Courtney Marie Andrews
There’s a new generation of women burning down the Nashville music industry. Powerful voices like Margo Price and Nikki Lane have been rewriting the script, owning their own songs and vision. Now, add to this list Washington State Americana songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews. After a decade spent at the height of the music industry, touring solo and with large pop bands, she realized her desire for a place to come home to. She found that in a small rural town in the deep forests of Washington State. There, she posted up at a local bar, slinging drinks, basking in the simplicity and reflection it allowed. She has emerged in 2016 with a new fire on Honest Life, melding indie-folk and Americana with a rebellious country flavor reminiscent of her Southwestern roots.
Releasing August 19th through Mama Bird Recording Co. (US/World) and Loose Music (Europe), Honest Life is the culmination of Andrews’ life on the road, recently playing lead guitar as part of Damien Jurado’s band, absorbing the stories, traditions, and heartbreaks along the way. The songs on Honest Life touch on personal coming-of-age stories (“Rookie Dreaming”), the stunning beauty of resiliency (“How Quickly Your Heart Mends”), take-no-shit self-determination anthems (“Irene”), and thoughts on how to accept emotions like loneliness and vulnerability in your life (“Table for One)”. Andrews’ heart-wrenching songwriting and crystal-clear vocal style are as captivating as they are invigorating. With a line like “The jukebox is playin’ a sad country song / For all the ugly Americans / Now I feel like one of them / Dancin’ alone and broken by the freedom,” on “How Quickly Your Heart Mends”, it’s no wonder Ryan Adams called Andrews “a phenomenal songwriter.” True to her own vision, Andrews produced the entire record herself and recorded it at Litho Studios in Seattle with recording engineer Floyd Reitsma, whose recent credits include Noah Gundersen and Pearl Jam.
Beyond her songwriting and production, Andrews’ classic voice–one part Judy Collins, one part Neko Case–contains a deep yearning, a reaching for something that may or may not have ever truly been, something that may yet still come to pass, a hope for something larger than ourselves: an ideal. The album is Courtney Marie Andrews’ ode to, and constant search for, this unadulterated archetype. It is a personal journey wrapped in the fading red, white and blue of lost days and lost innocence. A newfound light in that darkness, Honest Life is both forward facing and confident, while genuinely reverent.