Anais Nin once famously said “ I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by loving” This world is a crazy, messy, and beautiful place. When you’re connected to life, you can live it joyfully. You feel more in love with your lover, you laugh more easily, have more fun, and on your deathbed you don't feel like you've missed the best parts. The problem is that most of us are walking around completely unplugged from our vital selves. At some point we bought into this idea that we all had to keep our nose to the grindstone, and we ground the magic right out. For me, “some point” came around my junior year of college. I decided that as an adult I would have to come up with some career that would actually allow me to make a living, and music would simply have to be a hobby. I hoped that some new, more practical interest would pop up in some bustling job market and I would be able to hop on the fast track to financial independence and security. For a few years, I even did ok. I got a passible entry level job after college, even in a terrible economy. I started paying off student loans, buying clothes I wanted to buy, and even went on a trip or two. Despite being more financially free then I had been pretty much my entire life, I was depressed. I knew that I was denying an important part of myself by trying to keep my music part time, so I did some research, wrote some songs, put out my first album and quit my job. The first card of the Tarot Deck is the Fool, and I like to think it’s because naivety is a requirement at the beginning of all big adventures. Surely if you knew how hard it would be, you wouldn't go in the first place. At least, that was certainly true for me. On some level I thought that everything would fall into place. I would never have to work another day job ever, I would start being happy all the time, and I would meet the man of my dreams and live happily ever after. Instead, everything went to shit. All the worst case scenarios that I had been afraid of: not being able to pay rent, not being able to feed myself much less pay my bills, even getting kicked out of my house, it all happened. It wasn't glamorous and it wasn't fun and it wasn't at all like La Boheme or Rent, but even so I knew I could never quit again. Why wolves howl isn't entirely understood, but one theory is that it’s a means to communicate over long distances and reconnect with the pack if a member becomes separated. The reason that humans make music is also not fully understood, but I like to think it’s for similar reasons: to assemble our packs and connect over the divides of emotional distances. I had taken a risk, and I had failed, and the only thing I knew how to do was write songs about it. They would strike me randomly, often in the car while I was driving to a sales gig in the middle of nowhere. I would sing little phrases over and over again until they were firmly lodged in my memory. I would write on anything I had available: napkins, scraps of receipts, and countless spiral bound notebooks. It was cheap therapy, a completely selfish way to out the pain and try to heal, but the more I sang about my own failure, the more people started to share theirs with me. I heard about squandered relationships, broken business ventures, bankruptcy, poverty, fear, anger, hurt, and underneath it all the desire to be seen and accepted as a flawed, struggling, growing person doing their best. That is why I do what I do, why I started Fox and Phoenix Records and why I am passionate about writing meaningful music even if it doesn't make me a damn cent, because there are a million things we think we ought to be, but a good song reminds us that there is nothing so beautiful as being human.Remind Me
Anne-Marie Sanderson is a British singer-songwriter, currently living in Portland, Oregon. Having cut her teeth on London’s bustling folk circuit, she left England for Europe, teaching guitar for a spell before taking up a nomadic existence as a busker. Now firmly planted in Portland, she has been beguiling audiences all over town with her distinctive sound. Her new EP, Eloquence, has received glowing reviews on both sides of the Atlantic, gaining recognition in equal measure for her well-crafted songs, innovative guitar playing, and her enchanting vocal stylings. Following in the tradition of timeless singer-songwriters, her music is often compared to that of Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake, but fans and critics alike recognize that Anne-Marie Sanderson is all her own.
Bone & Bell is part breath, part bellow. Led by artist and multi-instrumentalist Heather Smith, Bone & Bell combines haunting vocal harmonies and finger picking patterns to create a dissonant prayer: both heavenly and tension-filled.Remind Me
After touring and releasing albums with The Raindoggs and The Broken Hearted, singer-songwriter Ali Holder is striking out on her own. Her full-length solo debut, In Preparation for Saturn’s Return--named after an astrological cycle that is said to herald new stages in a person’s life--incorporates a wide variety of influences and styles, creating an irresistible folk-country-blues hybrid. Preparation is a deeply personal collection of music that finds Holder recalling the past and anticipating her future as she awaits the completion of Saturn’s 27-year orbit around the sun and the beginning of the second stage of her journey.Remind Me
In the short time since her graduation from Boston's renowned Berklee College of Music, singer-songwriter Liz Longley has assembled an impressive resume. While best known for her stop-you-in-your-tracks voice, Liz has steadily developed a reputation as an accomplished songwriter, crafting intimately personal portraits through her music. In the past two years, Liz has taken home top prizes at some of the most prestigious songwriting competitions in the country, including the BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship Competition, the International Acoustic Music Awards and the Rocky Mountain Folk Fest Songwriting Competition. New England named her the 2011 Female Performer of the Year, the Washington Post declared that Liz is "destined for a larger audience" and Dig Boston called her "a rising acoustic sensation." Even John Mayer is a fan, calling her music "gorgeous, simply gorgeous." A Philadelphia native, Liz recently made the move to Nashville, Tennessee where she has quickly made her presence known throughout Music City. In addition to writing more than forty songs with some of the best songwriters in the business, Liz has also managed to keep up her seemingly never-ending touring schedule, playing over one hundred shows in the last year - all without the help of a record label or booking agent. While Liz frequently supports the likes of Shawn Colvin, Amos Lee, Paula Cole, Nanci Griffith, Livingston Taylor, Lori McKenna and Colin Hay, something remarkable has begun to happen - audiences are emerging from these shows as fast fans of Liz's music as well. Most recently, Liz's music has taken center stage on a national level with numerous television placements and radio airplay. ABC's critically acclaimed series NY Med featured Liz's music throughout the first season, and the 2012 season finale of Lifetime's Army Wives displayed her towering vocals in an epic grand finale song, "This Is Not the End." Executives at SiriusXM caught wind of her captivating cover of Van Morrison's hit "Moondance" and added it into regular rotation, along with her award-winning original song, "When You've Got Trouble." After an impressive response from listeners, Liz was invited to perform live in the SiriusXM studios in New York City and was named one of their Coffee House Discoveries of 2011. Following the success of her previous release, Hot Loose Wire, and an impressive Kickstarter campaign this past summer, Liz recently returned to the studio where she recorded her fourth full-length album which is scheduled to be released in 2014.Remind Me
Sharon Shannon burst on the scene in Ireland in the early 1990s. Her amazing ability on the accordion combined with an exuberant personality and a constant smile, attracted people immediately to the wonderful music she grew up with. In subsequent years, she has become as much of an ambassador of the music and as much of an icon, as the Chieftains. Sharon Shannon usually plays big festivals, and large theaters here in the Boston area. So, imagine what this will be like....it will be a unique intimate experience, up-close and personal, with one of the great exponents of traditional Irish music.Remind Me