Archive for the Jill Andrews Category

Friday Notes: Grammy Nominees, Lucinda, and a Little Blog Love

Posted in Jill Andrews, Lucinda Williams, Rosanne Cash, The Steeldrivers on December 3, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

*First off… I want to say how excited I am to have my blog featured in The Metro Pulse this week.  The Metro Pulse is Knoxville’s weekly free news magazine focusing on local news and issues with a strong focus on arts and entertainment in our city.  This week’s cover story is about local blogs and bloggers.  I was fortunate enough that A Fifty Cent Lighter & A Whiskey Buzz was one of the blogs mentioned.

Those of you in Knoxville know where to pick up a copy, but since the biggest portion of you aren’t from here… you can read my interview here and check out the other featured blogs.

*Grammy nominees were announced yesterday, and (as usual) the nominees are mostly mainstream acts that I don’t particularly care about.  However, there are several Americana and Roots categories work checking out as well as a handful of Americana acts nominated in other categories.  Patty Griffin is nominated for “Best Traditional Gospel Album” for Downtown Church, and The Steeldrivers are up for “Best Bluegrass Album” and “Best Country Performance by a Duo of Group with Vocals.”  Marty Stuart, Ryan Bingham, Steve Earle, and Lucinda Williams & Elvis Costello are also nominated in various categories.

This is year two of the “Best Americana Album” category, and the nominees are fairly solid.  Rosanne Cash won Album of the Year at the Americana Music Awards for her album The List.  She’s nominated here along side Robert Plant’s Band of Joy, Willie Nelson’s Country Music, Los Lobos’ Tin Can Trust, and Mavis Staples’ You Are Not Alone.  My money is on Cash or Plant.

Rosanne Cash: Motherless Children (Buy Album)
The Steeldrivers: Where Rainbows Never Die (Buy Album)

*Lucinda Williams is working on a new album.  Blessed is produced by Don Was and should be out in March.

*Knoxville’s Jill Andrews is working on a new one as well.  The former member of the everybodyfields is asking for help from her fans to fund the release of her first full length solo album The Mirror.  You can find out how to help here.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1194450798/jill-andrews-the-mirror/widget/video.html

Top 20 of 2009: 15-13

Posted in Boca Chica, Jill Andrews, Todd Snider, Top 20 of 2009 on December 21, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

#15 – Jill Andrews EP by Jill Andrews

2009 was really a big year for Knoxville’s Jill Andrews. Her long time band the everybodyfields split up, she became a mother for the first time, and she released her first ever solo project. Jill’s self titled EP was released in October and reads as a deeply personal record that stands up to any of her previous work with the everybodyfields. When I asked her in November how it felt to have a record that bore her name after spending so long as part of a group, she described the feeling as, “pretty much the best thing ever.”

She’s not too far off in her assessment. In my initial review of the album, I mentioned the raw emotions that are on display throughout the album as Jill deals with the dissolution of her previous band. It must have been quite cathartic to get those feelings out of her head and on to a record. She has every right to be proud and excited about this release… it’s certainly “Worth Keeping.”

Jill Andrews: Worth Keeping (Buy Album)

#14 – The Excitement Plan by Todd Snider

I didn’t review Todd Snider’s The Excitement Plan when it came out, but I did give everyone a chance to listen to the album early with a handy widget from Todd’s website (you can still listen to clips of four songs from the album there). I also celebrated Todd Snider day (a holiday of my own invention) back in May when he visited for a couple of shows at WDVX. Todd played brief solo sets on the Blue Plate Special and Tennessee Shines. I left both sets in awe of his easy sense of humor and, of course, his music.

Both of Todd’s assets are in fine form here. He will make you smile with his rant against the music industry in “Money, Compliments, Publicity (Song Number Ten) and with “Don’t Tempt Me,” a classic country cheating song he cowrote with Loretta Lynn. Todd takes an introspective turn on “Greencastle Blues” when he examines his own troubled past with a mix of helplessness and ownership of his mistakes. Todd sings, “Some of this trouble just finds me/Most of this trouble I earn.” It’s an honest assessment of his career, and it serves as a window into Todd’s past and his present.

Todd Snider: Greencastle Blues (Buy Album)

#13 – Lace Up Your Workboots by Boca Chica

Although I bear a slight grudge against the city of Pittsburgh right now after the Steelers late win over the Packers yesterday, I would be remiss if I didn’t give praise here to the Pittsburgh based collective Boca Chica. I was very happy to find this one in my inbox this fall. On Lace Up Your Workboots, songwriter and vocalist Hallie Pritts leads her expansive ensemble cast through ten finely crafted folk flavored tunes that draw influences from all over the musical spectrum.

“Shake Your Party Dress” owes a heavy debt to Fleetwood Mac while other tracks draw from Neil Young, Gillian Welch… even Andrew Bird. It’s folk music with a bit of an experimental edge that also somehow stays true to the core of the original form. Here’s a track called “Valentine” that builds nicely from a quiet acoustic strum into a fully fleshed out symphony of strings, snares, synths, keys, and vocal harmonies. It’s quite captivating.

Boca Chica: Valentine (Buy Album)

Special bonus Boca Chica Holiday track from Indiecater Records Christmas sampler…

Boca Chica: Snow Angels (Buy Album)

Quick Schedule Update

Posted in Band of Heathens, Brendon James Wright, Jill Andrews on November 4, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Just a few quick schedule updates for some on-air happenings at WDVX this week…

***I had mentioned over the weekend that Jill Andrews of the everybodyfields would be joining me on the air tonight as part of the WDVX Fall Fund Drive. That appearance has been postponed as Jill has been given the opportunity to open for Willie Nelson tonight at the Tennessee Theatre. I spoke with her yesterday, and she is very excited for the chance to play on the same stage as one of the legends of Country and Americana music.
Don’t worry though… Jill will be stopping back by the studio in a few weeks to share some songs and insights from her new EP. She’ll be in the studio on November 20th at 6:00 to promote her show later that night at The Square Room with Matt Butcher.
***The Band of Heathens will be appearing on The Blue Plate Special today at Noon (Eastern). The guys from Austin had the number 1 album on the Americana Airplay Chart last week with their new CD One Foot in the Ether. I can’t wait to see their performance today… especially since I’ll be hosting the show.
***Finally… I didn’t mention this the other day, but Knoxville’s own Brendon James Wright (pictured above) will be in the studio with me Friday night from 8:00 – 9:00 to play a few songs and spin a few CDs. I’ve mentioned Brendon a few times in this space as a tremendous local songwriter and an artist you should get to know. If you are a fan of artists such as Steve Earle, Robert Earl Keen, and Scott Miller… you should tune in Friday night and get to know Brendon James Wright.
Brendon James Wright & The Wrongs: Mason Brown (Buy Album)
All of the stuff I just mentioned (minus the Willie Nelson concert) can be heard online at the WDVX website. Today marks the first day of our Fall Fund Drive. If you listen to the station… and you feel moved to do so… you can make your donation to WDVX here. Thank you.

Random Weekend Post: WDVX Fund Drive This Week… Lots of Folks Stopping By

Posted in Band of Heathens, Jill Andrews on October 31, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

The upcoming week is a big one for me. Wednesday marks the beginning of the 2009 Fall Fund Drive at WDVX, and we have a few special treats up our sleeves. I’ll try to keep you updated on some of the bigger guests and happenings as they occur. For now, though, let’s just focus on the opening day of the drive.

It all starts Wednesday at noon (Eastern) when the Band of Heathens appear on the Blue Plate Special (which I’ll be hosting) and continues Wednesday night at 6:00 when I’ll be joined in the studio by Jill Andrews. The Heathens will be playing songs from the current #1 album on the Americana Airplay Chart, One Foot in the Ether. Jill will be sharing songs from her new self titled EP.

Here’s a taste of each artist…

Jill Andrews courtesy of MonkeyWhale.com

And The Band of Heathens courtesy of Music Fog

I don’t want this post (or any of the upcoming fund drive related posts) to be intrusive. I just think if you like what goes on here at the blog, you might like WDVX as well. You can listen to a live stream of the station or make a tax deductible donation to the station at our website.

I have never asked for reader contributions to help cover the costs of the blog, but WDVX is a listener supported station that counts on listener contributions to stay on the air. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

A Little Knox Music: Jill Andrews New CD and WDVX Appearance Friday

Posted in Jill Andrews, Knoxville Music, the everybodyfields on October 8, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Jill Andrews spent the past several years as one-half of the creative force behind indie-folk darlings the everybodyfields. Along with Sam Quinn (the other half) and a rotating cast of fellow musicians, Jill and the everybodyfields released three outstanding records. The band gained new fans and accolades with each new release as their melancholy lyrics and soaring harmonies were impossible to resist. They were working on material for a fourth studio album when word began to spread around Knoxville that the band was no more.

In the last few months since the split, Quinn has been playing gigs with his new project Sam Quinn & the Japan Ten. Meanwhile, Andrews took some time off to give birth to her first child and work on her first solo project… a self-titled EP due out at the end of the month.

I’ve had the pleasure of listening to an advance copy of the new EP for the better part of a week now, and I can’t put it away. I put the whole thing on repeat Tuesday afternoon while I did some house work. It had played all the way through four complete times before I finished my project. I didn’t mind one bit… I was enthralled by each song each time through.

The first thing you notice about this project is just how great it sounds. Andrews produced the album herself and had the whole thing mastered by Patty Griffin sideman/producer Doug Lancio. Pianos and gentle guitars float in and around Andrews’ gorgeous vocal melodies all while giving her voice and words room to shine.

It’s when you listen to those words that the stomach punch comes. The everybodyfields were always known for their heart wrenching and emotionally powerful lyrics that added heft to their soaring harmonies. Andrews keeps that spirit alive here with songs about loss and love… endings and beginnings. With that, it’s hard not to hear these songs in the context of the dissolution of the everybodyfields and call this a break up record. When Andrews sings, “Are you ready to leave?” over and over on “These Words,” it’s not a big leap to take.

Now, I must admit that I don’t know the circumstances around the break up, and I know some of these songs were performed live by the band before the split. However, anyone who has been in a relationship as it ends knows all of the conflicting feelings and emotions that show up in these situations. All of those emotions show up here. Anger at the person who is leaving. Gratitude for the time they spent. Confusion as everything changes. Excitement to start things anew.

All these emotions are brazenly displayed on Andrews’ sleeve in these six tracks. This EP reads as a deeply personal recounting of recent events and serves as a powerful reminder that Jill Andrews has plenty to say and will likely make quite an impact as a solo artist.

Andrews’ management has asked that I not share any of the tracks with you here until after the EP’s official release later this month (Oct. 26th). In the meantime, you can listen to a few streaming tracks on her myspace page, pre-order the EP at her webstore, and look for more updates on her website. Jill will also be performing live on WDVX’s Blue Plate Special Friday at noon (Eastern) along with The Stella Vees and The Carolina Chocolate Drops. You can stream the whole performance live at WDVX.com.

Since I can’t share anything from the new album yet… here’s one of my favorites from Andrews’ time with the everybodyfields.

the everybodyfields: His Pontiac (Buy Album)

Edit: I forgot to mention that there is a contest going on that will give one lucky person a copy of Jill Andrews’ new EP and two tickets to a show on the upcoming tour.

…and don’t forget about my Kristofferson Kontest. The winner will be picked Monday night.