Friday, 12 December 2014

The Many Are One - compilation album

Hello there, 

A few months ago I was invited by Piers Faccini to contribute an original song to a compilation called 'The Many Are One' that he was putting together. I had a song called 'Harbour' that I'd written a couple of years before and hadn't managed to find a home for yet, so this was the perfect project. 
The story of how the song got recorded is quite convoluted! I recorded the guitar parts, piano and my vocals in my spare room studio in Stroud. Then I sent the files on to Alabaster dePlume in Manchester to record saxophone parts. He then sent them to producer/engineer/bassist, Ruben Engzell and drummer Jesper Jonssonn (recognise those names from Vena Portae?) in Stockholm. Ruben mixed the song and sent it to Piers in France! What an international affair...

Anyway, the album has just been released and it features a host of incredible artists including Ben Harper, Dawn Landes, Piers Faccini himself and many others. 

It's available digitally worldwide and in stores in France or available to mail out worldwide on Beating Drum Shop

- Beating Drum shop:

Here is the beautiful artwork Piers made for my song 'Harbour'. 
Hope you enjoy the album!
Best wishes, 

Emily x

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Photos.Fires.Fables. available again on CD

Hello everyone,

I'm writing this from Germany (where I'm really enjoying myself on tour with Madison Violet) with some news about Photos.Fires.Fables...

It’s been over two years since we sold out of CDs of Photos.Fires.Fables. Since that time I have had regular messages asking how to get hold of it and when it would be available again. So it gives me great pleasure to let you know that time has come. Repackaged, and complete with all fifteen tracks from both previous versions of the album, it’s available now to pre-order and will ship as soon as stock arrives in a few days’ time. We’re hoping that we’ll have stock in time to bring some on tour with us too.

As I’ve already announced, this is going to be my last tour for a while with The Red Clay Halo, and along with that piece of news, the re-release of this album has put me in mind of how it all started...

I played one of my very first solo shows at The Bedford in Balham, London when my band at the time, the-low-country, got stuck in such bad traffic coming down from Cambridge that they missed the show. Somehow I managed to make it through on my own and afterwards, a young, Swedish man came up to me and introduced himself as Ruben Engzell and explained that he had just moved to London from Stockholm, Sweden and was working at a studio in Brixton. Not long in to our conversation, he asked me if I’d like to record a solo album. The timing was perfect. I’d just started to write songs that didn’t fit with our band sound and wanted to do something a bit different. I moved to London, wrote a bunch of songs and we spent lots of late nights, after Ruben had finished doing his paid work as an engineer during the day, in Iguana Studios, working until the early hours of the morning.

It was a process that took a couple of years. Not having any budget to speak of, we managed to blag young musicians down to the studio to play their instruments in return for meals, which I would cook in the studio kitchen. Some of those musicians included, Gill Sandell, Jo Silverston and Anna Jenkins, who stuck with me and later went on to become The Red Clay Halo. That was nine years ago now - look at that photo!

Another person who featured on the album was Steve Adams of The Broken Family Band (now releasing records as Steven J. Adams), who I had met in Cambridge and supported numerous times. He was the first to sing my murder ballad 'Fields of June' with me.

The artwork is provided by my long-term friend and collaborator, Patti Gaal-Holmes. The album was our first collaboration and since then we have made many film/song performances together and shared many a cup of tea talking about our shared stories of ‘home’. We ended up releasing two versions of the album, both on my label, Everyone Sang.

The first edition was a limited version of 1000 copies and had fourteen songs in total. When that edition sold out, we put together a second edition. We added a version of ‘Home’, a song that had originally been recorded with the-low-country, but we also cut three songs to make it more compact. On this new version, we have added those three songs as bonus tracks. I don’t think they’ve been available up to now in any form other than on that original limited version. Those songs are: 'Splinters in my Fingers', 'The Fire' and 'Reason for the Rain’. The CD will also come in a new gatefold card sleeve with a fold-out booklet that shows off Patti’s original painting...

