heather's blog

Tori Sparks

Baby I love you at the strangest moments

Heaven above you just shrugs its shoulders

Ain't no rhyme no reason interfering

With what I'm feeling

~ Little Wrecking Ball, Tori Sparks

 

It might be hard to guess that Tori Sparks calls Nashville home these days, seeing as she's rarely there.  Constantly on the road, her latest full-length album, The Scorpion in the Story, is a tour diary of sorts, each song written in a different city and capturing the story of someone Tori met while passing through.

 

Tori's sultry voice weaves together each track of the album into a coherent tapestry of blues, folk, rock, and Americana.  The variety of styles perhaps speaks to Tori's independent spirit, an important component to her success in building her own record company and to booking shows, making music charts and gaining fans across the country and Europe.

 

Tune in Tuesday from 9-10am Central for your weekly dose of music by female singer-songwriters and for the interview with Tori!  She'll be calling in around 9:30 or so.

Sarah TraceyThis plum is not quite ripe enough to eat
It's tempting me with flesh that looks so sweet
But I've tasted sour fruit before
and I've become bitter to the core
~ This Plum, Sarah Tracey

It's no surprise to hear that Sarah Tracey claims inspiration in noir films.  A few moments of her sultry "modern torch" songs are enough to paint a picture of a gritty black and white film from back in the day, full of fedoras and elbow gloves, thick with smoke and lipstick.

Chicago born and raised, the classically trained Tracey found her voice when she discovered jazz, soul and blues.  The songs on her Cards on the Table EP are gaining attention all over the web, and her live performances are turning heads in popular music rooms in New York City.

Tune in to Lyrical Venus from 9-10am Central for your weekly dose of music by female singer-songwriters.  Sarah Tracey's feature set will start around 9:15.  Written interview is posted at LyricalVenus.com

The Whispering TreeGo call the captain and hold the tight the rail
This ship is sinking and we need some help
Someone please save us from these wicked men
Who rule the world, rule the world, rule the world
~ Go Call the Captain, The Whispering Tree

Now based in New York, classically trained vocalist Eleanor Kleiner and French bassist Elie Brangbour met at the London Center of Contemporary Music in 2004.  Together they formed The Whispering Tree, Eleanor's liquid-sweet voice balanced and grounded by Elie's solid bass, their extensive training only evident in how effortlessly the songs flow. 

Since their meeting, Eleanor and Elie have traveled the world, sharing their music and picking up new influences everywhere from China to South America.  Their new release, Go Call the Captain, combines elements of folk, rock, jazz and bluegrass into a melting pot of musical inspiration that is at once familiar and otherworldly.

Join me Tuesday, June 1st from 9-10am for your weekly dose of tunes by female singer-songwriters and the interview with The Whispering Tree!

Mary GauthierA foundling, a foundling, looking for home
Wanders through darkness and travels alone
~ The Foundling, Mary Gauthier

Known for her tell-it-like-it-is style, award-winning songwriter Mary Gauthier's previous albums told mostly other people's stories.  Often highlighting those living on the margins of society, her songs deal with tough subjects such as HIV, alcoholism and homeless travelers in a wise and compassionate way.  They give a window of insight to those on the outside, and a sense of support and validation to those feeling alone and misunderstood.

How Mary found that compassion is quite obvious with a listen to her brand new concept album called The Foundling. The autobiographical song cycle starts with her story of being abandoned as a child and leads up to finding her birth mother as an adult, only to be denied the chance to connect.  Somehow, through all that, she still manages to believe in and sing about love.

Join me Tuesday, May 25th from 9-10am Central for Lyrical Venus, where the focus is on music by female singer-songwriters.  Mary's segment will air at 9:30am.

Beaucoup ShaktiTeresa Storch

That's right folks! You're getting a special double dose this week on Lyrical Venus! We'll start off at 9am with Sharon Bousquet of Beaucoup Shakti live in the studio giving us an update on their new album nearing the final stages of production, and the trio show with Tim Britton coming up at Cafe Paradiso this Saturday, May 22nd.

Then at 9:30, Colorado-based Teresa Storch will be calling in. We'll talk about Teresa's inspiring story of transition from fulltime software engineer to traveling songwriter. Her "blue-eyed soul" has won over the hearts of many audiences from coast to coast since she got her start busking in the Boston subways. Teresa will be performing at a house concert in Fairfield this Thursday the 20th, with Jeremy Facknitz.

