The subtleties of Dori Freeman’s sophomore album ‘Letters Never Read’

Letters Never Read sees Freeman “distilling Appalachian melancholy into delicate pop ruminations.”

Dori Freeman’s sophomore album, featuring the production of Teddy Thompson and guitar of his father Richard Thompson, has the same tragic beauty Freeman showcased on her first album but with a renewed spirit, an optimistic bent that belies the times it was written in. Combining traditional Appalachian folk songs with her own, timeless, songwriting Dori Freeman’s sophomore album, Letters Never Read, is a reverent breath of fresh air.

NPR’s Jewly Hight sums up her review of Letters Never Read with this: “the ease with which Freeman knits together sturdiness and sophistication is a revelation, and one that’s arrived right on time.”

While Rolling Stone‘s Jon Freeman says “Letters Never Read showcases Freeman’s stylistic range with nods to her Appalachian roots in old-time music as well as sophisticated singer-songwriter pop in the vein of Rufus Wainwright, without ever conforming strictly to any one convention.”

Jon Pareles at the New York Times also got behind the first single “an old-fashioned waltz with a countrypolitan string section and Celtic-tinged electric-guitar countermelodies that have the unmistakable touch of the English trad-rock master Richard Thompson.”

Spin‘s Andy Cush featured it as well saying “”If I Could Make You My Own”is a simple, winsome ballad in which a narrator fantasizes about devoting herself to the object of her affection in increasingly outsized terms. Thompson’s playing will be recognizable to fans from the very first notes, and remains as thoughtful and subtly inventive as ever.”

No Depression calls Letters Never Read “one of our most anticipated new roots releases”

Letters Never Read has been lauded by Folk Alley, Wide Open Country, Saving Country Music, PopDose, FRUK, The Bluegrass Situation, Americana UK and a whole lot more.

Freeman’s debut record came out in early 2016 and was met with rave reviews, garnering acclaim from NPR and their year-end listsNew York Times and their year-end list, American Songwriter’s year end list, and on The Fader and Uproxx, as well as Spotify’s Best of 2016 Americana.

Fall Tour Dates (More TBA)

10/12 – Charlotte, NC – Neighborhood Theater*
10/13 – Athens, GA – 40 Watt*
10/14 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel*
10/19 – New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall (Album Release)
10/20 – Boston, MA – City Winery (Album Release)

*with Mandolin Orange

More info on Dori Freeman:

Dori Freeman grew up in a family of bluegrass musicians, raised on a diet of Doc Watson and the Louvin Brothers. But by driving age, she’d cruise around her hometown of Galax, Virginia, windows down, breeze riffling her cropped strawberry-blonde hair, and harmonize with the pop melodies of singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson playing on her CD player. “I always thought that our voices sounded nice together,” Freeman says in a rough-edged, Appalachian twang. The feeling stuck with her, and at one point, Freeman did something odd for a 22-year-old single mom working at the family’s frame shop: she reached out to him via Facebook, with a note saying how much she would like to sing with him. Three days later, he wrote back. Two years after that, The New York Times named Freeman’s self-titled debut—an honest and achingly beautiful collection of folk and country songs produced by Thompson and recorded in three days—one of the best albums of 2016. They weren’t alone, rave reviews poured in for Dori’s debut, hailing her as the new voice of Appalachia.

While Freeman’s debut hewed to love-gone-wrong songs, her new album, the more measured and maturely crafted Letters Never Read—again produced by Teddy Thompson and featuring guest appearances by his dad Richard Thompson, as well as Aiofe O’Donovan and Canadian psych-folk duo Kacy & Clayton —has a distinctly rosier outlook. “I always want to put out something that’s a genuine representation of what I was going through at that point in my life,” says Freeman, noting that getting married last year to fellow musician Nick Falk (who plays drums and banjo on the album) made writing love songs much easier. She laughs. “I’m happier now in general.”

