So a while back I wrote about Steel Wheel's bicycle tour in support of their self titled debut album. Recently, it came to my attention that their fellow label mate on Shut Eye RecordsEmma Hill has a new tour planned taking advantage of a one-fee, unlimited Jet Blue pass! The 22-year old Alaskan native has crisscrossed the nation throughout September and into October in support of her new album Clumsy Seduction. Hill has scheduled 22 tour dates, Emma with band mate Bryan Daste!
Clumsy Seduction is the second album from Emma, who is an Alaskan native now living in Portland, Oregon. She released her first album Just Me in 2007 after having been with the group Blackbird Productions and half of the folk duo Pennies and Patches. She has garnered a lot of local recognition in Alaska. Here's an article from the Anchorage Daily News that can tell you more about that Kuskokwim homegirl than I can. Her website says the following about her music
Emma maintains strong folk/Americana roots while crafting beautiful stories and unbelievably catchy melodies. Emma has been commended for singing with a maturity beyond her years; on Clumsy Seduction she goes above and beyond, both in her voice and her songwriting. With full instrumentation and her signature songwriting style, “Clumsy Seduction” is the culmination of an artist on the brink.
Clumsy Seduction features a more full band sound than Just Me. That full band sound comes from Emma's backing band her Gentleman Callers composed of Bryan Daste on pedal steel and vocals, Andy Nelson on drums and vocals. Nelson was previously in the band Scotland Barr & the Slow Drags with Emma. Emma Says" He's a solid guy and a prolific Facebook poster". The newest member of the band is bassist John Blunk.
The album has been on the mp3 player now for a few weeks and I enjoy it more and more each time I listen. I really love the varied musical arrangements that keep each song distinctive. The pedal steel, fiddle and other instruments never over power Emma's vocals, about which music critic Brandon Seifert wrote, "Hill has the lungs, She's occasionally stunned crowds into startled silence -- in a good way. Some compare her to Joni Mitchell or Joan Baez." The musical arrangements are right on with the right instrument arriving in the song at just the right moment!! I can go on and on about every song but a few of my favorites include: the title track about well a clumsy seduction! "Crazy" with the great chorus "just don't call me crazy, it drives me mad". "Billy" one of the songs on "Clumsy Seduction" that intimates at her Alaska roots and tells of a childhood friend, now dead. "I moved away, but Billy had to stay around". It's a story of "a great big love that never had an end. " One Glass Too Many" , "Highway 101" oh they are just all good so check them out, either at Emma's website or their Facebook page: Emma Hill or The Myspace page of Emma Hill and Her Gentlemen Callers.
Here's Emma and her Gentleman Callers - with "Crazy"
Emma's been busy at work on a new album that will be released after the first of next year. Here's a video of a new song that was just released today!!