Los Angeles-based, Boston-bred artist, Alice Howe introduces us to her latest album, Circumstance, which she recorded at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
Los Angeles-based artist Alice Howe presents her latest release, Circumstance. The album follows her 2019 debut, Visions, and an earlier EP, You’ve Been Away So Long – both of which led to her being dubbed a rising star in the folk world. Now, she has built on that success, expanding her horizons and continuing along the path that began long ago in her Newton, Massachusetts hometown, absorbing her parents’ eclectic record collection.
Produced and arranged by her creative partner, Freebo, a veteran bass player and former Bonnie Raitt band member, Circumstance presents a powerful, poetic collection of heartfelt expression – Howe’s answer to the call that keeps whispering in her ear. The singer-songwriter/guitarist displays her vocal prowess and introspective writing in abundance, mining both her heart and her musical tastes for a deep, personal journey across an Americana soundscape dotted with blues, folk, country, soul, and rock.
Recorded in two sessions at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where the voices of icons like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, and Wilson Pickett once shook the walls, the record channels their spirits with 11 stirring tracks that pull no punches diving into the vagaries of the heart and her own personal journey. As an old soul inside a 30-something millennial, Howe puts her stamp on Americana’s venerable strands with 10 standout originals evoking both the classic singer-songwriters and the seminal music that once filled airwaves, roadhouses, and juke joints.
“I was just trying to be myself. That’s all it is,” she says. “It’s not trying to be a throwback. It’s not trying to be anything other than ‘This is who I am as an artist, as a singer, and a writer,’ and that’s what you get.”
As a reflection of her evolution, Circumstance turned out to be everything she hoped for – a personal, soulful nod to her influences and the music she loves, all of it sung old-school without auto-tuning. In spirit, it draws from admired singers – Alison Krauss or the 1970s Laurel Canyon circle - but its soul is pure Alice Howe.