Portland survived the snowpocalypse long enough to welcome Karen Lovely into the studio for a night of laughs amidst the Blues, sprinkled with a couple of holiday tunes. Karen started her music career hiding within the safety of a choir before breaking out to front her own band and boy are we glad she did! She is known for her jaw-dropping, passionate performances that deliver a blistering mix of contemporary and old school blues. The notes just roll off her tongue in a silky smooth waterfall of honey that you just can’t get enough of.
She has won many awards, played at a multitude of festivals, venues, and toured the world delivering knock out performances that make your jaw drop. In the photographer’s pit at this year’s Waterfront Blues Festival, her performance with Lisa Mann, Ben Rice, and Mark Bowden to name a few, was on fire! Many times throughout their set, we set down our cameras because we couldn’t believe what we were seeing, it was that great. In fact, this performance won the 2016 Muddy Award for “Performance of the Year.”
Her latest album, “Ten Miles of Bad Road,” released October 13, 2015, was selected by DownBeat Magazine as one of the top albums of 2016. Recorded at Ultratone Studios in Studio City, CA with Grammy-winning producer Tony Braunagel, it is a powerful mix of contemporary blues, roots and soul music that crosses genres in a way that will appeal to any listener.
We played a couple of her music influences, Big Mama Thornton’s, “Ball & Chain,” and “Smoking Gun” from Robert Cray before moving on to her original material and live performance which you can watch here and here. She and Mark Bowden performed two holiday tunes, “Glorious” by Melissa Etheridge, and Keb Mo’s, “Jingle Bell Jamboree,” followed by an original, “Cross the Water.” We also played two of the recorded tracks off the new album, the title track inspired by Curtis Salgado,”Ten Miles of Bad Road,” and “I’m Over Goodbye,” inspired by a former boyfriend.
She and Mark have collaborated together on an album they are hoping to release in the Spring and we will definitely bring them back for that preview. Karen has several shows planned out of state, and Switzerland in April, so Portland is not yet on the calendar. Be sure to follow her on Facebook or her website to keep up to date because you will not want to miss a Karen Lovely performance when she’s back in town.
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