Holy smokes! What do I say but THANK YOU!! Country Music People’s annual Critic’s Choice Top Ten Best Albums of 2015 has hit the stands and Paul Riley placed “Life, Death, and the Spaces Between” as NUMBER THREE in his list! I’m just over the moon!! This is the biggest and best Country Music magazine in the world and to be in the same lauded company as all of my musical heroes is just remarkable.
Year in Review
Looking back at 2015…
I am a bit in awe of last year. It was an incredible year for me musically and I have to thank everyone who has supported me personally, in my music and my dreams. I have achieved much and reached far and wide.
Jan: Schubb Capo Artist Endorsement
Feb: Finished recording/Mixed “Life Death, and the Spaces Between”
March: Mastered “Life Death, and the Spaces Between” in Nashville/Played The Bluebird Open Mic in Nashville, TN.
April: Released “Life Death, and the Spaces Between” / CD Release Party at WitZend with full band / First review in AXS.com by Will Phoenix
May: Attended 10th Ever Los Angeles Old Time Social & Topanga Banjo & Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival and found my tribe.
June: Started Radio Campaign / Played amazing solo shows in Colorado Springs and Denver / Played El Cid/Honky Tonk Hacienda
July: Received 5 Star review from Country Music People, United Kingdom / Submitted to the 58th Grammy’s
Aug: LA Music Critic Award “Fan Favorite” winner, plus nominated for Best EP, Female. / CDs Exported to England via Nashville
Sept: Nominated for HMMA Award for ‘Live Like an Angel’ in Americana Genre. Attended Americana Fest (photos) / Toured parts of NC and TN (photos) (Land~of~Sky Tour 2015)
Oct: Accepted in 58th Grammy’s Round One for:
-Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year, and Best New Artist, as well as:
-Best American Roots Performance (First Suicide),
-Best American Roots Song (First Suicide), and
-Best Americana Album (Life, Death, and the Spaces Between)
also played Adam’s Pack Station for the Second Sunday Series – last “Second Sunday” show of the season, and such an honor!
Nov: As HMMA 2015 Nominee attended awards ceremony / Played inaugural Mesa Music Festival in Mesa, AZ/ Received “Strong” 4 Hat Review from Smalånds Country Club, Vimmerby, Sweden
Dec: Named #22 in Albums (for Life, Death, and the Spaces Between) and #21 in Singles (for Off The Rails) in NBTMusic Radio Station’s Top 180 for 2015. / The Home for the Holidays Show in Colorado Springs was a wonderful success – played to huge crowd alongside Doug Conlon, Chuck Snow, Chris Schutz, Collin Estes, and Erin Caitlinn / Was named #3 in Critic’s Choice, Best of 2015 Top Ten List (Writer Paul Riley) Country Music People, United Kingdom (Jan 2016 issue).
2016 looks to be every bit as promising and I welcome it with open arms.
Thank you, everyone. <3
Headed “Home for the Holidays” and I’m so excited!
This is going to be one of the best shows and a wonderful way to wrap up an amazing year! I’m playing with my hubby, one of my dearest friends, Chuck Snow, and another good friend Collin Estes.
The CS Indy wrote a great article about the evening, too. It’s going to be a blast!!
What an incredible honor for me that “Life, Death, and the Spaces Between” was named #22 in Albums of the Year, and “Off the Rails” was named #21 in Singles of the Year.
I received the most wonderful “FOUR HAT” review from the Smalånds Country Club! Below is the translated version, but if you click here you can see the cover of the magazine and my actual page (edited out of the full magazine, but yes, that is Carrie Underwood next to me!)
Life, Death & the Spaces Between
4 hats (5 hats is the best you can get)
Annette Conlon is a new acquiantance for me from the American westcoast. This is her first CD. Annette is in the singer/songwriter-genre, but the music has strong influences from both bluegrass and traditional country. The CD includes 15 tracks, all written by Annette and are presented in the order that they were written, according to the booklet. This is a CD with very strong lyrics that are supported with a nice musical back-up with Annette on acoustic guitar, husband Doug Conlon, Ted Wulfers and Matt Bunsen on the other instruments.
I’ll mention some of the songs that I like that best on this 1 hour long album. It starts of with the bluegrassy “Cedar Box”. It’s then followed by the standout track “Live Like an Angel” with a fantastic steel and banjo in the background. The title track is a calm ballad in singer/songwriter style. The pace goes up in “First Suicide”. Another good song is “Without You” with plenty of banjo and mandolin. I also like “Faceless Angel” with is a softer ballad. “Ten Thousand Steps” is a little fast tune, once again with steel and banjo. Another great song is the ballad “Canyon Winds”. It’s followed by “Off the Rails” which also has an incredible ‘singing’ steel in the background. Another fast tune is “You Gave Me Wings”. The final song “Sweet Sophia” is a lovely ballad about Annette’s experiences with the last days that her sister lived, very touching lyrics.
This is a CD for you that want to LISTEN to good lyrics that are surrounded with fantastic back-up. A strong four. www.annetteconlon.com
(note: Sweet Sophia is not about my sister but I welcome listeners coming to their own interpretations. The song is for anyone who has loved someone and is suffering a loss.)
Today is Sophia’s birthday. I wanted to honor her as she was such an important part of my life for so long. I wrote last song, “Sweet Sophia,” on Life, Death, and the Spaces Between, the day after I was told she had cancer and had but a few days left with us. I wrote this song with her in my arms. You can hear her meows in the song as I recorded her meows and her jingle bell collar rubbing up against me and the guitar neck. We always slept together anyway but once she became sick we were inseparable day and night. I didn’t leave her side. I don’t wish this pain on any creature. I will always love and miss her and looking at these photos of our life together reminds me of the gift I had in my very special friend. Always rescue your pets from shelters when you can. The most amazing gift will be waiting for you.
I took over a thousand photos – no kidding. Here are a few hundred to peruse at your leisure, including several of the road. I know, I know… but there are some great shots of us playing, the gorgeous mountains, and a friendly katydid who made friends with us along the way.
Nashville, TN’s Americana Fest 2015 was a blast! I had such a great time, learned so much, and saw so many wonderful artists and bands perform! I took a ton of photos which you can peruse here. There aren’t too many of me, haha, but my good friend Tiffany Shea captured this one of me after the Calico set at the Hi Hat, my hat properly askew after a long day of seeing Loretta Lynn, Steve Earle, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, before heading over to catch Calico’s midnight set. It was worth it!