Andrea Zonn — Rise (September 25, 2015) ¬ Mám pouze tryskající chválu pro album ‘Rise’. Také pro kolegu Andrey Zonn — duchovního otce a partnera alba — MCR, vl. jménem Thomm Jutz, kytaristu a producenta, kterého jsme viděli s Peterem Cooperem, Mac Wisemanem a Irene Kelley. Zonn ví stejně dobře jako ostatní, že správní hráči a správná chemie jsou právě tím, co slouží písním a pozvedá album. Deset skladeb, které se objevilo v tomto případě, uniká nějakým ortodoxním a úhledným popisům žánrů — určitě však jsou to skvosty od singer–songwriterky, akustické groovy v přírodních tónech spontánní, transparentní krásy. Výběr hráčů zahrnuje dlouholeté přátele a kolegy: Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, KEB Mo, John Cowan, Vince Gill, James Taylor a megaotloukánek Nashville sessions Mac McAnally. Jádrem její vize projektu byla rytmická sekce basisty Willieho Weekse a bubeníka Steve Gadda. No a tato jména jsou tou nejlepší referencí. Většina amerických fanoušků ví, že Andrea Zonn je uváděnou členkou kapely Jamese Taylora + nahrávacích a koncertních frekvencí (Lyle Lovett, Trisha Yearwood, Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, a Vince Gill). Album ‘Rise’ však představuje novou kapitolu v Andreině příběhu. Potřeba psát pro ‘Rise’ nevyplynula jen z uměleckého PRŮZKUMU. Vyšla z emocionální nutnosti. Její syn potřeboval řadu nebezpečných operací mozku. Měla vůli a důvod veřejně říct pro ní důležité věci. Toto je výsledek.Location: Nashville, TN
Album release: September 25, 2015
Record Label: Compass Records
01. Another Side of Home (with Mac McAnally) 3:37
02. No Reason to Feel Good (with Keb’ Mo’) 3:49
03. Crazy If You Let It (with Vince Gill) 3:27
04. I Can’t Talk About It Now 3:10
05. Let Them Go (with Mac McAnally) 3:40
06. Where the Water Meets the Sky (with Sam Bush) 4:43
07. Rise (with John Cowan) 4:31
08. Another Swing and a Miss 2:56
09. You Make Me Whole (with James Taylor) 4:19
10. Ships (with Trace Adkins) 4:28
℗ 2015 Compass Records
¬ Features special guest appearances by James Taylor, Vince Gill, Keb’ Mo’, Trace Adkins, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Jim Oblon, Bryan Sutton, Michael Landau, Mac McAnally, Alison Brown, and many more...
¬ Andrea Zonn, one of the most respected fiddle players and harmony vocalists in contemporary music, knows as well as anyone that the right players and the right chemistry are what elevates an album and serves the songs. On her second album as an artist, Andrea is supported by the illustrious musicians she usually accompanies: James Taylor, Vince Gill, and Keb’ Mo’, for starters.
¬ The 10 tracks on Rise show Andrea digging into songcraft with focus and newfound confidence. The results escape any neat genre descriptions folk–rock suits as well as anything but they re heavy on groove, natural tones and spontaneous, transparent beauty.
¬ “At last: this sublime new batch of songs from the voice (and bow) of our unparalleled, Andrea Zonn. So proud to be a part of it...” — James Taylor
¬ “Distinguished by her gorgeous vocals, masterful songwriting and sweet fiddle playing, Rise is one of the year’s greatest music treasures.” — Rolling Stone Country
By Craig Havighurst, Posted August 23, 2015
¬ This week’s show will be epic for all of us and a bit personal for me. Last winter I got a call asking to help out with the press notes for an upcoming album by a musician I’ve long admired and a person I adore, Nashville fiddler, singer and songwriter Andrea Zonn. That led to a lovely lunch and catch up where I heard about her adventures on the road in James Taylor’s band and the latest on her son. He had a health scare some years ago that would test any mom’s faith, and it turned out that those events also became a catalyst for the new project we were talking about, including its title track “Rise.”
¬ We’ve worked on this Wednesday’s show for a long time in tandem with Andrea and her manager/our friend Brian Smith so that the album could be played in its entirety with most of the very special guests who graced the project and who make up Andrea’s world. Setting that up will be three splendid acts from very different places and styles, as is our habit.
¬ When I heard the full Rise album for the first time it was in an early stage known in the biz as rough mixes. The songs were brilliant and bold, and it was easy to feel the vibrancy of Zonn’s voice and the skill of the dream team of players. It wasn’t polished, but it was enough to write the bio and appreciate the effort. Then recently I got to hear to final, mastered opus, and Holy Cats people. The voices of Andrea and her guests now saturate a huge, lush soundscape, and the smart interplay of acoustic instruments with drums, bass and keys really shines. This Compass Records release is going to be one of the finest albums of the year, and it ought to put this hard working artist on everyone’s map.
