Yola Carter is a 35 year old British singer-songwriter who's just around the corner from being the next Americana sensation. Thanks to her performance at AmericanaFest 2016 that eventually led to her getting her hooked up with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys and solo act sensation himself (check out his 2017 Waiting on a Song album). Auerbach has produced Yola's new album, Walk Through Fire, just released in February.
For this week's blog, I was working on featuring new music releases from January - March of this year, and had to put that on the digital shelf once I started listening to Walk Through Fire. Like so many people who hear her sing for the first time, I was simply knocked out. Auerbach was no exception, who instantly wanted to collaborate with her at his Easy Eye Sound studio and label in Nashville.
The result is a stunning album. Auerbach's influence as Producer who brought in a wealth of Nashville talent to support this project brings a very Waiting on a Song vibe without diminishing Yola's towering voice range across the album.
It is so rare for me to like every song on an album these days that it takes me back to my first listen to Carol King's Tapestry album in 1971. I'm not comparing the two, but Walk Through Fire is so well crafted as it goes to the deep well of American music and pre-digital recording.
Some would call this album 'Country Soul' but let's just embrace the entire palette of American music that has influenced this young woman as an example of why the Americana genre is thriving today, despite no mainstream radio time.
Check out these two articles to get Yola Carter's backstory (no Wikipedia page, yet) - St. George's Bristol and npr music 2016 and then, these two articles that review the album - npr music and the Tennessean.
For the playlist this week, I have included all 12 songs from Walk Through Fire, and several songs from her 2016 EP, Orphan Offering, and then some tracks recorded at live shows or radio streaming events. Maybe this is your first listen of Yola Carter, it won't be you last! Enjoy my friends.