Posts Tagged ‘southern soul’

Behind The Scenes with Swift Silver

Swift Silver to Release Eponymous Album June 4, 2021
Songwriters Anna Kline and John Looney Hail in a New Era of Southern Rock and Soul

First Single: “Blackbird’s Refrain” Out Now!

“The organ on this will lift you up and the song itself will soar from there on Anna Kline’s vocals.  Think Grateful Dead’s ‘Masterpiece.’  ‘The higher you get the more you’ll see’ — isn’t that the truth.”–Americana Highways, Song Premiere of “Blackbird’s Refrain”

MT. STERLING, Ky.   Get swept away by Swift Silver’s big river of sound with their self-titled debut album due out June 4. Swift Silver marks a meaningful milestone for Southern songwriters Anna Kline and John Looney as a 180° (re)turn to their musical roots: the drawling tremolo of rhythm and blues, the redemptive strains of Southern gospel, and the twang of the rural soul.

From the moment the listener presses play; from the mid-tempo album opener, the vocally empowering “Belleville Blues,” to the last track, a reflective ballad, “Ain’t Wrecked Yet;Swift Silver celebrates the tenets of Southern sound. This is a collection of songs cultivated in the dim lights of listening rooms and local jams, regional festivals and side street bars, as well as alone in the woodshed or crafted as an ensemble.

Swift Silver is Anna Kline and John Looney

Kline’s vocal performances—on both lead and harmony—display an astonishing range of versatility and skill, her voice flows as smooth as a rippling river current. Looney gives a masterful performance on lead guitar, not only displaying his expertise as an integral sideman but also as a talented arranger, showcasing a finely-tuned ear for nuance and groove. Together, they drive the contagious electric surge of sound that is Swift Silver.

“This album speaks to the path we tread,” says Kline. It is lyrically insightful, eloquentand timely when examined through the lens of current events. “These songs help us navigate lingering questions we daily seek to answer, they pulsate with discovery, and melodically confess the hunger to right a few wrongs.”

This is exemplified in the lyrics of “Blackbird’s Refrain,” an energetic, Beatlesque track showcasing John’s slide guitar: “This world is coming alive to some strange times, we’ve got to bend and sway together.” 

“There were several months of quarantine under our belt already, and I was constantly chasing sunshine. Anytime we could get outside, we’d let the dogs play and soak it up. We always start to feel worn thin during the winter and long for warmer days ahead. And, with everything that was going on politically and pandemic-wise, we were really feeling the weight of it all.” Anna says, “The lyrics are a literal bird’s eye view—if a bird, circling above the world and surveyed the chaos we’re all currently living in, what would he have to say about it?”

With the chorus, “The higher you get, the more that you see,’ Anna says, “I’ve always loved how little revelations shift your mind’s eye to perceive nuance in life and situations. And, as a person who has dealt with the life-long struggles of depression and anxiety, these little shifts in consciousness have added up to completely change my life. This past decade I’ve been on a healing journey… and I have come out on the other side. Something I never thought I’d be able to do.”

Anna and John’s collaboration spans ten years of exploring the great expanse of the American songbook—touring, conspiring, songwriting—fused together by the Mississippi heat, molded in the mountain air of Western North Carolina, and flung free in the hills of Kentucky bluegrass. Swift Silver has an unmistakable sound conjured from an intense musical intimacy and this new album embodies a new era of Southern rock and soul.

Swift Silver was recorded at Fat Baby Studios in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, enlisting the help of brothers Kenny Miles and Hayden Miles (of Wayne Graham). Kenny and Hayden not only comprised the album band—adding bass lines, keys and organ fills, as well as a few harmonies— Kenny was also at the helm as engineer and co-producer. The album includes 8 original songs and an alluring cover of Carter Stanley’sThe Fields Have Turned Brown,” a purposeful nod to their lives as bluegrass musicians with some mighty powerful harmonies.

Other songs on the album include a not-so-average cheatin’ song, the country soul “We’ve Given Up On Us;” the guitar driven and vocally riveting homage to Memphis soul, “Looking Back;” and the reflective cosmic country waltz tune, “Tonight, Forever Yours.” 

The pondering song, “We All Get Our Turn,” has the lyrics, “We all get our turn… To be young and grow old… Asphalt or gravel… No, it don’t matter… How you got here, the road you traveled… Ask yourself who is your master? Is this the life you’ve been chasing after?