¬ Normally I don’t quote official press bios, but in this case I think I can indulge.
¬ Zonn knows as well as anyone that the right players and the right chemistry are what elevates an album and serves the songs. The ten tracks that emerged in this case elude any neat genre descriptions — folk–rock suits as well as anything — but they’re heavy on groove, natural tones and spontaneous, transparent beauty.
¬ Those players include long time friends and colleagues including Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Keb Mo, John Cowan, Vince Gill, James Taylor and mega Nashville session guy Mac McAnally. Central to her vision for the project was the rhythm section of bassist Willie Weeks and drummer Steve Gadd. Look these guys up. I loved Gadd from his Steely Dan work and so much more. Gadd can’t make this show but Weeks will be there, and he’s played bass with Eric Clapton, George Harrison and the Rolling Stones. Zonn also has gushing praise for her fellow mastermind and partner behind the album, MCR regular Thomm Jutz, the guitarist and producer we’ve seen with Peter Cooper, Mac Wiseman and Irene Kelley among others.
¬ I mentioned the family health crisis that sparked Andrea. And when you hear the song “Rise” knowing that it was inspired by the confluence of news that her son would need dangerous brain surgery and the Nashville flood of 2010 its spirit and uplift will take on even more shades of meaning. Andrea said this:
¬ “I had always been a bit timid about writing, because I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the greatest writers ever, anywhere,” she says. “I wasn’t writing up to my own standards. Or I didn’t feel like I could.” The experience five years ago became a “catalyst for me learning to speak.”
¬ Andrea’s full back story, mixing classical training and bluegrass fiddle championships, is fascinating and reflecting of the best about Nashville, the creative process and Americana music. I hope you’ll read the whole thing. I felt incredibly lucky to experience a work like this early on. I feel lucky to know somebody capable of this level of musical beauty. I think you’ll feel the same way after Andrea covers the album over two sets.
¬ As for the front half of the evening, these artists could be a show in themselves. We’ll open things up with perhaps the world’s most famous instrumentalist of the YouTube era. And while ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro was one of the very first musicians to go viral when his performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” blew up in 2006, he was by then already a popular touring artist based out of his native Hawaii and signed to Sony. Like Earl Scruggs and Jerry Douglas, he’s made over and re–invented a venerable folk instrument, and his virtuosity and spirit have earned him entrée to the world’s biggest and best stages. We’re very fortunate to snag him during this visit to Music City.
¬ Up next is (are?) Gnarly Parkers, a band that continues our run of groups with A) Belmont University ties B) a penchant for classic early jazz and blues and C) shows of consummate musicianship and youthful panache. They dress sharp, play smart and swing hard in a way that mingles barroom and ballroom. And then we’ll experience a return visit from the Honey Island Swamp Band, formed in the Bay Area by a bunch of Hurricane Katrina refugees who then eventually returned to their home city. In 2013 they brought what I scientifically observed as “funky butt sophistication” and killer musicianship. I said “It was a display of versatility and joie de vivre from one of the more celebrated contemporary New Orleans bands.”
¬ So if you’re with us in the hall on Wednesday night (as you should be) get ready for some stellar performances and the warmth that comes from true Nashville musical camaraderie. And be prepared to Rise up out of your seat a few times.
Craig H. ¬ http://musiccityroots.com/
¬ Violinst and vocalist Andrea Zonn was raised in a musical family. Her father was a professor of music theory and composition; her mother, an oboist and pianist. Andrea herself took up the violin, but began fiddling at age ten when she outgrew her classical training. The combination of bluegrass improvisation with classical elegance would influence her sound for years to come. Zonn arrived in Nashville at 16 and soon found work as a studio musician. In 1990, she joined Vince Gill’s band and continued to perform with the country superstar even as she collaborated with such luminaries as Lyle Lovett, Alison Krauss, and Trisha Yearwood. Zonn made her solo debut in May 2003 with Love Goes On (Compass). The LP included tasteful contemporary bluegrass, country, Celtic, and pop influences and featured Zonn's violin and soaring soprano throughout.
ABOUT ANDREA ZONN
¬ Most every songwriter tries new work out for friends and colleagues. When Andrea Zonn does so, it must be especially nerve jangling, because her friends includes some of the finer songwriters of all time. Her years on the road as a fiddler and harmony singer for James Taylor, Vince Gill, Trace Adkins and others have drawn her close to some important artists. And she’s the first to tell you how much she values working for them. But on ‘Rise’, Zonn’s second album as an artist, they’re supporting her.
¬ “I kept wanting to call this The Love Record because I have so much reverence for the people who are on this project and who I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with over the years,” Andrea says. “I have learned so much from them. And I’m their fan. There are no casual calls here.”
