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Sister Act – Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer to Tour Side-by-Side

Psstt—want to watch something absolutely heartwarming?

Take a peek at the video below showing Shelby Lynne sitting on a sectional sofa playing guitar and singing the Everly Brothers’ tune “Walk Right Back,” accompanied by her sister Allison Moorer who is seated just opposite. It’s much more than just a cover by two critically acclaimed singers who happen to be siblings joining together in song—it’s a glimpse into the close bond the two share as they sing, strum and giggle conspiratorially at the end.

Set in the living room of a family home in Woodstock, New York, the setting sure feels comfortable even to viewers. There’s an obvious kinship between the sisters highlighted by casual family sounds—such as the gurgles of John Henry Earle, the young son of Moorer and husband Steve Earle—occasionally wafting into the recording. But there’s more to absorb from this video than a cozy family scene. Even in this short clip it’s obvious that the sisters’ voices—even in such a casual setting—meld almost perfectly.

By Angela Kohler

“I can’t wait for the tour,” said Moorer who joined Lynne on a conference call to talk about their upcoming “Side by Side Tour.”  The thing that fascinates me about the video is that if I hadn’t known who was singing each part, I couldn’t tell.”

The public melding of the two voices of these country greats is something the sisters have wanted to happen for years. After all, the two started singing when they were just toddlers and began fine tuning the sound when they would join their mother for three-part harmonies as she drove them to school.

“It’s going to be so cool to do that in front of people,” said Moorer remembering the song “Side By Side,” written in 1927 by Gus Kahn and Harry M. Woods and recorded by everyone from Ray Charles to Brenda Lee. “Shelby and I have seriously, literally been singing together all our lives.”

Yet the public demands of their careers kept the two from professionally collaborating in any extended way. Lynne recorded her first album at age 19, going on to win major popular and critical acclaim including a GRAMMY Award for Best New Artist.

Soon Moorer found her music taking off, and had single after single chart, which kept her on the road and in the studio.

Although the two collaborated occasionally, there was no time for extensive work together. Until now.

The sisters each released albums this year. Although Moorer’s Crows and Lynne’s Tears, Lies & Alibis have kept the two on tour, they’ve each reached a point where they can work together.

The hard part, they said, is to sort through each of their extensive catalogs and old family favorites to develop the show. Concert goers during the holiday season will also likely hear the two sing some classic holiday songs from Lynne’s upcoming holiday album.

“We are so lucky and we are really looking forward to this,” said Lynne. “It’s so great for us to get together and do music and now to be able to tour together, it’s kind of a dream that this is happening.”

The “Side by Side Tour” with Allison Moorer and Shelby Lynne kicks off October 3rd in San Francisco.

10/3

Golden Gate Park

San Francisco, CA

(Speedway Meadows Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival)

11/27

The Tarrytown Music Hall

Tarrytown, NY

11/29

The Birchmere

Alexandria, VA

11/30

The Birchmere

Alexandria, VA

12/4

Saenger Theatre

Mobile, AL

Watch the Side By Side Tour rehearsal: August 26th, 2010.

Check the sisters’ Facebook fan page for additional updates and news.

By Nancy Dunham

Nancy Dunham writes about music for Country Weekly, AOL Music’s site The Boot, The Washington Post, Relix and other publications.

Next Big Nashville 2010: That’s a Wrap!

Next Big Nashville began with a whimper. Five years later it’s exploded into a full-blown rebel yell.

Gone are the days when a few honky tonks served as an excuse for local musicians to do sound check and dust off their amps. This year, over forty percent of the 150+ bands that performed at some 15 venues between September 29th-October 2nd were from outside of Nashville, double from last year.

By Steve Cross. Courtesy of Next Big Nashville

And forget about calling this a country event—Jack White all but abolished Nashville’s reputation as strictly a place for hick hooks and chords when he moved to town. Rockers, rappers, punks and alts were all right at home here in Music City.

