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Archive for the ‘Tara Nevins’ Category

Think you’ve heard too many covers of “Stars Fell on Alabama”? Well, think again.

Tara Nevins, a member of the roots-rock band Donna the Buffalo, has created a unique version of the 1934 jazz standard, adhering to the original lyrics but changing the melody significantly.

Her cover, which appears on Nevins’ new solo album, “Wood and Stone,” makes the tune sound like old-time mountain music, with instrumentation and vocals to match.

Read the Full report here: http://blog.al.com/mcolurso/2011/09/tara_nevins_cover_of_stars_fel.html

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New Music Video: “Stars Fall on Alabama” by Tara Nevins

Filmed and produced by Jim Torres

From the Album “Wood And Stone” on Sugar Hill Records

American roots traditionalist Tara Nevins’ new release ‘Wood and Stone’ showcases Nevins’ ever-evolving repertoire and was produced by Larry Campbell at the Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY. Featured guests on the album include Levon Helm, Jim Lauderdale, Allison Moorer, Teresa Williams, The Heartbeats, along with the core band of Larry Campbell, Justin Guip, and Byron Isaacs.

CMT writes, “With the wonderful fiddle groove and vividly written lyrics, Nevins gives a glimpse into her roots. Stepping out for a rare solo record (beyond her beloved band, Donna the Buffalo), she meshes her Cajun influences, unique voice, drums and steel guitars for an intriguing look at her heritage.”

One of the songs that stands out is Nevins’s version of the Jazz standard “Stars Fell on Alabama.”

A few years ago, living in Huntsville, Alabama, Nevins was approached by director Jim Torres and was asked to adapt “Stars Fell On Alabama” for the movie he was then directing – “20 Years After” (an MTI Video). Torres states, “I was looking for a song that had romantic lyrics and a geographical reference to Alabama which is where the movie took place. I’ve always loved Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong’s version of the song, and the lyrics were perfect for the movie, but I needed something a little darker, almost melancholy to match the tone of the film. I met Tara through mutual friends on the film project and we talked. I loved her music, and the thought of adapting a Jazz standard intrigued her.”

Nevins used the original lyrics and rewrote the music in an Old Time Mountain Music style. She created the new melody for the lyrics and wrote a fiddle tune as the centerpiece of the instrumental sections. She then went up to Nashville and recorded the song with Gary Paczosa.

Nevins states, “when the movie came out I put the song up on MySpace. It was also put, with just an abstract picture, up on YouTube. Between the two, the song has had nearly 60,000 views and comments. I continually receive messages from folks who’ve seen “20 Years After” saying it was their favorite thing in the movie and where can they get a copy of my version of the song? I decided to put “Stars Fell On Alabama” on my new record because of that, and because I think it is beautiful and it fit perfectly with the rest of the record.”

Here it is, yet another version of this great Jazz standard – different from all the others with an Old Time Country sound. This version is of interest to anyone who knows the song, and has had a great response from those who have heard it. It’s reference to Alabama has alot of meaning for Nevins personally and this version has seemed to touch the hearts of many listeners living in Alabama.

It seemed like the perfect song from “Wood and Stone” to do a video of. Like Jim Torres says “We wanted the video to stand on its own, and let it support the music – just Tara and her fiddle and a beautiful song.”

Here is what the press is saying about “Stars Fell on Alabama”
“…….. even though I am familiar with at least two dozen other renditions of the song, it’s as though I heard it for the first time. It is stunning in its quietness.” – Amos Perrine, No Depression

“Stars Fell on Alabama” sounds like it fell from her heart and pen too, but Nevins has the capacity to take a well-known standard like this, change the melody, and perform it so ingenuously that it fits in seamlessly to the whole groove of the record.” – Acousticana Journal

“ … it’s a track sounds like it was from the O’Brother Where Art Thou? sessions…. the haunting “Stars Fell On Alabama,” where once again Nevins shows her prowess on the fiddle” – Chuck Dauphin, Music News Nashville:

“Three deftly picked covers include the standard “Stars Fell on Alabama” (from the film 20 Years After),….Nevins works some real magic here” – Hyperbolium

“……… a dynamite reading of “Stars Fell on Alabama,” – The Daily News

The music video for “Stars Fell on Alabama” was created by Director/Editor Jim Torres, Assistant Director Keith Sims, and Cinematographer Daniel Beard in July of 2011 in Huntsville, Alabama.

Visit www.TaraNevins.com for more information about the album, a gallery of images, videos, music, and lyrics.

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Hey all!

