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Dynamic singer/songwriter GINA SICILIA will release her eighth studio album, Heard the Lie, on August 31, 2018 via Blue Elan Records. Produced by Grammy-nominated Dave Darling, Siclia's remarkable eighth body of work in just a little over a decade, is a testament to her ever evolving love and practice of blues and country music.
«I've never really recorded albums that are straight blues because I've always felt the natural urge to write and record my many musical influences. But I have always tried to write blues-influenced songs with pop sensibilities and pop hooks—catchy songs that people can sing along to. That's something I tried to do even more when writing this album,» say's Sicilia on her new release.
Although this Americana inspiration is partly geographic — SICILIA relocated from Philadelphia to Nashville and has since been enveloped within that musical community — it's also a reflection of her diverse influences. Over the last decade or so, SICILIA has opened for Joe Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joan Osborne and Beth Hart, among others. SICILIA integrates down-to-the-roots inspirations seamlessly within the album's bluesy moments. Such as the strutting «Brighter Day,» an upbeat duet with Grammy-nominated Janiva Magness, who also co-wrote the song, and the piano-tickled slow burn «Man In The Sky,» a showcase for SICILIA 's formidable, smoky voice.
Since nabbing a Blues Music Award nomination for Best New Artist in 2008, SICILIA has enjoyed great chart and radio success in the genre. Tug Of War reached #3 on the Contemporary Blues Album chart and was the #1 roots album in Tennessee. «Abandoned» reached #2 on the Contemporary Blues Song chart, «He Called Me Baby» reached #1 on the Soul Blues Radio chart, “I Don’t Want To Be In Love” reached #3 on the Contemporary Blues Radio chart.
«I'm very influenced by being around musicians all the time, and being around so much live music,» she says. «Great things can come from being authentic and forming real friendships and connections with other musicians anywhere, but particularly in Nashville.»
The year 2016 was one of large-scale and unexpected change for Tampa Bay area blues and soul vocalist Lauren Mitchell. During a tumultuous time in both her personal and professional life, she was given the opportunity to rise from the challenges she was facing and make the album of her career with producer Tony Braunagel. Mitchell took the leap of faith because she is a true student of the blues, a music that's all about finding a way to transform difficult experiences into something cathartic. The timing was perfect. She had an album to record.
That album, «Desire,» is her most fully realized musical statement to date. Through a bold mix of her own original material, songs she hand-picked from the repertoires of her friends, and select covers of tunes first performed by Etta James, Bettye Lavette, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin and Betty Davis, Mitchell tells a blues story that's been a lifetime in the making. It's a stylistically varied set of 13 songs expertly recorded by drummer and Grammy-winning producer Tony Braunagel, whose work with Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal and Robert Cray have made him one of today's most in-demand blues industry professionals.
Recorded during a ten-day trip to Los Angeles, Braunagel brought out the best in Mitchell, highlighting every nuance in her powerful vocals and helping her craft an emotionally resonant album that's destined to go down as one of the year's highlights. Besides Braunagel, the band features guitarists Johnny Lee Schell and Josh Sklair, keyboardist Jim Pugh, bassist Reggie McBride, sax player Joe Sublett, trumpet player Darrell Leonard, and percussionist Lenny Castro. «The blues is a song of victory,» Mitchell says. «It's a way to say, 'I'm over it,' and now I'm turning it into this beautiful thing that can help someone else heal. That's what this record is for me.»