Spotlight seekers came in hopes of ripping a page from say, the Jamey Johnson or Cage the Elephant success stories—good examples of the fest’s ability to get unsigned artists record deals and national attention.

Not that national attention was lacking. Headline acts such as Yeasayer and Washed Out, regulars on the tour circuit, were on the scene. ASCAP and BMI both held big bashes. Even local yokel Vince Gill popped up.

The Worsties Live at The Rutledge. By Brad Butcher. Courtesy of Next Big Nashville

“The parties this year were the best I’ve seen yet,” recalled Jesse Worstell, lead guitarist of OurStage’s own  The Worsties. “They provided a great opportunity for Nashville artists to mix it up with industry folk from around the globe.” The Worsties, a ska/punk Nashville-based band, were part of the Music City Unsigned showcase at one of NBN’s key venues, The Rutledge.

Jack White’s Third Man Records, 12th & Porter and The Basement were several other key venues this year for showcase events. One band that played The Basement, Madi Diaz, a folk pop duo, emerged with some strong street buzz.

“We had a great show this year,” recalled lead singer Madi Diaz. “We loved getting to see our out-of-town friends without having to go…well, out of town. Bring ‘em all to Nashville!’

Madi Diaz live at The Basement Nashville. By Steve Cross. Courtesy Next Big Nashville

After this year, that may no longer be a problem, now that the NBN Leadership, Music Digital Media Summit, is part of NBN. This was the first year the two events were held concurrent.

A-list speakers were not in short supply. Lady Gaga’s manager, Troy Carter, drew a crowd. Yet, the most tweeted about event seemed to be the Q&A with Kings of Leon band member Caleb Followill.

NBN co-founder Jason Moon Wilkins said he’s already looking at ways to expand on the education aspect next year. It’s just one more way to make NBN a must for the brightest minds and most exciting acts out there.

By Neal Webster Turnage

Neal Webster Turnage is a Los Angeles writer whose work appears frequently in many national and international consumer magazines.

Q&A With Zac Brown Band

Last year’s “Best New Artist” GRAMMY winner, Zac Brown Band has earned three Number 1 country singles and a double platinum album in addition to their award milestone. While the band seems new, they’ve actually been performing and touring since 2002. It seems that “instant stardom” isn’t exactly that instant. This may explain why the band remains a humble group of guys that are really doing everything for the fans. Don’t take our word for it, though. Read on to see what violinist Jimmy DeMartini had to say about all of their success.

OS: The band always seems to try and promote family values along with your music. Why has this been so important for you?

JD: It might be a Georgia thing or a southern thing. When we go home, we want to get together with our families and hang out. We’re not the band out on the road doing drugs, hooking up with girls and stuff like that. Maybe it’s just that we’re a little older. That’s just the kind of lifestyle we live. We don’t necessarily promote it and say that’s how you should live, but that’s just who we are.

OS: Yeah, you guys actually have a family bus that comes out with you sometimes, right?

JD: Sure. My wife and my kid and our tour manager and our bass player—their wives and kids just came out for three days. They just went home. Every once and a while they get to come out too. It’s a good break for them from being at home and taking care of the kids and everything.

OS: Being the violin player—such a classic part of a traditional country band, how do you work your parts into ZBB songs?

JD: I don’t have a lot of country influence, because I actually didn’t listen to a lot of country music growing up. I listened to a lot of rock music. I’m more influenced by guitar players. I’ve been learning how to play bluegrass and country, but you can definitely tell the difference between me and a Nashville fiddle player. I’m more of a classical-style player. When I hear a song, I’ll just try and compliment the song. Sometimes, I’ll do a harmony with the guitar player. Sometimes, I’ll pluck the violin, so on the beach-y tunes it almost has a steel drum kind of sound. Whatever accent the song needs, I’ll try and put it in.

OS: It’s really been in the last few years that the band blew up. How did you guys respond to all of the success?

