-up of top British, Irish and American musicians, known as the “MAWD Squad”.

Known for her impressive and highly energetic performances in top notch venues, festivals and artist discovery programs such as Sofar Sounds, MAWD has made huge strides developing a dedicated fan base .

Madeleine is presently working with Gisborne and Cave producer/songwriter Josiah Mezzaschi (Deap Vally, Kate Bush, Jesus & the Mary Chain) on MAWD’s second EP set for release in 2019.

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE    FACEBOOK     TWITTER     INSTAGRAM

AngloFiles: From Scotland “Trad-Rockers” Skerryvore

listing_Website-SKV-400x300

Twice winners of Scotland’s Traditional Music “Live Act of the Year” Award , Skerryvore have been on a meteoric journey that has taken them from the remote Isle of Tiree onto International tours that have included  performances in Central Park in New York, The Ryder Cup in Louisville, the Shanghai Expo in China and just last weekend at the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

Skerryvore create a unique fusion of folk, trad, rock and pop that represents all the different personalities and upbringing of the 8 band members who hail from different regions of Scotland.

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE      FACEBOOK     TWITTER     YOUTUBE

A Sound Recommendation: Contemporary Folkie Eliot Bronson

21270932_1621127497939392_3421034114015588373_n

In 2014, Eliot Bronson signed with independent music label, Saturn 5 Records.  

His ten-song self-titled album was recorded totally analog in Nashville by producer Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell).

Going for feel and vibe over modern perfection, he used a rare Helios mixing console and a tape machine on loan from the Norman Petty Estate, which was also used to record Buddy Holly in the 1950’s.  The album was recorded in one week at Cobb’s home studio and The Sound Emporium.  

PURCHASE JAMES

His latest,  James is now available.  Mercy, was used in an episode of the police procedural crime drama Criminal Minds.  

The album also includes “Rough Ride“, a song about fellow Baltimorean Freddie Gray. 

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE     FACEBOOK     TWITTER    YOUTUBE

ALL ACCESS: Meet Scottish Bluesman Reece Hillis

IMG_6781

Reece Hillis is a young soulful blues guitarist and Singer & Songwriter from Stirling, Scotland.

Early exposure to veteran acts like Sam Cooke, Al Green, Janis Joplin, The Doors, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Wilson Picket, Frank Sinatra and Johnny Cash inspired him to pick up the guitar he taught himself to play.

It wasn’t long before Reece  began performing throughout the United Kingdom, developing his unique and authentic sound.

Reece was a nominee for British Blues Award, Young Artist Of The Year in 2014.

His debut solo, all-original album “Eclectic Soul”. blending together Blues, Folk, Soul and even some Vocal Jazz, is now available.

PURCHASE ECLECTIC SOUL

IMG_7237

We caught a few of Reece’s sets at the Heart of Hawick Music Festival last week and were very excited to talk to him and to share this MEGA talent with our readers.  

******************************************************

ASoulfulSound: In preparation for attending this year’s event I came across video of you from last year and thought “man, I wish he was here this year”. Lo and behold you were! Imagine my excitement to see you there! (well you can, seeing as I accosted you!) How did it happen that you made the lineup after all?

RH: Haha this weekend all fell into place through gigs that had fallen through the same weekend, and it reminds me of how sometimes you don’t see things coming, and when they come together it’s what makes doing this for a living worth it. I love not knowing what’s around the corner, always being on the edge of my comfort zone.

ASoulfulSound: We caught your set at The Mayfield and were blown away! When did you discover your passion for the blues?

RH: Blues was what really started my passion for live music, there was something about seeing someone with a guitar, that even when not always in tune or on time, could really put their soul into a performance and have a connection that made being perfect redundant. Through time I’ve been driven onto a diverse musical journey taking in all kinds of music and each time I release an album I always let the music determine which kind of album it will be, it’s never thought out beforehand.

ASoulfulSound: While watching you perform, it is very obvious that you are a vehicle for authentic delivery of not only classic blues/rock songs but also original music that already sounds classic. You seem to go into another world while performing. Can you describe your experience on stage? Does it differ when you are recording?