DRIFTWOOD’S VIDEO “TOO AFRAID” EXPLORES ATTRACTION’S PLEASURE AND PAIN

 

Recommended If You Like: The Head and the Heart, Lumineers, Fleet Foxes, Vance Joy

… And I’m too afraid to be alone

At its core, attraction is a wondrous thing. How many stimuli have that kind of physical and emotional control over the individual? To be moved so vividly by someone else that your behavior changes in their presence; to feel that strongly about another human being; it’s natural, and yet it often feels totally unnatural. Attraction is as powerful as it is beautiful, an overwhelming sensation that Driftwood capture perfectly in their new song “Too Afraid.”

Oh am I falling for your lies again
Falling for your lies again
But you look so damn good

If I look into your eyes again
Look into your eyes again
Well it feels like going home

Listen: “Too Afraid” – Driftwood

 


City Lights - Driftwood

City Lights – Driftwood

.A song about falling uncontrollably hard for someone else, “Too Afraid” focuses on the fatal attraction experience: “Sometimes there are women that strike your fancy to the point where you lose a bit of yourself,” explains Joe Kollar (vocals/banjo).

It’s also easy to lose oneself in Driftwood’s music. The band pulls upon a pastiche of warm American roots and folk influences, landing somewhere in-between The Head and the Heart and The Lumineers in terms of sound, while offering a fresh, if not timeless perspective on the individual experience through harmonious music and lyrics. The group’s instrumental arrangement – which consists of Dan Forsyth on guitar and vocals, Joe Kollar on banjo and vocals, Claire Byrne on fiddle and vocals, and Joey Arcuri on bass – might be considered ‘traditional,’ but they wield their instruments with polished grace. In a music landscape where electric so frequently replaces acoustic instrumentation, Driftwood’s music provides an anchor to a past that is still very much the present.

Driftwood © Marc Safran

Driftwood © Marc Safran

“Too Afraid” opens with a sweetly seductive interaction between fiddle and bass, where the fiddle plays a hypnotic, repeating arpeggio sequence over punctuated bass hits. The combined effort is light, yet incredibly evocative: In a sense, it’s the perfect backdrop for a personal story. “Oh am I falling for your lies again,” sings Kollar as the verse opens. His words are raw and humble, his demeanor vulnerable as he places this interest over himself. That elevation of another, and the subsequent submission and reduction of oneself, becomes especially resounding in the chorus and second verse:

But I’m too afraid
Yes I’m too afraid to be alone

You talk like you should be my friend
Talk like you should be my friend
So tell me what it is that you want

Oh am I losing all my lines again
I’m losing all my lines again
But you look so fucking good

In his explanation of this song, Kollar notes that “Too Afraid” is, for him, about “the power of a beautiful woman,” but the song is obviously so much more than that. “I’m too afraid to be alone,” he sings. Sometimes we know something is bad for us, but we want it anyway. Loneliness is one of the hardest to cope with – so perhaps that special someone isn’t right for you, but at least it’s something. Rather than explore the intricacies of that mess, Driftwood stick to the surface and leave the diving to the listener.

“I think everyone knows someone (close or distant) that makes them weak in the knees and maybe act differently as a result,” says Kollar. Those who have known love, and perhaps more so those who have known a truly fatalattraction, can easily relate to Driftwood’s lilting melodies and uncertain, scrambling lyrics. It doesn’t matter who you are, or how confident you might appear. Every Samson has his Delilah.

Grammy Consideration: Rachael Sage’s “The Tide”!

Celebrated Singer-Songwriter For Your 2018 Grammy Consideration: Rachael Sage

“The Tide” critically acclaimed release featuring chart-topping song “Try Try Try”.

