Smoke & Steel
- Artist: Julia Crowe
- Format: CD
- Release Date:1/27/2009
About the artist: Julia Crowe is a New York-based writer and electric guitarist soloist whose music is both inventive and highly evocative. Paul Barrosse, supervising producer of VH1's Behind the Music series, describes Ms. Crowe's debut album, Smoke & Steel, as 'Amazing and otherworldly. Julia is obviously a Guitar Sorceress.' Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine: "A musical chameleon with an ethereal sound and a uniquely nightshade hue of the blues, each one of Julia's pieces tells it's own story in varied landscapes of mood, texture and dimension brought together by incandescent guitar playing." She has recorded music for Evanstonian, a film documentary retrospective on the works of artist Ron Crawford. Ms. Crowe has authored over a dozen magazine cover stories and features for Classical Guitar Magazine (U.K.), Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Guitar Player, FRETS, Mel Bay's Guitarsessions, Down Beat and Soundboard. A graduate of the University of Chicago with a degree in English Literature, she has performed in New York, London, Los Angeles, Wexford, Ireland and in Paris, where she performed at Notre Dame Cathedral. She has also performed solo in Chicago's Grant Park, the Daley Center Plaza and at DePaul University. She is the recipient of an American Composer's Forum Encore Grant and her music was featured among the works of twelve other composers from around the world in SONIC Channels: Emerging Media Publics, an audio concert hosted by The New School University Media Studies Department and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. About the CD, Smoke & Steel: Stunning instrumentals--each track is one take, one guitarist, no overdubbing. Bursting with searingly nasty blues, punkabilly, dazzling electronica and hauntingly ethereal melodies, each of track of Smoke & Steel is a chapter in a sonic memoir, detailing Ms. Crowe's evolution from a classical guitarist into an electric fingerstyle player original. "Rotten Tomatoes & Cheap Socks" is a tough, thundering bluesy romp that comes straight out of Ms. Crowe's teen-aged forays to Maxwell Street in Chicago. "Black Feather" is a jaw-dropping track of guitar-based electronica fused with impressive fingerwork in a piece that sounds like Hendrix played underwater. "Bats & Umbrellas" was inspired by her stay at the U.K. estate that served as a hangout for Surrealist painters Dali, Magritte and May Ray in the 1930s. "Leaves" is a tender ballad which conveys a lyrical sensitivity in a track that soars and lingers. This album heralds the arrival of a new, reigning guitar goddess unlike any other, with music that promises to leave guitar aficionados swept away by her musical intensity, dynamic range and raw emotional power.
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