Al Start | I Heart History

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Folk: British Folk Pop: Britpop Moods: Solo Female Artist
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I Heart History

by Al Start

Acoustic-driven melodic songs with a twist in the TALE.
Genre: Folk: British Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. When Datura Sings
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5:20 $0.99
2. Freak Show
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4:27 $0.99
3. Russian Roulette
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4:09 $0.99
4. Life-Saving
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5:41 $0.99
5. Lovers' Lane
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4:22 $0.99
6. Civilian's Lament
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3:52 $0.99
7. The Vinegar Valentine
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3:48 $0.99
8. Palm of your Hand
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2:54 $0.99
9. More of a Man
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4:43 $0.99
10. Big Words
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3:32 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
AL START :: Artist Biog

Lone Coyote Records (UK) is proud to introduce our exciting artist Al Start. With smooth vocals that have been compared to a mix of Tracey Thorn and kd lang, and a strong guitar style worthy of Ani Di Franco or Joan Armatrading; the sum total is a breath of fresh air! Firmly rooted in the indie-acoustic singer/songwriter genre; her exceptional songwriting style and charismatic performances set her apart from the rest.

Hailing from Brighton, funky “Little London” by the sea, Al Start has been writing and performing since she was 12. Music and Art were always her focus; by day she was a metal sculptor; by night a gigging singer-songwriter! Her twenties were dogged by ill health; and it wasn’t until 2000, when she was given the all-clear from radiotherapy treatment and she was finally able to get stuck-in to a serious music career.

She didn’t waste any time, and put aside her welder and headed into the studio! Her first album, “Lammas” (2000), released with Al’s sister & band, Toucan, brought rave reviews and full-houses all over the South of England.
“The perfect warm summer soundtrack to a love affair on the beach in Brighton.” Pink Paper

Al went back to college in 2002 and won a distinction for the Advanced Songwriting HND at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music, (BIMM). She was chosen by BMG record executives to attend the infamous residential songwriting week with Chris Difford (Squeeze). Here she excelled, and co-wrote with top industry writers such as Helen Boulding (Alex Parks), Matt Deighton (Oasis/Mother Earth), John Hammond-Hagan (Liberty X) and Jill Sobule to name but a few. She has now been invited back by Chris three times.

This was followed by a solo EP, “Sea of Stars” (2003). Sales rocketed as did her national fan base, whilst supporting international artist Horse on her UK tour (2004). Five UK tours later, her first solo album, GO, received rave reviews and she is selling out venues across the UK.

“Reminiscent of The Beatles in their White Album period… Go also channels the drowsy ghost of Kirsty MacColl. Slick, well-produced and sexy as hell, this is modern music with a heart.” Rainbow Network

Go features beautifully crafted songs with themes we can all identify with, yet refreshingly different subject matter. Certainly not your average love songs!
Music “for those who like a little more edge to their acoustic-driven tales of love and life” Musician

Start tells stories Joni Mitchell would be proud of; cross-dressing neighbours, rent boys and missing cats are inter-mingled with touching reminiscences of childhood, surreal dreams and candid confessions.
“No weak fillers. No dud tracks. This is a truly original album sung with the familiarity of an old friend.” Gscene

Musically, the sound ranges from natural and intimate acoustica through to solid Fleetwood Mac-style folk-rock with sprinklings of cutting-edge programming. Produced with Tracey Field, the arrangements are thoughtful and effective throughout; giving an accessible, radio-friendly sheen to some raw, ingeniously left-field songs.
An impressive line-up of musicians contributed to the album; Sheryl Crow’s keyboard player, Mike Rowe and Mark Knopfler’s guitarist, Luke Brighty to namedrop a few.

Hot off the press I Heart History is a collection of ten songs with a sting in the TALE! All based on true stories found in Brighton Museum’s archives while researching for the exhibition “On the Pull” which launched on Valentine’s Day. On the theme of love/romance/betrayal/tragedy these are quite unusual stories!

The sound is melodic acoustic-driven, featuring instrumentation more familiar on the folk scene, but with a fresh twist.

Bringing out the best in Al’s storytelling style of songwriting, this is a unique album. A love-affair with Brighton is evident in the theme as well as an ability to turn the most grisly of stories into a moving, memorable song. Who other that Al could sing about murder, drowning, poisoning, and gender-bending concealed identity?

“Some girls were just born to perform.” DIVA

Al Start has great stage presence and is a lively, passionate performer; she has toured extensively across the UK/US. Some of the nicer (!) venues include:

The UCL Bloomsbury, Troubadour Club,
12 Bar Club,
Mean Fiddler,
The Kashmir Klub,
Big Note Acoustic Club, Dublin Castle,
Bull & Gate.

The Brighton Centre,
Brighton Dome, Pavilion Theatre, Sussex Arts Club, Komedia, Concorde,
Sallis Benny Theatre,
Joogleberry Playhouse,
Pressure Point

Carling Academy,
The Cavern Club
Manchester: Life Café,
Mint Lounge
Glee Club
The Love Apple
Sheffield: Boardwalk Huddersfield: Lawrence Batley Theatre
Brudenell Social Club
The Lemon Tree
Queens Hall
Glasgow: Barrowland,
Tron Theatre
Dublin: The George
USA: the infamous Club Passim, Cambridge, MA Chasers Bar, Vixen & Provincetown Inn - Cape Cod.

Festivals include: The One World festival Hampshire,
Women In Tune Wales, Squeezy Lemon Festival, Rhythms of the World festival, London Mardi Gras, Birmingham Pride, Pride in Brighton & Hove; Libertas (YLAF) Festival –York; Women’s International Arts Festival – Provincetown, USA.
Glasgay - Scottish gay arts festival; Homotopia and Wimfest, Liverpool.

2004 – “Coveted” Tour. Opening for Horse
2005 – “Girlsworld” Tour with Nat Ripepi & Belinda O’Hooley (June)
2005 - “Winter Acoustic Tour” with Belinda O’Hooley (Nov/Dec)
2006 – “Mini Adventure” Tour with Belinda O’Hooley (Feb)
2006 – “USA/UK GO Tour” solo (Oct/Nov)


to write a review

William and the Reviewer Team

Outstanding Female Singer-Songwriter CD
"I Heart History" by Al Start is an outstanding acoustic guitar-based album with tantalizing melodies and sultry vocals. The album has a haunting undertone with mellow, crisp arrangements and beautifully layered vocals. The production quality is great and Al shines as a songwriter with interesting lyrics and a fine listen-ability to her songs. This is a totally-pro radio-ready CD with mass appeal. Highlights are "Lover's Lane," with a gorgeous, intimate vocal performance and airy 12 string guitar. "Freak Show" has an excellent Tracy Chapman-type groove in which Al's vocals sound great. "The Vinegar Valentine" is a heart strong story with more great guitar work and nice vocal harmony. "More of a Man" features a guest vocalist and is the dirge of the album, with a punchy drum track and an overall moodiness. If you enjoy female singer-songwriters you'll love this CD.

Congratulations on GrIndie Award
RadioIndy is proud to present Al Start a GrIndie Award for their CD "I Heart History." A GrIndie Award is RadioIndy's stamp of approval that this CD is an excellent quality CD. Please join us in congratulating this artist on this accomplishment.