At the heart of the album, the high energy “Come On Home To Yourself,” steered by the fuzzed-out guitar lick that takes you back to Mississippi by way of Texas blues, is a love letter of sorts to “home.” Anna says, “I was inspired from the stories my parents told me about my kinfolk who settled in Mississippi in the 1800s. When I go home we visit the cemeteries where they are laid to rest. I also felt inspired to draw the parallel between myself and the Mississippi River to illustrate my progression and personal growth, and how constrained the river might feel as men have tried to forcefully control her path all these years, as she meandered and, ultimately, flows her own way.” 

She sings, “Fashioned out of the mud… From the Coldwater bottoms… Who wants to walk the Straight and narrow? Seek not to be reborn… Behold I am the pearl… Bent, bowed, undertow, journey on… Find your way back home.

More about Anna Kline and John Looney: 

For the majority of their band life, Anna and John were known as the bluegrass duo, Grits & Soul

With a history of major festivals and appearances under their belt—MerleFest, Bristol Rhythm and Roots, Suwannee Springfest & Magnolia Fest, Countryfest in Belgium —and a performance on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern—the time came where they felt led to explore new (and old) musical space. Thus, Swift Silver was born.

Anna comes from a line of several generations worth of musicians, singers, and artists. She grew up in Hernando, a small town between Memphis and the Mississippi Delta, and is a writer of both songs and Southern culture content. From Memphis Soul to Muscle Shoals and working in licensing at Malaco Records, her roots ring clear in her songwriting as well as her capabilities as a vocalist. 

John was born in the mountains of Southwest Virginia and raised in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. He is a sought-after multi-instrumentalist (John R. Miller  & The Engine Lights, Wayne Graham) whose accompaniment on mandolin or guitar gives each song personality and a distinct groove. Drawing from the varied influences of his mountain music heritage, blues, and the diversity of the American songbook, John’s contributions—in both live performances and on recordings—are ear candy.

The pair met in Jackson, MS, in 2011 and wrote their first couple of songs together. The following year they decided to move to Asheville to play music full time where they stayed for five years before returning to Mt. Sterling, Kentucky in 2016. 

As collaborators and a couple, it’s all we’ve ever known. 2021 marks 10 years playing music and songwriting together.” Anna says, “We wrote our first few songs together and the course of our lives changed forever.”

Swift Silver Track listing and duration:

1. Belleville Blues 3:56

2. We’ve Given Up On Us 5:20

3. Looking Back 7:06

4. Tonight, Forever Yours 5:32

5. Come On Home To Yourself 5:26

6. The Fields Have Turned Brown 7:28

7. Blackbird’s Refrain 5:34

8. We All Get Our Turn 5:48

9. Ain’t Wrecked Yet  4:10

Players and Instrumentation:

Anna Kline: lead vocals, harmony vocals, acoustic guitar

John Looney: lead guitar, vocals

Kenny Miles: baritone guitar, bass, organ, harmony vocals

Hayden Miles: drums, keys

And special guest Chris Justice (Wayne Graham, John R. MIller): bass on “Looking Back”

Album Artwork by Joe King, logo and lettering by Grace Van’t Hof, album design by Zack Looney

Website: www.swiftsilvermusic.com 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/swiftsilvermusic  

Twitter: www.twitter.com/swiftsilverband 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/swiftsilvermusic 

Presave the Full Album, Swift Silver:  https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/swiftsilver/swift-silver

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EDA Butterfly cover 2CD Cover

Edward David Anderson Releases Chasing Butterflies
Out Today October 19 on Black Dirt Records
Recorded at the NuttHouse in Muscle Shoals with Producer Jimmy Nutt

Available Now On All Outlets → http://smarturl.it/8bdvv6

BLOOMINGTON, IL — Edward David Anderson has been writing songs, making records, and playing shows for a living for more than 2 decades. An American songwriter and rock & roll veteran who spent his formative years fronting the revered Midwest band, Backyard Tire Fire, and having penned eight albums for the band, he is known for infectious melodies and memorable messages. Since their hiatus in 2011, EDA has continued to write and tour as a solo artist and his 3rd solo studio record, Chasing Butterflies, is out today October 19, 2018 on his own Black Dirt Records.

“The story of my life’s written on my skin,” sings Edward David Anderson on the devilishly sardonic “Bad Tattoos” on Chasing Butterflies. The song, like the artist, is brutally honest and has a worn feel; like it’s coming from someone that has been around and put in the miles. “I don’t think I could have written these tunes when I was 25,” Anderson explains. “Everything I’ve done, the people I’ve met, all the places I’ve been, have brought me to this moment.”

