Ana Egge
Ana Egge
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Blabber ‘n’ Smoke -Glasgow, Scotland

Brooklyn based folk singer Ana Egge has teamed up with Pennsylvania trio, The Stray Birds for this, her eighth album having met them at Folk Alliance in Toronto in 2012. Fans of her last album, the Steve Earle produced Bad Blood, The Bird folk expressed an interest in playing with Egge who subsequently wrote the material for Bright Shadow with them in mind, their instrumentation and voices integral parts of the process. To call the collaboration a success is something of an understatement. With Egge on lead vocals and guitar The Stray Birds (Maya De Vitry : fiddle, banjo, vocals, Charles Muench : upright bass, vocals, and Oliver Craven : mandolin, fiddle, slide guitar, vocals) are ever present with fine harmony singing and their usual degree of musical proficiency with a few of the songs sounding similar to their own recordings in style and delivery. It’s Egge who’s in the spotlight however and she shines brightly. Her voice is a wonderful thing, at times melancholic, wearied, elsewhere skipping in its beat, all the while expressive and warm while her songs are finely honed nuggets of delight.

The album opens with the sturdy upright bass line of Dreamer sounding as if it were backing a beat poem before Egge appears, indeed speaking in rhyme. The chorus however is sung with De Vitry on harmony as more instrumentation appears and a short fiery fiddle solo enlivens the piece. It’s a striking opening but Dreamer is the least indicative of what to expect here, the remainder of the album being more traditional in arrangement and delivery. There’s a brace of sparkling up-tempo numbers that skirt on the edge of bluegrass and stringband music allowing The Stray Birds full rein.Flat Top Guitar tells the tale of a neglected instrument, left gathering dust in a corner and recalling its glory days being played at the country fair and the “golden hands that made me wail and cry.”  With a great chorus (again featuring De Vitry), rippling mandolin and curling fiddle it’s a fine song. Jenny Run Away is an adaptation of a traditional song and continues in a similar vein while an excellent rendition of Dolly Parton’s Wildflowers features some fine mandolin playing.

The title song is more introspective, a hushed (and beautifully played) nocturnal musing on dreams of flight with a mesmerising middle eight, it’s hypnotic. On Rock Me (Divine Mother), a number that has gained resonance as Egge’s mother died shortly after the album was recorded, dreams again feature in a song that has a spiritual light at its centre. Egge closes the album with the magnificent The Ballad Of Jean Genet, a tribute to the French author she first heard of from Patti Smith. Here her voice approaches Lucinda Williams’ worn approach while The Stray Birds offer up fine harmony murmurings throughout and swell in the chorus. Laid over sly and sinewy slide guitar it’s a perfect summation of the collaboration between Egge and The Stray Birds and a fine end to an excellent album.

Pop Matters

Click here to stream the title track, ‘Bright Shadow’.

Having grown up in a North Dakota town of 50 people, Ana Egge‘s music is seemingly spare at times, which makes you wonder if that geographical vastness has influenced the similar sparseness of her music. If you’ve ever spent time in a tiny town on the Plains, though, you’ll know there’s a lot of heart underneath such seeming harshness and isolation, and you feel it in the title track for Egge’s latest album, a song that’s also very near and dear to her as well.

“‘Bright Shadow’ was one of the last couple songs that I wrote for the record and it’s one of my favorites,” Egge says. “My wife was pregnant with our daughter at the time and all I could think of was this hidden potential/life/power in all of us that’s only meant to come through us. That’s not ‘for’ us at all, except in the moment of expressing it. Like love.”

Free download of my new song ‘Dreamer’! -Magnet Magazine

Click here-

New record ‘Bright Shadow’ available today on CD Baby!


American Standard Time- ‘Ballad Of Jean Genet’ song premier & beautiful album review
by Sean Jewell ::
Outlaw poets are the best poets. By talent or by fate, none quite nailed the role like French poet Jean Genet. Genet was a adopted after being born to a prostitute; as a child he loved running away and became a thief. He became imprisoned, got out by joining the foreign legion, got kicked out for being gay, then became a vagabond, prostituting himself when he wasn’t stealing. He wrote his first book in prison, and after guards destroyed it for being contraband as well as homosexual erotica, he simply rewrote it from memory. Genet sought out and introduced himself to Jean Cocteau, who recognized his talent with words. When it came time for him to be imprisoned again, Cocteau, Picasso, and Jean Paul-Sartre banded together and appealed to the president of France to commute his sentence. He was a writer the rest of his life, championing the outlaw, the underdog, in dark, sexual, epic poems and novels about murder, prison, and war.
North Dakota folk songwriter Ana Egge learned about him from another great poet: Patti Smith.
“What I should’ve said when I met Patti Smith was, ‘thanks for turning me on to Jean Genet.’ In her book Just Kids she mentions many writers and artists who influenced her early on. One was Genet. I’d never heard of him and after she’d mentioned him many times in a reverential way as a sort of patron saint of the prostitute, rebel, brilliant writer, tramp variety I had to find out who he was. The more I read his work and about his life, the more I felt the same way. “Ballad Of Jean Genet” is a tribute to a beautiful, original, subversive mind and tortured soul. It made sense that the song ended up feeling a bit like a spiritual.”
We find Ana to have a gift with words as well. Egge decorates songs with phrases more than writes lyrics. Words are sparse but effective, composition and patient musicianship speak volumes on her album Bright Shadow (see what I mean?) due out July 30th. Backed by The Stray Birds, Egge wrote the songs on the album with the band in mind. Such an understanding of the sound makes her never have to reach outside her vocal range for attention. Guitars, upright bass, and fiddle come into focus and fade like brush strokes on a painting to tell dreamy folk tales. On “The Ballad of Jean Genet” a single acoustic slide guitar and some harmonies tell of Genet, putting sentences together like he might, with words that do battle, with brute force and beauty in the same breath.

Ana Egge & The Stray Birds – New Album ‘Bright Shadow’ July 30, 2015


photo credit: Shervin Lainez

Just Announced- Ana Egge trio will tour with Ani DiFranco Oct. 2015

Something for Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day!

We all arrive here on earth in the same way, from her heart and her body. And then we are cared for and nurtured by the woman who grew us in her dark garden. And today is a day we celebrate this.

My friends and I made this video for my song Rock Me with the intention to share with everyone on Mother’s Day.

This song is included on my soon to be released album Bright Shadow. The video was shot and directed by the very talented Paul Kloss and edited by Amy Foote. Lyrics and music by Ana Egge and Gary Nicholson.

Please share with your mom or any mamas you know today and spread the love!


New Kickstarter campaign for ‘Bright Shadow’ launches today!

Hello Friends-
Happy April fools day! I’m excited to announce the launch of this kickstarter campaign to help release my new album ‘Bright Shadow’!
Below is the link and the story behind the record.
Thank you for taking the time to check it out!

March shows PA, NY & IL

Hi there everyone-
I hope Spring is beginning to reach you wherever you are. It’s been a whopper of a snow-bound winter in Brooklyn and I’m really looking forward to getting out on the road for these upcoming shows! I hope to see you soon. Peace and music, Ana

3/20 Untangled Strings- State College, PA
3/21 Urban H2O@Home- Yonkers, NY
3/27 The Balladears- Hill Country BBQ, NYC
3/28 Princeton Coffeehouse- Princeton, IL
3/29 Windy City House Concerts- Chicago, IL