After five years on the road, writing and performing around the country, Vicky Emerson returns safe and sound, with an incredible collection of songs and an album appropriately titled, "Long Ride." With this new album, listeners will hear a sonic shift in Emerson's music from her previous self-titled album's more traditional country nuances. Influenced by the grit and gravel of Lucinda Williams, the wry wit of Lyle Lovett, the deeply personal lyrics of Patty Griffin and vocal styling's of Shawn Colvin, Emerson emerges in "Long Ride" with her own brand of Americana music.
Emerson, who is a classically trained pianist, surprisingly wrote many of the songs on her Seagull guitar. "My songwriting is evolving in a way that makes me understand some of the hardships and obstacles I've overcome. In my younger years, I made some bad choices. I hurt people and people hurt me. I found it nearly impossible to write about what I was feeling. I did not fully comprehend the emotional impact of the situation or life lessons I would fortunately come to learn. After the dust settled, I was able to revisit those memories and discover the universal truth living inside those experiences. I pick up the guitar and call it "Going to the well." The last two years, I found myself unafraid to go to the well, throw down the bucket and see what it would carry up to me."
Indeed the well was a plentiful place for Vicky as demonstrated in songs like "County Line" where she explores the traveling musician's constant struggle to balance a career and a family. The title track, "Long Ride," is a beautiful road-weary song that could sway folks to ditch the daily grind and become a roadie. "Ferris Wheel'" is a touching song dedicated to her father, where she longs for the innocence that can only be experienced in childhood. The gem on the record is "Into the Woods," a 7 minute and 19 second exquisitely haunting song about confronting self-doubt.
Emerson currently lives in Manhattan but was raised outside the small village of Elmwood, Wisconsin (self-proclaimed UFO capital of the world.) "There is no doubt that the juxtaposition of growing up on a rural farm and now living in a heavily populated city like New York has influenced my music and songwriting. I've found myself becoming an urban cowgirl and I believe I've been able to combine both of those worlds to coexists peacefully inside my songs."
The album was produced and engineered by Matt Patrick (Greycoats, Elizabeth Hunnicutt) in June 2009 at Patrick's Minneapolis studio, The Library. "Long Ride" was recorded in a live setting with the help of Minneapolis based musicians: Steve Goold (drums), Aaron Fabbrini (bass), Tyler Burkum (Mat Kearney) on guitar and Matt Patrick (multi-instrumentalist), who played a myriad of instruments and provided background vocals. "On my first visit to The Library, I knew immediately this studio was the place to bring this album to life. The volumes upon volumes of books, the grand piano and the genius of Matt's creative spirit and nurturing personality convinced me he could help me realize my vision for this project." Sharing similar musical influences and creative processes, Patrick and Emerson developed an instant kinship.
Emerson, like many independent artist, sought out new and creative ways to help produce her records and cover the costs associated with production, duplication, and promotion. As she began the process of piecing together "Long Ride," Emerson received an onslaught of emails from fans offering encouragement, and often, assistance. She considered how people could 'help,' and was inspired to create a CD Sponsorship Campaign. Contributors can become a Groupie, Roadie or a part of the Entourage with a donation and in return receive benefits, including acoustic cuts of "Long Ride", DVD performances and acknowledgment in every copy of "Long Ride." Vicky's loyal fan base reacted enthusiastically and through their backing she has been able to support the release and promotion of "Long Ride" with a series of CD Sponsorship Events throughout the country. To learn more, visit vickyemerson.com, myspace.com/vickyemerson and youtube.com
HEAR VICKY EMERSON
8 pm on Thursday, October 22
3800 N. Clark St., Chicago
11:30 pm on Thursday, October 22
WGN Radio with Steve and Johnnie
Live performance and interview.
Tune in at 720 or stream at wgnradio.com