Lucy Billings | No Other Road

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No Other Road

by Lucy Billings

"No Other Road" earned a five star rating from Paul Riley of Country Music People (UK), who said, “I just can’t find anything wrong with this superb disc. The songs, vocals, backing-tracks, production, and sound mix are all near to perfection.”
Genre: Country: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Let's Not and Say We Did
4:06 $0.99
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2. As We Fly
4:55 $0.99
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3. Rear View Mirror
6:08 $0.99
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4. Daddy's Last Drive
5:24 $0.99
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5. Blue Highway
4:44 $0.99
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6. From the Bottom Looking Down
6:14 $0.99
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7. Goodbye Baby
4:11 $0.99
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8. My Caballo
5:35 $0.99
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9. Crossroad
4:02 $0.99
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10. You Make It Easy
4:32 $0.99
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11. The Gift
4:44 $0.99
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12. Leavin' You
1:06 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
It’s no surprise that audiences connect strongly with Lucy Billings. Reviewers have praised the “warmth and honesty in Lucy’s songs that make her music seem closer to the listener” and her “knack for writing songs that make you feel like you’re part of the story”. Her music has been described as “a breath of fresh air” and her songs, authentic and captivating, with elegant melodies and “incisive lyrics that cut to the heart of the subject”. Adding to Billings’ compelling songs is her pure and lovely voice and engaging rapport with her listeners.

Since its release in 2011, Billings’ second album, No Other Road has earned rave reviews for its lovely blend of original Americana and folk music. The CD was produced by acclaimed producer John Jennings, best known for his work with Mary Chapin Carpenter. In addition to his own talents on guitar, piano, bass, percussion and harmony vocals, Jennings enlisted an “A-team” of studio musicians to add a wonderful contributions to the album’s sound, including Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Lloyd Maines (pedal steel guitar), Brent Truitt (mandolin), Jon Carroll (piano) and Robbie MacGruder (drums). The CD earned a five star rating from Paul Riley of Country Music People (UK), who said, “I just can’t find anything wrong with this superb disc. The songs, vocals, backing-tracks, production, and sound mix are all near to perfection.”

No Other Road climbed into the top 100 on the Americana radio chart for 3 consecutive weeks, was also among Top Albums for 2011 (#196) on the Folk Radio Airplay Chart and was #1 on the Roots Music Report: Folk/Internet radio chart for 2 weeks, #2 for 10 weeks and in the top 20 for 18 months. The CD was also in the Top Albums and Billings was among the Top Artists on the Folk Radio Airplay Chart for both May and June of 2011. Every track on No Other Road has received airplay. Reviewers have been quick to point out that while its celebrated cast of musicians helped to draw immediate attention to No Other Road, the CD’s subsequent climb to Top Albums” on the Folk Radio Airplay Charts as well as the Top 100 on Americana Radio Charts “is as much a reflection of the energy, intelligence, and open-hearted style” of Billings (Folkworks.org).

Billings has been hailed by the press as one who “tells great stories via song” (Vintage Guitar), whose “convincing ways with words carry over like a dream” (Hittin The Note), and who “writes with the confident air of a practiced storyteller” (Wildy’s World). ICON Fetch placed No Other Road in its “Sweet 16- The Best Albums of 2011 and called the CD a “great listen by an up and coming artist”

On the video circuit, Billings was a featured artist for the Alternate Root magazine; and her animated music video of the CD track, “My Caballo” was added to the lineup for Season 2 of Alternate Root TV, syndicated in over 60 markets, and was one of 20 nominees for The Alternate Root 1st Annual Reader’s Choice Awards in the category of Best American Roots Video of 2011.

Billings’ unique story-songs have grown out of a very untraditional background. After spending her childhood in the desert outside of Tucson, Arizona and on a ranch in Wyoming, she has been, in turn, a cowgirl…a research scientist…and attorney…as well as, since the age of 10, a strummer and a singer, writing her first song when she was 11. Billings says, “Since that first song, the writing has been the thread that has held my life together…it’s like breathing to me.”
During the past year, Billings performed in California, Arizona, Oregon, Wyoming, Tennessee and Virginia and has been in the studio recording her third CD of original songs (produced by John Jennings) for release in 2013.

More info at www.lucybillings.com


MORE ON WHAT THE REVIEWERS SAY ABOUT "NO OTHER ROAD"......

“When Lucy Billings’ crystal clear voice kicked in I thought this might be a special disc…. All through this album are some wonderful lyrics…. (and) John Jennings has done a stunning job. The sound mix is wonderful, one of the very best of recent years.

