Interview with Nancy Emrich Freeman about FARM (Folk Alliance Region Midwest) and the FARM kickoff party at The Mill in Iowa City on 2/15.
Take two accomplished singer-songwriters with a friendship that goes back far enough to sweeten their harmonies in a way that only time and familiarity can. Add a few years of motherhood and singing their babes to sleep. Reach out to their fanbases to find out favorite soothing songs across ages and artists. Choose 14 of those original and cover songs and record them with a stellar team of musicians. The result is "Til The Morning: Lullabyes and Songs of Comfort" by Edie Carey & Sarah Sample, a dreamy collection of songs that both children and parents can enjoy for lulling themselves off to sleep.
I am tired of the dues
I've been paying all the time
Cuz they never pay out
and it's bitter on the bottom line
and I keep carrying on, carrying
on like I can still see the stars
but when your dreams dry up,
they turn into scars
~ Middle of My Chest, Jana Pochop
In Throats are Quarries, the soon-to-be released 3rd EP by Austin singer-songwriter Jana Pochop, her sound takes a delightful turn toward the glossy and electric, without losing any of the heart, soul, intelligence and down-to-earth insights you expect from a Pochop album.
Tune in to hear Jana talk about the journey through her trilogy of EP experiences with producer Dan Barrett, how her sound and artistry evolved over the course of the 3 recordings, plus the in and outs of crowdfunding, touring, social media and more.
Oh Maria won't you come with me?
I called your name around the rosary
Oh Maria you can disagree
Spinning in the stormy history
~ Maria, by Daisy
With songs delightfully deep and quirky-fun by turns, Austin singer-songwriter and ray of sunshine Daisy released her debut EP entitled Do Be Do this week. Tune in to hear her discuss her path from her childhood on a farm in Washington state, to becoming a social worker, to giving that up to follow her heart to the musical mecca of Austin, Texas where she met producer Daniel Barrett. Together they polished up 5 of her songs, including some co-writes with Steve Poltz, into a shiny gem of an EP that is sure to get your boots stomping along, at least when it isn't tugging at your heartstrings.
Yesterday was the culmination of a 31 day project for singer-songwriter Heather Mae of exploring self love and acceptance. She talks with Lyrical Venus about that journey and the importance of self love for so many.
No stranger to challenging projects, in 2010, Heather Mae became relentlessly committed to the challenge of writing 365 songs in 365 days! She trekked through over 30 states, making footprints of over 7,000 lyrics and 100+ artist collaborations. Her music is supported by an ever-changing cast of complementary musicians known as “The Make Believe,” some of whom she met during this project. Taking step one on October 1, 2010, Heather Mae is reaching another landmark 2 years later, releasing her LP “One Year of Songs.”
Ellis. Who hasn’t heard Ellis. Fairfield has fallen in love with her. She packs Cafe Paradiso every time she plays. The phenomenon is however not unique. She seems to have this effect wherever she goes. Ellis is quietly amassing a loyal following of supporters across the country.
After her Feb 2013 appearance on A Prairie Home Companion, Ellis’ music charted in the Folk Top 100 in iTunes and Folk Top 20 on Amazon.com. She also received hundreds of messages from strangers including, "you exude pure joy", "I heard you and fell in love" and “I was stopped in my tracks by your music and captivating laugh” as well as "Yours is a voice we all need to hear.” Ellis’ performances are transformational; she leaves her audiences better than she finds them, with softened edges & opened hearts.
Tune in to Lyrical Venus Wednesday morning for a live call-in from this amazing artist. She will be appearing at Cafe Paradiso on Saturday, April 12th at 8pm
Lyric Venus talks with Jenny Kohls, who is a songwriter from Des Moines. She recorded 'Whiskey Nights & Bright Lights' at Redd No. 7 Studios here in Des Moines, from 2010 - 2012. During which time she was also involved in a band called Kiriko with some fantastic local musicians: Kevin Neal, Dan Spain, and Deb & Dusty (the Double D's). In 2007 Jenny started the honeybees with Rae Fehring (now called rae & the honeybees) and through Redd No. 7 Studios, we released our EP 'Faders Up'. You can find that recording on locusic as well. Kevin, Dan and local blues guru, Shane Johnson, were all players on 'Faders Up' and I encourage everyone to seek them out in our local music scene. Whiskey Nights & Bright Lights once again features Kevin Neal as recording engineer/producer/musican and local drummer Joe Maguire. Throughout the years, She's either opened for or shared the stage with Dirk Newton, The Wailin' Jenny's, Josh Davis, Dick Prall, Coles Whalen, Kim O'hara, Garrison Starr, Kristie Stremmel, and many more.