JD: We’ve always been a touring band. So we’re used to leaving home and going to play shows on the road. We used to travel around in a little airport shuttle bus. It used to be just 6 of us. Now we’ve got 47 or so people on the road, with 4 semi’s and 6 buses. You’re doing the same thing, but it’s just on a larger scale as far as touring. That’s something that you notice more than anything, because that’s basically our job. Everything else, like the interviews and the awards show—it’s all very new to us. We felt a little awkward walking down the red carpet and posing and stuff. I think it’s still weird for us to do that. We try to just stay true to the fans. We do certain things before each show—like sometimes we’ll eat dinner with 100 or so fans. We try to stay close to them. At the end of the night we try to sign for as many people as we can. It’s a little harder these days because there are a lot more people who want a picture or a signature. We’re dealing with it though. It’s not a bad problem to have.

OS: We have to talk about the GRAMMY award. What was it like being named the Best New Artist?

JD: That was pretty crazy. We were not expecting that. We were up against some good people. We thought for sure that a hip hop artist or something would win it. So we were completely surprised when we won it. We went up on stage and were like “Oh my god, this is crazy. We’re on TV winning Best New Artist”. It was pretty intense, but after everything settled we were just back to the same people we were. We just have a GRAMMY at home. Sometimes you have a title. People say the “GRAMMY Award-wining Zac Brown Band”. That’s pretty cool. We grew up watching the GRAMMY’s. You’re voted on by all of your musical peers. So, it did mean a lot to us in the respect that they like our music.

OS: How did the idea for the Sailing Southern Ground cruise come about?

JD: We’d been on a cruise before called “The Rock Boat”. It’s kind of a floating music festival. You get on the cruise ship and there are something like 15-20 bands, and there’s always music going on. There are like 6 stages, whether you’re up top, underneath the deck or in the club or something. We thought it would be a really great idea that, once we had enough fans where we could do our own boat, we would to do it.We’re the headlining, but we got to pick the other bands.We’re going to be doing different things. Some people in the band are doing guitar workshops. I’m actually doing an exercise boot camp, where fans get to exercise with me. It’s going to be cool. We’ll play all night long. We’ll set up in the middle of the bar, and play until 3AM sometimes. It’s just going to be fun.

OS: What are some of the other band members’ activities?

JD: Our drummer is doing a radio show over the speaker every morning, maybe a comedy act. Zac’s doing a cooking demonstration because he’s a big cook. Some guys are doing a “songwriter thing,” maybe karaoke. And I’m doing my workout thing. I’m big into stuff like that. While people are there, they’re going to hear plenty of music, but this way they can learn other aspects of the people in the band.

OS: The new album release date is next week. First of all, why the unique preorder bundle including a spice rub?

JD: It’s called the “Georgia Clay Rub”. It’s the spice rub that Zac came up with, and he’s also got a sauce that he bottles. He has some recipes that he’s taken from family recipes. He’s been cooking for a long time. He cooks for the band a lot. Anytime he has a big Thanksgiving dinner when he’s at home, and sometimes even on the road, he’ll cook it up for us. We do these things called “Eat and Greets” before every show where Zac and another chef cook up some of their family recipes as well. It’s another way for fans to see what else we do. You can order a CD and get a spice rub. The two things he loves are music and cooking and the band loves to eat. So it works out.

OS: Musically, how do you think this album will live up to the success that you had with The Foundation?

JD: Yeah, I think so. We didn’t necessarily have a direction. We just had a bunch of songs that we’d written over the past few years, and kind of chose from those what we think would sound the best. Everyone in the band has different influences between rock and jam bands and jazz and all different styles of country. So, the songs tend to have a different flavor than just country, even though we’re pegged as a “country band” because we’re always on country radio stations. Some of the songs have a “beach-y” feel, and some are more jam band. There are definitely some country radio singles on there. We put everything on this record—there are 14 studio tracks. So, it’s a big one.