“As things start to wind down, I don’t want Lucy Billings to stop singing. I just can’t find anything wrong with this superb disc. The songs, vocals, backing-tracks, production, and sound mix are all near to perfection. 2011 has got off to a wonderful start.” (5 STARS) - Paul Riley, COUNTRY MUSIC PEOPLE

“Her convincing ways with words carry over like a dream…. Billings’ easygoing manner, the somewhat Gaelic lilt to her clear voice, and her Arizona desert upbringing afford her songs on “No Other Road’ an unusual attractiveness…. pay attention from here on out to the pretty, flame-tressed Lucy Billings.” - Tom Clarke, HITTIN’ THE NOTE

“Billings' interplay with Jennings is oft complex and compelling…And when I say the crimson-haired chanteuse warbles sweetly, I'm not joking; it's almost like your mother telling stories to send you off to sleep with sugar and a smile…Everyone is in fine fettle throughout No Other Road, and thus it's damnably hard to pick a top contender from the pack…so I won't.” - Mark S. Tucker, FAME

"Billings has a knack for writing songs that make you feel like you are part of the story, yet she injects enough melody to keep them memorable.... real music played by real people.... the instrumentation is tasty throughout, the production is warm...earthy and inviting. "No Other Road" is a great listen by an up and coming artist." - Tony Peters, ICON FETCH

“A boomer with a heart and a populist bent, Billings is the package. A right on rocking singer/songwriter…. If we gave out stars, we’d give her five out of five. A winner.” - Chris Spector, MIDWEST RECORD

“Lucy Billings has created a charming album of personal reflections concerning her life’s twists and turns. She is a country artist pure and simple. Her vocals are clear and can soar when necessary and create an intimate feel when required…as she draws upon various experiences from her personal life journey.” - David Bowling, BLOGCRITICS.ORG

“Incisive lyrics that cut to the heart of each subject… Lucy Billings writes with the confident air of a practiced story-teller. Her voice puts you at ease right out of the gate, and the arrangements she crafts for her songs are complete, complex…. Without pretense, Billings lays out her songs almost as if she’s talking to her best friend…. gives her performances an air of authenticity that can’t be bought.” - Wildy Haskell, WILDY’S WORLD

“The perfect-for-dancing ‘Goodbye Baby’ is a great example of her knowing and appreciating the finer details of the genre.” - Chris M. Junior, MEDLEYVILLE

“Combining unique, real-life stories with inviting vocals, great harmonies and an all-star cast of musicians…’No Other Road’ boasts some exquisite arrangements… Billings’ songs are filled with energy, optimism, compassion, courage and humor…But my favorite part of this album is Billings’ voice. It’s just so easy to listen to…. an authentic, pure and lovely voice that literally invites you into the singer’s heart.” - J. Morris, THE BARD CHORD

MORE ABOUT HOW LUCY CONNECTED WITH JOHN JENNINGS TO PRODUCE "NO OTHER ROAD":

In the spring of 2009, armed with a collection of new songs, Billings was eager to record an album. A fan of the music of Mary Chapin Carpenter, she was well acquainted with the talents of Chapin-Carpenter’s long-time producer and instrumentalist, John Jennings. As Billings was contemplating how to approach Jennings (since she did not know him personally), her life took an unexpected turn. The company where she worked was acquired and the new company terminated her position. She recalls, “As I was driving home after the termination meeting, it hit me that this was the second time that I had lost my job after making a decision to record an album. I figured that it was a sign of some sort and that I should just go for it, so when I got home, I looked up Jennings’ website and sent him a note”. She was thrilled when Jennings telephoned several days later and expressed an interest in working with her on the new album. Dates were set for recording in the summer at Jennings’ studio in Charlottesville, Virginia. Billings says, “It was a wonderful experience to work with John...he had a plan, everything went so smoothly and it was lots of fun”.

MORE ABOUT THE SONGS ON "NO OTHER ROAD"

Many of the songs on "No Other Road come from real life experiences and showcase Lucy's knack for making the stories come to life. Lucy describes the inspiration for some of the songs on the CD.

“Daddy’s Last Drive” is about the day that my dad passed away from heart attack while driving his Subaru in rural Indiana, and the car continued to travel across the countryside for several miles, finally ending up in a beautiful meadow. I wrote the song to capture the amazing story and more importantly, as a tribute to my dad- a man who lived life and left this world in his own way.

“Let’s Not and Say We Did” tells the story of how my very charming mother figured out a diplomatic way to say “no” to us kids. I thought it would be funny to describe how one could use that saying in grown-up situations.

“My Caballo” describes a series of humorous escapades involving horses that I have known at various times in my life. The song is also featured in a animated music video that can be found on my website.

I wrote “Rear View Mirror” about losing my job in 2009 and figuring out where to go from there. “From the Bottom Looking Down” was written after an attempt to refinance my house came to a screeching halt when I lost my job. I had jumped through all the hoops and was about to sign the papers and then I had to go in and tell the bank that I had been laid off. I felt embarrassed and humiliated by the experience. Driving home, I heard a program on NPR about an entire town that had been hit very hard by the recession. Even though I was feeling pretty bad about my situation, I realized it was nowhere near as dire as the hard times that those folks were going through.

And there are other songs about good love ("As We Fly"), missed opportunities ("Crossroad") and making mistakes ("The Gift").

