I realize that in this community of old hippies, post-punk latter-day newbie-parental types and the occasional bluegrass traditionalist who stumbles here by mistake because they think we all love to hear the "Orange Blossom Special" covered the same way six thousand times, that I sometimes stand alone. Well maybe not alone, but sort of to the left of the main event. The reason being is that I suck up new music and young(er) musicians like a Dyson on a shag carpet. And despite my posts in the last eleven months about Jules Shear and his wife Pal Shazar (four times), Lou Reed, the Smithereens (just once each) and Grateful Dead (twice)...much of what I listen to is from people in their twenties and thirties, and sometimes even their teens. This year at a Rosh Hashanah dinner I found myself defending Miley as being as relevant as Beethoven...or maybe it was Woody or Pete. And Taylor Swift? Dig her.

Let me tell you how I listen to new music, no matter who, new, young, old or how established the artist is. Fast. Yes, I admit that while skimming quickly on the iTunes player or Spotify is not very fair or friendly, and devalues the art and hard work that goes into it, its how I roll. If it catches my ear, it's a keeper. If not, it gets the hook. Gong Show style. The ones I find interesting get placed in a one thousand song playlist and they stay with me for at least three weeks, and get listened to either in a shuffle mode or maybe end to end if I'm really enthralled. 

Say hello to Emily Mure, and her latest album Odyssey. 

I found her music last July, after reading about her on another website. It went into the aforementioned playlist and has stayed there ever since. And, to be utterly honest, it's not because I fell in love with it straight off, but because it haunted and challenged me. There was/is something about her songs and voice that made me want to go off into a quiet place and to be sure I captured each and every note. She surprised me too. When I expected the melody to go up the scale, it went down. When you think it's time for a minor chord transition, she shifts to a major key. And just when you're pretty sure you've got your basic coffee house folky singer-songwriter, she slips into that chamber mojo mode where people like Marissa Nadler and Meg Baird live, and then out of nowhere...I mean like an Ali left jab...you get a pedal steel, oboe and a cello thrown at you. Bam.

She's a New York City girl who attended a performing arts high school, studied classical music and played the oboe at Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls while still in her teens. At college she studied Oboe Performance and Psychology...and for the life of me I can't figure out if that's one major or two. Some college kids get into dope, drink and sex...she succumbed to folk, bluegrass and the guitar. Falling in love with traditional Irish music, she took off across the Atlantic for a summer studying Celtic music at the University of Limerick. After she came back home to finish her studies at Ithaca College, she moved to Galway and busked in the streets for six months. 

"I moved out to Ireland with my best friend from college. At the time I was in need of escape and after spending some time in Ireland a few years before for an Irish/trad summer program, I decided to go back to explore the country further.  I didn't go with the intention of singing on the streets- I wanted to just travel. We got temporary work visas and I was having trouble finding a job. After one afternoon busking, I decided I would try to do this for income- and so I did (for a very modest but livable income) It was challenging which is why it was great. I learned so much about myself and it thickened my skin and gave me confidence."

By 2009 she was back in New York and recording her first album, while performing on the vibrant folk circuit that we have in this part of the world, from Pennsylvania to Maine. In 2012 she started getting some airtime on television and began recording the current album...which is available at all the usual places like here and here and here and here

Emily has been touring and doing shows to support the new album, and as all DIY artists do, she has her day job of teaching guitar to help pay the bills. Given her background, I asked her if she was involved in the classical world. "I still play the oboe but mainly for fun. I am thinking about getting back into ensemble playing but for now- it's mostly just a hobby.  I'm enjoying writing for my oboist- Emily DiAngelo. I love the oboe but didn't love the repertoire or the classical music atmosphere which is why I made the shift once I started playing guitar and writing songs. Felt like folk and songwriting was more me."

Here's a list of dates that Emily is playing, and some links to connect with her:

End of year Odyssey tour dates:
w/ Emily DiAngelo (oboe) & Audrey Snyder (cello):
Nov 22nd Skinny Pancake (Burlington, VT)
Nov 23rd No. Six Depot (West Stockbridge, MA)
Nov 24th The Carriage House w/ Cuddle Magic and Dreamt (Ithaca, NY)
Nov 26th Boulder Coffee (Rochester, NY)
Dec 6th Vanilla Bean Cafe (Pomfret, CT)
Dec 7th Creativity Commons (Bethlehem, PA)
Dec 8th Cafe Nola (Frederick, MD)
Dec 18th Rockwood Music Hall (NYC)
While learning about Emily as I prepared to write this, I made an interesting discovery. She is the granddaughter of the man known as The Supersonic Guitar Man, Billy Mure. He is is best known for his "incredible albums of sizzling guitar work and tape pyrotechnics. His first album, recorded for RCA Victor, was Super-Sonic Guitars In Hi-Fi. Released in 1957 in glorious mono, it featured Mure playing four guitars with two sets of drums and one bass player. In 1963, he left RCA, where he'd been on the A&R staff, and formed his own independent production company, BM Productions. He worked with a variety of pop and rock and roll acts and achieved at least one chart topper with Marcie Blane's hit, "Bobbie's Girl." (www.spaceagepop.com)
Billy was also a composer, session man, producer and arranger, and you've no doubt grown up with hearing much of the music he's had a hand in. He wrote the arrangement for one of Della Reese’s biggest hits, “My Heart Reminds Me,” as well as Bobby Freeman’s early rock hits, “Do You Want to Dance?” and “Betty Lou’s Got a New Pair of Shoes,” and Ray Peterson’s “Tell Laura I Love Her.” He also wrote the score for two Kim Novak films “Five Against the House” and “No Down Payment.”

