Tag Archives: Frost

Frost review from the Valley Advocate

Jet Engines, by Amy McCarley, and Frost, by Daphne Lee Martin

This weekend, Amy McCarley and Daphne Lee Martin perform at Luthier’s Co-op in Easthampton in support of their new albums, Jet Engines and Frost, respectively.

“Everybody Wants To,” the first track from Alabama alt-country artist McCarley’s Jet Engines, begins with a philosophical inquiry into the nature of individuality and universality. She states that there are certain desires shared by everyone, then sings in her low alto: “Well I’m not everybody/ I’m just me/ But I am one body/ and anyone can see/ Everybody needs to believe in something/ And everybody is no different from me.”

McCarley plays acoustic guitar on all 10 of the album’s tracks. Her harmonica work lends an especially relaxed mood throughout, as does the guitar playing of George Bradfute, who sits in with his electric on “Smart Man,” and his slide on “Head Out of Town.”

After listening to McCarley, Martin’s indie offering Frost sounds especially synthesized—not in a bad way—with William James Readey using his keyboards to do an impressive impression of a samchillian tip tip tip cheeepeeeee. (The space age-sounding samchillian is a keyboard MIDI controller designed by Leon Guenbaum, who plays it so effectively in guitarist Vernon Reid’s band Masque.)

Frost begins with “Little Birds,” which is full of samchillian-esque sounds, before segueing into “The Book of Love,” the album’s only cover. The Magnetic Fields tune has also been covered by Peter Gabriel. The middle three tracks—”Make It Rain,” “More Flies With Honey,” and “Smile at Perfect Strangers”—show Martin’s jazzy blues side. “Five Points,” the eighth and final song, is an upbeat, electronica instrumental.

Ohio native and schooner veteran Martin sings and plays electric and acoustic guitar, banjo, flute, and other “sounds,” the album’s inside cover notes. Beneath the CD hold there is a stenciled quote: “Treat a queen like a whore and a whore like a queen,” which Mickey Doyle offered in Boardwalk Empire, just as Frank had in Alien 3.

(Originally appeared in the Valley Advocate.)

Confessions | Make It Rain

Sigh. This song.
What if everything had gone differently? What if I’d made another decision at just that one moment of time? What path would I have been on if I’d just…?

Regret is a strange bedfellow. The veil of our history, filtering forever how we see the world ahead of us.  I read once somewhere that if you haven’t seen someone in the last five minutes, you can never make the assumption that you truly know them as they are now- life changing moments happen all the time and can shift our direction in an instant. Everyone seems so driven toward goals, ends, destinations, accomplishments, finality- even with the knowledge that the good stuff happens along the way, we seldom stop to appreciate when we have right this very now. The creation of memories that will fill us when we no longer have the strength, energy, and time to enjoy life the way we do when we are young.

So take the long way home. Try and forgive him for not calling you back, you had an amazing time together while it lasted and your heart isn’t so broken after all. Hug your friends and spend time with your kids and your parents. Be unafraid. Dance in the rain, and get soaking wet. Be ridiculous and don’t apologize for it. Admit your shortcomings and learn to live with yourself. Make it rain.

You pull up in a long black car
Saying we could fall heavy and we could fall hard
But I have heard your songs, what a mess you are
You’re gonna make it rain on me
You spread like fire through my weeds
And it is only what I’m wanting that makes me weak
But it is your sweet bourbon burning in my cheeks
So make it rain on me
Won’t you make it rain

Let’s take the long way home and whatever it brings
Yes I hear the thunder roll but I am not afraid to get caught in the rain
So make it rain

I guess that I must seem pretty tough
When I ask you not to call it love
But really I am softer than your touch
So make it rain on me
It’s what you think you cannot have that you are sure you need
And it’s the honey you keep talking will be the death of me
But maybe you are exactly what I need
So make it rain on me

Lyrical cues I borrowed for this song come from a few places, the long black car features in  a Jim Carpenter song, Hole In My Heart. Jim mastered Frost and I just adore him and everything he does. I also borrowed from Woody Guthrie again, a passage where he describes a girl dancing and setting his weeds on fire. And of course, the best songwriter in the world, Mr. Tom Waits, although the namesake song is a far cry from the theme, I actually borrowed more from Take the Long Way Home.



Confessions | Night We Fell In Love

 

In early 2006, I’d just ended a very long relationship and was fantastically gun-shy about getting serious with anyone for a long while. I spent a good amount of time then at a little tavern called The Dutch, a neighborhood joint that only serves beer and wine, closes early, and is the hub in town where all of the artists congregate, at any given table there will be a painter, a poet, a writer, a musician or three… Eugene O’Neill even used to frequent the place.

I was hanging with my friends Liz and Rich (who was bartending and also recently single) and bemoaning the big empty house and cold existence of being single for really the first time in my life when Liz, who had apparently had enough of both Rich’s and my complaining, grabbed us each by the shoulders and smooshed us into each other. Something happened. All of a sudden, the blur came into focus. I stayed on to help Rich clean up the bar that night and then we went for a walk in the park along the river, stayed up all night talking. We were inseparable from that moment on.

Not long after, Rich found a cheap banjo at a local pawn shop and brought it home thinking he might teach himself how to play it. Like most of the things he brings home (gadgets, clothes, toys, pretty much anything) I quickly reallocated it for myself, I’m good that way.  When you pick up a new-to-you instrument the most amazing thing happens- a new tuning or way of looking at chords, even just the shapes your hand makes when you touch the fretboard, makes all kinds of cool interpretations of things come out of you- things you would have never done on your old tried-and-true guitar or keyboard.