Join me on Tuesday from 9-10am Central to get to know these amazing performers. Read more about them on LyricalVenus.com.

Lisa BrigantinoEven at the sideshow they're just trying to sell a lie
Look, you won't believe what you see 
But I know the truth buried way deep down inside 
The freaks are the same as you and me 
~ Wonder Wheel, Lisa Brigantino 

Spend a few minutes perusing Lisa Brigantino's website and links and you'll start to wonder if there is anything this talented musician can't do!  It starts to make sense when you realize she has been steeped in music making since the age of 5, when she started piano lessons.  Now able to play at least 14 instruments, Lisa has garnered a variety of songwriting and performing awards, has toured the world with an all women Led Zeppelin tribute band, shares a musical comedy act with her sister in New York, and still found time to write, record and produce her two solo albums, the newest one to be released June 7th.

Join me Tuesday May 11th from 9-10am Central for Lyrical Venus, where the focus is on music by female singer-songwriters.  Lisa will be calling at 9am.

Stephanie NillesIf you're feeling useless baby,
all you gotta do is just focus
on the movement of the moon.

~ A Great Notion, Stephanie Nilles

Bored with playing other people's songs, classically trained pianist Stephanie Nilles turned to writing her own.  Tiring of New York City, she hit the road in 2008 and found her way into the indie/folk/coffee house circuit, booking herself about 20 shows a month and playing for tips on nights she didn't have an official show.

Stephanie's music has earned her comparisons to Ella Fitzgerald, Regina Spektor and Tom Waits.  Her subject matter "address issues ranging from drug busts in her neighborhood to the challenges and joys of life on the road."  She is a modern day troubadour, and these are songs that make you pay attention. 

Tune in Tuesday and get to know Stephanie Nilles!  Lyrical Venus starts at 9am, Stephanie will be calling around 9:30am.

Misty BoyceHate to disappoint you
Hate to start a fight
But I don't much like what I just tasted
Stand up from the table
No more appetite
~Razor, Misty Boyce

Singer-songwriter Misty Boyce is currently based out of New York, but a quick look at her bio will show that she has lived in several states and learned many a life lesson before landing in Manhattan.  A listen to her self-titled debut LP will show that those life lessons provided plenty of fodder for songs. 

Add to that all of Misty's musical experience - writing songs from the age of 9, studying jazz piano in college, touring as a keyboardist and backup singer (to name a few), and you can imagine that not much stands in the way of her expression. Whether Misty's smokey-sweet vocals are dancing over hook-y piano riffs or hovering above guitar chords, they always seem to find a way into your heart.

Tune in Tuesday, April 27th from 9-10 am Central for great tunes by women in music and the interview with Misty. Show starts at 9, Misty will be calling at 9:30.

The Sweater SetI don't know what I want from you
I pretend that I do
I'm sure you see it in my eyes
I'm sure you feel it in my grip
I'm sure you hear it my voice
I'm sure you're hip
~ I'm Sure You're Hip, The Sweater Set

Friends as teens in a DC church choir, Maureen Andary and Sara Curtin reunited in 2008 when Maureen was selected as a finalist in the Mountain Stage NewSong Contest.  Maureen knew Sara was pretty much the only person she could think of who would be able to do the high harmonies in her songs.

In their short time as a band, the women have been wowing audiences with quirky-smart, self-aware songs, beautifully intertwined soprano voices, and a plethora of musical instruments including guitar, ukulele, flute, glockenspiel and kazoo, to name a few!

Join me Tuesday, April 20th at 9am Central for an interview with Maureen and Sara!  We'll finish off the second half of the hour with your weekly dose of more songs by female singer-songwriters.

Nefertiti and the nefTUNESMainframe is calling my name
I can't get out, I'm the one to blame
There's no way out once you're in the flame
We must get out before it's too late
~ Mainframe, Nefertiti & the nefTUNES

When Nefertiti wrote an email of introduction, she described her music as "Acoustic Gangsterism" and went on to explain that the style "is a mix of reggae, hip-hop, folk, rock, soul, and blues. The music comes out sounding like Kanye West and Jill Scott's love child had a love child with Lauryn Hill and Lil' Wayne's love child, all grown-up."  Needless to say, I was intrigued and had to find out more.

I can guarantee there hasn't been an artist like this on Lyrical Venus yet!  Tune in at 9:30am Central on Tuesday 4/13 to meet this soulful, creative and independent spirit.  We'll start the hour off with your weekly Lyrical Venus dose of female singer-songwriters at 9am.

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