The album title comes from the chorus of “Blue Highway,” a song about a family member who despite the struggles, remains steadfast in finding his own path: “when you find your own way, the path that you travel must be true; and there’s no other road, despite what others may expect from you.”



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Shashona McCall

Lucy Billings - No Other Road review
Lucy Billings - No Other Road review
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Location: Redwood City, California USA
Genre: Americana

Album: No Other Road
Release Date: Jan 2011
Credits:
Lucy Billings - lead vocals, acoustic guitar, harmony vocals
John Jennings - acoustic and electric guitars, piano, bass, percussion, harmony vocals
Stuart Duncan –fiddle
Lloyd Maines - pedal steel guitar
Brent Truitt - mandolin
Jon Carroll - piano
Robbie MacGruder - drums
Terry Allard - harmony vocals
Mira Wooten -harmony vocals
Deb Thacker - harmony vocals
Produced by John Jennings
Recorded by John Jennings at Red Hill, Charlottesville, VA
*Mixed by Bob Dawson at Bias Recording, Springfield, VA
Mastered by Mike Monseur at Bias Studio C, Springfield, VA*”Crossroad”
Vocals and harmony vocals for “As We Fly” and “You Make It Easy” recorded at OTR Studios in Belmont,CA by Cookie Marenco
Album cover art:
Photos: Scott R. Kline
Art Direction and Design: Bellah Design
Animated backgrounds: Deep Sky Studios
"No Other Road" track list:
1 - Let's Not And Say We Did
2 - As We Fly
3 - Rear View Mirror
4 - Daddy's Last Drive
5 - Blue Highway
6 - From The Bottom Looking Down
7 - Goodbye Baby
8 - My Caballo
9 - Crossroad
10 - You Make It Easy
11 - The Gift
12 - Leavin' You
Lucy Billings released "No Other Road" in 2011, how it ever slipped by this reviewer is astounding. This is a stand out example of songwriting at it's very best. Lucy Billings has a gentle and sensuous vocal style that does justice to extremely well constructed songs. She at times takes a hard look at life for all its blemishes but recognizes its stellar attributes as well. This lady is a magician. She draws the listener in by painting vivid pictures in our minds, conveying experiences we can relate to, then binds the package beautifully with spectacular instrumentation. This is not just "any album," this is a well thought out piece of history and of life. It is indeed a snapshot Lucy Billings allows us to be privy to. Lucy Billings can step it up a notch and have us dancing in our chairs or immerse us so deeply in a ballad, you could hear a pin drop. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is a polished and accomplished songwriter.
The time taken on orchestration and instrumentation is exceptional on Lucy Billings "No Other Road," Listen to the breathtaking instruments used in this album. Nothing less would have done the trick either. Lucy Billings superior song-writing requires the bar to be raised and boy they did it very well on "No Other Road." All accomplished musicians in their own right. It is a sheer delight to hear instrumentation at that level.
I am impressed with the quality presented on mixing, mastering, engineering and recording. Obviously the producer John Jennings is brilliant. This album was meticulously put together with great care and thought. The end result has left Lucy Billings doing what she does best. Sounding magnificent and pure. Very well done indeed.
The 3 tracks I have pulled aside for this review are:
1 - Rear View Mirror
What a brilliant song! Lucy Billings has written absolutely stellar lyrics that take a hard look at life. Many of us will most certainly relate to this story and feel for Lucy's main character. Magnificent work on Rear View Mirror. Nothing was overlooked. Lucy Billings beautiful vocals framed gloriously by exceptional instrumentation and backup vocals. The use of the fiddle is a nice touch. Listen to that percussion & Mando!! This song is a journey into perfection.
2 - Daddy's Last Drive
This song is put together beautifully. Once again, orchestration and instrumentation is top notch. Lucy Billings has nailed the vocals as expected. What was not expected is the direction these fantastic lyrics and storylines take you in. This is a feel good and yet sad story all at the same time but what a trip! Lucy Billings fabulous vocals take us on a trip without even packing a bag for the journey. Marvelous endeavor and one this reviewer can relate to with her own father. Thank you for this song, Lucy.
3 - Let's Not and Say We Did
This toe tapping, upbeat song is a sure winner. A well conceived storyline makes these lyrics unexpected and delicious! Lucy Billings brings this baby home with exceptional vocals. In her easy laid back style, she invites the listener to absorb the "feel" of the song. Exquisite instrumentation, back vocals and orchestration makes this song a sure winner.
As you can see, this reviewer is most impressed with Lucy Billings - "No Other Road" on many levels. This is a work of love and it shows throughout. Everyone is 100% on board, making this an album for the books! Find a spot in your music libraries for this one babies. It is a keeper! You can hear it at and grab one for yourself at:
www.cdbaby.com/lucybillings2
www.itunes.apple.com/us/artist/lucy-billings/id159805457
www.amazon.com Search Lucy Billings
Just in time for Christmas!

That's How I See It
Shashona McCall
Indie Showcase
www.indieshowcase.net
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