I suppose the gun-shy part of me begged the question, “Is this going to last? Will we be able to feel this way about each other when it isn’t new and crazy anymore? Will is stand the tests?” And I’m happy to say that 8 years and a whole lot of trials later, it has.

Production notes:
The little lady singing along at the end of the song is Miss Ada Mae Florek, the daughter of one of our dear friends and Rich’s bandmate in Brazen Hussy, Sara and our friend Jared from another great New London band, Street People. I had the pleasure of being by her side when Ada was born, nearly 6 years ago. And I have to tell you, Ada is a rock star. The crazy sounds you hear at the end of the song is a reverse banjo, played by Matt Lindauer.

Night We Fell In Love
Will you remember how I smiled?
Will you remember how we walked for miles?
Will you remember that one fateful kiss?
The night we fell in love

When the rains come & people close their shutters
& the storm clouds seem to hang right above us
Will you remember when you are soaking wet?
The night we fell in love

Will you still be tender when your hands
Know me better than your own homeland?
Will you remember how you held me then?
The night we fell in love

Charleston City Paper review of Frost & upcoming Dates!!

TORCH FOLK | Daphne Lee Martin
Daphne Lee Martin’s coquettish coo swoons over perky blues and cocktail jazz with a post-modern flair. While her sound is undoubtedly nostalgic, her latest LP Frost is not bound by tradition. Martin deploys plenty of contemporary elements, from the theremin in the mournful “Five Points” (before it turns into a trip-funk dance-floor banger for its final two minutes) to the noisy blues lead that opens the swinging “More Flies With Honey,” not to mention the arsenal of subtle electronic textures she employs throughout the record. As a whole, Frost is a playfully impertinent eight-song collection that sweats glammy indulgence, with Martin genre-hopping without losing her smoky torch-like bearing. She’s reminiscent of folk-tronic-loving Beth Orton in how she retains many traditional trappings without being mired in them. Frost follows last year’s earthier, thematically linked Moxie. That album, which was fueled in part by a Kickstarter campaign, was accompanied by a photographic art book developed by Martin and artist Pola Esther featuring women throughout history who have struggled to embrace their sexuality and self-expression. —Chris Parker

Don’t forget, there is a string of great full band shows coming up! Visit the SHOWS page for details…
April 3rd | Pianos Showroom (Ludlow Street NYC) 

pianosnew

Badassery ensues with the Frost CD release party in New York, special guests: Lindsey Mills, Isaac Young Quartet, and Underwater Country Club.

April 4th | 33 Golden Street (New London)

33flyernew

Joining us from Huntsville, AL, the amazing Amy McCarley and Andrew Sovine as well as our good pals form Newport RI, the Smokey Barrel Band! This will be a big show with all kinds of special guests, my 8th anniversary, and general homecoming madness!


April 5th | Cafe Nine (State Street New Haven)
cafeninedone

Also with Amy McCarley as well as New Haven’s indie darlings (and our labelmates) Elison Jackson. This is one of our favorite venues of all time and we can’t wait to share the new album here!

April 11th | Johnny D’s (Somerville MA)
bostonflyerdone

We’ve been hoping to swing a show at Johnny D’s for a while now and it’s finally here! It’s a free show too, starting at 10pm. Can’t wait to knock that off the ole bucket list with all you gorgeous Bostonese!

April 12th | Jimmy’s Saloon (Newport RI)
April 19th | Record Store Day (Telegraph NL CT)
April 26th | Acoustic Cafe (Bridgeport CT)
and many more coming!!!

Confessions | Little Birds


This began as the saddest little waltz in all the world. So sad that it took a very long time to find its way into the real repertoire, but sat along the sidelines and watched all the other songs having fun. It was still mourning the loss of something that had taken away its innocence. It was the moment of admitting that music is entirely who I am, no longer who I am trying to be. Accepting the sacrifices that would inevitably come. The sacrifice of a stable income, the constant need to produce art that stirs and inspires others, the putting of my Self on display, the opening of my being to others- for real and for good. This song was my way of explaining to someone who had been very cruel to me that I was no longer going to lay across a bed in a room listening to the world outside the window, that I should be allowed to be- as I allowed him to be.

At the end of the day, it really is just me answering Ramona. There is “no one to beat you, no one to defeat you ‘cept the thoughts of yourself feeling bad”. As easy as it is to give yourself over to it and float in the oblivion of itisntmyfaultitsjustthisway, the sadness becomes just as frustrating and suffocating as the striving ever was. So you straighten your back and begin again. And there’s nothing sad about that.

Little Birds

You are light as a bird with your hollow bones
B
ringing me branches to build me a nest
Ribbons of silk and colorful yarns, a beautiful cradle to keep me safe and warm
A kiss on the forehead all fear to disarm is the only paradise I’ll ever know

I will lay across your bed & listen to the rain on the panes as you sing of Ramona
Your shoulders hang heavy over the keys
Till the ash finally drops as you lift to the 3
The soft gray smudge on the middle C is the only trouble heavy on my mind

When that golden dawn of yours breaks across this sky
& the dark that overwhelmed us gathers us into the light
Past the nights we wrestled terror & the nights we slept in peace
Will you look down into my face, let me fall from grace
& realize we’re both just little birds in flight

New England Music Awards nomination!

nemalogoWow!

THANK YOU for the nomination! I’m up for Female Performer of the Year! 

Voting is open now, so if you’ve got a second, please head over and cast your ballot! Here is the link. There are a bunch of other great CT acts on the bill as well, so please give some love to them:

Elison Jackson 

Floyd Kellogg & Violent Mae

Little Ugly

Jennifer Hill & Co.

Isaac Young Quartet

Frank Viele
Joey Batts & Them

Echo & Drake

and Kate Callahan.