The words used to be alive in my mouth
Trying to find a way out
Strange how it was I could never make them stay
or go away
Willful were they
And caught in their clutch was I
~ Words, Rachel Ries
Returning from a years-long hiatus, Rachel Ries is releasing her third long player, Ghost of a Gardener on Feb 18, 2014. Her voice at times echoes that of Regina Spektor or early Maria Muldaur and this new album is full of thoughtful and inventive arrangements. Fingerpicked melodicism pairs with sweeping strings & analog synths while a Merle Haggard-style drinking song struts with trumpets and close knit harmonies.
Something's wrong, I can tell
And what you don't say
Is a silent farewell
~ Talk to Me, Kat Parsons
Born in Vienna, based in Los Angeles and with tour credits across the US and Europe, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, Brunei, Australia, Singapore, Borneo, Vietnam, and Japan, one listen to Kat Parsons' upbeat and intelligent pop, and it's easy to see why she has had such international success.
Her breathy, sweet vocals and catchy hooks draw in even the most casual listener, and the introspective lyrics hold discerning ears longer than the latest disposable, manufactured hit.
This podcast includes approx 7 minutes of bonus questions we didn't have time for in the original aired interview!
Color me in however you like
It maybe hard to stay in my shifting lines
And just so you know
My love for you is the color yellow
~ Inch by Inch, Debbie Miller
Classically trained pianist Debbie Miller booked her first singer-songwriter gig in New York City before she even had enough material to fill the slot. Once the songs started coming they didn't stop, as she is currently releasing her second album! Now based out of Seattle, Debbie is winning the hearts of the coffee-shop crowds with her quirky, playful, and raw songs, straight from the heart.
Keep your eyes set on the horizon
on the line where blue meets blue
I bet that silver lining, well I know it'd find you soon
~ 1,000 Ships, Rachel Platten
Based on her album, Be Here, New York singer-songwriter Rachel Platten is the type of person you'd want to adopt for a best friend or big sister. Her songs are upbeat and positive without denying that heartache and hard times exist. Rachel is just confident that those situations are temporary and with the right attitude you can turn it around. A little of her sweet voice, bubbly smile and piano-driven pop may just be the perfect pick-me-up.
Come ashore, love, come ashore
Do not chase the bitter sea
I will be waiting at our doorstep
Come ashore, love, come ashore
~ Come Ashore, Love by Anna Coogan
Anna Coogan's new album, The Wasted Ocean, is a fresh collection of olde time flavored sea songs, but more the type to row a small wooden boat, wearing a hand-knit woolen sweater misted with salt spray, than the type that stomp around in an eye-patch on a peg leg, sloshing mugs of beer. The songs are deeply atmospheric, layered, and evocative, all while allowing Anna's rich, sweet and honest voice to hold center stage.
I can't remember how it feels
to live a day all by myself
and never really worry
about someone else
~ Time, Joy Ike
Pittsburgh singer-songwriter Joy Ike lives by the motto, "It won't be easy, but it will be worth it." Making the transition to full-time musician was not an easy decision, but not only has she blossomed as an artist, she even takes the time to pass on her lessons learned in an advice blog for other indie creative types. Whether you're a music maker or appreciator, her rich voice and intelligent, bubbly piano-pop sensibilities will win your ears over in no time.
Tell me stories of sunsets and buildings
Of sleepless nights and wild rides
Let's sit and talk of where you've been
Color your adventures my friend
~ Sunsets & Stories, Heather Mae
Artists and musicians love to talk about their creative process and how they might change it or get better. Heather Mae dives in and faces her art head on. After spending a year writing a song every day and a summer touring the country from East to West, she has learned more than a few things about taking action, living in the moment and brewing creativity on the spot. With all that experience under her belt and a style that has been compared to Joni Mitchell and Ingrid Michaelson, Heather Mae has a long and beautiful career ahead of her.
Fire is supposed to bring you higher
Fire can burn your soul
But if you don't listen to the choir
The choir can turn to stone
~ Fire, Yael Meyer
Chilean born and LA based singer-songwriter Yael Meyer releases her sophomore album today. With four tracks off her effervensent Heartbeat EP plus seven new ones, Everything Will Be Alright satisfies those fans who have been hungry for more from Yael and provides an irresistable treat to new fans. Filled with light, hope and love, Yael's music fills the heart with joy.
If you stare too long at a picture frame,
you turn to gray
You want to add some color back again,
well, that’s okay
~ Last of the Ones, Laura Marie
San Antonio born and raised, singer-songwriter Laura Marie very nearly became a marine biologist in college. Luckily for fans of her heartfelt, personal lyrics and smoky-smooth vocals, Laura Marie's love of music and songwriting eventually carried her through to a degree in music education, past band breakups and the challenges of new motherhood to arrive at her second solo album, Last of the Ones.
In my time of uncertainty
I'm searching for serenity
Shattered soul, how to make it whole
Won't someone tell me how?
~ Simple is Beautiful, Violette
A French native singer-songwriter living in New York, Violette was trained in classical piano as a young child. She began writing her own songs at the age of 15 and has just released her third album, Simple is Beautiful. Moving out of her roots in jazz to a more pop-rock sound, the album is both simple and beautiful, with just enough instrumentation to support her angelic voice without feeling sparse.
Wandering troubadour in need of rest
Lay your weary head upon my chest
If you need shelter from the road
I’ll take you in. I’ll take you home
~ Wandering Troubadour, Leslie Krafka
Texas songwriter Leslie Krafka was bitten by the songwriting bug after being gifted a songwriting workshop with Terri Hendrix & Lloyd Maines as an anniversary present, simply for the opportunity to hang out with folks she admired. Quickly hooked, Leslie went from from never playing or singing out at all to the world of lessons and putting out an album to winning songwriter contests in five short years!
Gravity feels weaker than it ever used to
Light as a feather, blown by the wind without you
I float above all that I love and I can't get home
Till you pull me back, you show me that I'm not alone
~ Anchor, Bess Rogers
Brooklyn-based artist Bess Rogers just came out with her fourth independent release, Out of the Ocean. Featuring all the upbeat handclaps, sweet harmonies, indie punk and pop progressions and catchy melodies we've come to love from Bess, the album is also tied together with her fascination with science. Themes of evolution and love are woven together masterfully in an album that is the perfect balance of smart and fun. Bess will be performing at Cafe Paradiso on Oct. 24th with Allison Weiss.
She had donuts and daydreams by the baker's dozen
She wished her life could be something that it wasn't
~ Donuts & Daydreams, Jane Godfrey
Growing up in a large and highly musical family, St. Louis singer-songwriter Jane Godfrey spent a lifetime of listening to and making music with her brothers and sisters before a serious of sleepless nights led to her picking up a pen to write herself. Quickly validated to continue by winning a song-writing contest, when Jane was ready to record, she had a built-in backup band of siblings ready to add their harmonies and instrumental talents to her delightful, insightful story songs.
Red and white eight sides combined
Everybody knows the sign
But stop and go wastes all my time
When I've gotta get to you
So I drive right through
~ Not Supposed To, Kristin Cifelli
Boston based singer-songwriter Kristin Cifelli has been playing piano since 2nd grade and writing songs since the 5th. Two and a half years in the making, her newest album, Middle of Nowhere, is grown-up pop with songwriter smarts and a voice you could listen to all day long.
California you seem like promised land
You feed my children and you work my hands
When I lay down to pay the final toll
Take my body, leave my soul
~ To California, ellen cherry
Baltimore, MD singer-songwriter ellen cherry puts her history major to good use with her latest recording, (New) Years. Each song in the collection of 12 is designated with a year, and while half are personal reflection within ellen's lifetime, the first six story songs speak from the point of view of women from as far back as 1864.
Whether it's the intimacy of her voice, the stripped down aesthetic of the recording or the poignancy of the story-telling, it doesn't seem to matter what year ellen is singing about, each song is like a familiar, favorite jacket that settles around her shoulders perfectly the moment she puts it on.
It's my last day here in paradise
Gotta put back on my shoes
But all I wanna do is stay here and cruise
I got the blues, there's nothing I can do
~ Last Day of Vacation Blues, Jenn Cleary
It's tempting at first to put Colorado artist Jenn Cleary squarely in the blues category. It wouldn't be completely wrong, she does have a powerful, smokey voice and the hot guitar chops and plenty of tunes that fit the genre. But listening to her latest album Back to the Wheel, one quickly discovers that Jenn is first a true songwriter, with a penchant for blues, the ability to slide between rock, folk and more with ease, and the commitment to serve the songs in whatever style is best suited to the story at their heart, because heart they have indeed.
Colorado-based Teresa Storch will be calling in this week. 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.
Two amazingly dynamic and creative Fairfield musicians have teamed together to make Trouble, and some pretty cool "dance party music"! Think Imogen Heap meets Bjork with a little bit of The Cranberries and Cyndi Lauper thrown in and you may start to get a picture of the sounds Adrien Daller and Philip Rabalais are coming up with these days.
Change is coming too fast
No listening to how I feel
You're gonna free your heart at last
~ No Compromise, Sister Jane
Austin, Texas band Sister Jane blends sweet harmonies, aware lyrics, thumping bass lines and a dash of violin to create their own special brand of pop-reggae that is sure to bring a smile to your face and set your body swaying.
Lead songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Lynette Perkins can bring the groove with multiple combinations of musicians, from an acoustic duo with Catherine Parke on vocals and violin, to the core four women of Sister Jane including Vicka Behl (5 string bass and vocals) and Franci Jarrard (keyboards and vocals) to a full six piece adding in Mark Wilson on saxophone and flute and Scott White on drums.
Bacon in skillet
Lemonade in a glass
Here's something boys
You won't learn in class
~ Giant Mushrooms, Erin Hill & Her Psychadelic Harp
The multi-talented multi-instrumentalist Erin Hill is currently focusing her formidable skills on an ambitious new project - a sci-fi video album. Much like a collection of short stories, Erin describes the ten songs on her upcoming album Girl Inventor to be little 4 minute episodes in a Twilight Zone flavored series. The psychedelic harp-driven tunes run the gamut from dreamy to rocking, all topped with Erin's etherial vocals and are also waiting to be realized in video form. The first video for the track Giant Mushrooms is already making a splash online.
You next to me, me next to you
We're perfectly in tune
Curled up in this room
I'm melting into you
We fit like spoons
~ Spoons, Sheri Miller
New York singer-songwriter Sheri Miller has been writing songs since childhood, following her natural instinct to create and express. Her latest release, Winning Hand, produced by Kevin Killen (U2, Peter Gabriel), is lush and complex, yet easy to relate to both musically and emotionally. From the uptempo and hooky Spoons to the Bollywood Rock flavored Satellite, Sheri explores matters of the heart with refreshing honesty and a healthy helping of poetic metaphor.
When they lay me down in a box
Please sail me out to sea
I’ve spent all my life being tied to this land
Please don’t bury me.
~ Don't Bury Me, Sarah Sample
Like an angelfood cake soaked in whiskey, the music of Sarah Sample is a delicate dessert that packs a pleasant punch. Her voice will stop you in your tracks and her megawatt grin will light up a smile across your own face. Radiating grace, yet brave enough to share raw honesty, her easy and genuine connection with audiences appears effortless. Combine that with her polished collection of song gems and it's easy to see why Sarah is a fast favorite wherever she goes. Read more about Sarah on Lyrical Venus.