The voice of Rosy Nolan is all at once a gentle breeze and a hauntingly beautiful memory. Bringing a new originality to the LA musical landscape, Rosy prepares for the release of her new EP.
Thank you for sharing some time with our readers today, what have you been up to in 2019?
I’ve been spending a lot of time working on my banjo playing this past year and playing around with vocal harmony. I’m completely hooked on learning these old time tunes. I listen to them on repeat until they get so lodged in my brain that I then frantically try and figure them out on banjo. It’s become an obsession and a total joy. I’ve also been spending a lot of time playing with my old-time group, Old Time Machine. We’ve done a couple regional tours and are looking forward to teaching a harmony workshop at the Pozo Old Time Gathering this November.
I have been doing all the fine tuning on the EP in the past year, as well. Recording banjo and fiddle from a great player in West Virginia by the name of Ben Townsend, committing to “going vinyl”, talking to labels about representation, not talking to labels about representation, you know, weighing all the options.
Please tell us about your upcoming Hotel Cafe show in Hollywood!
I’ll be playing all 4 songs from “Footprints and Broken Branches,” as well as, some songs I’ve written since the recording and some traditional bluegrass and fiddle tunes. I’m looking to represent where I have been musically these days, anywhere from frailing clawhammer banjo at old-time jams to 3-part harmonizing on early bluegrass songs to penning my own Americana styled confessionals. I’m lucky to have some incredible musicians joining me on stage, Gina Romantini on fiddle, Jake Howard on mandolin, Kevin McClellan on bass and Amelia Card (my partner in Old Time Machine) on guitar. I’ll be selling the EP on 10” vinyl and CD at the show.
With such a busy performance schedule, how do you find the time to rehearse and create new music?
I wish I had a more consistent routine around it but, honestly, it comes in fits and spurts. I find that I am my most creative at night. When the city sounds have lulled and I am able to sit quietly with myself is when I am the most able to focus on songwriting and well, rehearsal, I just throw that in whenever I can fit it in.
What are your favorite local spots to play?
I have been enjoying playing at The Hotel Cafe, Highland Park Bowl, Stories Books and Cafe and house concerts. I love playing house concerts, especially. I love that communal, informal vibe.
Please share your inspirations for your new material.
Most of these songs are about heartbreak, in one way or another, whether it’s loss of romance, loss of hope, or losing your sense of self. I’ve explored the way nature mirrors the stages of human life through the life span of salmon as they spawn upstream only to reproduce, die and repeat in the song, “Return to Spawn.” I’ve examined the tumultuousness of romantic love being a bumbling ball of tumbleweed at the mercy of the wind and whatever other natural or unnatural forces in “Tumbleweed.” I like to try to explain the chaos of human life by studying the chaos in the natural world around me.
When we follow our dreams in life, there are sacrifices. What do you find to be the greatest sacrifices and the greatest gifts of your career?
I think being an artist or musician necessitates a certain sensitivity that can feel like a double edged sword. I have received great gifts from this sensitivity, the ability to be empathetic, to sense what other’s feel and to be impressionable. This has allowed me to dive quite deep into my own self-expression and artistry and channel ideas and emotions that are bigger than me. At the same time, I have a tendency to absorb energies that end of feeling like a burden and can be quite depleting. I am always searching for that balance. To be open and present to life and all it has to offer and to protect my heart and mind from negativity.
I’d really love to hook up with some other artists and go out on the road. I love performing, I love traveling and if I can do it all at once then it’s really the best thing ever. There is something so simple and wonderful about waking up, getting on the road, finding where you’re gonna eat, sleep and perform and then doing it all over again. It’s exhausting and can be weary at times, I know, but man, is it a good kind of tired!
Please share with our readers how we can support your music on line as well as in real life!
Please come out to the EP release on the the 28th at Hotel Cafe. You can purchase the EP online on BandCamp or DistroKid starting on the 27th. You can also stay connected with me on Instagram or FaceBook. But please come to a show or to an old time jam and let’s play some tunes!
Thank you for your time and wishing you all the best with your musical career.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful questions. I’m looking forward to the next time.