Natalie Merchant Natalie Merchant
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- 2Maggie Said04:29
- 4Go Down Moses05:04
- 5Seven Deadly Sins04:53
- 6Giving Up Everything04:23
- 7Black Sheep04:11
- 8It's A-Coming03:52
- 9Lulu [Introduction]01:03
- 11The End05:11
Info for Natalie Merchant
The recording is the multi-platinum singer’s sixth solo collection, and her first of entirely original songs in 13 years.
This self-produced album is the work of a mature artist with a clear and distinctive voice. Long appreciated for the depth and substance of her writing, Merchant has never shied away from weighty themes or subjects for her lyrics. She describes the new release as informed 'by experience and keen observation,' dealing with issues of 'love gained and lost, regret, denial, surrender, greed, destructiveness, defeat, and occasional triumph.'
Combining three decades of experience in song writing and album making, Merchant's production style is nuanced and pure. Her voice is framed by a balanced blend of electric and acoustic sound throughout with musicianship of exceptional quality. String, brass, and woodwind arrangements mingle with Hammond organ and electric guitar improvisations. Players include John Medeski, Shawn Pelton, Clark Gayton, Uri Sharlin, Jesse Murphy, Erik Della Penna, Gabriel Gordon, and guest vocalists Simi Stone, Elizabeth Mitchell, and gospel singer Corliss Stafford.
Merchant’s career began when, as a college student, she joined the seminal alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs. Serving as lead vocalist, lyricist, and sometime pianist, Merchant released five critically acclaimed studio albums with the band, including the platinum-selling In My Tribe (1987), Blind Man’s Zoo (1989), Our Time in Eden (1992), and MTV Unplugged (1993). Merchant left the group in 1993, after 12 years, to record her first solo album. Tigerlily (1995) was certified five-times platinum, and was followed by the platinum Ophelia (1998), Natalie Merchant Live (1999), and Motherland (2001).
Natalie Merchant, vocals (1-8, 10, 11)
Gabriel Gordon, electric guitar (1, 2, 4, 6-8, 10), acoustic guitar (1- 5, 7, 9)
Erik Della Penna, electric guitar (1, 2, 4, 7, 8), lap steel guitar (3, 5), acoustic guitar (9)
Uri Sharlin, grand piano (1, 4, 10), Wurlitzer piano (2), accordion (5), electric piano (7), upright tack piano (9, 10)
John Medeski, organ (1, 4), electric keyboard (2)
Jesse Murphy, electric bass (1, 2, 4, 6, 7), acoustic bass (5, 10), tuba (9)
Shawn Pelton, drums (1, 2, 4-7)
Andrew Barr, drums (3, 8)
John Patitucci, double bass (1)
Jeremy McCoy, double bass (1, 6, 11)
Marc Friedman, electric bass (3, 8)
(Full list of musicians, please see booklet)
Recorded by Eli Walker & George Cowan
with the exception of “It’s a-Coming” & “Texas,” recorded by Paul Antonell & Eli Walker
Recorded at The Clubhouse, Rhinebeck, NY
Additional string & woodwind sessions recorded at Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY
Mixed by Eli Walker at The Magic Shop, New York, NY
Produced by Natalie Merchant
After rising to fame at the helm of the popular folk-rock band 10,000 Maniacs, Natalie Merchant enjoyed even greater success as a solo artist during the mid-'90s. Her literate, socially conscious songs established her among the preeminent women in pop music, while her solo debut -- 1995's Tigerlily -- helped pave the way for a number of female performers in a pre-Lilith Fair market. She continued releasing albums well into the 2000s, often examining specific genres or subjects, although Tigerlily remained her biggest-selling record.
Born October 26, 1963, in Jamestown, NY, Merchant joined 10,000 Maniacs at the age of 17 and became the band's driving artistic force. After a pair of successful independent releases, they signed to Elektra in 1985 and briefly became one of the most popular acts in alternative rock, shooting into the Top 40 with 1987's In My Tribe and charting even higher with their follow-up effort, Blind Man's Zoo. Merchant's desire to launch a solo career increased alongside the band's growing reputation, however, and by the time the group sat down to record 1992's Our Time in Eden, she gave her bandmates two years' notice. Following the release of MTV Unplugged in 1994, she publicly announced she was leaving the group's ranks.
Merchant made her solo debut with 1995's Tigerlily, a self-produced album that debuted at number 13 and scored a Top Ten single with "Carnival." Two additional singles, "Wonder" and "Jealousy," also cracked the Top 40, prompting Tigerlily to sell over five million copies in the U.S. alone. It was followed in 1998 by Ophelia, another platinum-selling effort that was supported by Merchant's inclusion in the second Lilith Fair tour. Live in Concert, recorded at New York's Neil Simon Theatre, appeared a year later. A prominent social activist, Merchant also drew notice by campaigning in the name of such hot-button issues as animal rights, domestic violence, and homelessness.
Merchant launched a folk tour in 2000, with members of progressive folk band the Horse Flies joining her on the road. She then returned to her solo career with Motherland. Two years later, Merchant left Elektra's roster and formed her own independent label, Myth America, in order to issue House Carpenter's Daughter, a collection of traditional and contemporary folk music inspired by the 2000 tour. A long period of silence followed, during which a pair of greatest-hits releases -- the 10,000 Maniacs collection Campfire Songs and Merchant's own Retrospective: 1995-2005 -- kept fans relatively sated. As the decade drew to a close, though, Merchant signed with Nonesuch Records and began making plans for a new album, which eventually arrived in the form of 2010's Leave Your Sleep. (All Music)