Band: Tami Neilson
Label: Outside Music / Bertus Musikvertrieb GmbH
Is she country, rock or soul? This phenomenal talent creates music for all.
No one forgets the first time they saw Tami Neilson. She can hush a room with an original song that channels the hurting spirit of Patsy Cline or the sensuality of Peggy Lee, or bring the audience to its feet on a rockabilly raver. She’s an artist with real range, whose powerful voice can take on big ballads, golden-age country, heartfelt Gospel, soul-infused R&B, Western swing, evenold-style rock ‘n’roll. Tami encompasses them all and is a personality-powered cyclonic force of nature in stylishly retro attire, long lashes and a stacked-high beehive. Previous media accolades come from both sides of the Atlantic, including Rolling Stone, which called her “a fire-breathing belter on her own terms”and the U.K.’s Guardian, which asserted that “her powerhouse voice recalls 1950s stars such as Wanda Jackson and Patsy Cline.
”Of her new album’s title,CHICKABOOM!,Tami explains,“I wanted to write an album of punchy little songs, popping firecrackers that, when stripped back to nothing but a guitar, percussion and two voices, would still go boom!” The new collection brings much personal and family history to the table. Tami grew up performing across North America with the Neilson FamilyBand, working alongside greats such as Johnny Cash, Tanya Tucker,and Kitty Wells. With her parents Betty and Ron (her late father a songwriter of considerable accomplishment) and two brothers Todd (drums) and Jay (bass), she spent years on the road learning her craft. This enabled Tami to explore her increasing vocal and emotional range and build a deep well of musical influences to draw upon when she started to write her own material. Subsequently, Tami fell in love with a New Zealander, moved to the bottom of the world and began her solo career without the support of the family.
Over many years she built a platform for herself through open-mic nights, playing soulless casinos and the dead-air time-slots at festivals, finding a small group of fellow travellers and supportive players, and then a series of increasingly impressive albums followed. The early records saw her in a self-created territory between mainstream country and alternative country, a couple recorded around the kitchen table back home in Canada with brother Jay, who is now an acclaimed producer and songwriter. Then awards started coming in New Zealand for albums that added breadth to her “country singer”label: Best Female Artist, Best Country Album, Best Country Song, an APRA Silver Scroll (songwriting) award and Album of the Year nominations. Her Dynamite!album of 2014 received rave reviews in Britain’s MOJO and the Guardian named it a Top 10 Best Country Music Album.
Tami’s songs appeared on the Netflix series Wanted and the terrestrial TV series Nashville. Tami Neilson’s singing and writing is too big to contain, as HMV Canada noted: “There are singers and then there is Tami Neilson, for whom the word singer just isn’t big enough. ”The road has now led to CHICKABOOM!, which is something different again, and even more personal. “
In the past year, I started to notice something,”she says. “ The artists I would spend time with backstage at festivals, the ones I gravitated to the most and followed on social media ... artists like the Secret Sisters, Shovels & Rope, Kasey Chambers, Brandi Carlile ... they all had family performing with them. When you tour away from loved ones, it makes a world of difference to have part of your village with you on the road. Not to mention, nothing can come close to that special blend of blood harmonies and silent communication that only comes from being onstage with a person for over 30 years. Family has always been a huge part my music-writing, recording and creating with me, but I wanted family on this project and on the road with me again. ”Brother Jay flew to Auckland, New Zealand from Toronto to record a selection ofnew songs that have unmistakable sibling magic and harmonies.“I don’t think he quite understands what he’s gotten himself into but now the album’s coming out it’s a bit too late. Sucker,” she laughs.
And if you’ve missed Tami before —on record or in concert —then you are in for a treat ...and you might not quite understand what you’ve gotten yourself into either. As we say: you’ll never forget the first time you saw Tami. Jay will join Tami on tour to take CHICKABOOM! and her earlier sounds to international crowds.