It was through a tip from a friend that Anderson connected with GRAMMY Award winner Jimmy Nutt (SteelDrivers) from the iconic Shoals region of north Alabama. During their first conversation it was clear the two had a natural rapport and he quickly set a course for Jimmy’s NuttHouse Recording Studio in Sheffield. Diverging from past albums EDA used local session musicians for his backing band. “I felt the way to get the most authentic Shoals sound was to play with people who live and work there,” he said. Nutt played bass and brought in Jon Davis (Dylan LeBlanc) on drums, Brad Kuhn on keys, Todd Beene (Lucero) on pedal steel, and Kimi Samson on violin and the chemistry was instant.

EDApress1kimanderson.jpgThe core of the 10-track album was cut live in just a few short days with minimal overdubbing, making it feel both cohesive and human. “We brought in strings on a few and pedal steel on one, but didn’t want to get too carried away,” Anderson recalls. The result is a stunningly sublime, less-is-more snapshot of a writer in his prime.  

On Chasing Butterflies there is a feeling of arrival. Absorbing and learning and growing through life experience has clearly refined his ability to write about the human condition. In “The Best Part, he sings to his wife “You help me to understand/you make me a better man/I’m gonna do the best I can/to love you,” and you believe him. This kind of sincerity and honesty along with a candidly dry sense of humor recur throughout the album.


“There are a handful of songs spread throughout the 40-minute disc that would make Chris Stapleton sit up and notice… Musically, the album has a deep southern soul feel… Grooves are deep, guitar breaks are extended (but not exaggerated), and emotion is palatable… Chasing Butterflies is a stunning collection of modern Americana. Poetic and fresh with a deceptively laconic quality making it all the more momentous. I don’t use the word often: brilliant.” —Fervor Coulee, Donald Teplyske

“Thematically, Anderson again weaves stories about the multi-faceted South, painting character portraits, dealing with its duality, its mysteries, and its special charms. Of course, there are love songs too…. Anderson has a knack for infectious hooks as evidenced by ‘Bad Tattoos’ and ‘Only in My Dreams’… Anderson continues to impress.” —Country Standard Time,  Jim Hynes

He has the rare ability to open his soul and unfold his stories in a natural style that is simultaneously guileslees and universal. Another fine collection from my good friend!” —Johnny Hickman (Cracker)

“The album’s other standout track… ‘The Ballad of Lemuel Penn’ tells the true story of a black war hero and Assistant Superintendant of the D.C. Public School System who was shot near Athens, GA by white supremacists nine days after the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Taking a story song format similar to Bob Dylan’s ‘The Hurricane,’ the song tells of how, despite witnesses turning in the three Klansmen who shot Penn, the ‘all white jury’ acquitted the trio. It’s an old story, but one that resonates just a year after the events of Charlottesville, especially in the closing lines, when Anderson reminds us that ‘one still lives in Athens today.’ Anderson’s tale is greatly assisted by fiddler Kimi Samson’s haunting melodies.” Concert Hopper, Chris Griffy

Edward David Anderson’s Chasing Butterflies paints a melodic Americana picture that humanizes symbols we see every day.” —Jon Norton (WGLT)

“EDA has always been one of my favorite songwriters and singers, and on this record he has beautifully managed to capture the elusive dichotomy that is the American South- a combination of mystery, darkness and relaxed geniality. Great album.” —Steve Berlin, Los Lobos

“An artist to the bone who is raw, open, gritty… A portal into the human condition.” —Seth Walker

Chasing Butterflies is a treasure chest full of American songs, just waiting for you to open and find all of the joy and mysteries stored inside.  Edward David Anderson’s voice and these songs are like a back porch conversation with a great old long lost friend. You can pick up right where you left off and it always feels right.” –Ed Jurdi (Band of Heathens)

The Bluegrass Situation Song Premiere “The Best Part”

Americana Highways Song Premiere “Chasing Butterflies”

Live And LIsten Song Premiere “Only In My Dreams”

Chasing Butterflies Track Listing:

  1. Harmony (3:19)
  2. The Ballad of Lemuel Penn (4:02)
  3. The Best Part (3:23)
  4. Bad Tattoos (4:19)
  5. Crosses (4:03)
  6. Only in My Dreams (4:49)
  7. Dog Days (2:32)
  8. Chasing Butterflies (4:19)
  9. Sittin’ ‘Round at Home (2:23)
  10. Seasons Turn (5:45)

Edward David Anderson – vocals, acoustic, electric & baritone guitars, banjo
Jimmy Nutt – Bass, Percussion
Jon Davis – Drums, Percussion
Brad Kuhn – Keys (Wurlitzer, Hammond A100, Yamaha C7 Grand, Rhodes)
Kimi Samson – Violin (2,6,9)
Todd Beene – Pedal Steel (8)

For more information, please visit www.edwarddavidanderson.com, facebook.com/edwarddavidandersonmusic, twitter.com/edanderson72, and instagram.com/edwarddavidanderson.

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