Angel Band | Bless My Sole

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Country: Americana Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Type: Vocal
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Bless My Sole

by Angel Band

More copies arriving this week! The female vocal trio's new album delivers their signature rootsy, bluesy Americana songs through "distinct voices, gorgeous harmonies and extraordinary players" (Elmore magazine).
Genre: Country: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Hope Is On The Way
3:58 album only
2. Same Boat
3:29 album only
3. Didn't See It Coming (When The Levee Broke)
4:35 album only
4. King of Nothing
4:35 album only
5. Long Gone Got Away Lucky
4:14 album only
6. (I Feel) Lucky
3:51 album only
7. Boots of Guadalupe
4:31 album only
8. Fly Away Home
4:26 album only
9. Don't Let Me Down
3:41 album only
10. Black Tar Sway
3:27 album only
11. Deeds We Have Done
3:28 album only
12. Go Ahead and Go
4:49 album only
13. Bless My Soul
6:00 album only


Album Notes
From the Santa Monica Pier to Levon’s Midnight Ramble and with two solid years of touring under their belt (since their 2008 release of "With Roots & Wings"), Angel Band has expanded their following ten-fold. No audience has been left unmoved by Angel Band’s all out, “take no prisoners” stage demeanor, signature rootsy, bluesy Americana songs, super back-up band and the “dig in” vocals of leader and lyricist Nancy Josephson, Kathleen Weber, and Aly Paige. Performing as opening act and backing singers for Josephson’s husband, world-class roots musician David Bromberg at Bonnaroo, Merlefest, the Philadelphia Folk Festival and other high profile events, Angel Band has been stepping out and playing many a prestigious concert venue on their own. This band is winning over many new listeners in their travels (voted one of the top 10 Favorite Bands at Bonnaroo), breaking out road-tested crowd-pleasers and singing a big new batch of original material.

Produced by Nancy and Angel Band backing member Marc Moss, their newest release, "Bless My Sole, " is co-produced by legendary musician/producer Lloyd Maines (Dixie Chicks, Jimmie Dale Gilmore). The trio’s vocals on "Bless My Sole" soar through the primarily acoustic accompaniment by Moss (mandolin, guitars, accordion), backing band mainstay Bob Taylor (bass) and stellar guests; David Bromberg (guitars), Nate Grower (fiddle), Bukka Allen (accordion) and Lloyd Maines (pedal steel, guitar and banjo).

Josephson’s creative and, at times, startling lyrics, set to music by Moss, are a powerful, soulful mixture of the secular and spiritual. The rousing CD opener, “Hope is on the Way,” was inspired by Barack Obama’s presidential run, taking on additional meaning after the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, where Nancy has strong artistic and personal ties. (“Hope is on the Way” was filmed with Angel Band and Haitian rap group Trezo and can be found on YouTube and

The deceptively up-beat tempo “Didn’t See It Coming (When the Levee Broke”), led by Nancy, unfolds a small story about a boy, a radio playing a Loretta Lynn tune, and the odd moments that can change a life. The rootsy blues of “Same Boat” recounts the American immigration experience; we all want “the same things at the end of the day” and we are all “in the same boat now.” Angel Band’s boot stomping attitude triggered “Long Gone Got Away Lucky,” a dramatic portrait of everyone’s favorite cowgirl hero, Annie Oakley.

"Bless My Sole" finally captures two of Angel Band’s in-concert audience favorites: the heartfelt, yearning “Boots of Guadalupe,” an account of Nancy’s – and many women’s – true love and devotion to footwear (particularly cowboy boots), and a jawdropping voluptuous rendition of the Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down,” led by Kathleen. There’s also the raucous “(I Feel) Lucky,” fronted by Aly, a fiddle-infused celebration of gambling’s giddy, irresistible appeal. More somber notes are rung on the delicate “Fly Away Home,” a song of mourning, and “Black Tar Sway,” a Tom Waits-influenced account of the seduction of drug addiction. “Deeds We Have Done” was written as a rebuttal to John Milton’s 17th Century epic poem, “Paradise Lost,” confirming “the choice is ours, Amen.”

As one fan recently remarked after an Angel Band concert “wow…all those great songs and not a bad one in the
bunch.” True. Anyone who likes the “sigh-to-a-shout” vocal chops, lyrical grit and real deal instrumental abilities of
the Dixie Chicks and Lucinda Williams (along with the soulful heart of Bonnie Raitt) will definitely be satisfied
keeping Angel Band a favorite on their play list.


Angel Band coalesced only seven years ago. And sure enough, there’s a delightful back story that explains how they got here:

Introducing Angel Band’s founder, lyricist, singer, Nancy Josephson. . .

Born in New York City, “I don’t ever remember not singing,” says Nancy, and was “thumping” on an acoustic guitar at six. With musical influences ranging from The Monkees and The Supremes to bluegrass and country, she sang her way through school, forming garage bands and girl groups “with anyone who was cool.” She learned to play stand-up bass and helped form the all-girl bluegrass group, the Buffalo Gals, in upstate New York, staying with them from 1972 to 1976. Her next stop was California, to live with the increasingly legendary multi-instrumentalist, solo artist and session man David Bromberg, whom she’d met in 1970. For the next several years, she performed with a number of well-known bluegrass and “new grass” performers, including Arlo Guthrie, Peter Rowan and the Free Mexican Airforce, Laurie Lewis and Kathy Kallick (of the Good Ol’ Persons), and The David Bromberg Big Band. “I had a knack of getting fired from every incarnation of David’s band due to my unique inability to take direction from my partner, who was also my boss,” she confesses. She also sang back-up with Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, and Phoebe Snow, among others.