Amazing writer friend Dave Shiflett just posted a review about me– Dreamspider Erin– haha– I am so used to getting all the musicians and events the press, that this is a turn of events…

Check it out at:http://alivewithoutpermission.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/erin-scholze/

Here is a short excerpt of a much longer story:

I had made plans to stop and see Erin on the way home from the Mt. Airy music festival in northern North Carolina. I  met Erin several weeks before at Merlefest, where one of her clients – Tara Nevins, who fronts Donna the Buffalo and also has a solo career – was talking up her new CD, “Wood and Stone,” in the press tent.  Erin is one of those people who is instantly likable, with a warm bearing, terrific smile and whose eyes, as I’ve pointed out in an earlier post, are full of sunshine. What also stands out is her love of her clients’ music. I have dealt with many publicists during my years as a critic and many times they seem to simply be going through the motions. Erin, by contrast, is genuinely enthusiastic about her work. Over the course of the Merlefest weekend, whether at the press tent or during a performance, she would slip by to fill me in on some aspect of the song being played, perhaps how it fit into the band’s history,  or to invite me to another performance. I would soon find that Erin’s enthusiasm is also a reflection of her belief that music is not simply entertainment but a source of social cohesion and an antidote, if only temporary, to life’s endless trials and tribulations.

Cheers~!

Erin Scholze, Dreamspider Publicity


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Intimate interview with Tara Nevins on the making of the song “Tennessee River” off the new album “Wood and Stone” (Sugar Hill 2011)

Filmed and produced by JAMerica‘s Peter Conners and Denver Miller


“‘Stars Fell On Alabama’ is Tara’s version of an old standard, while ‘Tennessee River’ sounds like she’s written a new standard.” – Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association

“The highlight of the record, though, might be “Tennessee River”, a song that again sees Nevins turning introspective as crunchy, distorted guitars creak in the background a la 1970s Neil Young. In fact, this song could easily be an outtake from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, with a different vocalist. Again, the disparate elements come together powerfully to provide a neat bookend for the hard-charging opening track. At five minutes, it’s the longest song on the album and one of its most satisfying. “ – David Maine, Pop Matters

“Two surprises on the album are “Stars Fell on Alabama,” in which Nevins turns the ‘30s jazz standard into a bleak, gothic soundscape, and “Tennessee River,” an even more desolate turn recalling the best of Lucinda Williams.” – Aaron Keith Harris, Lonesome Road Review

“‘Tennessee River,’ a dark and gripping song about love’s place in ones’ life, features Campbell’s harrowing, electric guitar wails.” – Bill Clifford – Relix

“If heroes and heroines of rock ‘n’ roll are defined by their uniqueness, they definitely broke the mold when they made Tara Nevins.” – Wildman Steve, The Corner News

“‘Wood and Stone’ is strangely hypnotic at times, with its mesmerizing rhythms and Nevins’ relaxed but commanding delivery. The beautifully dark “Tennessee River” and her cover of the jazz standard, ‘Stars Fell On Alabama,’ are entrancing and highlight Nevins’ beautiful voice” – Boone Mountain Times

“Tara channels swampy accordion and mountain fiddles through a set of songs about heartaches and a longing for the sanctity of family values and a simple home life. The chemistry between Nevins and Campbell cooks up a powerfully convincing sound through tracks like Down South Blues, The Wrong Side and You’re Still Driving That Truck as the duo’s varied strings entwine. But the star turn is the brooding Tennessee River with its big, fat, shimmering guitars and broken heart laid bare. Terrific.” – Properganda

“With the wonderful fiddle groove and vividly written lyrics, Nevins gives a glimpse into her roots. Stepping out for a rare solo record (beyond her beloved band, Donna the Buffalo), she meshes her Cajun influences, unique voice, drums and steel guitars for an intriguing look at her heritage.” – CMT

“A tour de force from start to finish” – Kay Cordtz, Elmore

Visit Tara Nevins website www.TaraNevins.com for more information about the album, a gallery of images, videos, music, and lyrics.

JAMerica is is dial book/ documentary film project that will tell the story of the roots and evolution of the Jam and Festival Scene. Visit www.jamerica.net

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“A tour de force from start to finish” – Kay Cordtz, Elmore

“With the wonderful fiddle groove and vividly written lyrics, Nevins gives a glimpse into her roots. Stepping out for a rare solo record (beyond her beloved band, Donna the Buffalo), she meshes her Cajun influences, unique voice, drums and steel guitars for an intriguing look at her heritage.” – CMT

“Wood And Stone adds another powerful and engaging chapter to Nevins’ musical achievements”. – Steven Stone, Vintage Guitar

“a wide-ranging affair encompassing all manner of rootsy Americana, spiced with Nevins’s voice and multi-instrumentalist skills, served up in a package that is polished but never slick. Nevins, in other words, is the real deal.” – David Maine, Pop Matters

