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"it was loud and raw under the stars in that wide open country"
- Georgia O’Keeffe
Kelli Scarr was raised in Folsom, California, the old gold rush town now more famous for its prison than its prospectors. First discovering her passion for singing in the choirs of her local church and high school, Kelli left the west coast to attend music school in Boston and eventually landed in Brooklyn, NY. Over the next ten years she explored her way through various projects and collaborations including the bands Moonraker and Salt & Samovar. Kelli also ventured into film scoring and in 2010 received an Emmy nomination for her score to Jeremiah Zagar’s intimate documentary, In A Dream. Prior to the nomination, Kelli was given the opportunity to perform as a solo artist opening for the musician Moby on his world tour. Spanning four continents and two years, it was during this time that Kelli was able to expand her sketches of songs into fully developed narratives. These muted snapshots became fully realized in Kelli’s acclaimed debut solo album “Piece”, released July 2010 on Silence Breaks. Kelli toured this record for most of 2010 and 2011, harnessing the rugged energy of her skillful group of musicians and molding the palette for her follow up album.
Encouraged by her newly discovered musical freedom and a powerful live band, Kelli felt a fresh sense of confidence as a singer and songwriter, bringing her back to a musical template that felt most like home and allowing her direct lyrical style to stand forcefully. Armed with a fresh batch of songs and insistent on escaping the confines and distractions of everyday life in the city, Kelli brought her creative collective featuring Scott Metzger on guitar, Andrew Southern on bass and Taylor Floreth on drums to the intimate studio The Isokon in Woodstock, NY. With Kelli and Joe Rogers sharing the role of producer, the foundations for the record quickly took shape. Surrounded by trees and huddled around fires built during January snows, the album was performed live with every member of the band encircling Kelli as she belted her way through their set of material. It was in these live moments that new album “Dangling Teeth” came to life.
Back at home, the precise touches of piano and organ by Jo Schornikow and the country sway of Jonathan Lam’s pedal steel were delicately draped around the record’s inspired core. With the saccharine string arrangements of Daniel Brantigan recorded by a quartet in a large, two hundred year old church in the South Bronx and Kelli’s vocal arrangements for “400 Days” performed by the fourteen member choir of her high school alma mater, Dangling Teeth reached a diversity that truly captured its vast view of influences. To melt the snows of its winter creation, Dangling Teeth was mixed to tape at Fireproof Recording by Adam Lasus (Mark Mulcahy, Yo La Tengo, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) and Joe Rogers (The Shivers, Noah And The MegaFauna).
Rooted in the traditions of American folk and reflecting the diversity of such iconic artists such as Emmylou Harris, Neil Young, Patti Smith and Rickie Lee Jones, Dangling Teeth exists as a collection of songs arching through an intimate narrative of independence, a search for joy and the perpetual arm-wrestle with grace. Captured as a live session amongst a group of talented musicians and friends, Dangling Teeth provides a journey through wide-open plains, the towering pines of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and a return to the currents of the American River. It is in the vast colors of these landscapes that its course is revealed.
Kelli Scarr’s new album Dangling Teeth, will be released on June 5th 2012 on Silence Breaks with a summer tour soon to be announced.