Folk singer bringing friends to Philly
by Larry Nichols
Dec 02, 2010 | 1403 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In the midst of performances in both the U.S. and Europe to support her latest album, “A Fine Set of Fools,” out singer-songwriter Nicole Reynolds is returning to the area Dec. 10 for a performance at Tin Angel. This show promises to be extra special as Reynolds is bringing along three fellow out musicians — Liz Kelly, Andrea Alseri and Julia Read — as both her opening acts and her backing band.

And by the way, if you haven’t picked up one of Reynolds’ albums yet, run out and get one, any one, right now. They are quite extraordinary.

Anyway, the always-on-the-move folk singer phoned in during her travels to talk to PGN about her upcoming show and her adventures both at home and on the road.

PGN: How did your upcoming shows with Kelly, Alseri and Read come together?

NR: For the past couple of years, I’ve been opening for Chris Pureka on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Liz, Andrea and Julia all have played in Chris’ band and we’ve become good friends on the road. We all are fans of each other’s solo music and musicianship, so it seemed kind of inevitable that we’d play some shows together at some point. The show at the Tin Angel will be our first show together and then, on Dec. 11, we will be playing in New York City at the Trash Bar.

PGN: Is it common for you to bring the other acts on the show into your set?

NR: It is uncommon for me to have band members who are songwriters themselves, and in this case, Julia, Liz and Andrea all write their own songs, all very different styles, and are all extremely talented.

PGN: Creatively, what are some of the similarities and differences between your style and the styles of Liz, Andrea and Julia?

NR: We’re all so different. I’m probably the folkiest: I’ve always admired union, labor and protest songs, so sometimes that comes out in my writing. Liz Kelly, I would probably consider more of a pop/rock musician. She’s one of those people who can pick up any instrument and immediately play any song. She also plays drums for Bitch and has co-produced some of Bitch’s recorded music. Julia plays the fiddle and accompanies herself while she sings these crazy little gems of songs — some of the most unique and intriguing music I’ve ever heard. Andrea is a fantastic guitarist and can play many styles including percussive fret tapping on acoustic as well as coming up with some great electric lead parts.

PGN: You recently did some shows overseas with Chris Pureka. How did those shows go?

NR: Chris and I played some shows in Germany and Holland, and they went pretty well. Mostly it was just really great to be traveling and playing with a good friend. We have a lot of fun together. We called this one the “sing for your supper tour.”

PGN: What was the biggest difference between touring in Europe and in the U.S.?

NR: I think in general it seems like people in Europe tend to go to more shows. Maybe having more public transportation makes it easier to get out and about.

PGN: What would you say is the biggest change, if any, you’ve had as an artist since putting out your first album?

NR: When I wrote my first album, I was living in Center City Philly in a little brownstone. I think that my surroundings and the relationship I was in at the time definitely influenced my writing in a pretty big way. For the next three years, I lived and worked on an organic sheep farm near Pittsburgh. I wrote three more albums while living there on the farm. Now, I’m back in the area building a house across the bridge in Jericho, N.J., about 20 minutes from Philly. These have all been really different lifestyles and I’ve learned a ton with each experience, and all are definitely a big part of my music.

PGN: Are you currently working on any new music and, if so, when do you think you’ll have a new album out?

NR: Right now, I’m building the roof on my house. By the end of the day, I’m too beat to do much of anything. I have a feeling, though, once I get my roof on, I’ll be warmer and dryer and will have more time and energy to write again. I released one album every year for the past four years, so it’s nice to give myself a little break. I have a feeling that when I come back to it, I’ll have a lot of new thoughts and ideas to put into my songs.

Nicole Reynolds performs with Liz Kelly, Andrea Alseri and Julia Read at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at Tin Angel, 20 S. Second St. For more information, visit www.nicolereynoldsmusic.com or call (215) 928-0770.

Larry Nichols can be reached at larry@epgn.com.

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