Alice Howe w/Freebo
“Whether a fan of blues, roots, Americana, soul or folk music, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t get a copy of Visions the very moment it’s released.”
– AMERICAN BLUES SCENE
“Howe not only has a luminous alto voice full of warmth and delectable nuance, but she also writes smart and affecting lyrics flavored with wit and irreverence.”
– PATRIOT LEDGER
Alice Howe, the rising voice of modern folk in the United States, is set to release her debut LP, Visions on May 17th. Produced by iconic fretless bassist, Freebo (Bonnie Raitt, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Loudon Wainwright III, Maria Muldaur, Dr. John), the duo will perform on May 18th at McCabe’s in Santa Monica, CA in celebration of the album’s release. Ahead of Visions’ official debut, the song “You Just Never Know,” premiered on The Bluegrass Situation. Visions took Howe from her native Boston to Bakersfield, CA where it was recorded with a who’s who of west coast musicians.
A modern love letter to 60s and 70s folk and timeless blues, Visions pays homage without succumbing to imitation, and offers an intimate snapshot of a young artist discovering her own power. The album features a collection of new originals including “Twilight,” “Getaway Car” and Alice’s interpretations of iconic songs in her family’s vast record collection such as Muddy Waters’ “Honey Bee,” “Too Long at the Fair,” first covered by Bonnie Raitt and selections from Bob Dylan and Taj Mahal.
The writing and recording of Visions encouraged Alice to work outside her framework of acoustic arrangements and with Freebo’s guidance, the duo has incorporated electric instruments, inventive percussion techniques, a Hammond B-3 and a horn section to lend a big band groove to some of the new songs. Alice and Freebo were joined in the studio by electric guitarist Fuzzbee Morse, keyboardist John ‘JT’ Thomas and John Molo on percussion. Each of these west coast musicians has played or recorded with artists such as Bruce Hornsby, Lou Reed, Richie Havens, Phil Lesh, Jackson Browne, Tracy Chapman and Nick Jameson. Visions truly captures a young artist developing her collaborative musical voice.
American Blues Scene offers early praise for the album. “Sometimes we’re lucky enough to catch an up-and-coming artist as they fly into our radar. This is one of those times. Not only is Alice Howe a gifted songwriter and performer, she has the wherewithal to surround herself with artists that were actually on the scene of the genre she has chosen to showcase. Whether a fan of blues, roots, Americana, soul or folk music, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t get a copy of Visions the very moment it’s released.”
While Visions marks a stunning full-length debut, Alice Howe has been marked as one to watch in recent times. She released an EP entitled You’ve Been Away So Long in 2017, which bowed on the FOLK-DJ chart with a #1 Most-Played Song, “Homeland Blues.” In addition to being a NewSong Music Songwriting and Performance Competition Finalist in 2018, she spent the fall of that year on a critically acclaimed tour of the UK and the Netherlands with Freebo. Howe is also a veteran of the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance and FAR-West Folk Alliance conferences, where she has performed at formal showcases. Earlier this year, she was selected as a Kerrville New Folk Finalist.
FREEBO is an award-winning singer/songwriter (2008 Posi Award for “Best Song”in The Most Uniting Category, The ‘07 Los Angeles Music Awards “Best Folk Artist”, Winner ‘07 South Florida Songwriting Contest, finalist in 2009 The Great American Songwriting Contest), but he is probably best known as a Folk-Rock-Blues Icon.
For 30 years, Freebo played bass on recordings and toured with some of the great artists of our time–people like Bonnie Raitt (10 years), John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, CSN, Maria Muldaur, Ringo Starr, Michelle Shocked, Neil Young, Loudon Wainwright III, Dr. John, and many others. He has also appeared on Saturday Night Live, Midnight Special, Muppets Tonight, and in concert with the legendary Spinal Tap. It was his yearning for more creative expression, however, that drove Freebo to begin a process of deep inner discovery, and this has led to his successful transition as a singer/songwriter.
The Philadelphia Inquirer said of Freebo’s latest CD, “Before the Separation flows with a compassionate spirit rooted in 60’s ideals, packs a gently urgent relevancy, and is delivered with engaging earnestness.” Freebo’s songs embrace stylistic elements from all the many musical genres he has played throughout his career, but they are uniquely his own. He even has an entire CD of dog songs (DOG PEOPLE) dedicated to the human/canine connection. And in his live shows, performed on acoustic guitar, Freebo creates a unique, intimate, and inclusive atmosphere with his audience.