Info zum vorherigen Release:
AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Tami Neilson won’t be staying New Zealand’s secret for much longer. For the past decade, the Canadian-born, New Zealand-based singer/songwriter has been the queen of her adopted homeland’s country and roots music scenes. She picked up handful of Best Country Album awards at the New Zealand Music Awards and won the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll for excellence in songwriting.
With her new album, SASSAFRASS! (due June 1 on Outside Music), Neilson takes a giant step that should only bring her more widespread acclaim. On this 11-track effort, she places a heavier emphasis on soul music while not abandoning her country and rockabilly roots. Neilson conjures up a wonderfully retro style that sounds like it could be a lost gem from the late ’50s or early ’60s; however, beneath the classic veneer are frank, highly relevant lyrics.
Sassafrass, a slang word for a sassy person who isn’t afraid to speak her mind, serves as a perfect title for this album. The songs, Neilson admits, reflect her developing a “low tolerance for bullsh*t” after years of encountering sexism in her life. They were also influenced by her being a mother of two young boys as well as by the death of her father, who led the family’s band, the Neilsons, which was popular in Canada during the ’90s.
Neilson characterizes her new album as a “mouthy lovechild of the current social climate and my own experiences as a woman, mother and daughter.” The songs address the obstacles she has faced simply because she is a female. “It’s also my attempt,” she shares, “at challenging a society that doesn’t yet treat women equally in order to shape a better future for my children.”
On SASSAFRASS! Neilson infuses just enough honey into her tunes to make her messages sound sweet in the listeners’ ears. She certainly comes out smoking — in several senses of the word — on the disc’s lead-off track, “Stay Outta My Business.” The sassy, brassy soul number finds her fighting back at trash-talkers in splendidly defiant, hip-shaking fashion. The tune “Bananas” might initially sound like an amusing slice of tropical exotica, but its message pokes fun at gender inequality. Similarly, “Kitty Cat” comes off as a rollicking rockabilly rave-up on first listen, but its moral is a reminder that men can’t own a woman’s “kitty cat.” Neilson also tackles bad girl/good girl stereotypes and Hollywood sexual harassment, respectively, on the slinky, smoky tracks “Devil in a Dress” and “Smoking Gun.”
Neilson offers several poignant tributes as well on SASSAFRASS! The Rosanne Cash-esque country ballad “Manitoba Sunrise at Motel 6” was written in homage to Glen Campbell on the day he died. She salutes the late, great Sharon Jones on the high-spirited soul number “Miss Jones.” “A Woman’s Pain,” a twangy tale told in a style that recalls Bobbie Gentry, tells the story of Neilson’s first-nation grandmother. She delivers a lovely reading of the ’50s-style romantic ballad “One Thought of You,” which was written by her father.
Tying all these songs together is Neilson’s sensational singing. New Zealand critics have it right when they have declared that her voice “is magic,” “explodes from the speakers,” and “will stop you in your tracks, so powerful and full of color is it.” Even rock great Randy Bachman (Guess Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive) declared she has “the voice to get any song across to any audience.”
Neilson’s confident vocals are undoubtedly abetted by her being surrounded by familiar collaborators. She co-produced SASSAFRASS! with Ben Edwards, the co-producer of her last two critically acclaimed albums, Dynamite! and Don’t Be Afraid. Backing her up in the studio was her talented band, the Hot Rockin’ Band of Rhythm: Joe McCallum (drums), Mike Hall (bass), Brett Adams (guitar) and Neil Watson (guitar and pedal steel), who have toured with her around the globe over the past three years. A brass section and strings enhance the album’s classic qualities.
With its timeless sound and timely lyrics, SASSAFRASS! provides a fantastic introduction to Tami Neilson, whose vibrant musical style blurs the lines of genre and eras, like a soundtrack curated for a Quentin Tarantino film. Discover this for yourself when the album arrives June 1, and make it your musical tonic this summer.