All these songs just start on a bus, sitting around writing them. We take them onstage and try them out in front of 10,000 people. Then it becomes part of our setlist. So, by the time we get in the studio, we all know how to play our parts. This is the first album that we’ve ever had people anticipating. When the first record came out, no one knew who we were. It will be interesting to see everybody’s take on it. We have a lot of faith that everyone will enjoy it, especially the fans. So I’m excited to see their response.

Zac Brown Band’s latest album You Get What You Give will drop next Tuesday. They just finished up the Sailing Southern Ground cruise last week so check out some of their “mainland” dates:

9/16- OKC Zoo Amphitheatre, Oklahoma City, OK

9/17- City Bank Coliseum, Lubbock, TX

9/18- Hard Rock Casino Presents The Pavilion, Albuquerque, NM

9/19- Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver, CO

9/23- Lawlor Events Center, Ren, NV

9/24- Save Mart Center, Fresno, CA

9/25- Cricket Wireless Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ

9/26- Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Irvine, CA

Gregg’s New Liver Likes The Road: Allman Brothers Band Back On Tour

When it started looking like the end of the road for the liver that the notoriously hard-living Gregg Allman has had a love-hate relationship with for the last 62 years, things became pretty precarious for the Allman Brothers Band, with whom Gregg’s been hammering the keys and hollering the blues for more than 40 of those years. The ABB are, after all, probably the longest-lived rock & roll road warriors, at least since the 1995 passing of Jerry Garcia made The Dead considerably less Grateful.

The Allman Brothers Band has long understood what most artists are only just now realizing—that the only real money to be made in music comes from hardcore touring. Their annual multi-week residencies at New York’s Beacon Theatre became the stuff of legend, at least until 2010, when the venue foresaw a bigger payday from the new Cirque du Soleil show “Banana Shpeel”, throwing the veteran road dogs over for—quite literally—a bunch of clowns (for what it’s worth, the neo-vaudeville event received withering reviews).

But the biggest roadblock of all came when world-class tippler Allman—who was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 2007—finally underwent a liver transplant last June. The band canceled an appearance at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival and put the kibosh on all touring plans. Nobody—including the convalescing singer—knew whether this meant the end of the journey for the Southern rock heroes, though Allman remained optimistic.

It turns out that Allman’s innards are more resilient than “Banana Shpeel”, though, and the band has now announced a return to the stage, with a short fall tour that kicks off on November 11th at the Tower Theatre in PA and ends up with a three-night stand at the Orpheum in Boston. Both the Philly and Beantown stints are already sold out, and Allman has been quoted as offering two words that say it all: “I’m ready.”

Tour dates:

NOVEMBER
11 – TOWER THEATRE, Upper Darby, PA – SOLD OUT!
12 – DAR CONSTITUTION HALL, Washington, DC
13 – ETESS ARENA, TRUMP TAJ MAHAL, Atlantic City, NY
15 – PALACE THEATER, Albany, NY
16 – FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO, Mashantucket, CT
18 – ORPHEUM THEATER Boston, MA – SOLD OUT!
19 – ORPHEUM THEATER Boston, MA – SOLD OUT!
20 – ORPHEUM THEATER Boston, MA – SOLD OUT!

By Jim Allen

Jim Allen has contributed to a wide range of print and online outlets including RollingStone.com, MOJO, Village Voice, Uncut, VH1.com, iTunes, All Music Guide, CMT.com, The Advocate, Prefix, Blurt and many more.

Rock, Pop And Country Winners Announced For The Intel Superstars Competition!

