Posts Tagged ‘Courtney Marie Andrews’

This is Courtney Marie Andrews‘ fourth record, “No One’s Slate is Clean.”
released December 6th, 2010, It’s near Impossible to pick a favorite track. This albums is stellar from start to finish. Do yourself a favor and listen to this album. Each song flows into the next in a logical, touching way, and there’s a large-scale building to (what I feel is) a climax.  a perfect snapshot of an age full of imperfections. Incredibly beautiful melodies, pro arrangements, and raw honesty – the marriage of simple things that birth complex emotions.

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All songs written and performed by Courtney Marie Andrews.

Courtney Marie Andrews: acoustic guitars, electric guitars, vocals, vocal harmonies, synth, string arrangements for, “Canals of Amsterdam” and “Songs for Tourists.”

Ethan McCracken: electric guitars, synth, vocal harmonies on, “Bumper in the Hail,” and string arrangements for “Canals of Amsterdam” and “Songs for Tourists.”

Tim Mechling: piano, rhodes, organ, and string arrangements for “Unbalanced Suns.”

Alex Stoops Sabel: bass

Luke Knezevich: drums, percussion

Additional Musicians:
Chris Testa: percussion
Patrick Austin: violin
Jared MacFarlane: violin
Clifton P. Antoine: viola
Brad Hawkins: cello

Courtney Marie Andrews, May Your Kindness Remain

The layers of singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews’ May Your Kindness Remain are vast as the music is enchanting. Her sixth record is easy to fall for, with her dusky soprano rising atop an easy-going, yet sultry band. Her groove is reminiscent of Linda Ronstadt, particularly with the way she slides around the spectrum of Americana: country, folk, gospel and something else you can’t quite put your finger on. Lyrically, Andrews is in touch with her own loneliness, kindness and empathy and that shines through songs like “I’ve Hurt Worse,” “May Your Kindness Remain” and “Two Cold Nights in Buffalo.” The inspiration for these songs came from meeting people on her tours and realizing that everyone is suffering from the same types of sadness. May Your Kindness Remain is an accurate, passionate account of facing problems directly and dealing with depression head-on.

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The official music video for Courtney Marie Andrews’ song, “Took You Up,” off her new album, May Your Kindness Remain, premiered at The Independent who stated, “The Americana songwriter shows that true love survives through the tough times in her latest visual,” and goes on to praise, “…finds her with an even keener eye for storytelling.” The video was directed by Giraffe Studios LA.

Courtney Marie AndrewsTook You Up From ‘May Your Kindness Remain’ – Available from Fat Possum Records / Mama Bird Recording Co.

Courtney Marie Andrews’ debuted songs from her acclaimed new album, “May Your Kindness Remain”, on CBS TV This Morning” as part of their “Saturday Sessions” series.

Watch the performances here: “Kindness Of Strangers,” “Two Cold Nights In Buffalo” and “May Your Kindness Remain.”

 

Singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews left her home to focus on music at just 16 years old. Her 2016 album “Honest Life” was a breakout hit and a fixture on many lists for album of the year. Her latest collection, “May Your Kindness Remain,” was released last week.

Two of the 10 songs from the new album Courtney Marie Andrews “May Your Kindness Remain”,  astonishingly beautiful new album, have the word kindness in the title. This is not a coincidence. The idea of kindness of empathy, of giving unto others, of needing the same from others — is as central to Andrews’ music  Even when it’s not what she’s singing about, it’s what she’s singing about.

One song on May Your Kindness Remain is about an old, broken-down, permanently messy house and about the couple who used to live there. It’s clear that they’re not still together — “There’s a bed upstairs if you’re ever in town / Or if you need a place to get your feet back on the ground” — but there’s still a fondness, a feeling of togetherness. She sings that the house is their home, that it belongs to both of them, and it feels like a powerful act of generosity, a gift of a song. It’s about how that warmth can outlast the end of a relationship. It’s just lovely.