RH: Live performance has always been where it’s most comfortable for me, it’s really strange because the more people there are, the bigger the venue, the more I seem to be able to let go. It should be the other way around haha. The only way to describe it is a bubble that encapsulates you, and when you’re playing the music there’s nothing that can penetrate it, for every moment I’m performing the song I’m doing I forget where I am until I open my eyes again.

Recording is a different story haha, recording seems to be where all of the hard work goes into, it’s where I spend hours and hours lashing myself for every little mistake I make but being able to do it in my room now thanks to a lot of hard gigging, is perfect as it gives me the opportunity to perform and improve without the prying ears of an engineer or anyone else. I went to collage with the intention of dropping out a few years ago just to get the whole process of what goes on and how to use the software on that end of music production. So I stayed for about 6 months got to grips with everything, improved at home during my own time and then left to refocus on my gigging and writing music.    It’s been really handy to be able to do the engineers job to a certain degree it’s saved me a fortune haha !

ASoulfulSound: Who were some of your early influences?

RH: Some of my early inspirations and still are, would be The Doors, Al Green, Sam Cooke, Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin, AC/DC, Paul Rodgers …. there were tons of them but all classic, there’s not a lot of new music, with the exceptions of David Gray can’t get enough of his music. I’m even inspired by classical music, there is something about putting some Chopin on and clearing your mind. When I’m releasing any new music I always like to make sure it has that same thing, you’ve got to feel your performance when recording, doing it to a click track destroys that

ASoulfulSound: Can you describe the music scene in Scotland?

RH: Scotland has a great music scene, especially Glasgow.  Depending on what your tastes are you are sure to find somewhere that has that kind of live music.  The only place I’ve been in that really pulls off a bluesy atmosphere in Scotland would be the Howlin’ Wolf.  I’ve always loved that place and everyone who loves that kind of music heads to that pub on a Saturday night. 

ASoulfulSound: Where do you see yourself musically in five years?

RH: Within 5 years I want to be able to have made a fair bit of progress moving forward, I want to be at the stage of jumping to different country’s all the time and being able to put on much bigger shows, I always like to set the bar high and when I pass it, I’ll set it that little bit higher and keep climbing this way, but with this kind of job nothing is guaranteed.  I’m gonna have to go out there and give it everything I’ve got, if it doesn’t come to any major success I’ve already made some fantastic memories, many of which I can’t talk about haha, and I really cannot wait to see what happens next !

ASoulfulSound: Guilty musical pleasures?

RH: Piano piano piano, I love the piano. I can play a few things but not anywhere near live performance level, I really hope I get to grips with that

ASoulfulSound: If you could collaborate with anyone (living or dead) who would that be and why?

RH: If I could collaborate with anyone it would have to be Elton John.  Funnily enough he loves up and coming talent so fingers crossed!!  I really, really want to be able to see him before he retires.  There is something about the way his playing and singing just hits the perfect spot for me.  He literally has a song for every kind of emotion you can feel.  If you look deeper into his musical category I’m sure everyone could connect with one of his songs — he has so many.

ASoulfulSound: Who is on your dream music festival lineup?

RH: Dream musical lineup would be, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Doors, John Martin, Santana, Al Green … pretty much an alternate version of Woodstock haha

ASoulfulSound: Where can we hear more of your music? Anything available for purchase?

RH: You can get more of my music on my website – ReeceHillisMusic.comSoundcloud, Facebook (all under Reece Hillis Music, which is the best one to go to as it is constantly being updated with the latest gigs and upcoming info.

You can also order my CDs on my website, though I do have iTunes sales coming very soon along with all the other major digital marketplaces.

ASoulfulSound:  What’s Next?

RH:  I’ve performed up and down the UK and for next year I’m setting my sites further afield, plans for going abroad are definitely in the pipeline and I couldn’t be more exited!

ASoulfulSound:  We couldn’t be more excited either!  Keep in touch, please.

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE     FACEBOOK     TWITTER    SOUNDCLOUD