The Intel “Superstars” Competition kicked off in August offering rock, pop and country artists their chance to compete for the ultimate prize package from Intel and Cakewalk. The judging took place on Intel’s Facebook page and the competition was fierce throughout the entire month.  The Top 5 ranked artists in each of the three Intel “Superstars” Music Channels are getting hooked up with prize packages including personal computers based on Intel® Core Processor technology and Cakewalk music software. The competition continues throughout October, giving Latin, singer-songwriter and urban artists a shot at these amazing prizes. The Top 20 artists in each of the six Intel “Superstars” Music Channels will be automatically entered to win $10,000 dollars from Intel, to be determined by a panel of industry experts in January 2011. You can check out all of the August winning artists and their music below:

Rock Winners

Xolie Morra and the Strange Kind | Brave Chandeliers | John Allred | Jules Larson | Joker to the Thief

Pop Winners

Jason Eaton | The Girlfriend Season | Lauren Barrett | Matt Brouwer | Sara Lindsay

Country Winners

ChickenGrease | Matt Bailie | Michael Sonders | Aria Summer | Lauren Strange


Country IS A Little Bit Rock ‘N’ Roll

During Punk Rock’s first mid-’70s era there was much dismissal of Country Rock in New Wave music circles.  By 1995,  the genre of  New Country,  an infusion of mainstream Country with Rock influence, had gone so on the nerves that prejudice against its predecessor, the  psychedelic sounds of Space-Age Country, seemed to automatically lift.  It was that same year I heard Beachwood Sparks, and then, Alternative Country ‘zine No Depression made its debut indicating a resurgence of the popularity of Country.

I See Hawks In LA (L-R) Shawn Nourse, Paul Lacques, Paul Marshall, Rob Waller

Since, Country Rock has evolved to include elements of nearly every genre. Los Angeles, for example, in the new century has spawned local nature-themed bands I See Hawks In L.A. and Old Californio.  I See Hawks In L.A. features rich, deep vocals complimented by gritty but pure-in-instrumentation sound on their five CDs (Shoulda Been Gold, being their latest). Old Californio on the other hand, offers psychedelic bounce and in-the-pocket, ethereal jams such as those heard on their 2009 album Westerning Again and songs  from their forthcoming album, which they’ve recently debuted at their live shows.  “The geography and environment in which we live,” said Californio’s Justin Smith, “is as much of an influence as the music itself, and that follows with our releases; we don’t rely on people from the outside to make this a visible thing.”

Old Californio (L-R) Paul Lacques: Lap Steel, Woody Aplanalp: Guitar, Jason Chesney: Bass, Justin Smith: Drums, Rich Dembowski: Guitar & Mustache, Levi Nunez: Keys

Austin, Texas  Country artist, producer and songwriter Jesse Dayton‘s sound embodies a post-Cramps roots-country garage tone with a thankfully greasy edge. On his forthcoming album One For The Dancehalls Dayton is branching out, writing with songwriter’s like Universal’s Trent Summar, Damon Bramblett and recording a song by Nick Lowe.

Laura Cantrell

Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Laura Cantrell chose New York City to cultivate her own brand of  folk rock-infused Country music  to compliment her clear, angelic voice – best heard above sparse instrumentation.   Cantrell is currently completing her fifth album, this one to be based on the music of Kitty Wells, now 91.  Cantrell said,  “It was a real thrill to think that I could pay some tribute  in a way that might bring it honor.  It also helped work through the realities of having a music career, family and interest in the history and continuity of Country music during this post-digital music environment.”

By Domenic Priore

Domenic Priore is a music journalist, author and DJ based in Los Angeles. In addition to writing for some of the most recognized music rags in the world, Domenic is the author of Riot on Sunset Strip: Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Last Stand in Hollywood.

Folkin’ Around: Q&A With Matthew Perryman Jones

We’ve brought you a lot of album reviews, OurStage artist features and playlists here on the Folkin’ Around series. If you recall our feature on Pocket Satellite, you may remember that the use of harmonies is a common and current folk practice. We showed you Matthew Perryman Jones’ and Katie Herzig’s performance of “Where the Road Meets the Sun” as an example of girl-boy harmonies (P.S., have you caught Katie Herzig with OurStage artist Andrew Belle in the new video for “Static Waves”?).  Well, we’ve now reached the end of our road here on Folkin’ Around and we’ve decided to bring you a Q&A with Matthew Perryman Jones himself.

