Wisewater | The Demonstration - EP

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The Demonstration - EP

by Wisewater

Nashville-based country-pop band Wisewater explores their acoustic roots with their 5-song debut EP, The Demonstration.
Genre: Folk: Singer/Songwriter
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. You Too
4:03 $1.29
clip
2. An Observation
3:23 $1.29
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3. A Lonely Lullaby
4:01 $1.29
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4. Coming Home
4:31 $1.29
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5. What Have I Been Saying?
4:12 $1.29
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“[Wisewater] makes beautiful music. The sound of their combined voices is heavenly. The music pouring out of these souls is truly angelic, and it has been my great pleasure to have been able to play with them on several occasions. With them you get world-class musicianship, professionalism, and deep feeling.”
– Mary Gauthier

Wisewater is quickly establishing itself as a fresh voice in the country pop scene, earning praise from the likes of Ricky Skaggs, Mary Gauthier, Rosanne Cash, and others. The trio combines lyrical honesty and clarity with infectious melodies, tight harmonies, instrumental virtuosity, and a deep sense of groove. They are three young, upbeat, worldly southerners seeking to balance their love of old-school country and roots music with their enthusiasm for modern sounds and stylistic cross-pollination.

Members Kate Lee, Forrest O’Connor, and Jimmy Shirey are currently in the thick of writing material for their debut album, due to be recorded in early 2015. When they aren’t writing, they’re performing – in summer 2014 alone, they’ve toured across the country, hitting venues such as The Grand Ole Opry, The Station Inn (Nashville, TN), and Joe’s Pub (New York, NY). They’ve also shared the stage with Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris, Mary Gauthier, Bill Lloyd (of Foster & Lloyd), Mark Volman (of The Turtles), and many others.

The seeds of their collaboration were sown at an unlikely place: Harvard University. O’Connor, the son of legendary country fiddler Mark O’Connor, grew up in Nashville and from early on was exposed to some of the best in the business, including Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, and Alison Krauss. But after spending his high school years in Montana, he opted for the academic route, packing his bags for Cambridge, Massachusetts and meeting a like-minded classmate in Shirey, a transplant from Virginia.

“Jim and I hit it off the day we met,” says O’Connor. “He had hair down to his ass, I had hair down to my shoulders, and it goes without saying that, in that environment, we kind of stood out.” O’Connor and Shirey were both motivated students, but they enjoyed themselves the most when they were performing as a duo together – O’Connor on mandolin, Shirey on guitar – at local venues, including the esteemed Club Passim. “I was amazed at how good a lyricist Jim was at such a young age,” recalls O’Connor. “He was only 18 or 19, but he was like a walking encyclopedia of country music. It really inspired me to start writing myself.”

After graduating, O’Connor co-founded an Internet music startup called Concert Window, and Shirey returned home to teach music for a couple years. They co-wrote some songs long-distance, but it wasn’t until the fall of 2013 that the pieces of a bigger collaboration started falling into place.

Nashville-based string arranger and producer Kris Wilkinson introduced O’Connor – then still living in Boston – to Lee, for whom she had produced several demo tracks. Lee’s resume was formidable: at only 20 years old, she had already recorded several solo albums in her hometown of Rochester, NY, and she had sung and played fiddle behind Rod Stewart, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Sugarland, and many other major entertainers as part of the CMA Awards and CMA Country Christmas shows.

“I knew we had something special the day Kris brought us together,” says Lee. “Even though we were just sort of improvising harmonies to each other’s songs, our voices blended so well. I hadn’t really experienced anything like that before.” After meeting Lee, O’Connor decided to uproot his life as an entrepreneur in Boston to pursue music in Nashville. “Meeting Kate was definitely the tipping point,” O’Connor says of the decision. “It was one of the best things that ever happened to me.”

In January 2014, O’Connor bought an old car and drove down to Nashville to start writing and arranging material with Lee, who was splitting time between finishing up her senior year at Belmont University and opening multiple tours for country giant Don Williams. In early March, O’Connor won the Tennessee State Mandolin Championship in Clarksville, TN, and two weeks later, Lee and he made their debut appearance under the name Wisewater at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville. After touring for several months and self-producing a duo EP called The Demonstration, they asked Shirey to join them.

“I was really excited to get that call,” says Shirey. “Forrest and Kate had established their own compelling sound, but in some ways it seemed like making Wisewater a trio was also consummating something Forrest and I had been trying to do ever since we first met. In retrospect, Kate was the missing piece. And really, there’s no two people I’d rather be in a band with than them.”

The future is looking bright for Wisewater. Their song, “What Have I Been Saying?”, which was released on YouTube in March, has been lauded by some of Nashville’s top songwriters and producers, and they’ve been writing a great deal of material as a trio as well as with several Nashville mainstays, including Pat Alger and Bill Lloyd, for their first full-length album. Wisewater is rising up the ranks, and they should be generating lots of buzz in the year to come.

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