Emily Barker’s new album, Sweet Kind of Blue, was recorded in Memphis, Tennessee, at Sam Phillips Recording Service. It was produced by Matt Ross-Spang (Margo Price, Jason Isbell, Mary Chapin Carpenter) and features some of Memphis’ finest session musicians.
The stars were perfectly aligned for the sessions. Barker brought her songs, her guitar, that cathedral of a voice and her irrepressible freewheeling spirit. And as each track was laid down, Barker, her band (you will have heard these musicians on Cat Power’s The Greatest as well as records by Neil Young, Booker T and the MGs, Al Green and many more) and everyone in the control room fell a little bit more in love with each other. Spines tingled and eyes did not remain dry.
The result is an intoxicating blend of Barker penned songs about loves lost, heartrending humanity, the rush of the road trip and the sheer glory of a new love. The first single, ‘Sister Goodbye’, is a soulful tribute to one of Barker’s guitar-slinging heroes, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, while the title track, ‘Sweet Kind of Blue’ captures the beautiful urgency of missing a new lover.
Emily is also the award-winning songwriter and performer of the theme to BBC TV’s Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh. Her music is a blend of roots influences from country to English folk via 60s pop, all wrapped in rich string arrangements and vocal harmonies. Emily’s album with The Red Clay Halo, Dear River, was voted Americana album of the year by readers of the UK’s foremost roots music website, Spiral Earth
“The arrangements are exquisite and the love [Barker] has for this music brings its own integrity. Heartfelt songwriting, bridging folk, country and Fleetwood Mac.”