Indiana Music: Album – Bobbie Lancaster – “Live”

In the year following her debut, self-titled album, Bobbie Lancaster has continued to present her Americana chanteuse sound to audiences — via solo shows, radio gigs and on-stage with fellow folkie Tim Grimm for his John Prine tribute shows.

Her latest release is a live album (Bobbie Lancaster – “Live”) compiled from a pair of area shows. The first was an Indy Folk Series show on March 19; the other, a concert recorded in Bloomington on June 8 for community radio station WFHB’s Local Live series.

The album succeeds because Lancaster’s voice is a gem — expressive, sultry, and world-weary enough to make us think she’s experienced a bit of life.

One of her best, “I Don’t Wanna Miss You,” leads off the album; it’s a tune filled with longing and anthemic chord changes that hits the same vein as Mellencamp’s “Minutes to Memories.” “Hairless Monkey” shows Bobbie has been listening to Prine. “Run That Light” mines blues territory and provides a chance for Lancaster to stretch her vocal chops (“Baby, run that light, because I am on fire”).

Other highlights include “The Rain,” from her days performing as Stella and Jane, and the epic “The Tragic Tale of Maggie Donovan,” from her recent studio release.

Lancaster’s lyrics are sweet and strong, providing insight into a woman’s head and heart. They carry the work, since the music is spare — just two instruments (Lancaster on mandolin, Nick Einterz on guitar).

While the recording could have benefited from a bit more high end in the mix, and the folk series recordings sound subtly thinner than the radio set, those are minor quibbles with a release that gives the listener the feel of being in a room with Lancaster as she lets flow a raw, tight, stripped-of-gloss show.

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Indiana Music: New album from Eric Baker; new music coming from Otis Gibbs, Bobbie Lancaster

Former Elms guitarist Thom Daugherty’s first record as a producer is available as a free sampler. He helmed the knobs for Indianapolis singer/songwriter Eric Baker’s debut album Hope & Thin Space. You can listen here and download four songs by entering your email and zip code. It is a smart slice of American gospel rock and roll.

Baker writes on his website that “My producer, Thom Daugherty, and I went into the studio to record “Kingdom”, (and) we talked about giving it a Killers-like vibe, full of energy, with a sound that hopefully captured the passion of the lyric. And, while other lyrics on the record express struggle and questions, I wanted to kick it off with an acknowledgement of hope and optimism.”

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Indianapolis (now living in Nashville) folk artist Otis Gibbs announced on Wednesday that he has started recording his next record. He wrote on Facebook that “I guarantee that of all the records that have ever been made, this will be one of them.”

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Bobbie Lancaster next album, a live project, is nearly mixed and will be released in Bloomington in August, along with, she says, a new album from The Millbranch String Theory. Lancaster, by the way, is in the process of moving with her family from Bloomington to Greencastle this month. She also continues her summer tour of central Indiana libraries, performing and working on music with children, and hits the road at the end of the month for a pair of John Prine tribute shows.

VIDEO: Bobbie Lancaster: Live at WFHB

Bloomington’s Americana singer/songwriter Bobbie Lancaster visited WFHB radio and performed as part of the station’s fundraising drive. Great sound (and isn’t that what can make this kind of simple video go from good to great?) and a peek inside the spartan and unassuming cool little radio studio that offers a consistently thoughtful blend of new folk/Americana/alt-country music.

Indiana Music: Bobbie Lancaster readies new album, more shows

While Bobbie Lancaster may not tell you herself, her self-titled, debut album from last year contained some of the prettiest, gospel-tinged and heartfelt pieces of Americana music released in 2010. Instead, she’s more likely to look forward than back. Though you might catch her pride of performance on that first album when it whispers into her conversation, she’s a woman who lives in the moment as best any of us can, and takes the now and applies it, with a spiritual flair, to her future. Continue reading “Indiana Music: Bobbie Lancaster readies new album, more shows”

Best of Indiana: Roots-Rock in 2010

At Rockforward, we live right in the middle of Indiana,  and fan our reach outward from Indianapolis.  Here’s the best of what we heard this year from (mostly) Hoosier roots-rock artists.

2010 Local Roots Rock/Americana Album of the Year
Cara Jean Wahlers/”Goodnight Charlotte”How did this quiet, intelligent, duet-like release from an acoustic guitar player and cello player get to the top of my roots-rock/Americana list full of worthy candidates?  Especially coming from a guy (me) who unabashedly enjoys the gritty side of loud guitars, drums and a sweet Hammond B-3?  It happened because this is a deserving place for “Goodnight Charlotte”, as Wahlers’ and Grover Parido’s cello quietly cuts into your heart with hauntingly beautiful music and lyrics that evoke black and white movies. Continue reading “Best of Indiana: Roots-Rock in 2010”