For your consideration for:
Record of the Year – “The Tide”
Song of the Year – “The Tide”
Best American Roots Performance – “Tomorrow
Best American Roots Song – “Disarm Distrust”
Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals – “The Tide”
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical: “The Tide”

Stream the EP:
https://soundcloud.com/rachaelsage/sets/the-tide-7

Rachael Sage’s “The Tide” is a musically-ambitious, emotional collection of songs seeking justice for all in a turbulent sociopolitical landscape. With subject matter addressing gun violence, the international refugee crisis, and intolerance in America, it’s an inspired set of folk-pop merging orchestral elements with her signature blend of delicate guitar work and expressive piano playing; all net proceeds benefit the American Refugee Committee.

  • Rachael had a banner year touring the US & UK alongside Beth Hart and Howard Jones.
  • This year, 2 of Rachael’s songs from her latest album appeared on Lifetime’s hit reality series “Dance Moms”, bringing her total placements on the show to 22.
  • “The Tide” EP charted at Folk Radio
  • Produced by Sage & Grammy® Nominee Dave Eggar (Phillip Phillips, Esperanza Spalding, Five For Fighting)
  • Engineered by 2-time Grammy Nominee John Shyloski (Diana Ross, Johnny Winter, Stephen Kellogg)

“the Carole King of her generation” – Blurt Magazine

“Angelic…epically romantic. (Sage’s) breathy vocals float alonglist swooning strings and piano notes, creating a big setting for her rootsy, narrative lyrics.” — No Depression

“Sage has an innate ability to engage the audience with her enchanting piano playing and powerful vocals that covers a wide dynamic range.” — M Music & Musicians Magazine

“…absolutely loved it! Congratulations…wonderful songwriting and arrangements and lovely vocals.” — Howard Jones

“Rachael Sage is a marvelous young artist- and I am a fan!!…A great gift…of incredible talent and beauty.” — Judy Collins

The Early Mays – Chase the Sun


Album Notes
With masterful songwriting and a sweet old-time sound, The Early Mays burst on to the scene with a #2 debut on the National Folk-DJ Charts in 2014. Watertight three part vocals won these women a loyal following in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and their growth as a band has carried them to the national arena with a 1st place win at the Appalachian String Band Festival in 2016 and a feature performance on NPR’s Mountain Stage in 2017.

On their latest release, signature harmonies are central, but The Early Mays have upped their game with first-rate arrangements grounded in old-time styles. Chase the Sun is a fine collaboration on all fronts with songs that range from traditional to modern in style, and from contemplative to barn raising in spirit.

On “Chase the Sun,” Emily Pinkerton, Ellen Gozion and Rachel Eddy showcase their song and tune-writing talents, as well as the debt they owe to North American musicians who have inspired them.

In the title track, Emily paints a picture of a dry, cracked earth where two people slowly begin to emerge from destructive patterns. Sinuous harmonic progressions, edgy fiddle and clusters of vocal harmonies bring the harsh dreamscape of the lyrics to life.

Little Pink, a beloved old-time song collected by Gerry Milnes, becomes a fiddle tune in the hands of the Mays, built around sweet vocals and stellar banjo by Ellen. Though simple in form, the lyrical and rhythmic detail of the song will have you listening over and over.

Mannington #9 tells the story of one of the worst coal mining disasters in West Virginia history that took place outside of Morgantown where Rachel grew up. It is a such an important part of her repertoire, that when she asked songwriter Keith McManus for permission to record it, he said there was no need to ask because “it was already hers.” The recording features Rachel’s powerful clawhammer style, droning harmonium (a pump organ used in Indian classical music) and solid, stacked vocal harmonies from the group.

The Mays have felt a burning need to share the new sound of the group since Rachel came on board in early 2016. Her strong voice and rock-solid instrumental chops have fused so well with Emily and Ellen’s songwriting and long-time love of traditional music. For Chase The Sun they returned to Broadcast Lane Studios in Pittsburgh to work with Lurch Rudyk (Sarah Harmer,
Kathleen Edwards) and send their songs through his vintage analog gear they’ve come to love.