¬ Nor is she merely dropping names. These are the kind of high–level recording sessions any producer would put together if they had these contacts. Besides Taylor on harmony vocals, plus country legend Gill and modern day blues master Keb’ Mo’ singing and playing guitar, her dream team includes great session and road musicians she’s worked with over her career: dobro star Jerry Douglas, Newgrass–founding mandolinist Sam Bush, former Newgrass vocalist and current Doobie Brother John Cowan, and multi–award winning musician Mac McAnally.
¬ Central to the project’s conception and guiding her songwriting was the core rhythm section of bassist Willie Weeks and drummer Steve Gadd. Weeks (Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Rolling Stones, Doobie Brothers) and Gadd (Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Simon & Garfunkel, Paul McCartney) are certified legends, yet only rarely had they recorded together before these sessions. Zonn, who’s known both of them for years, conceived the project around their studio collaboration. “I knew that the chemistry between them would be fantastic,” she says, “and so the album was written with the two of them in mind.”
¬ To some, this might seem like insider talk, but it’s actually central to the creative process and to the exceptional results. Zonn knows as well as anyone that the right players and the right chemistry are what elevates an album and serves the songs. The ten tracks that emerged in this case elude any neat genre descriptions — folk–rock suits as well as anything — but they’re heavy on groove, natural tones and spontaneous, transparent beauty.
¬ As for those songs, they represent a new chapter in Andrea’s story. Whereas her debut record featured her interpreting works by her favorite writers, many of them her friends, the new project shows off Andrea digging into songcraft with focus and newfound confidence. “I had always been a bit timid about writing, because I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the greatest writers ever, anywhere,” she says. “I wasn’t writing up to my own standards. Or I didn’t feel like I could.”
¬ Then came a life and family crisis. Andrea’s young son needed a series of dangerous brain operations. More than anything she’d encountered, she says, the surgeries and their related complications became a “catalyst for me learning to speak.” In a hospital setting, with so much on the line, she explains, “you can’t afford to pussyfoot around.” Suddenly she had plenty to say and the will to say it, so in the company of some extraordinary co–writers, new material came flowing out.
¬ Andrea Zonn is rare in modern music in her twin training in classical and traditional music. In her teens, she became a national fiddle champion the same year she won a prestigious violin fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival. She played in bluegrass bands around the same time she was performing avant–garde classical music at Lincoln Center and the Library of Congress. Hoping to bridge the gap between folk and art music, she came to Nashville, ultimately landing a scholarship to Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music.
¬ Zonn’s wide–ranging tastes and training helped her find extensive studio work, including recordings with Linda Ronstadt, George Jones, Amy Grant and countless others. Besides Vince Gill and James Taylor, her touring has included stints with Lyle Lovett, Trisha Yearwood and Jerry Douglas. In 2005, she ventured into production, initiating the Hands Across The Water album that raised money for victims of the Indian Ocean Tsunami. So she’s seen music making in all its possible outlets and venues.
¬ Somehow, Zonn found the time to pursue her desire to make a fresh album of original material. The first song that emerged and the one that became an emotional beacon for the project is the roiling gospel/New Orleans funeral number and title track, “Rise.” She’d just learned the extent of her son’s health crisis and as they came home to process what lay ahead, clouds began gathering for what would become the historic Nashville flood of 2010. The beginning of the song she felt that day was completed with phenomenal young musician Luke Bulla, himself a member of Lyle Lovett’s band.
¬ After that, songs continued to flow. Opener “Another Side of Home,” a study in how age changes our perceptions of the simple things, was written with Nashville power pop favorite Bill Lloyd and Thomm Jutz, a hidden treasure Nashville guitarist and record producer who is deeply wound into the way this album feels and sounds. Jutz was also part of the writing session, along with recording artist, journalist and baseball fan Peter Cooper, that produced “Another Swing And A Miss,” the album’s melancholy swing jazz tune. “You Make Me Whole” has a mid–tempo Motown feel and is a lovely tribute to a friend or lover who went the extra mile. Here, James Taylor’s kindly background vocals evoke the similar message and magic of his touchstone song “You’ve Got A Friend.” The power of his belonging on this shimmering track is testimony that Zonn belongs in rarified company when it comes to songwriting and record making.
¬ “There’s a peacefulness and a surrender” behind ‘Rise’, says Zonn. “I don’t have a need to show anything off. I don’t have anything to prove. I’m just there to serve the song and serve the moment and to listen to my bandmates and let this dialogue occur.”
¬ One could say Zonn is worthy of close attention based on the company she keeps. But it’s even more telling that they seem just as honored to have her around._____________________________________________________________
Peter Cat Recording Co.
Jesca Hoop — Stonechild
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