Cyrena Wages, Lilly Winwood
From the venue:
The Wages were run out of Virginia for stealing horses and other boorish behavior. After settling in North Mississippi they evolved into three groups: preachers, drunks & outlaws, and a mid range group. We came from the mid range group.” -Cyrena Wages
Born in Millington, TN, the country outskirts north of Memphis, Wages was raised on Ann Peebles, Patsy Cline, Bonnie Raitt, and singers that live in the space between soul and country. She later fell in love with modern songwriters in the likes of Phoebe Bridgers, Lana Del Rey, and Adrianne Lenker.
Wages’ upcoming debut release, “Vanity Project,” is both an exercise in rebellion against her conditioning, as well as her way of processing her own struggles, healing, and growth. As much as Memphis shaped her positively, there were aspects of growing up in the South that didn’t align with who she wanted to become - the stifling effects of small-town religion, the burden of “ladylike perfectionism,” and the pressure to marry young and marry “well.” Breaking free and coming to terms with herself and her own truth led her to write the songs that comprise her upcoming debut release.
For production on “Vanity Project,” Cyrena tapped producer Matt Ross-Spang (Charley Crockett, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Margo Price) at Southern Grooves Studio in Memphis. Most of the album’s songs she penned with her creative collaborator, Memphis guitar player Joe Restivo (Don Bryant, William Bell, Otis Clay).
“Vanity Project” is slated for a Summer 2023 release.
L illy Winwood
When something is in your blood, it’s easy to take for granted. But if the last few years have taught Lilly Winwood anything, it’s that nothing is set in stone. Mixing salt-of-the-earth songwriting with a graceful splash of old-world sophistication, the Americana songstress reached a long-sought milestone with her 2021 album debut, Time Well Spent, only to feel like the clock had run out. But with her follow-up LP, Talking Walls, a weary creative heart has something to say once more.
The daughter of Grammy winning British rocker Steve Winwood (Traffic, Spencer Davis Group), Lilly grew up splitting time between the U.K. and Nashville’s neon-lit streets. Back then music was ever present, she says, and whether performing with her older brother, writing teenaged odes to young love or just soaking in her father’s work, it gave Winwood a unique creative perspective - one that felt more in line with Nashville than London.
Moving to Music City for good at 18, Winwood soon gravitated to the alternative-minded enclave of East Nashville, and after forming creative partnerships with locals like Boo Ray and Don Gallardo, released her Silver Stage EP in 2017. Time Well Spent followed in 2021, backed by East Nashville household names Alex Munoz and Allen Thompson, earning accolades from tastemakers like Rolling Stone Country as she solidified a go-your-own-way sense of earthy pop.
Winwood mixes a steady throb of up-all-night angst with a gentle country-rock vibe of dreamy clarity in her latest release Talking Walls, penned over long sleepless nights, with clear eyes and a willingness to ask tough questions, Winwood simply wrote her story and brought it to her band at Nashville’s Trace Horse studio - no producer needed. Describing it like “painting with sound,” Winwood spent hours alone with just a guitar and a pen beforehand, getting to know herself and the world she’d kept at arm’s length during the pandemic. No longer trying to impress anyone, this album features the weary sense of freedom that comes with letting down one’s guard - and the title itself speaks to that freedom.