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Cirque Du Soleil
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Patricia Barber
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Cirque Du Soleil
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Jim Pearce
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Andy Timmons Band
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Ralph Towner
Time Line
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Anoushka Shankar

Amos Lee
"Arms Of A Woman"
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Julius Curcio
"American Pie"
Alligator Shoes
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"Come Alive"
Changing Into Me
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Rising Stars [Issue #4]
By Peter Vouras
Eastmountainsouth (CD Dreamworks)

Meeting Peter [Adams] was a huge awakening, and I think that he has opened a lot of doors creatively for me because of his musicianship and the way he writes," says Kat Maslich of the duo Eastmountainsouth. Based in Los Angeles but firmly rooted in Dixie, Eastmountainsouth are creating quite a buzz in the music industry with their rich vocal harmonies, unconventional rhythms, and haunting lyrics in the exciting revival of Americana. With the success and popularity of the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack more and more people are being exposed to this uniquely American genre. "We didn't set out for this record to be a bluegrass record, or an Americana record or pop record. It just became a hybrid of all those," states Maslich.
Their self-titled debut features songs of love and loss. "Winter" speaks to unconditional love. Maslich sings, "I never meant to swallow you. You never were my savior. Maybe just my lover. Maybe and nothing more. Now one more winter has passed so silently and I'm tired of longing, would you come back to me?"
On "On Your Way" co-written by Joshua Meltzer, Adams sings about loving someone so much and letting them go. "Oh the night's reflecting on our chance connecting. I hope they find the meaning of the life I had with you. Wish I heard when you said that your heart could not break. It was my decision to send you on your way."
One of the most unique songs is "Rain Come Down," whose verse melody is inspired by an African-American spiritual. It was sung during heavy rains, which was the only times the slaves could stop working. Haunting instrumentation, beautiful vocals and distinctive drumming make this the most memorable song on the album.
Raised in the Virginia towns of Roanoke and Clinch Mountain (home of country music legend Ralph Stanley), Maslich was largely influenced by her musical parents and developed a deep affinity for bluegrass although it wouldn't emerge until years later. Her rebellious youth included various punk and hardcore bands but her true love was for the gentle music that she associated with her Southern grandparents. She moved to LA at age 21, worked odd jobs and played locally with various musicians. "Too Soon," a song about leaving home at an early age was co-written by Kat and her twin sister Amy. It tells the story about leaving their mother to pursue their dreams and the sadness and guilt they felt, yet all the while knowing that their experience was making their mother happy and proud. Determined to make it, she caught the eye of then television music composer Peter Adams who was casting a spot for which Maslich auditioned. He liked her voice so well that he caught one of her live performances and subsequently asked her to sing on a demo he was pitching to Nashville.
Although he earned a master's degree from the University of Alabama's School of Music, Adams was discontent in the academic classical realm and found joy and comfort in the music of his roots. Wishing to be an artist, he began writing his own songs and after combining Maslich's homegrown sensibilities with his own formally trained skill, the two produced some demos. They caught the attention of Robbie Robertson who was so impressed he immediately signed the duo to Dreamworks. Mitchell Froom (Los Lobos, Elvis Costello, Crowded House) entered the picture and along with Adams co-produced the self-titled album, artfully capturing Eastmountainsouth's rich vocal and instrumental harmonies as well as the personal harmony between Adams' and Maslich's musical style. Maslich states, "I'm not taking anything away from the people that I've worked with before, but I think Pete was so up my alley in a sense. When he came to me with a couple of songs, I realized that this was the person I wanted to work with."


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