Nikki Talley, Annalise Emerick

Nikki Talley

Nikki Talley is a hardworking, energetic, mountain girl with a big voice. She is one half of a FULL TIME touring husband & wife DUO based out of Asheville, NC contributing acoustic guitar, clawhammer banjo & of course her trademark stunning vocals. Since January 2012 she & husband Jason Sharp, who accompanies her on finger style & flat picking guitar as well as bass, have played 120+ shows in 6 months in 10 states throughout the Southeast touring out of their Chevy van, Blue Bell, they bought w/ money raised from a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Raised in Ruffin, North Carolina and hailing from Asheville, it’s only fitting that Nikki’s music is as eclectic as the state that boasts the mountains and the sea. Trying to pin down Nikki’s style, critics and reviewers alike have compared her to Patty Loveless and Gillian Welch, but to leave the comparisons there would be doing a disservice to her fiery stage performance, hauntingly seductive and raw gritty lyrics, lifted by a voice that harkens back to her Appalachian roots, and shores up on the edges of contemporary country, folk, and old time that has her audiences stomping and clapping for more.

Nikki’s latest release Beautiful Charmer garnered the #7 spot in WNCW’s top 20 regional releases of 2010 and #23 in top 100 releases & features Grammy-winning alt-country icon Jim Lauderdale among other guests.

One thing she isn’t: afraid of the microphone. Talley has undeniable stage presence… –Mountain Express

Talley’s always silken, yet adaptable voice is on full display on this album, whispering sweet nothings to the listener on some songs (as on the title track), belting out her passion with full desperate power on others (as on “Fugitives”) and crooning out her heartache honky-tonk style as on “Don’t Stand” or “Sing Him Away.” –Bold Life Magazine

Annalise Emerick

Through a warm account of the perfect New Year’s Eve, Boston folk songstress Annalise Emerick has demonstrated her aptness to awaken reminiscence in the minds of her listeners, all with just a few simple words, (and one or two bars from “Auld Lang Syne”). One of the fittingly optimistic tracks on Emerick’s 2011 acclaimed debut EP, Starry-Eyed, “This Love Won’t Break Your Heart” is a tale about longtime friends whose encouragement and support never fails. Exclusively premiered as a music video on November 28th via American Songwriter, Emerick’s reflection on the past symbolizes her tight support system and its interconnected role in her music career.

Since moving from Nashville to New England in late summer 2011, Emerick has continued to make more steadfast friends and fans, thanks to a whirlwind slate of live performances and the immediate success of her seven track collection, which debuted on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart at #9 its first day. The collection prompted an outpouring of attention from the national blog scene and a spotlight on CD Baby’s Music Discovery Podcast, which assured its listeners: “Fans of Ingrid Michaelson will feel right at home.”

Emerick’s acoustic-driven style and earnest, contemplative lyrics have situated her among fans of Eva Cassidy, Patty Griffin and Brandi Carlile—Emerick’s musical idol, whose 2010 concert in Nashville inspired Emerick to commit to following her truest heart as an artist. But in many ways the singer is a gypsy—always restlessly exploring the notion of home musically, emotionally and geographically. She’s claimed a scattering of cities as musical muses, growing up in Austin and Seattle before studying music at Belmont University in Nashville, where she later recorded her debut with producer Brad Hill at Hill Studios.

But several charmed summers as a camp counselor in Maine and New Hampshire somehow made New England feel like just the spot to finally launch her musical career. She wrote the sun-drenched acoustic opener “You Win” as a way to liberate her original dreams of making it in Nashville. She recounts the challenges, but doesn’t hold the city itself responsible. “I moved to Boston to get a fresh start,” she says. “It doesn’t have the industry, but it is a city filled with amazing musicians and discerning fans. It’s a place where my kind of folk-influenced pop is appreciated.”

Fans can also appreciate Emerick’s swift climb onto the stages of New England’s club and performance scene. Since the September 2011 move to Boston, her performances have included venues such as The Nameless Coffeehouse in Cambridge, Johnny D’s, The Midway Cafe, Blue in Portland, Maine, The Vanilla Bean in Connecticut,, Amazing Things Art Center, Black Potatoe Music Festival, Nectar’s in Burlington, and the 2012 North by Northeast music festival in Toronto. Though Nashville seems like a long time ago in the musical life of this nomad, the singer has come a long way since her days singing at Bongo Java, 12th and Porter, and 3rd and Lindsley.

The singer originally planned to move from Music City to Beantown before recording an album, but her friend and fellow artist John Flanagan suggested that she make the move “armed” with a recorded project. Equipped with Flanagan’s advice and the gumption that only a recent college graduate can have, Emerick set to work on the seven heartfelt songs that became Starry-Eyed. Reviewing the EP for the New England branch of Brooklyn-headquartered music publication The Deli Magazine, Sarah Ruggiero captured the arc of Emerick’s journey perfectly: “The album follows the story of a young woman who learns to stand her own ground and rely on herself, but without sounding jaded… In the beginning, she admits she was ‘starry-eyed and full of hope,’ but when she gets her heart broken, she knows better than to let others get the best of her… With its innocent and thoughtful lyricism, Starry-Eyed focuses some of its attention on looking back… But more importantly, the core of the album is about moving forward.”

Emerick’s ability to poignantly detail lessons from relationships and contemplate life’s continuous journey has revealed her as a multi-faceted person and artist to fans. But with Starry-Eyed, Emerick proved that her gypsy propensity lends itself well to her songwriting and creative process, recalling, “The songs on Starry-Eyed were waiting inside me to be written — I just didn’t know it yet — and when they finally came to life, it was magical. If people want to know me, all they need to do is listen. It’s all there — an open book, just like me.”

“Emerick’s music is relatable and undeniably good.” -Performer Magazine

“…The celebration continues with ‘This Love Won’t Break Your Heart.’” -American Songwriter

“…Mellow & moving.” -Skope Magazine

“…[Emerick] blends folk music with pop sensibilities as she crafts melodies as pretty as her name.” -The Deli New England

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Nikki Talley, Annalise Emerick

Saturday, August 24 · Doors 7:00 PM at Ebenezers Coffeehouse

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