Anyone who knows me, knows what music is to me.
It is my art, inspired by other people’s art, and every time I discover a new artist, I just wanna tell people about them.
Y’all, welcome to Music Monday here on AbundantlyKate.
As we do every summer, my family and I went down to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to visit relatives last week. Muscle Shoals is a wildly successful hub for some of the greatest music ever recorded, in my opinion. Soul, blues, R&B, and southern rock all reside in this little southern gem. Home to FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound, Muscle Shoals has become a favorite place of mine because of its history. Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” was originally cut at FAME in 1966, and Aretha Franklin recorded “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” there in 1967. Talk about music royalty. Muscle Shoals Sound also housed a magnitude of famous acts, such as The Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, and Elton John. Artists flocked to Muscle Shoals to record. It is truly legendary.
Now that y’all have had your musical history lesson for the day, I’ll get to the good stuff. While we were down there this time, I happened to stumble across an artist I had never heard of before. Every year, Florence, the city just across the river, hosts the W.C. Handy Festival, honoring native W.C. Handy, a blues musician that has been regarded as the “Father of the Blues.” Anyway, I came across a newspaper article about a Jersey-based singer/songwriter named Nicole Atkins, one of the artists playing the festival. She was giving a show that night at one of the venues. My parents and I considered going, but decided against it for whatever reason.
Boy, was that a mistake.
The next day, I listened to her newest album, Goodnight Rhonda Lee, out of pure curiosity – instantly, I was hooked. That’s not even an exaggeration.
Her music is soulful, jazzy, and a breath of fresh air. I’ve even heard the occasional sprinkle of retro country in there as well. I’ve been listening to Goodnight Rhonda Lee on repeat since I discovered it. Her voice goes from being full, scratchy, and fervent, to delicate and brimming with tender emotion. My favorite tracks from the album are “A Little Crazy”, “Listen Up”,and “A Dream Without Pain”, but I could honestly rave about every song. I don’t even know what artists to compare her to because she is something entirely her own, in my opinion.
If you are a fan of the blues, soul, retro country, jazz – you need to listen to Nicole Atkins. I think you’ll find something in her to your liking. I have linked the album and songs I just mentioned all back to her Spotify, so go check her out and tell me what you think in the comments below! Then we can gush about her and bond over it – yay!
Also, I have a music career update for y’all. While I was in Bama, my parents and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and epic brick walls of the Shoals to shoot my very first music video! Picture this: me, standing on a street corner in front of an impeccably vintage brick wall, fake-playing my guitar and mouthing the words to my song while simultaneously trying to look good even though it’s literally 100 degrees outside and the sun is beating down on me like there’s no tomorrow.
Yeah, that was fun. I felt like my face was gonna melt off. But, you gotta do what you gotta do.
We ended up getting some really great footage, and I can’t wait until the video comes together. We’re hoping mid-August maybe? I will continue to update y’all and I will for sure post it when it’s done. Just another day-in-the-life of a singer/songwriter turned performer/entrepreneur trying to grow her career one song at a time.
With all that said – fun stuff is coming! Stay tuned. ❤
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