The Early Mays love the camaraderie of the studio, the road, and rehearsals, and you can feel the gratitude radiate from whatever stage they are on, and from sounds of Chase The Sun.

Chelsea Williams – Boomerang

“What better way is there to express yourself than through music?” asks singer-songwriter Chelsea Williams. Her question is almost rhetorical, as Williams, in full obedience to her heart’s most urgent commands, documents her emotions in song in ways that can feel astonishing. Sometimes those feelings are carefree and luminous; other times they’re troubled and turbulent. But when channeled through her captivating voice and intoxicating melodies, they work their way into the thicket of your senses before coming to rest in your soul.

Whether Williams is the music industry’s best- or worst-kept-secret is open to debate. Sure, she’s performed on The Today Show and has opened for big names such as the Avett Brothers and Dwight Yoakam, and she’s even had a high-profile guest shot on a Maroon 5 video, dueting with Adam Levine on the group’s No. 1 smash “Daylight (Playing For Change).”

But the truly incredible part of the golden-voiced chanteuse’s story has taken place at Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, where she’s performed acoustically for the past few years. During these appearances, Williams has managed to move an unprecedented 100,000 copies of her three indie records – Chelsea Williams, Decoration Aisle and The Earth & the Sea. Her customer base has even included the likes of Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard, who was so impressed by what he heard that he bought a CD. Even one of Williams’ biggest influences, singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow, walked away with an album.

“The Promenade is huge part of my life,” says Williams. “It’s one of the only spots that I know of in Los Angeles that has such a high volume of foot traffic. People are out and about enjoying themselves, and they know that they’re going to hear musicians. It’s incredible when I get comments like, ‘I was having a really bad day, but your music totally brought me out of it.’ That’s what I love about music myself – the ability to take somebody on a journey that they weren’t planning on.”

Kirk Pasich, President of Blue Élan Records, might not have been anticipating such a journey when he first caught one of Williams’ outdoor gigs, but he quickly knew it was one he wanted to take over and over. And so now we have Williams’ debut on Blue Élan, Boomerang, a thoroughly winning and transcendent mix of Americana, indie-folk and lush pop that places the young artist front and center among the preeminent performers of the day. “My aim with this record was to maintain integrity, creatively and musically,” she states. “I wanted to let creativity rule the process and not be afraid to step outside of what was expected of me.”

Williams musical journey began early. Born in Columbus, Ohio, she was still an infant when her mother picked her up for a move to Glendale, California. “My mom had dreams of being a songwriter herself,” she explains. “She was always writing and playing guitar and singing around the house. I used to fall asleep in the living room while listening to her playing music with her friends. I think it all sort of seeped into my head and stayed with me.”

It wasn’t long before Williams joined in on her mother’s living room jams. “It just seemed very natural to me,” she says. “Music always pulled me in. We would go to Disneyland, and I would always run toward the stage whenever a band was playing. I just wanted to be a part of it.” Her mother’s CD collection – Carole King, Todd Rundgren and James Taylor were favorites – made the first impression on Williams, but she soon discovered Bob Dylan. “We didn’t agree on Dylan,” Williams laughs. “I think my mother didn’t like his voice, but it seemed so beautiful to me.”

By the age of 13, Williams took up the guitar and started writing her own first songs. “It seemed so normal to me because that’s what my mom and her friends were doing,” she remembers. “I didn’t even worry about whether what I was writing was good or bad. I just enjoyed doing it.” In high school, her listening habits included solo artists such as Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan and Elliott Smith, but she eventually discovered bands like Radiohead and the Pixies. Williams recalls how hanging out with the “indie rock kids” at school led to an interesting musical exchange: “I introduced them to Dylan, and they hipped me to Death Cab for Cutie. It was pretty cool.”

