Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Jan 30th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Flying Solo

event AoifeAoife O’Donovan breaks away with debut solo release

Aoife O’Donovan is best known for her work with the bluegrass band Crooked Still and the folk trio Sometymes Why. She’s also performed with the Boston Pops Orchestra and appeared on Yo-Yo Ma’s 2011 record The Goat Rodeo Sessions. But this past summer, she went in a new direction and released her first solo record, Fossils. For O’Donovan, the move was all about timing.

“It was a long time in the making,” she says. “I’d been thinking about [making a solo record] for quite some time and it made all the sense in the world. The songs were ready. I was ready.”

But despite feeling prepared, O’Donovan faced a whole new set of challenges while making her solo effort.

“I’ve made albums as part of a band before,” she says, “but it was a totally different thing to get in there and be in charge and have my name on it.”

Fossils is a diverse musical offering. “Lay My Burden Down,” for example, starts as a simple folk track before expanding into more of an Americana number. “Briar Rose” has a traditional bluegrass feel to it, and “Thursday’s Child” and “Red & White & Blue & Gold” are more in the vein of country pop-rock. That variety wasn’t exactly planned.

“It ended up sounding a lot more country than I had expected going into it,” O’Donovan admits. “But I think that was because we had the amazing Charlie Rose guest on pedal steel. Initially I was like, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll get him to play on a song or two,’ but then he ended up being on almost everything!”

While performing with bands, O’Donovan learned the importance of going with the flow. But when it comes to songwriting, she’s found success by being methodical.

“Some friends of mine in Brooklyn were doing these kamikaze kinds of songwriting workshops where they’d try to write 10 songs in like three hours,” she says with a laugh. “It’s funny because sometimes they’ll actually come up with some really cool songs, but for me, writing songs has to happen a bit more on my own terms.”

Writing and recording Fossils ended up being an intensely personal experience for O’Donovan, who was both excited and terrified by the process.

“The music on this album is something that is very close to me,” she says. “It’s the first album I’ve ever made that has been entirely original music. It’s a scary thing to do because to put out these 10 little snapshots in the world, whether they’re autobiographical or not, it is a snapshot of who I am as an artist, as a creator, as a writer, so it’s definitely different than anything I’ve worked on before.”

O’Donovan says she has a special set in store for fans on Dec. 11 at Kuumbwa Jazz.

“That’s going to be a pretty different experience for people who have heard the album,” she says. “It’s going to be the unplugged acoustic versions of these songs and more. I haven’t done much solo work since the album came out, so I’m looking forward to this. [Playing solo] changes the dynamic of the songs and makes for a more intimate experience.” 


Aoife O’Donovan will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 at Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $20/adv, $23/door. For more information, call 427-2227.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Jeffrey’s Restaurant

Why quick and friendly service matters at a local diner.

 

If you didn't live in Santa Cruz, where would you be living?

I would live in Kauai because the water is warmer, and I just love it there. Maureen Niehaus, Santa Cruz, Dental Assistant

 

Clos LaChance Wines

Pinot Noir 2012

 

Striking Gold

A taste of Soquel Vineyards’ five gold medal-winning Pinots