John Statz recorded his new album with an all-star band in the middle of a Vermont
ice storm.“We had to keep the stove burning the whole day, and then the electricity went out for ten
minutes,” concedes Statz. “Luckily, we were just rehearsing.” John Statz will release Tulsa on
March 10, 2015.
After years of DIY touring everywhere from Eastern Europe to Mexico, the Wisconsinite who now resides
in Colorado fell in with fellow Midwesterner Jeffrey Foucault, a critically acclaimed songwriter and veteran
of the americana circuit. A fan of Statz’s last album (2012’s Old Fashioned, produced by Bo Ramsey),
Foucault offered to produce his next record while the two were on tour together in Colorado.
The resulting Tulsa is beautiful blend of soft americana and smooth folk with echoes of The Jayhawks and
Whiskeytown. “John writes songs you can’t shake,” says Foucault. “They follow you around all day and run
through your head at 3 a.m. Open hearted, horizon-line songs.”
“Jeff kicked my ass. He pushed me to crank out well-written songs,” continues Statz. “He’s such a great
songwriter himself and I felt like I had to step up my game. And then there is the absolutely amazing band…”
The band John speaks of features Billy Conway (Morphine) on drums, Mark Spencer (Son Volt) on electric
guitars and pedal steel, Jeremy Moses Curtis (Booker T) on bass, Jeffrey Foucault on guitars and vocals,
Caitlin Canty singing harmonies and Matt Lorenz on fiddle.
“Tulsa feels like how I was always supposed to make a record. Hunkered down for three days, living and eating
with the band, tracking live, all during the raging ‘Polar Vortex’.”
Chella and the Charm
Originally from La Crosse, Wisconsin, folk singer-songwriter, Chella Negro, relocated to Colorado in August of 2000. Though spending the majority of the past decade living in Denver has certainly informed her songs with a spirit that can only be lifted from the ubiquitous concrete and glass of the city, the soul of a life spent growing up in a midwestern town remains the heartbeat of the music. Therein lies the inspiration for the title of her debut album, "Silos & Smokestacks." On "Silos & Smokestacks," the seemingly mutually exclusive elements of country heart and urban savvy fuse seamlessly into a collection of songs that is at once unique and comfortingly familiar. Having attempted to record the album previously in Brooklyn, NY, and with full band instrumentation, Chella scraped the early recordings in favor of a sound more representative of the spirit of her music; the only instruments to be found are her guitar and her voice. And reflected in her singing simultaneously are the pain of heartbreak, the joy and wonder of life, and the wisdom gained from experiencing both. Chella Negro's first statement is years in the making and faithfully carries the torch of singer-songwriter folk music past and current.
Erika Ryann pulls her sound from dimly lit honky tonks, small western towns, and years lived in the tangled woods of southwestern Colorado. She writes music to ease what consumes her. From a wild hunger for outlandish, country-freedom to flitting moments and heart-wrenching memories, her music is her way of working through and coming to some understanding with the human condition.