Even before graduation, Williams hit the local clubs and coffee houses, and once she had her diploma in hand she made her way onto the stages of Hollywood, performing at the Knitting Factory, Hotel Café, Room 5, and On the Rocks. “They were great learning experiences, but in truth, I didn’t like to play those gigs,” she explains. “They didn’t pay very well, and you oftentimes had to go out of pocket just for the chance to be seen and heard.” Williams discovered that busking on the streets of Glendale offered a better opportunity to get her music across. “There were people walking around with Starbucks cups, and you had little kids trying to break dance,” she says. “The people really listened.” From there, she decided to take her act to the burgeoning outdoor scene of the Third Street Promenade.

With the Santa Monica Pier and the Pacific Ocean as her backdrop, Williams truly found her voice. Recording her music on her own (“I did a lot on my computer with GarageBand”), she found enthusiastic buyers willing to lay down $5 and $10 a CD. Connections were made – people gave her business cards and asked her to sing on sessions – one of them being producer Toby Gad, famous for his work with Beyonce and Natasha Bedingfield. The two worked on a collection of songs that yielded a full album, which strangely enough, resulted in Williams’ first taste of heartbreak.

“Toby pitched me to Interscope, and they bit,” she explains. “They said, ‘We love you and we love the album, and we want to release it as soon as possible.’ I was thrilled.” And then, a perplexing thing happened… as in nothing happened. “The label wanted me to do more writing, which I did, but then it became obvious that they weren’t going to release the album,” she says. “I couldn’t understand it.”

At first, Williams was crushed and even briefly considered quitting music (“I considered becoming a geologist”), but after extricating herself from the deal she realized it was all for the best. “After I got some distance from the album I’d recorded, I felt like it didn’t represent me anymore,” she says. “So I dusted myself off and hit the streets again, and after a while things came back around.”

By the time Williams met up with Kirk Pasich at the Promenade, she had a batch of new songs that would fully reflect her commitment to processing emotions with honesty, courage, hope and humor. Working with producer and multi-instrumentalist Ross Garren (Kesha, Ben Folds, Benmont Tench), she turned those songs into Boomerang, an album that grows in depth and meaning with each listen.

On the wistful pop symphony opener “Angeles Crest,” Williams paints a vivid picture of her childhood, envisioning the mountains she and her mother once drove by. With clear-eyed perception she looks back at the road once traveled and stares down the future on “Fool’s Gold” (“I wrote it right when I parted ways with my prior label. It’s me processing the situation”). Opening her throat with the bracing line “I was frozen by a mighty cold wind,” Williams further recounts that painful label experience on the aching country ballad “Dreamcatcher.” “Out of Sight” is a striking, chilling piece of torch-song blues, on which she casts off a previous personal entanglement with the mantra “out of sight, out of mind.” But on the buoyant, aptly titled “Rush” she finds herself caught up in the dizzying first flush of a new love. “It’s all about being in that moment,” she says, “all the crazy fears and hopes that come with the possibilities of a relationship.”

A stronger, wiser but no less hopeful Williams looks back on the recording of Boomerang thusly: “For me, this record has been an exercise in taking the reins and forging my own path in music and in life. I had never been given a record budget that came with so much creative control before. With that kind of freedom came a greater sense of responsibility and a greater pride in the work we were creating. I am so proud of the record Ross and I created.”

And with a characteristic note of levity, she adds, “I’m so happy that I didn’t give up music to become a geologist.”

ME FOR QUEEN – JESSICA. Single

Normaly I review albums but the other day I received this single from SONNET who provide great service and artists to the radio.

ME FOR QUEEN – JESSICA immediatley caught my attention,I wasnt paying attention I was drinking coffee. For five minutes the coffee cup stayed half way between the table and my mouth, I then checked what I had just listened to and put it staight to the top of the radio playlist.

Second listen(without coffee) impressed me even more.What a voice,sounds like everyone you love but different. What lyrics. What five and a half minutes of pure pleasure.

I then read the following on the internet.

