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Inga Swearingen | First Rain

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United States - California

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Folk: Folk-Jazz Moods: Type: Improvisational
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First Rain

by Inga Swearingen

Groovin' sister harmonies, guitar and stand up bass rooted in jazz/folk.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. April Afternoon
4:04 album only
2. Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair
3:59 album only
3. Brick by Brick
4:20 album only
4. Blackbird
3:32 album only
5. Heart and Soul
3:58 album only
6. Two Trees
4:50 album only
7. Rooted
6:01 album only
8. Before the Journey
3:54 album only
9. Indian Summer
4:20 album only
10. Skylark
5:02 album only
11. Visa från Järna
3:37 album only
12. Ample
5:00 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Inga infuses her signature jazz style with a good helping of folk and finds herself right at home.

"First Rain" enters new territory with songs rooted in family, farm, nature and love. It’s an upbeat mixture of smoky, bluesy jazz and beautiful down-home folk, with acoustic layers that bloom like a flower. Deeply personal, most of the songs were written, arranged and produced by Inga and feature silky vocal harmonies with her sister, Britta. The instrumentation is warm and intimate, with electric and acoustic guitar, stand up bass, cello, violin and Inga’s signature scatting solos.

“This album is a departure for me musically and it feels very personal,” says Inga. “The lyrics are about the people, places and times that have been and still are most dear to my heart. The making of it felt like a community barn-raising. Friends contributed and donated to the project adding another layer of gratitude to the music.”

A regular guest on "A Prairie Home Companion," Inga has earned consistently high praise from audiences around the world for her effortlessly natural phrasing, infectious positive spirit and vocal gifts that allow her to juxtapose husky textures with silky lightness.

“Inga has a gorgeous voice, very fresh and evocative and note perfect.”
- Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion



to write a review


Inga Swearingen's best album yet
Compared to her previous two albums, it's clear that "First Rain" is much deeper both personally and intellectually. Nevertheless, Swearingen does have some fun especially with her own rendition of the Beatles' "Blackbird".

The performance is technically flawless. Combined with her great voice, I found that some of the songs (such as "Before the Journey" and "Visa från Järna"). I recommend visiting her website for the video of "April Afternoon", it really made enhanced my enjoyment of the song. The album bears repeated listening very well. It's great to listen to while driving, yet when I pay closer attention I discover something new each time.

Ventura Rock

A Great Album
I’ve had this album for a couple of months and I just bought two more to give to friends. Inga’s voice is relaxing but also can be whimsical. As her voice floats it takes me away. This is great music to relax to – outside by a pool, maybe overlooking a beautiful view or sitting next to a fire. On several cuts, she is joined by her sister, although at first I thought it was an overdub. They have had an incredible blend. The album itself has great acoustics, is well mixed, and features excellent musicians. She adds a fresh twist to two old standards. I found all the songs growing on me. I’m looking forward to what’s next!

Brian W.

First Rain is simply the most beautiful album I have ever listened to. Period. The music draws you in and transports you.

Dr. Mark A. Goral

Superb ! Superb ! Superb !
Inga Swearingen's new CD called First Rain comes to us from a highly talented, vocalese kind of gal. Inga has created a new album with tinges of folk, jazz, and pop. Her individuality in song choices is impeccable. Inga, where did your lyricist talents come from? They are amazing. I invite all of your accompanists home with me so I can hear them play music for me all day long. Inga and her cohorts have really done it this time. I suggest that lovers of all music forms pick up this CD and just smile and be happy. It is a gem.

billofwrites / Los Angeles

"Lyrical...luminous...and just plain lovely..."
There are only two possibilities: you've either never heard of Inga Swearingen...or you LOVE her. So if you buy this CD, get ready to be smitten.

On her new album, she once again sings in her incandescent "invite-you-in" voice...but with a new-found confidence, not just in her pitch-perfect instrument, but in her songwriting and arranging.

Inga likes to call her approach "Swedish farm jazz." Fair enough. Though this would have to be the most musically sophisticated farm in the world. A big-city guy myself, I'd prefer to call it "moonlight in a Martini." So smooth...but with a potency that catches up on you.

A new warmth suffuses every track...from her strikingly heartfelt and revealing originals...to her inventive re-imagining of songbook evergreens.

She still takes risks...occasional 5/4 time, Brazilian / folk rhythms, chord substitutions, unexpected tempos -- but with such a soft, un-show-y and relaxed confidence, you don't realize what just hit you (until you go back and start counting) -- and frankly, you won't care. You'll just smile and go, "Yeah."

Props to harmonizing sister Britta, to the beautiful contributions of guitarist Larry Koonse and bassist extraordinaire Darek Oles, and to the incomparable guitarist Jeff Miley.

So...build a fire. Pour a glass of wine. Put on "First Rain"...and "Yeah."

(By the way, if you become smitten, too...well, you were warned.)