Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Iron Horse celebrates Mother’s Day Weekend with Eilen Jewell: Friday, May 8th, Jill Sobule: Saturday, May 9th, Michelle Shocked: Sunday May 10th

Eilen Jewell's new album “Sea of Tears” evokes the era of classic country and early British-invasion era blues rock. She and the band play the Iron Horse Friday night, May 8th with support Sarah Levecque.

On April 21, Signature Sounds released Eilen Jewell's third album, Sea of Tears, a recording that fills in a vital, hitherto missing element of her musical persona. "Before I discovered Woody Guthrie and folk music," she explains, "I was listening to Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and, later on, the Animals and the Kinks. I love that stuff, and I love to play it." With Sea of Tears, Jewell and her longtime band wed her elegantly unflinching songwriting with a rustic, pre-Beatles swagger that encapsulates vintage R&B, Midwestern garage rock, Chicago blues, and early rock and rockabilly, while maintaining the haunting, folk-inspired purity that first made her an artist to watch.

Jill Sobule’s new album, “California Years” was funded entirely by her fans. Sobule set up a Web site and asked her fans to contribute to her upcoming project. The funding was tiered: a ten-dollar donation bought a digital download of the album; a hundred-dollar donation brought a hard copy of the CD, a “Junior Executive Producer” T-shirt, and a mention in the liner notes; a five-hundred-dollar donation earned mention in a song. There was even a ten-thousand-dollar level that would let a fan sing on the record. This pay-to-have-her-play scheme could have been nothing more than a quixotic footnote, but Sobule easily surpassed her goal of seventy-five thousand dollars and made her record, complete with production by Don Was. Her Mom helped out with this message on her daughter’s website.

“Hi, I'm Elaine, Jill's mother. As you all know, my daughter is a real talent. She has put out 6 great CDs (which never leave my stereo), and has been on 4 labels -- two of which went bankrupt; the other two were also farkakte.

This time she wants to do it on her own. She has some wonderful new songs (although she has not sent them to me, like I asked). She also has lined up some wonderful musicians and guest artists. So help and be a part of her new album, in exchange for some wonderful gifts and services. Much love, Elaine

Jill Souble plays on Saturday May 9th at 7PM at the Iron Horse

Michelle Shocked's new album “Soul of My Soul” drops May 26th- She’ll debut songs at the Iron Horse on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 10th at 7PM with support Diana Jones.

“I’m the most sophisticated hillbilly you’ll ever meet.”

When Michelle Shocked says this about herself, it’s hard not to crack up. ‘Hillbilly,’ after all, is no compliment. And frankly, it’s tough to reconcile that reflex image of a backwoods, overalls-and-a-smile hillbilly with this focused, erudite singer-songwriter. If such a creature exists, however, Shocked is its picture, sans Billy-Bob teeth. Come to think of it, she was born in or at least near the backwoods of East Texas — and get this — to a carny father and a fresh-faced high-school mother after being conceived, if memory serves, “in the backseat of my Uncle Huby’s Chevy at the prom.” Michelle says: “The new album is finished! A release date is set for May 26, 2009. A numbered limited edition vinyl version will also be released. You're invited to subscribe to the channel and be automatically updated when new video has been posted.”

Michelle’s relationship with her mom was not quite as cordial as Jill’s. When Shocked was just 16, she ran away from her oppressive home in East Texas. She spent many years living on the edge of homelessness and squatting in abandoned buildings in New York and San Francisco. At one point, Shocked's mother wrongly committed her to a mental institution, where Shocked was forced to undergo shock therapy -- hence, her stage name. "I blamed God for my pain. My mother was a strict Mormon, and I found a lot of her ideology to be so reprehensible that it literally drove me away from God."

All three shows are sure to be just grand. Bring the family!

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