“If heroes and heroines of rock ‘n’ roll are defined by their uniqueness, they definitely broke the mold when they made Tara Nevins.” – Wildman Steve, The Corner News

“Larry has taken Tara’s music to an entirely higher level, if this doesn’t turn into an award winner they’ll have been cheated!” – Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association

“It’s a smart move…” – Andy Gill, UK Independent

“The centerpiece of the album, in my opinion, is the sweeping “The Wrong Side,” which features Allison Moorer and Teresa Williams. It’s a track sounds like it was from the O’Brother Where Art Thou? sessions, but the same could be said of the haunting “Stars Fell On Alabama,” where once again Nevins shows her prowess on the fiddle. This is an exceptional piece of music, one that I think needs to be heard—to prove that people are still cutting “Country Music” these days!” – Chuck Dauphin, Music News Nashville

“Tara channels swampy accordion and mountain fiddles through a set of songs about heartaches and a longing for the sanctity of family values and a simple home life. The chemistry between Nevins and Campbell cooks up a powerfully convincing sound through tracks like Down South Blues, The Wrong Side and You’re Still Driving That Truck as the duo’s varied strings entwine. But the star turn is the brooding Tennessee River with its big, fat, shimmering guitars and broken heart laid bare. Terrific.” – Properganda

“Songs such as the fiddle-infused title cut, a touching tribute to home and family, and ‘You’re Still Driving That Truck’ are country rockers. ‘Snowbird’ is a string ballad about unrequited love, while “Nothing Really” is an instrumental bluegrass dust-up. ‘Tennessee River,’ a dark and gripping song about love’s place in ones’ life, features Campbell’s harrowing, electric guitar wails. The record closes with a cathartic, beautiful cover of Van Morrison’s ‘The Beauty of Days Gone By’—bringing Wood and Stone full circle.”  Bill Clifford – Relix

“The sound is both loose and tight at the same time; the band knows how to walk that line and let Nevins be herself. To put it simply, it just plain works.”  – Brian Robbins, Jambands.com

For more reviews of ‘Wood and Stone’ please visit Taranevins.com

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Tara Nevins (with Carol Elizabeth Jones)

North Shore Point House Concert

Norfolk, VA

June 11, 2011

Review by Paul Roberge of the Herd

After a restful few days at the beach, Mags and I decided to extend our vacation by a day and make the trek to Norfolk to catch the house concert with Tara Nevins.  Mapquest fixed the driving distance from Holden Beach, NC (south of Wilmington) to Norfolk at 318 miles, but the actual distance turned out to be more like 352 miles, and we got caught in a long stretch of stop-and-roll traffic, thanks to construction.  Happily, the drive time from Norfolk to Durham is under four hours, and so the trip home tomorrow shouldn’t be so bad.

The concert was held in the back yard of a private home in a very cool, older neighborhood in the northern part of the city, in the general vicinity of the navy base.  There was a small stage — a riser, actually — with a tent, off to the side that could be placed over it in case of rain.  Folding chairs were set up for about 120 people, and it looked like all but a few were taken.  Some people spread blankets to the sides of the seated area and had picnics.  The host, Jim Morrison, also provided beer and water for his guests, though many people brought their own.  There were a number of Donna the Buffalo fans in attendance, though the overwhelming majority seemed to be local music aficionados who enjoy the house concert scene and who are interested in hearing new sounds.  Unfortunately, a storm front rolled in just before the show got under way.  The cool breeze was a relief, but menacing skies provided a backdrop against which the the first half of the show was performed.  Finally, some sprinkles, placement of the tent over the performers, then more serious raindrops, then the downpour.  Some people sought shelter in the garage, others in the house; still others called it a night.  Jim brought out plastic bags for the instruments and moved the show into his home.  Tara and Carol Elizabeth set up in his spacious living room and performed without amplification.  People sat on the floor and stood, spilling out into the dining room.  Somehow, this worked just fine.

This turned out to be a very special evening indeed, both for the intimacy of a house concert and for the opportunity to see Tara perform in her own right.  Musically, the concert was a melange of old time, material from Tara’s recent release, Wood and Stone, and some Donna the Buffalo favorites. Tara’s musicianship is peerless, and she is also a most engaging raconteuse.  I came away with a new appreciation for and admiration of this remarkable talent and very special person.  A heartfelt thanks to our host, Jim Morrison, for sponsoring this event and for inviting us into his home.  My daughter had it right when she said that this is an evening that we shall always remember fondly.  No question about it.  This was a beautiful experience.

Paul R.

[Also, check out this review of the show by host Jim Morrison and find out more about the evolution of house concerts as well: Magic moments: a decade of house-concerts]

Photo by Maggie Roberge. Reposted here with permission.