Meanwhile, Bromberg was burning out from the tour-record-tour cycle of his solo career in the ’70s. In 1980, David and Nancy moved to Chicago, where he studied violin making while Nancy sang commercial jingles, joined The Annettes as the only Caucasian in a 30-voice women’s choir, raised two young children and switched to visual arts as her main creative outlet.

Nancy’s self-taught art projects – particularly her elaborately embellished “art cars” – earned her a strong reputation in the world of “outsider art”; her decorated school bus, “The Gallery A Go Go” has become part of the permanent collection of the American Visionary Art Museum, and her sculpture work has been displayed in venues from the Smithsonian Institute to the Halle St. Pierre in Paris. About 15 years ago, Nancy started visiting Haiti to meet artists there who were working in media that interested her – sequins and beads. This interaction led to her writing a book – “Spirits and Sequins: Vodou Flags of Haiti” (Schiffer) – being initiated into the Vodou (voodoo) religion and jumpstarted Nancy’s songwriting career: “I figured that after the book, a 3+ minute song wouldn’t be that hard.” (Nancy and Angel Band have raised thousands of dollars for Haitian relief efforts so far this year.)

When the city of Wilmington, Delaware beckoned David and Nancy to become artists in residence, Nancy initially refrained from joining the bluegrass sessions David organized there, working on her visual arts, until Bromberg started raving about a mother and sister vocal duo that might accommodate a third voice. “Mainly to get David off [her] back,” Nancy attended the next jam and was hooked by the resultant three-part harmonies. Thus began Angel Band.

After the other 2/3 of the trio moved to Texas a few years later, Nancy pressed David (guitar) and Bob Taylor (bass) into back-up duties and started recruiting her own co-vocalists. After various shifts in personnel over their first two CDs (including 2008’s "With Roots & Wings" on Appleseed), the vocal frontline on "Bless My Sole" consists of Nancy, Kathleen Weber, a four-year veteran of the band “whose deep, bluesy voice seems almost out of place in her small frame,” says Nancy, and newest member Aly Paige, whose opera training has been subverted by “her improvisational abilities, which makes every night an unexpected joy ride vocally.”

Additional musical highlights are sparked by multi-instrumentalist Marc Moss, David Bromberg (guitars), David Bromberg Quartet band member and solo artist Nate Grower (fiddle), and co-producer Lloyd Maines (guitars, banjo). "Bless My Sole" is a delicious, rootsy, bluesy stew delivered with a dash of hot sauce, along with other essential acoustic ingredients to what some call “Americana” … we call it “Angel Band music.” To leave the last words to Nancy: “Our songs speak to who we are as a band: strong, grateful and full of power.” And angels never lie.



to write a review

Tony Mastrianni, MEDIA GENERAL INC

This is an outstanding follow-up to the bands ’08 debut entitled WITH ROOTS &WING. Produced by Nancy and Angel Band backing member Marc Moss, “BLESS MY SOLE ” flirts with greatness. This precious artifact is co-produced by legendary musician/producer Lloyd Maines (Dixie Chicks, Jimmie Dale Gilmore). The trio’s vocals glisten and soar through the primarily acoustic accompaniment by Moss (mandolin, guitars, accordion), backing band mainstay Bob Taylor (bass) and stellar guest; David Bromberg (guitars), Nate Grower (fiddle), Bukka Allen (accordion) and Lloyd Maines (pedal steel, guitar and banjo). I listened to the CD several times. It is an alarmingly mature and confident work. While the aforementioned debut CD was auspicious, the new album has more variation and is less straight forward. .Having producer legend Lloyd Maines behind you sure helps. One of the girls is married to David Bromberg. So it´s kind of a family affair. I hear shades of Indigo Girls, Bonnie Raitt and Burns Sisters in their music. David Bromberg and his band are all over the album and that’s a very good thing! New member Aly Paige shows her opera-like vocals. Musical highlights are sparked by multi-instrumentalist Marc Moss, Bromberg guitar playing and his Quartet band members—all extremely competent. Solo artist, Mate Grower (fiddle) and Maines (guitar, banjo) also make major contributions. It’s roots music with some magical harmonies by the triplet front of the trio of astounding woman singers, and seasoned by fresh instrumentation supplied by the stellar performance of the supporting cast. Thanks to Mr. David Bromberg and cohorts, this’s like getting two albums in one – richly textured folk music coupled to stunning vocal harmonies. The arrangements are spectacular. Watch out Dixie chicks, these gals are my pick for the next big female folk/country thing. One can’t say enough about the maturity and vast accomplishments they made in just two albums in as many years. Also impressive is the fact that the material is diversified. There are a slew of strikingly good originals and some clever renditions, such as “Deeds We Have Done”, a response to legendary 17th Century poet John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”; and, the Beatles tune “Don’t Let Me Down” with a brazen yet sweet lead vocal by Kathleen. It’s hard to pick a favorite of the original comps, but I’ll go with “I Feel Lucky”, a sizzling fiddle track with extraordinary vocals and accompaniment. This may be the best folk album this far in 2010. I’m hoping Appleseed with release another Eric Andersen album, as well as more from the BUFFY SAINT-MARIE catalog. Till then enjoy this ravishing CD. Appleseed is a musician’s label and a dream come true for folk aficionados. Nancy, Kathleen and Aly are indeed the leading triplets in the category of improvisational folk singing! And the music is A+ throughout. 5 STARS