There are tons of people doing the indie folk thing these days; some do it with skill and imagination, some should have their banjos smashed to bits Animal House-style. Athens, GA-based singer/songwriter Madeline falls firmly in the first category. Sounding more like Sandy Denny than Joanna Newsom and backed by a band of musicians who give her plenty of support, Madeline's vocals have a lovely rich tone and her words ring true throughout the recently released Black Velvet. We asked her what she was listening to as she worked on making the record....
First,here's Madeline and her band doing a track from the album:
Karl Blau- "Nature's Got Away"
I went on tour with Karl a couple summers ago and walked away with this little ear-worm in my head. I sing it in the shower and in the car mostly. I love the bird imagery. "The mockingbird eats the black widow spider piece by piece to eventually hide her." That's such a good line! Right after that tour I started writing the song "Dead Moon" and low and behold there are crows everywhere in that song.
Nana Grizol - "Circles Round the Moon"
I use to play bass in Nana Grizol and this was my favorite song. Mostly because it was a whole band sing-along and that was a hoot. When I started writing "Please Don't Put Me Down" and "Hurry Up Pronto" I realized that they were totally based on Nana Grizol bass lines. Whoops! I should probably put "All of my friends in Athens" as an inspiration category because it's impossible to watch someone play 20 times in a year and not snag something from them.
Dead Moon - "Walking on my Grave"
When my ex-boyfriend/former drummer and I were on tour we pretty much only listened to Tom Petty, Neil Young, Dead Moon and The Hot New Mexicans. He was an awesome DJ. Fast forward a couple years and I'm hanging out at a yuppie's house having the worst time ever. The host was talking about his stupid expensive bug zapper for his golf-course lawn and the guy's wife was making snarky little comments about my age. I was just standing there thinking, "How the hell did it get to this? I'm fake smiling while this asshole I don't even know is judging me? What have I become?" The image of Dead Moon's famous icon came to me and reminded me of all the badassery I was capable of and no longer participating in. Thanks, Dead Moon!
Willie Nelson - "Me and Paul"
One time we brought a roadie named Paul with us on tour. We covered this song every single night in his honor. The song "I miss my friend" is straight up ripped off from this tune. It's basically the same song.
Neutral Milk Hotel - "Oh Comely"
This was the song that made me want to write. It was like a freaking lightning bolt when I first heard it in high school.