Courtney Marie Andrews
Hailing from Phoenix, Arizona, Courtney Marie Andrews is a singer/songwriter known for an eclectic style that incorporates elements of folk, country, and indie pop. Andrews began penning her own lyrics in her early teens. Her creative endeavors quickly took hold, and her music went from a hobby to a career choice as she grew older. After having amassed ample material by the time she was 16, she embarked on her first tour. This journey took her up and down the U.S. West Coast, where she performed and busked on boardwalks, sidewalks, and shopping centers, and in bars and restaurants. Soon after having covered most of the West Coast on that first adventure, she boarded a bus bound for New York City, where she continued performing. Subsequent activity saw the young creative land work as a backing singer and session guitarist for many established artists, including Damien Jurado and Jimmy Eat World. At the same time, however, her own creative fire never ceased to burn, and she persistently wrote more of her own material. She released her first album, Urban Myths, in 2008. The record generated some attention for the young singer/songwriter and she put out a number of releases in the following years, including 2010's No One's Slate Is Clean and 2013's On My Page. Both efforts exemplified the innovative, genre-bending approach she brought to her songwriting, as well as a bittersweet sonic palette that traversed styles of country, pop, and alternative folk. She received acclaim from accomplished songwriters such as Jurado and Ryan Adams. After having finished recording On My Page, she immediately set out on the road again to promote the record; while on tour she also began to write material for future releases. Session players and her band joined Andrews to record her 2014 EP, Leuven Letters, which was captured in one live take. However, most of the material that she had written on the road would go on her 2016 full-length effort, Honest Life. Having stated that the bulk of the album's songs were written while she was in Belgium for four months and feeling homesick, Andrews finished writing after arriving home and taking a job bartending at a tavern just outside of Seattle. Establishing a rapport with some of the patrons of the bar, she realized that there were unifying themes in the cycle of life and humanity in the songs she'd been writing. A coming-of-age effort, the album paid tribute to many of her sonic inspirations, including Emmylou Harris, Roseanne Cash, and Carole King, as well as storytellers such as John Steinbeck and the late, great Leonard Cohen. Released by Mama Bird Recording Co. and Loose Music (Europe), Honest Life received widespread acclaim from critics, and Andrews signed with Fat Possum in 2017. They co-released 2018's May Your Kindness Remain with Mama Bird. Recorded in Los Angeles with producer Mark Howard (Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan), it addressed the theme of empathy within the sociopolitical climate of the day with soulful vocal performances. Andrews stayed at Fat Possum for 2020's Old Flowers, a hushed breakup album produced by Andrew Sarlo.
© Rob Wacey /TiVo
© Rob Wacey /TiVo
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Country - Released July 24, 2020 | Fat Possum
Like a young Linda Ronstadt at her country-folk finest, Courtney Marie Andrews writes songs that seem lived-in and familiar in the best way. "Guilty" is a time machine straight back to early 1970s Laurel Canyon: beautiful piano, easy drums, and vocals so warm and evocative you feel the heart and the hunger even if you don't know the words. (There are echoes of that other canyon queen, Joni Mitchell, as well, especially in the hiccupping chorus of the gently bubbling "If I Told.") But the words are pretty powerful. Written and recorded at the end of a nine-year relationship—meaning it lasted nearly one-third of her life—Old Flowers finds the singer-songwriter poking at the tender bruise of heartbreak. "This album is about loving and caring for the person you know you can't be with," Andrews, who now lives in Nashville but is originally from Phoenix, has said. "It's about not being afraid to be vulnerable after you've been hurt." On the gorgeous "Together or Alone," she projects a disbelief of reality: "The last time I saw you/ you wouldn't look me in the eye … in some other lifetime/ would you pick me out again?" For the standout track "Break the Spell," Andrews' plaintive, stretched out "please" in the chorus— "please break the spell"—is like a prayer that eventually wears her down. Its music is empathetic: barely-there tambourine nodding along and percussion that sounds like objects being moved around an otherwise empty room. There's an equally neat trick on "Carnival Dream," where Andrews chants "I may never let love in again" over melancholy piano before the drums come in like thunder claps to try and shake her out of it. The lively "It Must Be Someone Else's Fault" feels like the morning after that storm: "I cannot be to blame for the story of this pain" Andrew sings, her voice lifting like a bird hopping from the ground to a tree branch and even daring a playful "whoo-hoo" on the bridge. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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