Emily Singleton | Spirit on the Prowl

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Spirit on the Prowl

by Emily Singleton

Uncluttered, vocal-oriented, progressive acoustic characterized by exquisite clarity and elegance -- achieving a truly unique sound.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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1. Spirit on the Prowl
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4:45 $0.99
2. A Little Jaded
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3:59 $0.99
3. A Few Words
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5:57 $0.99
4. Shadow of a Mountain
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3:23 $0.99
5. Mother, Mother
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3:41 $0.99
6. Rise Up My Love
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4:38 $0.99
7. So Mean
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3:38 $0.99
8. Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow
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4:44 $0.99
9. Song for a Winter's Night
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5:38 $0.99
10. Hobo Railway
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3:09 $0.99
11. Sweet Becky at the Loom
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3:37 $0.99
12. Keep on the Sunny Side
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3:53 $0.99
13. Little Maggie
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4:51 $0.99
14. Workin' on a Building
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4:44 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Already eight years old as a musical entity, Emily Singleton along with instrumentalist/husband Dave Higgs and band, stands alone in the forefront of the new and different musical style she has created -- a 'progressive acoustic' style characterized by an artistry previously unheard in this particular genre.

The youngest of four in her family, Emily grew up to maturity in a "musical family." Her parents (Mom on piano, Dad on rhythm guitar) had always entertained informally in local living rooms and neighborhood events in the middle Tennessee community where they lived. Emily's love for voice was kindled in church, where she honed her vocal skills, learning from members of her church family. At age 13, she and two older sisters began singing informally as an a cappella trio, perfecting harmonies and covering a range of material.

Enter Dave Higgs, originally from the northeast. The classical piano training in early years under his father's tutelage built a solid foundation in music theory, and is clearly reflected in his insightful and innovative arrangements. Dave later migrated to Nashville, Tennessee, where he hosted the original bluegrass radio show at Vanderbilt University. During those years, Dave began perfecting his skills on guitar. Currently, as host of the nationally syndicated radio program Bluegrass Breakdown, he has an awareness of the recent developments in acoustic music.

The careful selection of materials for recording and the uniqueness and solidity of their arranging are hallmarks of Emily and Dave's efforts. Both enjoy combining their special brand of creativity with original works, covers to other selected material, and traditionals in their performances and cds, and each has strong views on both. A gifted and award-winning songwriter, Emily provides original material, and Dave the superb arrangements and instrumental execution. "This process can sometimes be difficult", quips Emily, hinting that on occasion new material can be the result of "hammer-welding on the forge of adversity." But it is all part of a process that works for them. Between them, the foundational arrangements are created through close initial collaboration, with the core band's assets and guest artists singled out with their special contributions in mind. Live performances can range from a duo of Emily and Dave to a full-band presentation.

Their first project, entitled "from within", appeared in 2000. "Life in the Moment", their second cd, was released in 2003. It contained three original Emily Singleton songs and enjoyed solid airplay nation-wide for over two years. In 2007, their latest release, "Spirit on the Prowl", includes six original Emily Singleton cuts -- growing evidence of this talented songwriter's prowess.

With this, the third venture from Emily, the listener experiences something rare. They are led on a privileged musical excursion presented in a new and different musical style -- an uncluttered, vocal-oriented style characterized by exquisite clarity, elegance and simplicity, that achieves something truly unique. It defines a new concept in this genre . . . the use of “sound imagery”. Not only do we hear, but if we dare to make the journey, we are literally transported to the place and time to actually experience that about which she sings.

This is only Chapter One in the biography of Emily Singleton and company. Future chapters will be bright chronicles of the success of the classic elements they bring to their music -- elegance and simplicity in design, and precision in execution.


Reviews


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gracie muldoon

great cd
great cd by emily singleton... a beautiful voice... great instrumentation -- gotta hear this one...

will be spinning it on my show on worldwidebluegrass.com

Joe Ross

... and 1/2 ... Thrilling ride that documents Emily's creative swagger, head, he
Playing Time – 60:37 -- Born, raised, and reared on traditional music in middle Tennessee, Emily Singleton is now building a reputation as an eclectic adventurist and innovator. Emily Singleton’s third album, “Spirit on the Prowl,” follows her successful 2003 Bell Buckle disc (“Life in the Moment”) that brought considerable attention to her genre-crossing approach that blends elements of bluegrass, Celtic, folk, blues and classical music. With a large body of original material, along with covers from Chris Kokesh, Gordon Lightfoot, A.P. Carter and traditional sources, “Spirit on the Prowl” is well-wrought and tastefully-rendered Americana. Elevating one’s personal repertoire above mediocre singer-songwriter fare is every Emily Singleton’s challenge. Folksingers could learn from her admirable efforts. Emily and the lean feminine harmonies (from her sister Teressa Parker, Jennifer Rinehart, Andrea Zonn, Becky Buller) are richly textured to be both earthy and somewhat ethereal. Although I wouldn’t have minded additional vocal harmonies on a few more pieces mid-set (e.g. Hobo Railway), two parts work for most. The fullest, most robust vocals are discovered early in the set (“Spirit on the Prowl,” “A Few Words,” “Shadow of a Mountain”) and then again to close the album with the blues-hued and spiritually-infused “Workin’ on a Building.” Adapted from a Gaelic song, “Rise Up My Love,” is full of melancholy, and Gordon Lightfoot’s “Song for a Winter’s Night” is hypnotic and impressionistic balladry at its best.

Following her own muse leads Singleton into some unpredictable territory with such offerings as a precociously soulful and bluesy reworking of the traditional “Ain’t Gonna Work Tomorrow.” Emily can be dreamy and moving with a song like “Sweet Becky at the Loom,” and she can also be surprisingly funky with an original “Hobo Railway,” about a ramblin’ man during the great depression. While their rocking groove of “Keep on the Sunny Side” is rhythmically propulsive, the wistful vocals rendered seem diminutive for the instrumentation. Emily doesn’t shy away from intricate arrangements and interesting dynamics. Standard bluegrass instruments are heard, courtesy of such fine musicians as her husband Dave Higgs, Chris Joslin, Becky Buller, Jim Hurst, Ross Sermons, Jon Martin, Ricky Rigney, John Doubler and others. Singleton’s music makes a large sonic leap from the bluegrass genre by copiously incorporating such instruments as viola, mandocello, accordion, pennywhistle, 12-string guitar, banjola, harmonica, concertina, octave mandolin, dulcimer, electric bass, and percussion. I’ll bet it was great fun for musicians like Buddy Greene, Jeff Taylor, Andrea Zonn, and Dann Sherrill to add their stamp to the mix. It’s a thrilling ride that documents her creative swagger, head, heart and soul. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)