There are some staggering love songs on May Your Kindness Remain, and there are also songs about needing love, about requiring that sort of empathy. “Lift The Lonely From My Heart” is about depression, about needing someone else’s help to get through it: “Pining, mining for a feeling I’m not finding / Looking to you to tell me what I’m worth.” And then there’s a song like “I’ve Hurt Worse” about knowing that empathy is not coming back to you: “I like you when I have to call you a second time / It keeps me wondering if you are mine / Mother says you love who you think you deserve / But I’ve hurt worse.” Andrews herself calls it a sarcastic song, but I hear a note of longing in there, of self-recrimination. Andrews is working within a country-music tradition that’s long prized a brassy toughness, but even at her hardest, that’s not really what she’s about. And that, in its way, is why a song like that cuts even deeper.

The empathy extends, too, to people beyond Andrews’ relationships, to people she might not know. “Two Cold Nights In Buffalo” is a song about getting stranded in an edge-of-oblivion upstate New York town, taking in all the misery around you, and wondering how shit ever got this bad. It gets a little on-the-nose when Andrews starts wondering how this place ever got this bad — “Is that the American dream dying?” — but it hits hard when she takes in the individual scenes of misery, extrapolating from a glance: “A snowy prison out on Main Street, heaters hang from the cells / A bum searches for shelter, so cold he dreams of hell.” And on “Border Song” she imagines the life of a Mexican immigrant trying to get through the desert, dreaming of a better life that’s still a hell of a lot harder than what most of the people reading this website will ever have to endure: “Stand outside that hardware store / Don’t matter the job they need me for.”

Courtney Marie Andrews’ music isn’t country the way “country” is commonly understood now. It’s country the same way that, for instance, the Black Keys’ music is metal, which is to say that it’s something that could’ve been called country in 1971 even if the tag no longer applies. Her voice has a deep twang, the kind that sticks to you. Her voice is huge, warm, expressive. She’s not a soul singer, but she’s got that soul-singer balance of fire and control, the two elements working together rather than against each other. Occasionally, when she’s really cutting loose, she gets some gospel in her voice. The album has some hazy psychedelic tremolo guitar and some sweaty blues-rock organ. She’s an Americana singer, I guess, but she doesn’t have the sleepy reverence that I (maybe wrongly) tend to associate with Americana singers. Her music is heavy and direct and alive.

Andrews is only 27, but she’s already a veteran. She released her first album when she was a teenager, and she’s been steadily cranking out music for about a decade while moving from Arizona to Seattle to Los Angeles. For a while, she was touring as a keyboardist and a backup singer for Jimmy Eat World. And for a while after that, she was bartending whenever she wasn’t touring. That changed in 2016 with the release of Honest Life, the album that finally got her noticed by the kinds of people who notice really good Americana albums. (I still slept on it.) If Honest Life was Andrews’ break, then May Your Kindness Remain is her big reach.

The new album belongs absolutely to Andrews. She sang and played guitar on every song, and she wrote all of them except for the one she co-wrote with a couple of dudes. She also co-produced it with Mark Howard, a veteran studio type who’s been doing mixing and engineering for people like Bob Dylan and Tom Waits for many years. It’s not a huge leap beyond Honest Life, but it’s got the exact right level of musical lushness. Andrews’ voice dominates, but it doesn’t overpower, and the arrangements shimmer like mirages around her. And for someone like me, someone who’s been shamefully ignorant of all the music that Andrews has been making for all these years, it’s a head-spinning discovery, a warm and gorgeous and fully formed piece of work. The kindness isn’t just in the lyrics. It’s in the way music like this can nourish you, can make your insides glow. An album like this can be a refuge.

May Your Kindness Remain is out on 23rd March on Fat Possum Records/Mama Bird Recordings.

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thanks to Stereogum

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Kindness of Strangers is the second song unveiled from the new Courtney Marie Andrews’ much anticipated full-length album, “May Your Kindness Remain”, which will be released March 23rd on the ever reliable Loose Records in the UK and elsewhere via Fat Possum Records/Mama Bird Recording Co.

