MP3 Claire Small - Ledger
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10 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Pop, POP: Folky Pop
Claire Smallâs musical journey was ignited after Johnny Cash visited her 4th grade music class and played a few numbers on his guitar. Johnnyâs intimate concert affirmed what Claire knew about herselfâthat she wanted to spend her life as a singer, songwriter, musician and live performance artist.
While surrounded by the country music culture in her Nashville hometown and spending summers listening to the sweet sounds of pedal steel and bluegrass flowing from the honkytonks on Lower Broadway, her parents love for the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Carole King and CSNY laid a wonderful musical foundation for Claire.
At nine, the first songs her father taught her to play on the guitar were âBobby McGeeâ and âEve of Destructionâ. As Claire began to discover her own musical preferences, she found herself listening to the Doors, PJ Harvey, Nirvana and early Smashing Pumpkins. Understandably, Claireâs writing became edgy and emotionally-charged.
Claire was also influenced by the music she sang at her Jewish Temple. From an early age, she was exposed to the ancient chants and minor-scaled prayers that make up part of the services. Claire became a long-standing member of the Temple choir.
Her first original composition, entitled âOne Wish,â was recorded when she was 11 at summer camp. In the eighth grade she made her first compilation of songs and called it âBubble Joy.â Recorded and duplicated on a karaoke machine in her bedroom, she manufactured copies of the tape which she sold to her friends at school for $3 apiece.
In ninth grade Claire responded to an ad placed by a downtown Nashville venue seeking regular acts. At the audition, she caught the eye of honky-tonker Greg Garing. Though only fifteen years old, Garing took Claire under his wings, making her a part of the mid-1990âs Lower Broadway revival that included acts such as BR-549, Paul Burch, and Lucinda Williams. In both â95 and â96 Claire became the youngest artist ever to play at the Nashville Music Extravaganza âbreathing out the music of the angelsâ, and âwowing a small crowd with technique far beyond her yearsâ as reported by the Nashville Scene.
Throughout the remainder of high school, Claire continued to play at local festivals and clubs. In the summer between her sophomore and junior years, Claire spent five weeks in Spain, solidifying her language education and discovering the rich musical heritage of the Spanish culture. She became enamoured with such artists as Tito Puente, Gil Gilberto, Cesaria Evora, and Ibrahim Ferrar.
After graduation, she first moved to New Mexico and then to Boulder where she honed her performance skills and became more with her southern roots. The early music of blues musicians Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, and Mississippi John Hurt prompted Claire to return to Nashville and record a long-overdue album.
âLEDGERâ is Claireâs follow-up to her 2004 EP âCANTILEVERâ and contains 10 songs, each with distinct personalities and musical styles. The album was recorded at Nashville âundergroundâ producer Joe McMahanâs home studio on 2â tape in a grassroots, low budget manner and keeps a cohesive sound between the musicians. Special guest appearances such Nashville talents as string-maestro Chris Carmichael, percussionists Dann Sherrill & Brian Owings, singer Jennifer Niceley, Lambchopâs drummer Sam Baker, and Calexicoâs pedal steel man Paul Niehaus pepper the record with surprises at every melodic twist and turn. Claireâs dynamic acoustic guitar and her bandmatesâ Kyle Kegerreisâ upright bass, and Hans Holzenâs hollow-body electric guitar remain at the core of the tracks and are driven by steady drums and Brazilian percussion. Joeâs improvisations on the Hammond organ, lap steel, various guitars, and omnichord flow throughout.
On âLEDGERâ, Claireâs vocals grab the listener, hinting at the stories and often spiritual moments that have influenced Claire to date. Sometimes the scenes are painted through an acoustic pop soundtrack while other times we are mesmerized by the bossa nova, klezmer and gypsy melodies.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Claire Small. Enjoy the ride. Youâll be glad you did!
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