Jones is an accomplished singer/songwriter from Nashville, TN, and he has the track record to support that resume. He’s been featured on countless TV shows and has toured the globe. Check out what he had to say about songwriting, television licensing and his current projects.

OS: Your style seems to combine folk songwriting with electric arrangements. At what point in the writing process do these extra layers come in, and do you work with producers to achieve them?

That’s the stuff that goes back to when I was younger—REM, the old-school U2. So I’ve always lived that, and I really wanted to make some records that incorporated more of an environment for the song; I wanted to create with different instruments. I did a record in 2000 which is definitely more of a folk-based thing. But during the last couple of records, I’ve been working with a producer that I really like—how he arranges the songs and the sounds he’s been able to get. I just didn’t want to be the “guy with the guitar.” I was personally getting tired of that—I spent most of the nineties just me and my guitar. So I really wanted to explore creating a musical environment for the song. It’s funny because the next record I do is probably going to be more stripped down. You kind of tend to swing one way or the other, because you get tired of one thing and you’ve got to just go to the next thing. So the next record might be completely different than the last two.

OS: Some of your most striking accomplishments are effective song placements (probably Grey’s Anatomy is the most notable). Do these placements change your outlook on the songs?

MPJ: Oh, that’s an interesting question. I don’t know if I’ve really thought about that too much. Every time it’s been really cool—I don’t see every one that airs. I’ve noticed on most of them, they’ve been really cool. I felt they were really appropriate; they want to hear a certain kind of emotion. Even thematically, the song may be a different thing, but there’s an emotion that they’re going for. The folks that work in film and TV that are placing the songs are really tasteful. So it doesn’t really change my outlook on the song.

There was a song called “Swallow the Sea” off my last record that was on Royal Pains. They played it during a time where there was this guy who was a drug addict and he was going through withdrawal. That was one where I was like “Man, they really got the feeling of the song.” It’s a song about futility, and it was kind of like the culmination of this guy’s story, coming up to his withdrawal. The film/TV thing that’s going on today, what I really appreciate is that the people really do listen to the music. They’re not looking for a hook or how short the song is. They’re like “what does this song mean and what does it feel like?” They’re putting it up against real life drama, so they want it to be real. Which is the refreshing part about it. They want something that’s human, that’s real, that’s emotive. It’s really what music should be.

OS: ”Where the Road Meets the Sun” is a very interesting collaboration with Katie Herzig. How did you two work together as far as writing this song?

MPJ: There’s actually a pretty cool story to this song. We write together quite a bit. It was probably about two or three years ago; we just got together and wrote the song in my kitchen. We came up with it and really liked it. It was originally about a scene in Central Park. “Angel wings spread over water, one wishes.” It’s that famous fountain in Central Park that everyone goes to with the angels over it. It’s just a story about two people. So we wrote it, and it just kind of sat around. We put the lyrics and GarageBand recordings on both of our computers. And it happened that both of our computers at different times had crashed and we lost all of it.

We were actually asked to have a song in a movie that I think was called Dear John. They had asked us to write a song together for the movie. I was like, “What was that song we wrote a while ago . . . ?” Katie was like, “Well, I lost it when my computer crashed.” We thought it would be awesome if we could remember but we were really having trouble. Then I got a text from Katie at like 2 in the morning saying that she remembered it. She apparently was just going to sleep and the song just came to her. So she got up, went to her computer and recorded everything she could remember. So we got together and finished the song. And that’s how it came about. The Dear John people decided it just didn’t fit for the scene. We had recorded it and everything, and like two weeks later it ended up going onto the season finale of Grey’s. I’m glad we rediscovered it, because I really like it.

OS: You’ve got a show coming up with Herzig. When was the last time you played with her?

MPJ: I’ve done some shows and she’ll come up and sing with me. If she’s around, we’ll try and do that song together. We’ve done a couple tours together, but that’s been a few years. There was this one time where she was playing in Atlanta and I was at home in Nashville, and people were requesting “Where the Road Meets the Sun.” So she called me on the phone and I basically sang the song on speakerphone into the microphone live in Atlanta. I don’t think it really turned out that well, but it was probably pretty entertaining for the people there.