All this takes me back in time: I’d just moved to London; just met The Red Clay Halo; just met Ruben Engzell (who I later collaborated with again on the Vena Portae album); just met Patti, and many others who inspired songs... I was essentially still travelling about at the time. Who would have known that nine years on, I’d still be living in the UK and collaborating with all those people.

Best wishes,
Emily x

Monday, 27 October 2014

German support tour with Madison Violet

Dear Germany,
I'm very excited to announce that I will be supporting Madison Violet (CANADA) on their upcoming tour of Germany! I'll be performing solo and intend to play some new material I wrote recently in Nashville, as well as songs from my latest album 'Dear River' and most likely a few older numbers thrown in for good measure.
If you're not familiar with Madison Violet's music, please do get yourselves acquainted. It's great!

All the dates are here:

30.10.2014 | Hamburg, Germany | Knust
31.10.2014 | Bordesholm, Germany | Savoy
01.11.2014 | Barmstedt, Germany | Humbug-Haus
03.11.2014 | Karlsruhe, Germany | Jubez
04.11.2014 | Aschaffenburg, Germany | Colos Saal
05.11.2014 | Brilon, Germany | Bürgerzentrum
06.11.2014 | Köln, Germany | Kulturkirche
07.11.2014 | Zwickau, Germany | Lutherkirche
08.11.2014 | Osnabrück, Germany | Rosenhof
09.11.2014 | Isernhagen, Germany | Blues Garage

Germany is one of my favourite countries to tour in so really looking forward to my return.
Hope to see you out on the road!
Best wishes,

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Thank you Nashville!

Hey everyone,

This is slightly belated. But better late than never...?

Nashville… what a city!

I've just returned from 18 days in one of my favourite places in the world. Since my first visit, exactly this time last year when I was invited by Bob Harris to play the BBC Introducing stage at Americana Music Association Festival, I have been to Nashville three more times. This visit was my fourth time and it's starting to feel like yet another 'home' for me. I know my favourite places to drink coffee (Crema and Barista Parlour), my favourite place to drink and dance (Robert's Western World), I'm learning my around the city, I'm getting to know lots of great people and great musicians, etc. etc. It feels nicely familiar yet still new.

The main purpose of this visit was to play Americana Music Festival again, but this time the invite came directly from the festival and I had the opportunity, thanks to funding from The British Underground and support from Americana Music Association UK, to bring The Red Clay Halo - none of whom had been to Nashville previously. You know the expression "Brits abroad"? Just kidding - they were (relatively) well-behaved and of course played as beautifully as always, but did manage to significantly lower the city's Tequila supplies…

We played twice: firstly at The Listening Room Cafe, a new venue with a fantastic PA and listening crowd (thankfully it did live up to its name), and secondly we played The Bootleg BBQ organised by AMA UK and the British Underground. This took place in the back yard of an awesome record shop in East Nashville called Groove Records. Both shows, I'm pleased to say, went very well and we made new friends and fans.

I waved the girls off back to London and stayed on an extra week in which I learnt how to dance the Two-Step at Robert's with some old generation cowboy gentlemen, and did a bunch of co-writes with some fantastic writers including James House (we did our writing session at RCA Studio B!), Robin Eaton, Jamie Kenney, Robby Hecht, and also a rather special one with Amy Speace and Amber Rubarth called 'Applewood Road'.

One final event that definitely deserves a mention was having the opportunity to go to Muscle Shoals (have you seen the documentary?!) and be personally shown around FAME studios by Rick Hall's son, Rodney. He left no corners hidden - we even got to see the room which stores the master tape recordings! The likes of Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and so many greats recorded in this legendary studio. I even got to play Rick Hall's old Martin guitar! The very one that was used on Aretha's 'Do Right Woman, Do Right Man'. What a highlight!

So my love of Nashville has deepened further and I'm already planning my next visit.

Thanks for reading!