Michelle Malone Duo With Special Guest The Ha...
From the venue:
A mainstay of American roots music for more than 30 years, Michelle Malone has built an award-winning career as a songwriter, road warrior, and modern-day guitar hero. Her music is ingrained in the sounds of the south, mixing the rebellious stomp of roadhouse rock & roll with the raw grit of blues, the holy-rolling rasp of gospel, the slow-motion swagger of country-soul, and the organic warmth of folk music. Proudly based in Atlanta, Georgia, she's always worn her influences on her sleeve â€” but her music is unmistakably her own.
With 1977, Michelle returns to her roots as a singer/songwriter. This is an organic, stripped-down album that finds her looking to the past to help make sense of the present. Informed by artists like Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, and Fleetwood Mac â€” all of whom were mainstays on the FM radio during the late 1970s, back when Michelle first picked up her guitar and began to play along â€” 1977 tones down the amplified bombast of her previous albums, focusing instead on a reflective mix of acoustic guitar, timeless melodies, and unforced arrangements. It's a reminder that Michelle Malone's songs always pack a punch, regardless of the decibel level.
"I'm a big fan of 1970s music, especially singer/songwriters from the Laurel Canyon scene," she explains. "1977 is the year I started playing guitar â€” the year I started becoming ME â€” so music from that era has always felt special. It takes me back to a place that was safe, sound, and comforting. That's the sound I was drawn to when I was beginning to write this record."
Michelle had already spent decades on the road by the time she began writing 1977, regularly playing more than 200 shows a year. Most of those shows took place in clubs and noisy bars â€” places where her skills as a show-stopping vocalist and hotshot slide guitarist enabled her not only to express herself, but to rise above the clamor of the room, too. Along the way, she turned a number of heroes into genuine fans, from music industry legend Clive Davis (who personally signed Michelle to her major-label record deal with Arista, years before she launched her own label and kickstarted her journey as a do-it-yourself independent) to collaborators like Gregg Allman, Shawn Mullins, and the Indigo Girls. The New York Times rightfully hailed her as "the kind of singer and songwriter who can jolt things into overdrive," while Rolling Stone praised her "soulful ballads and rowdy, riffy blasters."
That momentum took an unexpected hit in 2020, as the concert industry â€” and much of the outside world â€” was brought to a halt. Stuck inside for the majority of the year, Michelle began writing introspective music that explored not only the modern moment, but also the path that brought her there. She wrote about her family, her career, and the evolving challenges of her own world. Many of the songs seemed to evoke the sound and spirit of the 1970s â€” from the folk-rocker "Georgia Made" (a tribute to her grandfather, laced with harmonica and brushed percussion) to the gorgeous "Not Who I Used To Be" (an atmospheric Americana song about personal growth). Produced by Malone, engineered by Jeff Bakos, and featuring appearances from a highlights reel of Atlanta-area artists â€” including the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray (whose harmonies can be heard in "The River Song"), co-writer Elliot Bronson (who helped write "Not Who I Used to Be" and the heartland pop/rock song "Even the Queen"), guitarist Doug Kees, drummer Gerry Hansen, and others â€” 1977 mixes nuance with nostalgia, autobiography with character studies, introspection with universal messages.
"It's raw and honest," says Malone. "The stories are peppered with joy and positive twists, as well as reminders that no matter how hard things get, we survive and we reflect and we move forward."
A nostalgic record for today's world, 1977 doubles as a reminder from a longtime highway queen to slow down and listen.
T he HawtThorns
An Americana band whose sun-kissed songwriting, versatile guitar work, and lush vocal harmonies evoke the California coastline as much as the Bible Belt countryside, the HawtThorns are rooted in the collaborative chemistry of husband-and-wife duo KP and Johnny Hawthorn. Both have had celebrated solo careers and were members of LA based touring bands.
That chemistry reaches a new peak with Tarot Cards and Shooting Stars, which marks the band's second collection of hook-driven country-rock and amplified Americana. Recorded in both L.A. and Nashville, it nods to both sides of the group's geographic and musical roots. The Nashville sessions took place in KP and Johnny's home studio, sandwiched between walks around the couple's new neighborhood, with cicadas chirping outside the studio doors. The southern culture and Tennessee humidity seeped its way into the music itself, adding gospel-soul grit to "Let's Get Together" and Allman Brothers-worthy swagger to "On The Way." A lush, layered album with diverse arrangements, Tarot Cards and Shooting Stars finds the group embracing its new home without forgetting its roots.
The HawtThorns debuted their freshman effort "Morning Sun" in 2019. An amped-up Americana album for guitar enthusiasts and singer/songwriter fans alike, the record balanced its creators' backgrounds, finding room for fiery fretwork and heartland hooks. It also showcased the HawtThorns' emphasis on community, with co-production from Eric Corne (founder of Forty Below Records) and additional contributions from Sasha Smith, Kaitlin Wolfberg, Arthur Barrow, Steve Berns, Matt Lucich, and Eliot Lorango.
KP and Johnny are musical lifers, having weathered more than a decade's worth of the music industry's ups and downs. They've tapped into a new beginning with the HawtThorns, a band whose music blurs the boundaries between genre and geography.
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