As a studio musician, he played on Paul Anka’s “Diana,” Marty Robbins’ “White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation,” Bobby Darren’s “Splish Splash” and Johnny Mathis’ “Chances Are.” Guitar Player magazine a few years ago named Mure a “Legend of 50s Rock.”

On September 25th, at age 97, Billy Mure passed away. Emily wrote:

"My grandfather started playing music at 5 years old and played gigs regularly up until a couple of weeks before he passed. He came down for my release show in July and gifted me his banjo that Arthur Godfrey gave to him.  One week before he passed, we went to visit him down in Florida.  I was fortunate enough to play some of my songs for him at his bedside.  The man was almost completely deaf at that point, but he asked for my song “This Place”, one of his favorites from my new album, Odyssey, and he sang along with me on some of the “oooo’s” in the song.  He sang some of his own songs and we sang with him, and he asked to play my guitar, which he did from his bed.  He passed peacefully at 97 years old, just a month and a half shy of his 98th birthday, with loved ones by his side."


Views: 1086

Tags: Billy Mure, Easy Ed, Emily Mure, Oboes, Odyssey

Comment by Jack on November 14, 2013 at 6:52am

That's a pretty good opening sentence, Ed, though the first paragraph ends with a bit of a thud! Nothing wrong with enjoying Miley's songs of course (my 10 year old son saw her video and thus sings Wrecking Ball in the car), but as relevant as Beetoven, eh? Love the diversions in your write ups, in this case about her grandfather.  Nice to read well written, interesting stories of people pursuing their dreams.

Comment by Hal Bogerd on November 14, 2013 at 8:19am

 Easy Ed nails it again with "the occasional bluegrass traditionalist who stumbles here by mistake because they think we all love to hear the "Orange Blossom Special" covered the same way six thousand times"! 

Comment by TenLayers on November 14, 2013 at 4:34pm

Oh come on Ed.  I think the majority of us here listen to  "people in their twenties and thirties"...and even younger!  That's just silly to say that. I would venture to say the minority are those who don't.  T

Comment by Easy Ed on November 14, 2013 at 5:21pm

If you spend some time going back and looking at the page views of blog posts and videos both here, and especially on the Facebook page, you can see who gets the traffic. Throw up a Lucinda Williams or John Prine video on the No Dep

FB page and you're likely to get several hundred "likes". Contrast that with anything released after 2005, and with luck you might get to 20...including the artist's grandma. Heck, the most traffic on this website of recent was the trashing and thrashing of Mumford and the Lumineers. You (TL) have always exhibited a wide range of exceptional taste in music, so maybe it might be a surprise to you that the vast majority here are not so open minded.

On the other hand, (I hope) that maybe I'm wrong. Happened before; will happen again. 

“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” 
.....Aldous Huxley

Comment by TenLayers on November 14, 2013 at 6:11pm
Maybe you're right. It seems to me that if you are of the ilk to visit a music site such as this you are a music lover...and to me music crosses borders of al types.

I went to a movie last night..an Italian film from 1991 " Mediterraneo"..a film with a bunch of different nationalities coming together and they repeated one line through it. It translates as "One face, one race". I think music lovers would use the same analogy.
Comment by Jim Moulton on November 14, 2013 at 8:35pm

It is interesting that none of the replys  have to do with this artist he reviews

Comment by RP N10 on November 14, 2013 at 9:36pm
@jim Let me put that right. After reading EEs post I looked to see if Ms Mure's music was available on emusic. It is. Went into my Save For Later box which is the monthly battle of the bands. She passed my series of 30 second excerpts test so I'll be downloading Odyssey later this week. Thanks for the tip Ed.

@ed I don't think people are quite as conservative in terms of video hits etc. My experience is videos even of newer acts can get 50-75 views. The more obscure things get a lot fewer but that's hardly surprising. The FB page probably picks up more of the peripheral readership pulled in by the competitions which have been focused on old acts' big box sets which may impact the likes factor.
Comment by Jim Morrison on November 15, 2013 at 8:28am

  It's very pleasant music, reminds me a little of "Cool Blue Halo"-era Richard Barone. Thanks for the introduction. I will say if you look at the "Greatest Hits' of posts on the left side of the home page it includes Milk Carton Kids, Damien Jurado, Deadstring Brothers, and other newish acts who have been in my personal rotation. I listen to a ton of different stuff and I think most passionate music fans do (although I also listen partly to find the next cool thing for my house concert series, I'd do it anyway).

Comment by Ron Myhr on November 18, 2013 at 6:02pm

Great piece, Ed.  I'll be getting the recording.

I really do like to hear family stories in music-land, and your add-in was great.  I've always been intrigued by the musical royal families, and how the line plays out.  Whether it's the McGarrigle/Wainwright/Roche clan, or the Thompsons or Sean Lennon or the Muldaurs, I really like knowing the connections.  And mostly enjoy the music, a notable exception being Loretta Lynn's daughters, who opened a concert for her in Toronto.  Terrrible.

Thanks again for the review!

Comment by Dave Wilkinson on November 21, 2013 at 4:11pm

Emily's voice reminds me more than a little of Melanie Safka's, no bad thing.


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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.