After touring relentlessly behind his last album Ghost Town Directory and receiving plaudits from sources like No Depression, Americana UK and Big Takeover, on Sep. 25th Ari Shine will release Songs Of Solomon, his most honest and rugged batch of songs yet. It has also made the Grammy ballot for Americana album of the Year. “There has been an organic shift in my music to the folkier, earthier end of the spectrum. It has always been there in my writing but the records have been more fleshed out. I finally have an album that sounds like my live show,” Shine says.
Songs of Solomon was funded by a Pledgemusic campaign. The singer/songwriter found himself supported by the grassroots following he has cultivated on the road supporting acts like Mindy Smith, Lucero, the White Buffalo, Linda Perry, Mike Peters of the Alarm and others. The campaign also raised money and awareness for the Art of Elysium, a foundation Ari works with that brings music to children in hospitals and other settings.
Reuniting with Ghost Town Directory producer Noah Shain (Dead Sara, Skrillex, Fool’s Gold), the pair holed up in Echo Park and recorded the twelve songs that make up Songs Of Solomon. Marty Rifkin, a frequent collaborator of Bruce Springsteen and Ryan Adams, played pedal steel and lap steel on seven tunes. “I met Marty while opening for Chris Shiflett of the Foo Fighters two summers back. The guy just breathes music! I knew when I made my next record he had to be on it.”
Another partnership which informs the songs on the album is Shine’s continued collaboration with his wife, Canadian artist Adrienne Pierce. Her distinctive croon is heard on four tracks. “We just work on music constantly and have such a great dynamic. Adrienne always ends up writing the opening tracks on my albums,” jokes Shine. The song he refers to is “Ninety Nine”, a populist anthem the pair wrote inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement. The song is available for download on Noisetrade and Shine promises it will be always be offered for free.
Sonically, the record may surprise those only familiar with the singer’s more raucous past. The haunted Latin Playboys like lament “Least I Tried” is replete with Morricone style atmospherics while “Pauper’s Grave” is something akin to Zeppelin III meets Chris Whitley. Uniting all the tracks is Shine’s gutsy vocal approach which ranges from sandpaper yowls to whispered asides. He also bangs his guitar like he means it, anchoring a rocker like “Don’t Know” and the Nick Lowe style songcraft of “Goddamn Glorious”. Packed with memorable tunes and overflowing with heart, Songs of Solomon is Ari Shine’s richest and most realized work yet.
Pierce’s third album, Oh Deer, came out in September 2010. It has earned rave reviews, garnered significant airplay and made many year end lists. One review described Oh Deer as a mesmerizing combination of Edie Brickell and Blossom Dearie. Features in magazines like Performer have praised the album’s adventurous aesthetic and Adrienne’s addictive voice; at once passionate and atmospheric. Adrienne’s touring behind “Oh Deer” began in Norway at Bergenfest alongside artists like Lou Reed and Randy Newman. She has since toured across the US as well as playing dates in her native Canada. The tour culminated with a live performance on CBC Radio and shows supporting Frazey Ford and the White Buffalo. Adrienne continued to tour throughout 2011 including dates in Canada, The USA and Israel. Adrienne’s songs have been heard on TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and Veronica Mars. “Lost and Found” from the album Faultline appeared on the soundtrack for Veronica Mars alongside Tegan and Sara and Spoon.
Pierce has played everything from Lilith Fair to The Cavern Club in Liverpool. She has showcased at SXSW, NXNE, CMW and The Toronto International Film Festival. Adrienne has toured with and opened for revered artists (Ray LaMontagne, Damien Rice, Sondre Lerche, The Stereophonics, Jane Siberry, The Finn Brothers), played live on the CBC and the BBC and even had a member of Radiohead compliment her performance after a show in Toronto.
Pierce’s first album, Small Fires, was released in Canada on her own Insectgirl Records. Great reviews, a regional buzz and her bewitching live show caught the attention of Nettwerk Records and Management in Vancouver to which she was later signed. Pierce followed up Small Fires with two EPs: Hors d’Oeuvres and Exit,. The singer’s second full length album Faultline was helmed by Jeff Trott (Sheryl Crow) and 8 time Grammy award winner Thom Russo who brought in an all star team of players including many Beck alumni. The beautifully layered production put the spotlight on Pierce’s continuing evolution as a writer. Faultline was first released digitally before making its way into stores in 2008. It expanded Adrienne’s worldwide following considerably with many fans creating popular youtube videos for songs from the album.
In November 2008 Adrienne released a 6 song EP entitled "Winter” which received critical acclaim and international airplay. The charming songs on “Winter” were heard everywhere from podcasts in Afghanistan to popular shows on CBC radio and airplay from tastemakers in the U.S. such as World Café Live on WXPN. Three of the original songs from Winter will be featured in two Hallmark movies (Trading Christmas and Hitched for the Holidays) which air this December (2012) on the Hallmark Channel.
Adrienne is just finishing up the recordings for My Heavens. This new collection of songs was inspired by Buddy Holly, girl groups from the 50’s and 60’s, Peter Gabriel, Ryan Adams and the stars (the ones in the sky).