Friday, May 11th, 2018
Brick & Mortar
San Francisco, CA
$15 ADV / $20 DOS / Age 18 And Up
There are artists who can command attention. They lean into their songs with an irresistible edge and total emotional connection and stay there. Sallie Ford is one of those artists. On her fourth album, Soul Sick, Ford gathered her strengths, took them into Portland’s Type Foundry studio along with producer Mike Coykendall (M Ward, She & Him) at the helm and created music that draws on all of her influences but still comes out her own. Looking at her life, there isn’t much way it could have come out differently. And this is the album which proves it.
Sallie Ford grew up in Asheville, North Carolina in a musical family. At nineteen she moved to Portland, OR to explore her creative side which led to her career in music. Like all aspiring artists, there were enough twists and turns along with several serious dead ends, but Sallie persevered by creating songs that took those life challenges and turned them upside down into inspired music. Much of it is inspired by ‘60s music, whether it’s the music of the British Invasion like the Kinks and the Troggs, or American groups Canned Heat and & the Mysterians. Add on other influences like girl groups the Shirelles, the Shangri-Las and the Ronettes, and the sound of Soul Sick comes into focus.
As Sallie describes, “This is a ‘confessional’ album. It’s about struggling with my issues – some that I’ve overcome and some that I still carry around.” The album opens with the line, “Woke up feeling sour on the sweetest summer day,” which just about sums up Sallie Ford’s state of mind a few years ago. A band breakup with the Sound Outside in 2013 led to new realizations about the things in her life that needed to change. As she jumped headfirst into those efforts, she signed with Vanguard Records, handpicked a new all-female backing band and released the debut album under her own name, 2014’s Slap Back. It marked a big transition in Ford’s sound, allowing her voice to take center stage amid a band sound of chugging distorted grit. It also gave her a new chance to take a stronger grip on her career and her personal life. With those deep shifts gave new questions, though, ones that weren’t always easy to answer. “I felt confused, down about life and unsure of myself,” explains Ford.
Veteran songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Mike Coykendall has been amazingly prolific over the last three decades or so. Currently most well known for his duties as a sideman, producer, and recordist via his work with M. Ward, Blitzen Trapper, She & Him, Sallie Ford, & Tin Hat Trio, to name a few, Coykendall has been making his own unique outsider records since the mid '80s.
Brian Belknap Album release
Brian Belknap is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter in the mold of Lucinda Williams and Townes Van Zandt. His music— a rough blend of broke-down folk, junk-country blues, and gut-bucket gospel, rendered on accordion, slide guitar, and mandolin—is a product of the rich cultures of San Francisco and New Orleans, the two cities he calls home. Belknap’s latest offering, In Lieu of Flowers, once again finds him in the capable hands of producer Mike Coykendall (M. Ward, She & Him, Bright Eyes, Blitzen Trapper). The record is about coping with loss (both personal and collective), and finding redemption in a world in its own time of reckoning. Never one to shy away from darkness, his own or other people’s, Belknap’s songs not only tell stories, but are able to convey a level of subtlety, nuance, and compassion that is the province of someone who has been down a long and difficult road and has lived to tell the tale.