OS: It’s been a while since you’ve done an official release. When can we expect a new one?

Currently, I’m actually working on a new full-length. I’m just in the thick of writing for it. The goal is to maybe have it out by the first of the year, but I’m not sure if that will happen. I have a lot of stuff that’s different, so I’m trying to take the time to make something special.

Stay tuned for Jones’ new album and, if you missed him with Herzig, stay tuned for more fall dates. Here are a couple already announced:

9/15 Vienna, VA — Jammin’ Java

9/30 Birmingham, AL — Samford Univeristy


Viewer Discretion Advised: Vote Your Favorite Videos To The Top Of The Charts

Next week marks the official end of August’s regular judging season, and unfortunately the end of summer as well. Luckily, there are tons of hot music videos on OurStage to keep you sizzling through September. But your favorite artists and directors need your help to climb the charts and claim the grand video prize of $1,000. Just imagine all the cool stuff you could do in a music video with that kind of cash padding. As we near the end of the month, some killer videos are closing in on that coveted top spot. So make sure to put your voting chops to good use and check out some of the videos climbing the charts below.

All That You Are - Exile Kings

Currently Competing in Rock Videos

One Way Love - ColorFire

Currently Competing in Pop Videos

Try Anything - Sierra Noble

Currently Competing in Country Videos

The Old Soul

Hannah Thomas

Hannah Thomas may be a fresh-faced 21-year-old, but she’s got a seasoned voice that sounds like it’s seen it all already. And maybe it has seen a good bit. Thomas made her debut at an open mic night at Atlanta’s songwriter haunt, Eddie’s Attic back in 2006. From there, it was full-steam ahead—taking first place in competitions, appearing on local TV and radio shows and releasing a record. “The Rest is Yet to Come” is Thomas’ first offering, a low country, bluesy, coming-of-age anthem that sounds like it could have been written by KT Tunstall. “Will I get married settle down and have some babies? Or spend my whole life searching and never find love?” the singer muses. Thomas’ deep, smoldering drawl is her calling card. The electric guitars may whinny, the bass and drums may thump, but it’s Thomas’ voice that will thrill you to your country-lovin’ core.

Folkin’ Around: Antje Duvekot

If you liked our folk artist pick Meg Hutchinson a few weeks ago, you’ll be excited to hear that our choice this week is Antje Duvekot. These two artists have unique careers and sounds, and they share a few things in common. Both are a strong songwriting presence in the greater Boston area (winning several individual songwriting contests/mentions). They are also prominent members of the Boston-based, songwriting all-star cast that makes up Winterbloom.

Duvekot’s music merges the folk and country aesthetic with indie and singer/songwriter vocals and lyrics. In fact, all the angst, poetry and longing in Duvekot’s lyrics easily accent the lofty melodies with which she sings them. “When are you going to come for me, Lord?” is the opening line of the chorus in her song “Pearls”. Juxtaposed with the somewhat dark lyrics that riddle the verses, this line is sung with an appropriately memorable tune. The request sung so many times in the song, seems to be answered by the end with catchy, satisfying progressions and smooth, natural accompaniment. Check it out:

With several songwriting and folk awards (including regional artist awards and the grand prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest) under her belt, Duvekot obviously has a talent for writing and the performance chops to go with it. And thanks to frequent performances on the festival circuit, domestically at the Mountain Stage festival and abroad at The Celtic Connections Festival in Scotland and the Tonder Festival in Denmark,  she’s shared the stage with acts like Patti Griffin, Lyle Lovett and the Indigo girls. Her song “Merry Go Round” was even featured on a 2008 Bank of America commercial which aired during the Super Bowl. Take a listen and get your dose of tasteful arrangements and thoughtful lyrics.

 


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