Friday, February 21, 2014

American Songwriter premieres new Alana Amram & The Rough Gems song | RIYL: Lucinda Williams, Neil Young, and Jonathan Wilson

Alana Amram and The Rough Gems share new
desert-rock single with American Songwriter

New album, Spring River, out March 4 on Kingswood Records


Alana Amram and The Rough Gems - "People Like To Talk" via American Songwriter

Photo: Kimberly Millard
With a mass of curly hair covering her face, a perennial voice billows from a tall, lanky frame. Alana Amram renders riffs and ballads both distinctive and robust, presenting a new archetype of the female troubadour.
Sprouting from Peekskill Hollow Farm in upstate New York, she toured around the country with her musical family, napping in guitar cases at the foot of the stage. As a teenager Amram became involved in New York’s underground scene – pasting flyers, penning zines, retreating into the vanishing clubs and D.I.Y. spots in the city. She attended SUNY Purchase College to pursue filmmaking but left to pursue music, hitting the road and tracking in the studio as a bassist with various bands. Growing up a second generation struggling musician, Amram has a work ethic like no other. Notorious for her wide array of employment, she writes from a place of experience. Running diamonds, slinging beer, driving vans, painting mansions and teaching kids guitar have made her art and music accessible and conversational.
Around 2006 Alana had picked up the guitar, was telling stories, and singing songs in bars and clubs of Brooklyn and the East Village as a solo artist. “I started writing funny songs about my daily misadventures, sad songs about my love life, writing fictional stories and then it all got mashed together. I had about 20 songs I would play in my bedroom. I tried to bring them to bandmates at the time and realized, I have to sing them. I haven’t stopped writing since.” Her first show with an actual stage – at Mercury Lounge – The Fader wrote, “I have a real good feeling that we’ll all be seeing a lot more of this up and coming star.” By 2008 she’d released a first 7″ on the legendary punk label Noiseville and an EP on Zealous Records. Shortly afterwards she assembled her backing band, The Rough Gems, with whom she headed down to SXSW and started touring regionally.

2010 ushered in Amram’s debut release, Painted Lady, of which Brooklyn Country praised, “Painted Lady is more than just a great record to put on for a listen. It takes you on a journey through cross-country travels, whiskey saloons, Mexican motels, broken hearts and wandering souls.” Produced by Jesse Lauter, the record featured members of DungenVetiverLow AnthemMarco BeneventoScott Metzger and her father, David Amram. Alana then spent the year touring throughout the States promoting the release.

Alana Amram & The Rough Gems - "Should I Go Now" via CMT Edge
To follow her debut, in 2011 Amram chose to pay tribute to Vince Martin, recording a full-length of his songs. An avid record collector, she came across the rich catalog of Vince Martin who was primarily known as Fred Neil’s singing partner. With songs spanning his 60 year plus career, The Rough Gems had found a treasure trove. Coinciding with a documentary about Martin’s life , Kingswood Records released the Rough Gems collection of his songs, some never before recorded. Mark Sebastian and Jesse Lauter came together to produce the critically acclaimed Snow Shadows: Songs of Vince Martin. It features lush string arrangements by Van Dyke ParksJohn Sebastian (Lovin’ Spoonful) lent his iconic harmonica and baritone guitar. Elmore Magazine raves, the “Rough Gems strike pure gold… Aural pleasure and lyrical treasure take you on a fantastic, romantic, wild ride.”
In early 2013 Amram released a split 7″ with Invisible Familiars a.k.a. Jared Samuel (Plastic Ono Band) featuring the track ″Motorbike.″ They sold out in a month.
Her third full length, Spring River, is slated for release in March of 2014, featuring The Rough Gems: pedal steel virtuoso Philip Sterk, drummer/percussionist Taylor Floreth, bassist/singer James Preston and guest guitar player Scott Metzger. She will be touring the US, Europe and the U.K. in support of the record.  Amram relocated to Los Angeles, where she has been playing with Jason Soda (Everest), Will Scott (Wolfmother) and Steven Mertens (Moldy Peaches.)

Over the last decade Alana Amram has opened, sang and played alongside an endless array of great musicians, young and old, and as varied as her musical taste. A short list includes: Pete SeegerPeter RowanAbigail Washburn,Jimmy Dale GilmoreLanghorne SlimNicole AtkinsAlberta Cross and Psychic TV. Her music has been featured in ads for Stetson, the web series ”The Actress”, and in several independent films. Alana is also a filmmaker and most recently directed a short documentary called Portal To Power. She has played bass in Lights (Drag City), Cliffie SwanVoluptuous Horror of Karen BlackAnimal Cannibal TribeSophia KnappThe Fame and Blue Sparks.

Previous Press for Alana Amram:

"I have a real good feeling that we'll all be seeing a lot more of this up and coming star." -- The Fader

"Heart-wrenching barroom country with just a tinge of Laurel Canyon decadence." -- LA Record

"Don't miss a chance to see the local talent light up the stage with her fascinating voice." -- The Aquarian

"Amram's voice is as powerful as any modern female songstress." -- Jewcy Magazine

"...leave it to Alana Amram to come up with something completely different." -- Chicago Sun Times

"She hits her marks, with her honey sweet vocals and embracing arrangements recall the idyllic innocence of Martin's sun-dappled originals." -- Blurt Magazine

"Alana delivers a warm deep vocal, without melodrama...The Rough Gems provides drive in the way Crazy Horse added a punch to Neil Young's music." -- No Depression


Artist - Alana Amram & The Rough Gems
Album - Spring River
Release Date - March 4, 2014
Label -  Kingswood Records
1. Spring River
2. Window Rock
3. Should I Go Now

4. Motorbike
5. Instrumental
6. Another Man's World
7. Daughter of the Sun (feat. Israel Nash Gripka)
8. Train
9. People Like to Talk
10. Tall Oak Tree

Find Alana Amram and The Rough Gems online

Main website

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