DENVER (May, 2016 Press Release) – Award-winning folk-Americana artist Mary Beth Cross has released an eight-song bluegrass EP that celebrates the importance of home in the lives of average, everyday Americans.
"Feels Like Home" includes original songs, as well as classics written and/or performed by legendary artists such as Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Garry White, Van Morrison, George Gershwin, and Dubose Heyward. The recording spotlights Cross's soaring, pure-tone soprano vocals. It was produced by veteran banjoist Chris Pandolfi, who joins nationally respected musicians Jeremy Garrett on fiddle, Tyler Grant on guitar, and Adrian Engfer on bass. The EP is dedicated to her late nephew, Christopher Chmiel, who died unexpectedly in 2015.
"My latest project includes cover songs that are part of the tapestry of my upbringing in Wisconsin, as well as originals that reflect my current home in Colorado," said Cross, whose last project, "Beyond Good and Evil", was named "2014 Folk-Country CD of the Year" by the National Traditional Country Music Association. "We went with less is more, taking an approach that feels live, acoustic, down-to-earth, and not too far from home. Good memories or sad memories are evoked by some of my favorite songs."
Cross recently celebrated "Feels Like Home" with a concert at Baur's listening room in downtown Denver. She will perform a second concert at Denver's Swallow Hill Music Association in October after attending the IBMA Conference and Bluegrass Ramble in Raleigh, N.C. Among the covers on the EP are "Kathy's Song", a classic written and recorded by folk-pop legend Paul Simon, and "Long Long Time", a hit song for Linda Ronstadt.
"Feels Like Home" debuted at number one on the APD Americana/AAA Albums chart. To download selections from the EP, visit https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/feels-like-home-ep/id1097215219 or www.MaryBethCross.com.
"My favorite original on the project has to be 'Threshing Time'," Cross added. "It's a true story about my grandparents that was narrated to me through my father's memory. When he was a little boy, he always looked forward to working together with relatives and neighbors at threshing time. After a long, hot summer day in Wisconsin, they would return from the fields to enjoy a spread of homemade chicken, corn, salads and desserts. To quench their thirst, there was cold lemonade and homemade beer and wine."
Cross praised the contributions from her fellow musicians, who helped her transition from the Americana-folk sound she has long been known for to a down-to-earth bluegrass presentation that evokes memories of home in Wisconsin, Colorado, Tennessee and other parts of America.
"Capturing a truly live feel in the studio takes experience and commitment, but it always brings the music to life," said Pandolfi, a banjoist/producer known for the Trout Steak Revival project, "Brighter Everyday". "Mary Beth went for it on this project, and she did an amazing job with both her original material, as well as meaningful takes on a few classic songs."
An accomplished vocalist and tunesmith, Cross moved to Denver in the 1980s to pursue a nursing career. Her music is influenced by the rural farmland and forests of her Wisconsin upbringing and the Rocky Mountains where she now resides. She carefully chooses acoustic instrumentation to bring her story-driven songs to life. Her music represents a few of the cultures that have contributed to what has become American music today.
To learn more about Mary Beth Cross visit www.MaryBethCross.com or www.reverbnation.com/marybethcross .
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