“I attended a songwriting workshop last summer. It was a hugely inspiring few days, and I was thinking a lot about the value and role of Art and the Artist, as well as what and who we choose to celebrate and/commemorate in our society, over the years, and what gets lost along the way.

“I had the idea to write a song as a monument to a person I know. It took another six months to come together. For some reason I couldn’t get it to work on the piano. Then when I came to finishing the words, I was living in an apartment without any access to a piano, so in the end I just had to find a way to make it work on the guitar! Necessity is the mother of invention …”

Well Mary that was a damn fine workshop you went to.

Me for Queen aka Mary Erskine is inspired by people and their stories.

Her piano-led “soul-folk” draws obvious comparisons to Regina Spektor and Carol King but manage to fuse hints of Kate Bush and Laura J Martin. Mary says Me For Queen is “a sketchpad for whatever’s happening in my head. I just try to write songs that talk to people.”

A classically-trained pianist, Me for Queen’s live sound showcases her exceptional keyboard skills as well as her thoughtful approach to arrangement.

With a pure love of cycling and the outdoors, in 2015 she decided to honour the relationship with her bike by writing an album about cycling which the Guardian picked up on, writing:

“She voices the frustration and the sensations of danger many of us face. White Bike is a gentle, folk-like ballad with Erskine’s beautiful, soaring vocals chronicling a cycling fatality from three perspectives – ‘when you rush on by that corner where a ghost is chained with flowers, you need to know that we still see you and the fate that could be ours.”

Her EP “Who I am and What I am For” was released through Seahorse Music in February 2017.

“Erskine is blessed with a profound skill in the art of songwriting (not to mention a compelling voice) but also with a deft sense of storytelling…” Edinburgh Metro.

Live review: “Me For Queen….delivers a solo performance of beauty and power. Shorn of her usual band, her exceptional piano skills take over and with the clarity of her voice, produce some breathtaking moments.” Tapthefeed.com

Dori Freeman revels in the Galax Old Fiddler’s convention with her family in new video for “If I Could Make You My Own”

New video for Dori’s first single.

We’re really excited to share this personal and charming new video from Dori Freeman today. Taken at the Galax Old Fiddler’s convention surrounded by her family it focuses on her and her daughter Osa’s time. It’s a little glimpse into the life, and love, that they share. You can head over to the Bluegrass Situation right now to check it out!

 

Dori Freeman’s first single, featuring the production of Teddy Thompson and guitar of his father Richard Thompson, has the same tragic beauty Freeman showcased on her first album but with a renewed spirit, an optimistic bent that belies the times it was written in. Combining traditional Appalachian folk songs with her own, timeless, songwriting Dori Freeman’s sophomore album, Letters Never Read, is a reverent breath of fresh air. Rolling Stone‘s Jon Freeman says “Letters Never Read showcases Freeman’s stylistic range with nods to her Appalachian roots in old-time music as well as sophisticated singer-songwriter pop in the vein of Rufus Wainwright, without ever conforming strictly to any one convention.” The song was also featured on the New York Times and over at Spin.

Dori Freeman’s sophomore record is coming out October 20th and features other guests including Aiofe O’Donovan on “Just Say It Now” and “Cold Waves”, while Canadian Psychedelic-Americana duo Kacy and Clayton add vocals and electric guitar on 70s country-rock inspired “I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight“.

Her tour with Mandolin Orange starts today in Pittsburgh – you can find all of those dates here:

9/26 – Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theater*
9/27 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club*
9/28 – Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theater*
10/11 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer*
10/12 – Charlotte, NC – Neighborhood Theater*
10/13 – Athens, GA – 40 Watt*
10/14 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel*
10/19 – New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall (Album Release)
10/20 – Boston, MA – City Winery (Album Release)

More info on Dori Freeman:

Dori Freeman grew up in a family of bluegrass musicians, raised on a diet of Doc Watson and the Louvin Brothers. But by driving age, she’d cruise around her hometown of Galax, Virginia, windows down, breeze riffling her cropped strawberry-blonde hair, and harmonize with the pop melodies of singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson playing on her CD player. “I always thought that our voices sounded nice together,” Freeman says in a rough-edged, Appalachian twang. The feeling stuck with her, and at one point, Freeman did something odd for a 22-year-old single mom working at the family’s frame shop: she reached out to him via Facebook, with a note saying how much she would like to sing with him. Three days later, he wrote back. Two years after that, The New York Times named Freeman’s self-titled debut—an honest and achingly beautiful collection of folk and country songs produced by Thompson and recorded in three days—one of the best albums of 2016. They weren’t alone, rave reviews poured in for Dori’s debut, hailing her as the new voice of Appalachia.

While Freeman’s debut hewed to love-gone-wrong songs, her new album, the more measured and maturely crafted Letters Never Read—again produced by Teddy Thompson and featuring guest appearances by his dad Richard Thompson, as well as Aiofe O’Donovan and Canadian psych-folk duo Kacy & Clayton —has a distinctly rosier outlook. “I always want to put out something that’s a genuine representation of what I was going through at that point in my life,” says Freeman, noting that getting married last year to fellow musician Nick Falk (who plays drums and banjo on the album) made writing love songs much easier. She laughs. “I’m happier now in general.”

Lucy Kitchen – Sun To My Moon

 

A mesmerising and haunting new album from Lucy Kitchen.
From the opening notes, Sun to My Moon, Lucy Kitchen’s second studio album, takes you on a journey spanning from fragile stripped back confessionals to Americana, to psychedelic-tinged harmony laden anthems.
Featuring a more expansive sound than her previous offerings with full band on a number of songs, plus piano, pedal steel, Hammond and lush strings, Sun to My Moon was recorded mostly at Valley Studios and mastered to tape at Tilehouse Studios. The naturally raw sound is big, yet also intimate – and paints an emotive picture.
In the search for touchstones Lucy is often compared to the likes of Joni Mitchell, Beth Orton and, vocally, to Sandy Denny – ‘Lucy’s vocal tone has hints of the late Sandy Denny in it – a rare and precious thing indeed’ (bestnewbands.com), but her sound is all her own.
Sun to My Moon opens with the track of the same name, a call for a lover ‘Sun to my moon, rain in my sea, I called out for you, the wind carried you to me’, followed by the crashing, swirling emotion of ‘Searching for Land’. ‘Lovers in Blue’ features stunning strings, and the ethereal ‘Summer Queen’ builds from delicate piano and acoustic guitar to full band and back again. She says of the album “There’s a theme of loss but how, within that, love somehow pulls us through. There’s also I guess for me the vibe that I veer towards the moon – the darker, questioning side and a lot of the songs on the album have come out of a hard couple of years personally but also within that amazing things have happened as a result.”
Since her last album, Waking, Lucy has been in demand as a vocalist, working with a number of electronic music acts to write and record songs that have been championed by the likes of BBC Radio 1 and Mixmag. She’s also performed on the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury festival.
Sun to My Moon was released on the 1st September on Bohemia Rose Records.
“Lucy Kitchen has one of those real summer breeze voices, fresh and warm, and it’s very much to the fore on her second album that contains a myriad of delights. And she’s opened up her musical palette here with piano, steel pedal and strings all featured on a release in which she also brings in elements of Americana and lightly toasted psychedelia. But it’s the quality of her songwriting that clinches the deal here, that and her emotive voice which grabs you right there.” (The Crack Magazine)

David Rawlings – Poor David’s Almanack

The third release (and the first under just his name) for the guitarist/producer features Gillian Welch as well as Brittany Haas, Paul Kowert, Ketch Secor, and Willie Watson.