The new track takes a confident step away from the straight ahead, classic country/folk route to take in a little gospel, some church organ and even a little soul. It locks into a sweet groove whilst her incredible vocals remain centre stage and more than justifies the buzz that is building around her.

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Courtney Marie Andrews spent over nine months of 2017 on the road, with multiple trips across the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. That’s nothing new for Andrews, though. She’s been touring relentlessly since leaving her Arizona hometown at 16. It’s a life that inspired much of her 2016 breakthrough album, Honest Life. While that album’s themes spoke to the isolation and rootlessness inherent in a life on the road, most of its songs were actually written during an intentional, extended break. The success that followed its release, however, didn’t afford her the same break to write the material for her new album.

Courtney Marie Andrews performing live in the KEXP studio. Recorded September 7th, 2016.

Songs: How Quickly Your Heart Mends,  Irene,  Table For One, Rookie Dreaming,

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In between playing 117 shows last year, Courtney Marie Andrews managed to make time to record her new album titled May Your Kindness Remain. Much of the new album was written when Courtney was on the road but she says that the new album “it’s not a road record like its predecessor.” Instead she say it was inspired by the people she met along her travels.  Many of her songs depict “complex people and places with all too common struggles.” May Your Kindness Remain was produced by Mark Howard (Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, and Willie Nelson), and features a great set of session players. Courtney has an amazing voice and that is full force on the title track/lead single. It is a slow building track with some beautiful gospel harmonies and a bit of fuzzed out guitar. Check it out below.

So far, there are two limited variants, a ‘Pink Rose’ version you can pick up directly from Courtney or the Fat Possum web store (limited to 300) and a gold variant that will be sold at independent record stores.

“…a collection of songs, borne from interactions with others, that strives for healing and empathy in the midst of division and discord.” – NPR
“…awash in church organ, lush harmonies, and a soaring, impassioned lead vocal from Andrews, whose twang quivers and shudders as she scales the song’s climactic final refrain.”  – Rolling Stone
Andrews gives us a glimpse as to how far her voice will go with the gospel-powered title track. Electric guitar and a soulful organ bass combine with Andrews’ traditional folk songwriting to drive the chorus…We’d all do well to listen”

Courtney Marie Andrews performing live in the KEXP studio. Recorded September 7th, 2016.

Andrews is only 25 but has already spent almost a decade on the road as a professional musician, touring since she was 16, singing backing vocals for arena rock band Jimmy Eat World and travelling as lead guitarist for cult Americana star Damien Jurado.

She has also recorded five previous albums of poetic heart-on-her-sleeve sensitive singer-songwriting, so when she tells us “this ain’t no rookie dreaming” on the opening of her sixth release, you can genuinely sense the weight of experience in her voice. Her album “Honest Life” is full of songs of longing and regret, tinged by a belief in the redemptive possibilities of change and wrapped up in stories of everyday, hard-working lives. Classic country material, in other words.

Songs: How Quickly Your Heart Mends,  Irene,  Table For One,  Rookie Dreaming

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Life out on the lonely road It’s a tale that many musicians sing about, longing for a day they can actually come home from touring around the world, meeting faceless fans and playing show after show. It can get lonesome on tour, and yet, somehow, they can’t shed their vagabond ways.

But that’s not the case for Courtney Marie Andrews, who had toured in other people’s bands for a decade before taking a break to bartend in a small Washington town these past few years. Pushing pause on non-stop touring allowed her to sit back and re-evaluate, sparking the thesis for the album “Honest Life” via Fat Possum Records, with a pressing of the deluxe edition. At 16, Andrews left her Arizona home to become transient, playing and busking in bars and cafes around the country. She continued on as a session singer and touring musician for nearly 40 artists, from Jimmy Eat World to Damien Jurado.

