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December 10th, 2018

Meet 2018 NewSong Competition finalist: Alice Howe

From the artist’s bio: Boston singer-songwriter Alice Howe is “at once of the moment and timeless, personal and universal” (Mark Walton, Americana UK). Her pure, distilled sound reflects a musical sensibility rooted in ’60s folk and ’70s Southern California songwriters. … 2017 was the year that Alice began making big waves in the folk world. Her EP You’ve Been Away So Long debuted on the April Folk-DJ charts with a #1 song – “Homeland Blues” – and #11 album. “Homeland Blues” went on to become the #7 song for all of 2017. Alice has been touring consistently in support of the EP in throughout the US, and recently returned from a critically acclaimed tour of the UK and the Netherlands. All in the last year, she was a Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist, an Official Showcase Artist at FAR-West, and a Formal Showcase Artist at NERFA. Read full bio here

We asked Alice some questions about her songwriting process and what it means to be a NewSong finalist. To purchase tickets for the Dec. 15 event at Isis Music Hall, visit our ticketing page. 


What does it mean to you to be selected as a NewSong finalist, and what do you hope to get out of the experience? 

I am honored and thrilled to have been selected as a NewSong finalist. I consider it to be an invaluable opportunity to connect with other talented young songwriters and to learn more about and become involved in the NewSong organization. In the several years that I have been pursuing music full-time, I have learned that relationships and community are an essential part of building and sustaining a career, and I see this is a great opportunity to do exactly that.

What is your songwriting process like, and where do you find inspiration?

I have been singing and writing songs for as long as I can remember. The process has evolved considerably since my days singing into a tape recorded at age 3 1/2, but there remains a strong improvisational element to my process. I like to sit with my guitar, strumming or picking a chord progression that pleases me, and I sing whatever words come to me, changing words, trying new ones, until it feels right. I am inspired by nature, relationships, and history, and I find that I often begin my songs by painting a picture of what I see, then turning inward. I don’t always know what my songs are about when I write the first line, but I soon learn as I continue exploring.
I grew up with my parents’ vast record collection, and have always been inspired by the music of their generation, including Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt, and Taj Mahal.

What important news about your music do you have coming up? 

My forthcoming full-length album, Visions, produced by Freebo (Bonnie Raitt, CSN, Ringo Starr) and recorded in Bakersfield, CA is complete and will be released in 2019. The new album features a collection of new originals and my interpretations of iconic songs such as Muddy Waters’ “Honey Bee”, “Too Long at the Fair,” first covered by Bonnie Raitt, and songs from Dylan and Taj Mahal. The musicians who recorded Visions with Alice include Freebo, Fuzzbee Morse, John Molo, and John ‘JT’ Thomas who have played or recorded with everyone from Bruce Hornsby to Lou Reed and Richie Havens, Phil Lesh, Jackson Browne, Tracy Chapman, Nick Jameson, and a who’s who of West Coast characters.
Listen to Alice Howe on Soundcloud and Spotify. Follow Alice Howe on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter