East Nasty Women Review with Megan Palmer, Renee Wahl, & Amelia White featuring Sergio Webb In The Lounge - 1/29
at City Winery Nashville
- 9:00pm (Estimated End Time)
TICKETS ARE $5 IN ADVANCE & $7 AT THE DOOR
“Don’t think too much, people” is the spoken word snippet that begins the title track of Amelia White’s newest album, “The Rhythm of the Rain”. It’s a flippant warning, a half-joke, a sideways call-to-arms that announces a casual subversion threading through these rollicking 9 songs from the opening explosion of summer sunshine, through the heat of lust and addiction, landing with a glance at politics and fate while the window is still wide open, warm breeze blowing in the late afternoon. Amelia White asks us to not take it all so seriously and, at the same time, shows us how critical it all is: love, fate, death, grief, politics, which isn’t surprising considering that White made this record in the four days between her Mother’s funeral and her own wedding. “The Rhythm of the Rain” digs deep. Her well worn smokey pipes deliver a rawness you’d expect from mining that liminal space between grief and joy.
2016 was a good year for Amelia White in the UK, where her last full-length release, “Home Sweet Hotel,” landed some killer reviews, like a top country pick in the Telegraph (along with Buddy Miller, Bonnie Raitt, and John Moreland.) She played Maverick, Summertyne, and Platform festivals, along with a month of club dates. While touring, White stayed in a promoter’s attic in York, and reading the news from the US began to write, the songs that would make up “Rain.” That ocean of separation gave her the necessary distance to comment on the shake-up back home without finger pointing, something that White has always done. No judgement, just sharp observations that lead to emotions. Music City Roots host and journalist Craig Havighurst wrote that “her songs each have some fascinating crystalline shape that invites close attention and touch. “Rhythm of the Rain” is a collection of tunes touched by White’s tenure in theUK, where it will be released on Oct. 27th, 2017, (Distribution through Proper Records) as an offering of thanks for feeling embraced just when she needed it.
What separates Amelia White from most other songwriters in the Americana genre is her details. Like a short story writer steeped in the gothic humidity of the backroads, White illuminates the ordinary: “dyed black hair and ear ring feathers/she’s gotta put three kids through school – she’s sipping on the sly to keep her cool” (Little Cloud Over Little Rock). “Boy sat on a bus in the only open seat, mittens in one hand and a backpack at his feet” (“Said It Like A King”). There’s a catchy melodic laziness to her rock and roll, an afternoon drive in the country, the top down, bare legs up on the dash, singing along to your favorite song: “When you feel like a sinking sun, you’re not the only one,” she sings, on “Sinking Sun” and you can almost taste the freedom of summer adolescence. The light threads through these songs. “Sunshine coming through my window/I found something that I wanted…you” she sings to a lover in “Super Nova,” and later the love turns dark in “Sugar Baby.” As the album winds to a close, White leaves us with the one-two political punch of “True or Not?” “There’s talk in the street that the deal is changing, everybody’s on edge, look around” and then gently releases us with the hopeful coda, “Let The Wind Blow,” written with UK darlings, The Worry Dolls. It’s a wistful dream: “Miles and miles I thought I’d found a place to call home and a hand to hold/I put good money on this one, I don’t like to be wrong, I don’t like to be wrong.”
Lifer’s. It’s how we define musicians called to the stage, living life in hotels, and friend’s spare rooms, playing small and large clubs with sticky-floor stages, and microphones that taste of cigarettes. White has had TV and film placements ( most notably “Justified” ), record deals, and cuts by some of the finest artists in the Americana world, but for her the success is in the doing, and there is no choice in the matter. She is a rock and roll soothsayer, an East Nashville Cassandra with an Americana gospel shout thicker than the paper-thin illusion of fame and money. “Rhythm of the Rain” is a late afternoon storm, a sky on the verge of cracking as wide open as Amelia White’s heart.
Nashville singer/songwriter Renée Wahl has a secret — countless secrets, actually.
In addition to her bandmates, known collectively as the Sworn Secrets, Wahl accumulated a career full of others as a captain in the U.S. Air Force with top-secret clearance when assigned to the National Security Agency.
Perhaps her duties in the world of covert operations helped her hone her authenticity as a songwriter and as a performer. So does playing the very stages in East Nashville that are the epicenter of the burgeoning singer/songwriter-centric scene that’s being described as Nashville’s New Outlaw movement. And now, the Pennsylvania native is carving out her own space at the recently rediscovered intersection where authentic Nashville songwriting meets Music Row.
Inspired by groundbreaking artists including Neko Case, Buddy and Julie Miller, Linda Ronstadt, and Ryan Adams , Wahl deftly crafts accessible songs that explore the human experience. From escaping emotional torment to finding a short-term solution to a temporary loneliness problem, few topics are off limits when it comes to Wahl’s powerful and personal approach to songwriting.
“Songwriting can be very personal, and in some ways, it can be secretive,” Wahl says. “When writing, I dig deep, and that sometimes brings up subjects that I might not normally talk about in an open environment.”
The youngest of four in her blue-collar family, Wahl earned an undergraduate degree in physics from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania and a masters in aeronautics from the acclaimed Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. While show business may be in her blood — her grandmother was a Vaudeville singer and tap/acrobat — she owes her interest in the Air Force to her grandfather, who served as a tail-gunner on a B29 “Superfortress” in World War II as part of the group that supported the Enola Gay. Another forebear took part in the American Revolution and, as an owner of two whiskey stills, later participated in the historic Whiskey Rebellion of 1791.
“I am so grateful for having the opportunity to serve my country in such a meaningful way, and I appreciate the experiences it provided me,” Wahl says. “I draw upon those, a lot actually, in songwriting. Plus, they help me deal with some of the rigors of this crazy industry.”
Also helping her “deal with the rigors” of being an independent artist in Nashville’s dynamic music industry is her drive to be as exciting on stage as she is honest in her songwriting.
Wahl also challenges herself to find the next level in her recordings. Toward that end, Wahl invited iconic singer/songwriter and producer Buddy Miller to sing on her upcoming single “Wild Living.” The song will available this fall when she releases the first of two EPs due out before year’s end. Each was produced by Patterson Barrett, who’s worked with, among others, Buddy Miller, Jerry Jeff Walker and Gurf Morlix.
In 2011, Wahl self-released Cumberland Moonshine, a full-length LP, to critical praise. She has also had cuts on other artists’ albums, including three for Nashville’s own Bill Maier. Television and film placements include a CBS-produced documentary and the Geordie Shore, British equivalent to Jersey Shore.
With the release of her highly anticipated EP this fall, secrets are about to be revealed…
Megan Palmer's music is born from finding her way. Starting in Ohio where she performed with local heroes The Spikedrivers, she explored New York City before venturing to Nashville, TN where she's made a stunningly honest and adeptly produced album entitled What She's Got To Give.
What She's Got To Give serves as both a defining moment in Megan's artistic journey and a chance to further define herself among her peers.
"This record leaves the impression that Megan is one of those rare people who truly care. (She spends her spare nights and days as a Palliative Care Nurse at Vanderbilt University Hospital). She expertly communicates in her songs her sense of kindness and compassion even when there's good reason to behave otherwise. It’s not just something she says, it's also who she is as an artist and person.
What She's Got To Give is another new and beautiful beginning for Palmer. What's to follow for her promises to be just as brilliant as what she's done and it leaves us wanting more from a new brilliant and powerful voice.
A couple of albums with a sound that blends both traditional and contemporary styles of country music with blues and rock’n’roll
Sergio Webb has been an underrated journeyman musician for hire for years. He has toured the UK accompanying Pinto Bennett, David Olney, Gail Davies and many others and works tirelessly from his Nashville base on call to those singers who possess musical integrity—in short the guy’s something of a ‘maverick’—so don’t expect to see him on stage accompanying the likes of Faith, Taylor or Carrie. BOLIVAR BLUES was recorded in the small, boutique Little Chickadee Studio in Nashville and Sergio—who plays guitar, banjo and ukulele—is accompanied by Welsh-born Rob Price (bass, percussion, harmony vocals), Bruce Baxter (accordion), Teddy Jones (fiddle), David Olney (harmonica), Fran Breen (drums, percussion), Chris Scruggs (steel) and Gail Davies (harmony vocals).
In its directness and simple arrangements BOLIVAR BLUES recalls early Steve Earle as well as the songs and performances of such troubadours as John Prine or Steve Goodman. But Sergio Webb is an original, and on tuneful songs like In the Time and Treeline his rough-hewn voice is as evocative as the words that spill out in his soulful delivery. He also includes neat renditions of Dave Davies’ Death of a Clown, Pinto Bennett’s One Bar Town and Fred Neil’s reflective The Other Side of This Life. Winnemucca … Slight Return has a bit more edge, thanks to a slyly subdued electric guitar and bluesy harmonica accompaniment, but it is no less pleasing, and the last track, the instrumental doodling The Drake offers just the right touch of melancholy to close the CD.
POET, SOLDIER, WISE MAN, KING finds Sergio teaming up with fellow Nashville ‘mavericks’ Jonathan Singleton, Bruce Wallace and Rags (Teddy Jones) in a kind of Americana, country-rock outfit very much in the tradition of the Highwaymen, Travelling Wilburys and CSN&Y. Singleton, who co-wrote the chart-topping country hits Watching Airplanes (Gary Allan) and Don’t (Billy Currington) has recently signed to Universal South. There’s scant information on the CD cover, so I’ve no idea who’s singing lead on each of the dozen songs, but the chemistry between these talented guys is unfaltering and amazingly the whole project was put together in a one-day session. Fans of upbeat country-lenient Americana should definitely give this album a listen. Wine & Roses is an excellent mix of country/southern rock and should be on any country fans radar. Black & Green features a great country-rock mix with strong lead vocals and harmonies that are perfectly unified bringing together the feeling of this country-rock song. There is an excellent guitar solo on Swept Away while Tennessee highlights a strong, melodic guitar, steeped with flowing riffs. When The Smoke Clears is a bluesy track featuring soulful vocal work, a classic blues arrangement, and more great lyrics.
The many styles presented on this album are performed with skill and authenticity with well-crafted writing, spirited musical performances, and clever arrangements. The production is clean and professional, providing a recording that is ready for widespread acceptance and mainstream radio.