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Sylvie Simmons

Idioma disponible: inglés
A respected veteran rock journalist, Sylvie Simmons had been writing about music for nearly four decades when she finally stepped forward as a performer. Armed with a ukulele and a gently smoky voice, Simmons writes thumbnail sketches of the stuff of everyday lives, full of love, heartache, and the struggle to stay positive through it all, performed with a warmth that reflects humanity and confidence. After decades of writing about other artists, Simmons released a collection of her own songs, Sylvie, in 2014, produced by Howe Gelb of Giant Sand. While injuries sidelined her plans to promptly record a follow-up, a second album, Blue on Blue, came out in 2020. Sylvie Simmons was born and raised in London, and was fascinated with music from early childhood. She learned to play a secondhand guitar, but an attempt to perform at a school function led to a painful case of stage fright, and Simmons channeled her interests into writing about music, while she only played and sang at home. In her teens, she began writing for music magazines in the U.K., but grew frustrated with her assignments, as she was often hired to write about lightweight, teen-oriented pop acts rather than the more aggressive and challenging bands she preferred. In 1977, Simmons left London and relocated to Los Angeles. The move proved to be a boon to her career, and she soon landed a regular gig with the British weekly Sounds, becoming their American correspondent and penning a regular column. In addition to covering many of the major rock and pop acts of the day, she was on hand for the birth of the L.A. glam metal explosion, and was among the first to write major stories on Mötley Crüe and Guns 'N Roses. Simmons was also recruited as a regular contributor to the U.K. metal magazine Kerrang; so as not to compete with herself, she assumed an alter ego for the magazine, using the name Laura Canyon. Simmons was also a frequent contributor to maverick American rock magazine Creem, and wrote a syndicated column for the Knight Ridder news service. In time, Simmons would be published in nearly every major music magazine, including Rolling Stone, Mojo, Harp, and Blender. She published her first book in 1995, a biography of Mötley Crüe titled Mötley Crüe: Lewd, Crude, and Rude; she would later publish a collection of short stories, Too Weird for Ziggy, as well as biographies of Neil Young and Serge Gainsbourg, and win critical acclaim for 2012's I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen. While touring to promote I'm Your Man, Simmons brought along a ukulele, and would perform a few of Cohen's songs as she discussed her book and her subject's songwriting. The tour eased her shyness about singing for an audience, and she began sharing songs she'd written with Howe Gelb, best known as the leader of the idiosyncratic Americana group Giant Sand. Gelb encouraged Simmons to continue writing, and in 2013 she joined him at Wavelab Studios in Tucson, Arizona, for a series of recording sessions. The result was her first album, Sylvie, which was released by Light in the Attic Records in November 2014. The record was well-reviewed, and she toured in support, including a 2015 show in Santiago, Chile, where she was joined by guitarists Matias Cena and Diego Alorda. After the show, Simmons, Cena, and Alorda spontaneously ducked into a friend's recording studio and in one night cut a six-song EP, Algo en Algo, which she made available as a free download. In 2017, Simmons traveled to Tucson to begin work on her second album with Gelb, but after the first night of recordings, she was involved in a serious accident that left her with a number of broken bones and nerve damage, making it impossible for her to use her left hand. After a long period of healing and therapy, Simmons was able to complete her second LP in 2019. After signing a new record deal with Compass Records, Blue on Blue was released in August 2020.
© Mark Deming /TiVo
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