Photo by Maggie Roberge. Reposted here with permission.


Tara Nevins, fiddle, guitar, vocals

Carol Elizabeth Jones, guitar, backing vocals, lead vocal on “Chilly Winds,” “The North Country,” and “Half Way to Nowhere”

Set List

Start: 8.15pm

I

Breaking up Christmas

Wood and Stone

What Money Cannot Buy

Chilly Winds

The North Country

Stars Fell on Alabama

Locket and Key

Nothing Really

Sugar Hill

Snowbird

You’re still Driving that Truck (interrupted by thunder storm; show stopped at 9.18pm)

II (show restarted indoors at 9.40pm)

Lee Highway Blues

You’re still Driving that Truck

No Place like the Right Time

Polecat Blues

All I ever Needed

You’ve Got it All

Half Way to Nowhere

Cotton Eye Joe

Family Picture

Train 45

John Henry

Finish: 10.43pm

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Tara Nevins with The Heartbeats

“Wood and Stone”

From the Living Room to the Loft
SiriusXM Recording
Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
$15 , 21+
10pm set-time

The Living Room
212-533-7237
154 Ludlow Street
New York, NY 10002
www.livingroomny.com
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American roots traditionalist Tara Nevins’ new release, ‘Wood and Stone’ is an exploration of her own heritage, musical and otherwise. Released on May 3rd, 2011 on Sugar Hill Records ‘Wood and Stone’ was produced by Larry Campbell at the Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY.

Nevins will be performing a set of music from the new album live “From The Living Room to the Loft” on Wednesday, July 6th at 10pm. The Heartbeats,  the all-female, old time/Cajun band that Tara has played with for years, will be joining Tara on stage at the Living Room in NYC and the evening’s show is recorded to air on Sirius XM. Also joining Tara and the Heartbeats will be Lora Pendelton- Guitar and Vocals, Thomas Bryan Eaton- pedal steel, Barry Mitterhoff (from Hot Tuna)- Mandolin.

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Wood and Stone has been well received with sentiments of the music being an eloquent, honest blend of Donna the Buffalo, Americana, old time country, pop and straight up rock and roll:

“If heroes and heroines of rock ‘n’ roll are defined by their uniqueness, they definitely broke the mold when they made Tara Nevins.” – Wildman Steve, The Corner News“Larry has taken Tara’s music to an entirely higher level, if this doesn’t turn into an award winner they’ll have been cheated!” – Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association

“This is an exceptional piece of music, one that I think needs to be heard—to prove that people are still cutting ‘Country Music’ these days!” – Chuck Dauphin, Music News Nashville

“‘Tennessee River,’ a dark and gripping song about love’s place in ones’ life, features Campbell’s harrowing, electric guitar wails. The record closes with a cathartic, beautiful cover of Van Morrison’s ‘The Beauty of Days Gone By’—bringing Wood and Stone full circle.” Bill Clifford – Relix

“…as invigorating as it is mesmerizing.” – Amos Perrine, No Depression

“… That’s the mark of the good ones, the guarantee is their name on the label, something Nevins shares with Van Morrison (maybe it’s the water in Woodstock) whose ‘Beauty Of Days Gone By’ closes out the album.” Blurt

“The pedigree of the album is staggering. Start with Nevins, who has been an integral member of DTB since its formation in 1987, and add producer Larry Campell along with guest performers Levon Helm, Jim Lauderdale, Allison Moorer, and Teresa Williams, and you get a record that is as solid as the building materials mentioned in the title.” – Fifty Cent Lighter Blog

“a stellar collection….It’s an album that sounds familiar, yet new, not an easy feat.” – Jim Morrison, No Depression

…..the real bridge between past and present is a voice, so singular and beautiful, that it must be heard to be appreciated. – Chip Frasier, Twangville

“… her music takes on the spirit of the [Levon Helm] Barn like a well-worn and cozy Gypsy jacket that was tailored to her shoulders.” – Brian Robbins, Jambands.com

“She’s outdone herself with the superb ‘Wood and Stone.’ – Jeffrey Sisk, The Daily News

“exceptional music and excellent songwriting; ten of the thirteen tunes were written by Ms Nevins, and she does sure brighten the day.” – FAME


Visit www.TaraNevins.com for more information about the album,
a gallery of images, videos, music and lyrics.
Wood and Stone showcases Nevins’ ever-evolving repertoire as she journeys both back to her own “roots” and head-long into new territory. Featured guests on the album include Levon Helm, Jim Lauderdale, Allison Moorer, Teresa Williams, The Heartbeats, along with the core band of Larry Campbell, Justin Guip, and Byron Isaacs.

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