It’s not easy to pin Megg Farrell down. A suture between various worlds, times, and cultures, Megg moves between countries and genres, but never once gives up one for another. Her upcoming record, Megg Farrell & Friends, out April 5, is no exception. Primarily informed by glowing Americana refrains, Megg also brings an intimate knowledge of jazz to her new album. The result is an intricate record equally seeped in both fingerpicking roots and smoky café blues.
Growing up an indie kid in mid-2000’s New York City, Megg has long been privy to the weird realm of America’s countercultures. She was influenced as a teenager by the energizing riot grrrl of Sleater-Kinney and the otherworldly rock of Beirut and Animal Collective. “I was big into indie rock back then,” says Megg. “There was also a great music scene in New Jersey where I would go to backyard shows. The band Titus Andronicus is from that scene, which is how I ended up being on their record this past year.”
From there, Megg found herself river rafting in the South, where she was introduced to a new kind of fringe culture: picking bluegrass around the campfire at night. “Living in a tent, contemplating the mountains, and playing with the local bluegrass musicians was life changing for me.” It was at this time that Megg founded The Whiskey Social, a band that travelled around the East Coast in an old Sedan, playing festivals and anti-folk house shows. “I would play these rowdy solo shows, then one friend joined, and then another,” said Megg. “For a while, it was just a big group of friends screaming my songs and hitting instruments. Slowly, it became more and more of a band.”
Though Megg had created a solid music community on the East Coast, when the opportunity arose for her to study jazz in France, she didn’t hesitate. Always delving enthusiastically into new circumstances, Megg began to sing fluently in French and even collaborated with her professors. “Paris is where I learned to love jazz,” Megg said about her time abroad, where she wrote songs by the Seine after the subways closed for the night.
However, Megg had never wanted to stay in Paris forever. “France can’t compete with the music that can be found in America and that’s why, no matter what this country does, I can never quit it,” Megg admits. After traveling with her jazz outfit, Sweet Megg and the Wayfarers, around the southern states, Megg found that she was growing more and more attached to the region’s music. Influenced by classic country stars such as Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris, Megg founded Megg Farrell and Friends.
A comet darting from one city and project to another, Megg’s vibrant energy is the driving force behind her releases. From Paris to New York to most towns in between, Megg has always kept Americana close. “The music in America is too good, it’s a drug,” says Megg. “I’m addicted to how good the musicians are here. It gives me a never-ending drive to be better.” Never forgetting her roots, Megg Farrell & Friends is a testament to her passion for Country, and the countless memories and musicians who helped her fall in love with it.
1. Feelin’ Single
2. Lovesick Harmony
3. New Orleans Waltz
4. When I Learned To Sing
5. Tulsa Queen
6. New York Love Song
7. Ooh Las Vegas
8. Blues In The Womb
9. If I Were A Woman