 

The Observer (UK) 80
It is, ultimately, unfair to parse a Rawlings album looking for traces of Welch. It’s wisest to thrill to an Americana record you can howl along to in the car until your heart feels replenished, to guitar work that stands among the finest.
Mojo 80
No 11-minute epics this time, but there are two stand-outs: Neil Young-esque Cumberland Gap, and Airplane, as hypnotic and moving as anything on The Harrow & The Harvest.
The Independent (UK) 80
As ever on Welch & Rawlings records, their harmonies are sublime, warmed by guitarist Willie Watson’s third part; but there are fewer dark shadows here than usual, with songs like “Good God A Woman” and “Yup” offering light-hearted fables of God’s and Satan’s dealings with women.
Exclaim 80
Rawlings’ and Welch’s music always feels like a return visit, and Poor David’s Almanack in particular seems perfectly suited to tack up on your wall and consult at home.

Over the past decade, ever since releasing the first album under his own name — 2009’s Friend Of A Friend – David Rawlings has gradually emerged in his partnership with Gillian Welch as the duo’s primary vocal outlet. Though it often seems as though the only discernible difference between albums under Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings is who happens to be singing lead, three of their past four albums have been released under Rawlings’ name.

Poor David’s Almanack takes a more full-band approach toward Welch and Rawlings’ neo-traditionalist American roots music. Enlisting longtime collaborators like Willie Watson, Brittany Haas and Ketch Secor, Rawlings runs through a mix of light folk-rock, orchestrated country-soul, traditional country-gospel, and folksy low-country blues.

When recording under the Rawlings name, Welch and Rawlings are freer to toy around musically and stray from the note-perfect craftsmanship of the acoustic duo format they tend to stick to when performing as Gillian Welch.  Poor David’s Almanack, for instance, features plenty of electric guitar, full string sections, rollicking fiddle and ramshackle three-part harmonies. 

A large component of Rawlings and Welch’s musical/historical project with their David Rawlings’ releases is their repeated insistence that in traditional music, there’s no such thing as a novelty song. Like on past comical high-dramas like 2009’s “Sweet Tooth” and 2015’s “Candy,” new numbers like “Yup,” “Good God A Woman” and “Money Is The Meat In The Coconut” are humorous, deadpan allegories that often tell deeper stories of lust, greed sex, and violence.

What’s so profoundly American about these songs are the way they often deploy humorous metaphor and simple, child-like storytelling devices to convey deeper, darker truths. Other times, the songs are simply funny stories without a larger lesson. In this way, Dave Rawlings records exist as an important counterweight to the inherent gravitas and high stakes seriousness in Gillian Welch albums.

Moshe Vilozny

Born in Portland Oregon and raised in Santa Cruz California, Moshé grew up  spending  summers in Israel and winters throughout Latin America,  Moshe incorporates his life experiences into his original songs to create music without borders, with musical influences from around the world.  

Moshe has been writing & performing original songs since age 13.  In 2004, Moshe released “Revolucion” with his world music group Universal Language.  An album featuring 12 of his original songs sung in English, Spanish & Hebrew.  The group toured throughout the west coast packing venues and headlining festivals including Earthdance,  Sierra Nevada & Reggae On The River where they were joined by Michael Franti (a video of which is on the UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE tab  of this site)  As players moved out of the area & country and Moshe settled down into family life, the group took a hiatus, with occasional reunion shows.

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2016 found Moshe returning full circle back to his roots as a singer songwriter with the release of “Lost & Found”.  One of the last projects  recorded at Gadgetbox Studios in Santa Cruz, the album features 13  original songs performed live in  studio.  The album features all acoustic instrumentation, &  some of Santa Cruz’s finest players.  The album was put onto heavy rotation on AAA Americana radio station KPIG where it is often requested. 

2017 finds Moshe writing more than ever as he draws on his life changes, including the birth of his daughter Isla on July 6th.  He has written the material for his 3rd album which will be his most intimate effort yet.  He is performing mainly as a solo artist showcasing songs from his previous two albums and his forthcoming album bringing  honest, heartfelt original live music to his audiences.