Her work took her all around the world, but at some point, she realized she’d lost touch with reality.“You can start to just stop calling people or stop keeping up with the people that you know and love,” Andrews said, calling from an unseasonably warm Seattle. “All of a sudden it’s been three years and you haven’t seen them.”In Washington, Andrews made connections again, getting to know people at the bar and laying down tracks for Honest Life with a trusted group of musicians. Together, the band sounds like home. Drums chug away at moderate paces, piano glitters organically over top and the guitars are cozy. In the final track, she even added a somber arrangement of strings, gifted by her friend Andrew Joslyn.
Over the majority of the album, a pedal steel guitar drifts lazily under the melody, tangling with Andrews’ voice. With her Emmylou Harris-like pipes and the pedal steel, the album is what some people have called “country.”“When I went in to make Honest Life, I didn’t think, ‘Oh, I’m making a country record,’” Andrews said. “It’s more about creating a timeless sound. Something that can be released now or in the ’60s or whenever… I take pleasure in being a songwriter and creating a record that’s hard to place where it’s from.”

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Honest Life is technically her sixth album, although she’s kept the first three for herself. It’s her first LP on a label. The album has made several best-of-lists, The accolades couldn’t have come at a better time, she said, when she was wiser about the industry and had gotten some time to grow.

Some people get lucky and their first record is just like a masterpiece fully formed, but that was definitely not me,” Andrews said. “I feel like I’ve really come into my own as a songwriter in the past few years. … I’m glad [the recognition] happened now when I’m a good songwriter, rather than when I was young.”To improve her craft, Andrews studied up on the greats—Neil Young, Bob Dylan, etc.—and in turn, she gained notice from other impressive songwriters, like Ryan Adams and Jurado. With practice and careful observation of legends and her contemporaries, she perfected the “tasteful way of revealing things” in her music.“When I was younger, I would write a song and I would reveal things in every single line, and that was the problem,” Andrews said. “We don’t need to know all that. The listener is overwhelmed. It’s like when you’re at a bar and somebody’s telling you their life story and you’re like, ‘Whoa, calm down.’”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cv0ATLNDJQ

Andrews’ songwriting is more subtle now, but not cryptic. The first track, “Rookie Dreaming,” reflects on her troubadour life and the missteps of what Andrews calls “blind youth.”

“I was moving too fast to see / All the paintings in Paris or sunrise in Barcelona / I was too broke too shallow to dive deep / Too busy carrying the weight of everything,” Andrews sings, her voice rife with mild vibrato, swooping with a twang that’s not Southern, but something unique altogether. She punches syllables that condemn her apathetic lifestyle—“TOO broke, TOO shallow”— while letting other verses flow freely, warm with harmony.

While she criticizes herself in “Rookie Dreaming,” she turns her perspective to address a meek friend in “Irene.” She sings directly to the title character, a pseudonym for the real-life subject, delivering the type of constructive criticism you might not have the guts to give to a friend’s face.

“Gain some confidence, Irene / If you speak let your voice ring out / But keep your grace, Irene / Don’t go falling in love with yourself,” she sings. An organ warbles as Andrews delivers her sermon.

“‘Irene’ was originally written for a friend, but I feel like probably every growing, youthful woman has felt like Irene at one point or the other,” Andrews said. “Every woman who’s amazing but doesn’t really know it yet. We feel like all these magazines and articles that are saying, ‘No, we’re not good enough’ … It’s sort of realizing that that’s total bullshit and you are awesome and you just have to know it.”

Not only did Andrews take care of all the songwriting on Honest Life, but she was the sole producer on the album—essential for keeping control in the studio.

“With this record, I knew so clearly what I wanted that I didn’t want distractions or arguments,” Andrews said. “One person sees it one way, one person sees it another way. Sometimes it makes a great record, but for Honest Life, I just wanted the sort of clear, easy, raw and realness. And that’s what we did.”

As for settling down and slinging drinks, Andrews knew that wouldn’t last forever. She said she’s always going to travel in the name of music. But this time, she’s not going to be singing anyone else’s songs. She’s at center stage now, and she’s ready to brave the lonely road once more.

“A lot of Honest Life was realizing that I didn’t want to tour as a backup singer anymore,” Andrews said. “If was going to be on the road, it was going to be for me, for my songs, for the dreams that I’ve always had as a teenager and as a young adult. Bartending is not my career path. Music is everything.”