Sandy Bailey is a songwriter and a soul singer from Western Massachusetts. Having spent her formative years singing gospel music to church congregations, Sandy Bailey's writing style and vocal delivery are rich with the influences of her soulful upbringing. The Daily Hampshire Gazette praises her as "a fully integrated talent, including a strong, emotive voice, a poetic lyric-writing ability, a moody sense of melody and a natural grace at the keyboard."
Sandy just finished recording her second album, “Running, Chasing” at her home in Turners Falls. With the help of her good friend and producer, Ryan Hommel, and Mikhail Pivovarov, an engineer from Carriage House Studios in Connecticut, her home was transformed into a recording studio for five days with a drum kit in the kitchen and an organ leslie next to the oven. Sandy stood in her living room and sang her heart out while she tracked all of her vocals live. Ryan Hommel sat next to her strumming his guitar, and Darby Wolf (of Rubblebucket Orchestra) pounded out some soul licks on the piano in the adjacent room. There is even that track where Sandy sat at the piano, playing and singing, while her father, Jim Bailey, played the harmonica and the crickets chirped outside in the yard. All of these sounds were recorded as they were made, with no comps overdubs.
Sandy decided to record “Running, Chasing” live in her home with her friends to invite you, the listener, into the honest place from which her songs were written. She wanted to create that warm, live spirit often found in a sixties soul recording, giving a nod to a simpler time when making a record was about putting a bunch of people in a room with a microphone. This is not to say that the songs on the record are strictly soul tunes. They represent her diversity as a songwriter, ranging from alt-country to indie piano-pop; yet all of the songs possess the common thread of her rip-your-heart-out vocals delivering emotional confessions of life experience.
Her debut album, “Raven’s Flesh” was recorded in a similarly unique fashion: in an old bank-turned-art-gallery with a bare-bones production style which allows the purity of the vocals and the intricacy of the harmonies to shine through. The record was engineered by Justin Pizzoferrato and produced by jazz pianist, Jeff D'Antona, who infused Sandy's soulful originals with his jazz influence, creating a jazz/folk/gospel feel in the vein of Norah Jones or Maria Muldaur. The overall tone of the recording is roomy and mellow, but listen closely: Sandy Bailey’s songs are much like the lyrics in her original tune “Velvet House”--“But I'm looking good/ from the outside/ I'll never tell a single soul/ that I'm dying on the inside.” Her compositions have a quiet fire. The sweetness of the melodies often betray her lyrics beautifully--lyrics that lament lost time and lost love, that brood from an inner dismantling.
Since the release of “Raven's Flesh” in 2010, Sandy has been playing shows from Portland, Maine to New York City and has landed opening spots for Lucy Kaplansky, Winterpills and Eilen Jewell. “Running, Chasing” is expected to be released in the early part of 2013.