Sara Hickman has garnered recognition as a captivating singer/songwriter, vocalist and musician, with artists such as Shawn Colvin, the Flatlanders, Robert Earl Keen, Willie Nelson and many others covering her songs. On her Kirtland Records debut release Shine, Hickman delivers another memorable collection of 10 songs that will take the listener on an intense journey destined to evoke a broad spectrum of emotions.
As Rolling Stone puts it, “Tuneful, clever and carefully observed, Sara Hickman’s material has all the strengths expected of a contemporary Texas songwriter, plus one more – whimsy.” Sensitive and fearless, Shine is another testament to Hickman’s diverse and emotional songwriting capabilities that appeal to a wide range of audiences. Fun, upbeat tracks such as “Tasty Sweet” and “My Cocky Friend” transition to clever observations on today’s society with “Selfish Freak” and “Trouble With Boxes,” giving way to the spiritual, insightful “Rapture” and “You Are Not Alone” before coming full circle with the celebratory title track.
Even more so than with previous albums, Hickman says she took some extra chances in creating Shine, and feels they paid off. “Before, I’ve always had an entire concept—a plan—for a recording in mind, and then written the songs to fit into that ideology. However, with Shine, I just had fun. I wanted to take risks and just go with the flow, starting with simple poems and visions on scraps of paper.”
Grammy award-winning songwriter, Nashville based, Jon Vezner is a tunesmith of rare sensitivity and dry wit. His catalogue of recorded songs, topped by the poignant “Where’ve You Been,” reflects his straight-to-the heart sensibility and emotional awareness. Vezner weaves the particulars of his own feelings with the lives of people he has known into universal themes that deeply touch listeners’ emotions.
Vezner was honored with a Grammy for “Best Country Song” and the Nashville Songwriters Association “Song of the Year” in 1990, for “Where’ve You Been”, the true story of Vezner’s grandparents, co-written with Don Henry, and recorded by Kathy Mattea. “Where’ve You Been” was also honored as “Song of the Year” by the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM).
Grammy Award winner Don Henry’s songs have been recorded by legends like:
Ray Charles, Patti Page and Conway Twitty
By country crooners like:
Gene Watson, John Conlee and B.J. Thomas
By young hit makers of today like:
Blake Shelton, Lonestar and Miranda Lambert …
…and the list goes on.
And he’s shared the stage with performers as diverse as Joey Ramone to Keith Urban.
The wit and wisdom of Don’s songs are widely renowned whether it’s campfire favorites, the hilarious “B.F.D.” and biker lullaby “Harley”, to the wonderfully poignant tribute to Martin Luther King “Beautiful Fool”, and of course his Grammy Award winning country classic “Where’ve You Been”.
Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore
Mollie O’Brien and her husband, guitarist Rich Moore, have for nearly 30 years quietly made it their mission to find, mine and reinvent other artists’ songs. They are geniuses at the craft of interpretation in the way that great singers, since the beginning of popular American music, have made the songs of their era their own. As songwriters they add their own tunes to the canon of American roots music they inhabit and show us they’re completely at home with their musical selves.
Grammy winner, Mollie has long been known as a singer who doesn’t recognize a lot of musical boundaries, and audiences love her fluid ability to make herself at home in any genre while never sacrificing the essence of the song she tackles. She is a singer at the very top of her game who’s not afraid to take risks both vocally and in the material she chooses.
Rich, while known to produce some of the funniest onstage running commentary, is also a powerhouse guitar player who can keep up with O’Brien’s twists and turns from blues to traditional folk to jazz to rock and roll. He creates a band with just his guitar and, as a result, theirs is an equal partnership.
Their latest release is Love Runner on Remington Road Records.