SXSW 2008 has ended
Thursday, March 13 • 1:00am - 1:30am
Ana Egge

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Ana Egge has gotten “Lazy”, and who can blame her? Bursting on to the Austin music scene as a teenage phenomenon with the release of her critically acclaimed debut CD River Under The Road, Ana Egge has been going ever since. Touring with such legends as The Flatlanders, Shawn Colvin, John Prine, and Dar Williams and Lucinda Williams, crafting her own guitar, penning and releasing three more albums including 2005’s Out Past The Lights, building her New Mexico home with her own hands, and continually touring from coast to coast. After all that, a girl deserves to get lazy now and then. On November 13, Grace/Parkinsong records releases Ana’s latest gem Lazy Days. Deemed “the folk Nina Simone” by Lucinda Williams, Ana has become known as a songwriter capable of capturing entire worlds in a few choice phrases, conjuring up lush and passionate dreamscapes. Ana takes a detour with Lazy Days-- an eclectic collection of cover songs, all capturing the theme of taking things easy. On Lazy Days, The Kinks “Sitting In The Midday Sun” has never sounded so warm; Arcade Fire’s” In the Backseat” so enveloping; The Zombies “I Could Spend a Day” never quite as breezy; Stephen Still’s “Johnny’s Garden” so utterly tranquil, and Belle and Sebastian’s “Summer Wastin,” as melancholic. Co-producer Jason Mercer (Ani DiFranco, Ron Sexsmith) adeptly captures Ana’s honey-drenched voice and intuitive phrasing in the rediscovery of these lesser known covers. Writing songs since she was just 15, the daughter of a teacher and a wheat farmer in Ambrose, North Dakota (pop. 23), Ana’s life would prove ample inspiration for her music. The Austin Chronicle would proclaim her first release River Under The Road “A debut masterpiece worthy of a songwriter decades worldlier than this mere twenty-year old soul.” When winter hit Ambrose, Ana’s family would drive their converted school bus down to New Mexico to wait out the cold months. When hail, grasshoppers and drought killed the farming up North, the Egge family put down roots in Silver City, New Mexico, where they started the Down to Earth School. It was before and after band practice with the Down to Earth School Band that Ana began to write her own songs. On a whim she borrowed a friend's cassette recorder and, in her basement bedroom insulated by foot-thick adobe walls, recorded two of the songs she wrote so she wouldn't forget them. At the same time, Ana began a one-year apprenticeship with Luthier, Don Musser, in order to build her own guitar which she still plays exclusively today. Ana continued to write more songs. After getting in a fight with her mom, she wrote "Mind Over Matter" ("You said I'm sorry, and I understand, I'll always love you, I always have"), and soon another when a copper mine in Fierro, NM wanted to tear down a local church and move the graveyard ("Down the road and across the tracks, the old cemetery by the new smokestacks, rumors flyin', I believe they're true, the mine will steal all the can from you"). Over original and inventive melodies, her songs create a vast universe with an economy of words. They seem simple but have an arresting effect. Soon bassist Sarah Brown (Albert Collins, Bonnie Raitt) and guitar virtuoso Steve James persuaded her to record a demo of her original songs in Austin, Texas. That led to a record contract with Lazy S.O.B. Recordings and the release of her first full-length album, River Under The Road, featuring the title track co-written by Egge, Sarah Brown and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. The following year, the Austin Music Awards named Ana, then 21 years old, Best Singer/Songwriter and Best Folk Artist. Next Ana was invited on tour by several of her heroes, including Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Iris Dement, Shawn Colvin and Ron Sexmith. On her solo tour in 1999, she recorded her first live album Mile Marker which highlights her guitar talents. She found herself sharing the stage with such luminaries as John Prine, Lucinda Williams, George Jones, Jane Siberry, Richard Thompson and Sinead O'Connor. After a few years of constant touring, Ana shied away from the limelight and retreated back to Silver City, New Mexico where she began building her own desert house and spending time with family. In 2002, after writing some of the songs for her next record, Ana resettled in Brooklyn, New York. Brooklyn was where Ana met bassist Jason Mercer (Ani DiFranco, Ron Sexsmith). They began recording demos of Ana's new songs. Singer/Songwriter Ron Sexmith, guitarist Tony Scherr and trumpeter Shane Endsley joined their efforts and the result was Out Past the Lights which received critical acclaim. "Ana’s an exceptional songwriter, Listen to the lyrics," Lucinda Williams urged an audience one night after the album was out, "She's the folk Nina Simone." As a testament to her songwriting craft, her songs have been recorded by Slaid Cleaves (Rounder Records) and Laurie Lewis (Hightone) and licensed to MTV. In July 2007 she won The Mountain Stage New Song Competition, NE Regional in New York City. Ana Egge is on tour this fall in the U.S. and currently splitting her time between Austin, TX and Brookyn, NY. Meanwhile Ana will continue to live vicariously through her new CD Lazy Days, in stores on November 13th.

Thursday March 13, 2008 1:00am - 1:30am
Stephen F's Bar 701 Congress Ave

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