Friday, October 10, 2014

Q&A with Alanna Fugate, whose new album "Ewing" is out next week.

Every so often on my blog, I actually talk about music. Weird, I know. I can't make Alanna's CD Release show, but I wanted to help her spread the word in the best way I know how. So enjoy a little Q&A with her. I asked some questions -- maybe not the hard-hitting journalism from my days at CBS, but stuff I genuinely wanted to know. Maybe you do too. Alanna's got a new CD out, and you should buy it. I pre-ordered it a while back (money, meet mouth, etc).


ALANNA FUGATE is from EWING, Virginia, and has been residing in Louisville Kentucky for 8 years. She's a cowboot-wearin', story tellin', musician', singer, poet, crafter, gardener, cook, and traveler. Join her this Friday, October 10th for her CD release of her new album EWING at Diamonds Pub and Billiards on Barrett Ave, Louisville, KY. Doors, 8pm.

How did you record this new album? Was it a long process? Or did you block out a week and get it done?

I blocked out a week this past December at Kevin Ratterman's AWESOME studio LA LA LAND here in Louisville KY. At first it was a major challenge for me. The previous summer and fall I had spent in Yosemite National Park and other ramblings of the great state of California working and playing by the river side and chapel (which was the only thing open 24hrs. in the park, they had a baby grand and an organ which made for some fun jam sessions) shhhh... don't tell the rangers!! lol But I spent most of those wee hours playing tried and true songs of mine and not really working on anything new... I had written a lot of new songs before I left, but found myself getting lost in the company and the nature surrounding. My original plan was to head back out to the park after visiting family and friends for the holidays, soo... almost 6 months in advance, I blocked out this time to just get it done. I honestly kinda went in cloudy and with a handful of notebooks and just started from the top of the list.  I originally recorded 15 songs. 2 were dumped during the recording process and 1 dumped when I went to master which wasn't until this past august... I over dubbed most of the tracks, all digital, (even though Kevin is kinda famous with his analog wonderfulness). This was my 3rd full length working with him.

Are the recording musicians the same as the performing musicians? I’ve always used separate performers/recorders in the past. Always curious how others do it.

The musicians for this project are all wonderful folks that have played with me throughout the years. The only returning musicians as for recorded projects were Owen Reynolds, who has played upright bass with me for almost 10 years, and Scott Moore (23 string band) who recorded with me on my last project PINK ELEPHANTS. A very special musician that recorded with me this time around, who has been my right hand man on the dobro and banjo for the past 5 years, is Jonathan Bramel.  This guy is AMAZING!!!! I was soooo thrilled that we were finally in the studio together! Between the chemistry of Jonathan and Owen these songs really, really went to another place.  Paul Culligan threw down on the drums, Steve Sturgill was awesome on the keys, and Brey McCoy added his super special awesomeness on percussion.

What’s different about this album than your previous ones?

This is my 5th full length release.  I stopped worrying about my guitar playing. It was a major focus and possibly distraction from what I'm actually really good at... songwriting.  I stepped back on the guitar this time. No crazy alternate tuning. No flashy crazy shit. I just played the chords (simple chords) and focused on the actual song.  The Story. The real reason I picked up a guitar in the first place. Not to discount my past recordings... I love them for what they are but, this record is very roots americana driven, kinda may even have a west coastish feel to it... but it's not the "ani difranco" ishness that I've been heavily compared to in the past.  It's me this time.

What’s your favorite thing to cook/bake?

OMG... if this music thing doesn't work out I want to open my own restaurant one day!! I love to cook almost everything. I make a really mean green curry, my chili is the 2nd best in the world (my dad's the first), and don't get me around the stove during the holidays. YOU WILL NOT WANT TO LEAVE MY GRAND MARINER TRUFFLES ALONE!!! But biscuits and gravy... that's my strong suit.. :)

Music is your career … so what’s your hobby?

I love to sew, and I love to hand embroider. I'm a huge Grateful Dead fan and have made a bunch of hand embroidered patches and guitar straps. I have a whole room dedicated in my house to crafting... ps: not just crafting Grateful Dead things... I make a lot of my dresses. I also LOVE succulents. I eventually want to grow them from seeds and have a green house dedicated just to that type of plant.

I’m obsessed with Track 4s … it’s almost always my favorite track on whatever record I want to hear. So what’s Track 4 on your new release?

Funny.  Track 4 actually has a great story behind it. The song is called "WORDS THAT WILL BREAK YOU" When I was a young 'en, my dad took me to his work one day and introduced me to one of his co-workers like "Hey this is my daughter... Don't piss her off or she'll write a song about you!" Of course that was when I was like 15 years old!!! BUT, that stuck with me all these years. So I finally wrote the "Don't Piss Me Off" song. He's actually not even heard it yet... Surprise!!!

What’s the best way for people to hear/buy your new record?

The best way to buy or hear my new record is from me. But the new record EWING will be available Tuesday October 14th via www.alannafugate.bandcamp.com for download.


Reminder: Join her this Friday, October 10th for her CD release of her new album EWING at Diamonds Pub and Billiards on Barrett Ave, Louisville, KY. Doors, 8pm. $10. Facebook event info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1020528317973515/https://www.facebook.com/events/1020528317973515/

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