Dawn Landes returns to the UK for a run of 4 dates next month. The Nashville based singer-songwriter is renowned for what is commonly referred to in the media world these days as ‘synchs’ i.e. where segments of an act’s songs may feature in television, film, a YouTube video, or – increasingly in the modern era – video games. In exchange, the artist gets paid a “synchronisation” fee upfront and depending on where and how often the track is played in public, they also receive royalties – an increasingly important consideration given how difficult it is to sell records these days. Dawn Landes’ music has featured in popular television shows such as ‘The Good Wife’, ‘House’, ‘Skins’, and ‘Gossip Girl’.
Having released five albums since 2005 and an EP inspired by 1960s French pop music, Dawn Landes has been involved in collaborations and songwriting partnerships with the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Norah Jones, Will Oldham, Andrew Bird, and composer, Nico Muhly.
Her most recent album, ‘Meet Me at the River’ came out on Yep Roc records last year. The twelve song collection involved working with legendary country producer, Fred Foster, whose list of credits included Roy Orbison’s ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’, a co-write with Kris Kristofferson on ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ and Dolly Parton’s debut album. Sadly, Foster died, aged 87, in February of this year following a short illness.
The album was something of an unusual departure for Foster at the time seeing as he wasn’t renowned for working with newer acts, only occasionally coming out of retirement to produce albums for such august friends as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Ray Price. However, Landes took the bold step of cold-calling Foster from a tour she was undertaking with Sufjan Stevens in New Zealand. Evidently, it took some time to convince Foster to work with her, and he also admitted to never having heard of Landes previously. Upon her return to the States, they spent time at Foster’s Tennessee home where they established a close bond and the results were the studio session which led to ‘Meet Me at the River’.
For Landes’ latest album, Foster put together an A list team of Nashville musicians, including 13-time Academy of Country Music drummer of the year, Eddie Bayers, fellow Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie McCoy on harmonica, as well as ‘From Elvis in Memphis’ pianist, Bobby Wood. Foster even recruited 83-year-old country legend, Bobby Bare, to duet with Landes on the closing track on the album.
Dawn Landes has become increasingly familiar with the UK over the last 15 years, having toured here no less than 20 times, sometimes on her own, and also with other performers, most recently Nick Lowe. Fans can catch her at one of the following four shows:
DEC 7 SAT – The Courtyard Theatre, London
DEC 8 SUN – Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
DEC 9 MON – Middlesbrough Town Hall
DEC 10 TUE – Komedia, Brighton
In the meantime, you can get a taste of quite how good she is by watching a video of the terrific song, ‘Traveling’: