“A tiny woman with a huge presence.”
Sylvia Rose Novak is a musician in a class all her own. Music has always been a facet of her life, so much so that her parents remember that she started to sing before she could talk. According to her mother, as a small child Novak not only could follow a tune but also could harmonize, hitting pitches perfectly.
Novak has worked a multitude of jobs through the years: horse training, amateur boxing, fitness instruction, turf grass research worker, and, as she puts it, she’s “tended a hell of a lot of bar.” She took this variety of jobs as much out of curiosity as necessity, and when she first started performing music, she viewed it as just one job among many. The difference, however, was that Sylvia Rose Novak quickly came to realize that creating and performing music would become her lifelong passion.
Raised on a steady diet of folk staples including Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Joan Baez courtesy of her mother and classic country like Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Eddy Arnold from her father – and also a mix of show tunes, Irish Tenors, Bee Gees, and Moody Blues thrown in for good measure — Novak grew up surrounded by music. Her mother played guitar and both her parents enjoyed singing.
“Kierston White, a Shawnee, Oklahoma native, has a brand new CD. ‘Don’t Write Love Songs’ is a collection of self-penned tunes. There is no cookie cutter approach here.
She wields her guitar like a woodsman’s axe, and in softer moments like a carving knife. Her dynamics are well-placed. The occasional heavy vibrato of her voice quivers with the sensibility of a broken heart breaking forward through the fog and mist of lost love and new freedom.