| Friday 20 May 2016 @ 09:00pm : - |
California songwriter Corinne West is a poet, a tunesmith and a visionary. Her music evokes the eternal stories of mystic troubadours, while speaking to the sonic sensibilities of a contemporary audience. She is equal parts angel and outlaw, delicate and fierce. Her skillfully crafted songs reflect grit, optimism and a far-reaching reverence for space and time. To listen is to free fall though an aural dreamscape emblazoned with lush vocals and pristine guitar. KLCC Arts and Culture host Eric Alan, hails West as “of the finest singer/songwriters of the age.”
In her new album “Starlight Highway,” West gives a respectable nod to the Americana style of her early recordings, while boldly facing forward with a fresh perspective and an ever-evolving sound. The album, which West produced in its entirety, features finessed string work, elegant harmonies and a profuse lyricism that weaves imagery of water, sky and light with themes of transcendence, renewal and grace. This intimate recording suggests a sense of completion and a patient receptivity for whatever lies ahead. Guitarist Kelly Joe Phelps contributed as co-writer on some of the tracks. Paul Freeman (Pop Cultural Classics) describes the music as “intelligent, introspective, illuminative.” “Starlight Highway” is West’s fifth album. Her previous recordings are “Bound for Living” (2004), “Second Sight” (2007), “The Promise” (2008) and “Magnetic Skyline” (2010).
West’s formative years were spent on what she refers to as a “rather choose your own adventure education.” Inspired by iconic artists the likes of Crosby, Stills Nash & Young, Joni Mitchell, Sam Cooke, Judy Garland, Billie Holiday and Jackson Brown, she left home at 15 with guitar in hand and traveled around the country in a converted school bus, as a young member of a nomadic community of counter-culture peace activists. Some of her earliest performance experiences were busking at stops along the way. After three years, West left the road and moved to Los Angeles, where she sang in punk and rock bands. When she was 20, she headed to the High Sierras to focus on songwriting, art and the study of anthropology and mythology. It was here she opened The Art Studio that specialized in custom glass and metal installations. She ultimately decided to pursue music exclusively, closed her studio and moved to San Francisco to launch her independent label MAKE records, while submerging into the city’s vibrant music scene.
West and her band “The Bandits” have toured extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad. She has performed at prestigious venues and festivals across the globe, including the Woody Guthrie Festival, Shrewsbury Festival, Bergenfest, High Sierra Music Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, Grassroots Festival and the Kerrville Folk Festival, where she was a New Folk Competition finalist, one of many accolades she’s received over the years.
While West has firmly established herself in the acoustic scene, she has also made her mark in the alternative folk-rock arena. In her bold project, “Fire is a Phoenix,” she unleashes her inner rock goddess, floating ethereal vocals over ominous rhythms to create a compelling mélange of tension and mystery. Her song “Change My Ways,” was on the Starbucks National playlist in October 2015 and was also featured for a month on the primetime season two trailer for the HBO series “The Leftovers.”
West’s creative reach extends to both the visual and healing arts. A 77-piece collection of her original works in monoprint, Chine-collé and mixed media was recently featured at the Plumas County Arts Commission in Quincy, CA. West is also a trained alchemical hypnotherapist, specializing in helping artists of all disciplines remove inner obstacles to their creative process, and teaches songwriting as well.
If there is an abiding theme for West’s artistic pilgrimage, it is connectivity, not so much to any individual fixed experience but to something bigger. In her words, “Regardless of what you’re doing, the sun sets and the moon rises in predictable, dependable ways, with an exquisite, divine consistency. To be able to have trust and lean into that is also to be able to lean into your place on the planet and ultimately our life experience.”
- Written by Katy Bourne, 2016
“…a California singer with an angelic voice.” ~ SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE ~ April 2015
“Possessor of a beautiful voice. Lovely delivery.” ~ BBC RADIO, SCOTLAND
“Monday’s Song” and “Trouble No More” are the best of a captivating bunch.” ~ CANTERBURY TIMES, ENGLAND
"It doesn't suck to be Corinne West. She writes great songs, plays with top flight musicians, sports a killer voice..." ~ AMERICANA UK
" A delicious and modest CD with ten beautiful songs, a real pleasure to listen to!" ~ REAL ROOTS CAFE, Netherlands - Fred Schmale
“West's voice invokes angels, if angels had a dangerous side.” ~ NORTH COAST JOURNAL, Arcata CA - 2014
“The musicianship is stellar across the album, and West’s ability on guitar simply deserves more attention.” ~ PENGUIN EGGS, Canada, Glen Herbert, Summer 2015
"A mind blowing set from the voice of an angel, the bar has officially been raised to all comers who think they can top this. Killer stuff that restores any lost luster to the folkie-singer/songwriter mantle." ~ MID-WEST RECORD, May 4, 2015
"I love Corinne's music and truly believe in her as an artist. She has spirit, integrity and talent. I am a massive fan." ~ Bob Harris, Legendary British broadcaster, BBC Radio2
"A voice of gold." ~ RELIX MAGAZINE
“This album reminds me of T.S. Eliot’s poem, ‘The Wasteland,’ in that no one fully understands it, but the majority of those who read it declare it to be brilliant. 4.5 Stars out of 5” ~ COUNTRY MUSIC PEOPLE, UK, Tom Travis. Review of "The Promise"
“Corinne West sings with the purity and romanticism of the fabled nightingale, if it could sing a lyric.” ~ THE ATASCADERO NEWS, April 2015
"West’s songs are lilting and dreamy and her intimate, country-flavored folk performances seem to float through the air like feathers." ~ NO DEPRESSION, Jeff Berger, ~ June, 2015
Starlight Highway “…is an album of roots-based quality and really very accomplished, affecting song-writing and performances that are really well worthy of attention and dissection . A lovely listen.” ~ AMERICANA UK, Ian Fildes- June 26, 2015
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