Alexa Woodward
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Alexa Woodward

Greenville, South Carolina, United States | INDIE

Greenville, South Carolina, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Americana

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Feb
13
Alexa Woodward @ www.alexawoodward.com

see alexawoodward.com for tour dates, South Carolina, USA

see alexawoodward.com for tour dates, South Carolina, USA

Feb
27
Alexa Woodward @ my website

non, South Carolina, USA

non, South Carolina, USA

Nov
18
Alexa Woodward @ please see myspace for show dates

everywhere, Not Applicable, Other

everywhere, Not Applicable, Other

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Music

Press


Armed with a banjo (that at times comes across more like a harp), a full, animated voice, instantly memorable lyrics and simply excellent songwriting, Alexa Woodward does it well. Each of Alexa’s songs is structured and unfolds as if spirited by an old soul, like a lost undiscovered classic. Her voice is commanding and present, colored by moderate vibrato, but maintaining the necessary clarity for imagery-heavy lyrical narratives to shine. Hers are the kind of cliché-less, sensible and immediately relatable words that sound as good advice or a great story spoken by a friend. Don’t be surprised if Alexa Woodward opens for Neko Case sometime in the near future.


http://www.jezebelmusic.com/tag/alexa-woodward/ - Dan D'Ippolito


"I have a new theory: All you really need in life is a beautiful voice and a banjo. Alexa Woodward has both, and as she’s leaving behind her law career for music, her rise to fame should be as meteoric as that of Vienna Teng — who gave up her software engineering career for piano pop — if the universe has any sense of justice. Woodward is touring the country in a 1984 Westfalia to support her new, sophomore CD, Speck. There’s something totally disarming about the way Woodward sings, with a roundness to her voice that plainly bears the mark of a Southern upbringing. But unlike delicate chanteuse Gillian Welch’s sepia-toned obsession with a bygone era, you don’t get the sense that Woodward needs a vintage dress to create authenticity. She surrounds her voice with plucky banjo, singing saw and wistful mandolin, which give her songs a gothic quality, as on “Spoon,” a song with lyrics as cryptic as those of Joanna Newsom. But to Woodward’s credit, her music is nowhere near as indulgent. For all the spare arrangements and spacious melodies, it’s her voice that takes the stage." - http://www.eugeneweekly.com/2009/07/16/music1.html


Alexa Woodward: Speck
[Constant Clip records]

I might be the least qualified among us to review this album, for no reason other than folk music is a genre that has, for the most part, completely escaped me. And at it’s heart, that’s what Alexa Woodward’s first album, Speck, is. But at the same time, it’s a bit more than that. It’s a quiet, contemplative record full of lovely harmonies, soothing melodies and some really killer banjo work. And as a hardcore bluegrass fan, I loves me some banjo.

The New York City-based Woodward’s voice, a dulcet, versatile tool, is almost hypnotic. Her notes carry a beautiful timbre throughout the album, and while the album’s overall sound isn’t always terribly varied, her voice is really what you come for. Backed by numerous Austin musicians on some tracks, the combination of banjo, guitars, and singing saw (played by Guy Forsyth), the instrumentation is a gentle accompaniment to Woodward’s voice. They provide a sense of subtle, delicate atmosphere that serves as a perfect backdrop.

The album is an odd duck — it’s got some themes that should resonate with urban dwellers, but with country/folk music roots and influence. Thematically, it has moments of surprising grittiness, which serves as an unusual (in a good way) contrast for her lullaby-like sound.

As for the songs themselves, they’re startlingly sharp given the sweet-sounding voice. “Jimmy” is nothing short of a tale of urban woe. With an opening salvo of lyrics like “Jimmy was a wayward man / Laying in a white linen bed / Broke his back in a rooftop fall / Doing so much blow / He couldn’t see at all,” it quickly establishes itself as a genuine heartbreaker of a song. Her sumptuous voice continues to twist through incongruous themes, as it continues with “I wish I had known him when / He was still too young for sin / I’d have taken all his kindling / Kept it dry for burning.”

My personal favorite is, unsurprisingly, “Boston” (Woodward’s a fan of one-word titles, which I have a strange respect for). Lyrically, it’s a beautiful, cryptic piece of poetry, but I mainly love it for the second iteration of the chorus, when her voice really has a chance to soar (“On the bus to Boston / with the scarlet turning leaves / I resolved to make my bed / with my better history”).

The only catch with Woodward’s album is that despite her excellent songwriting and captivating voice, her songs are all similar in style and sound. But then again, folk singers don’t kill you with their variety. They kill you with their lyrics, and their heart and soul. Woodward’s got that in spades. - http://www.pajiba.com/music/alexa-woodward-speck-review.php


FRESH BAKED
Alexa woodward: Speck

With the recent shuttering of the old Knitting Factory (which was actually the new Knitting Factory, relocated after the first one closed), I guess you officially, finally, can no longer refer to someone as a “downtown” musician. I’ve often heard that term in reference to New York musicians who aren’t from here and don’t sound like they live here now, so now that there’s no “downtown” music scene (formally anyway), what do you call someone like Alexa Woodward – from Virginia and sounding something like a cool breeze set to music? Woodward’s easygoing second album, Speck, sounds like a mildly psychedelic Gillian Welch in a self-imposed artist’s retreat.

Too many local artists get in a studio and, for the first time, can finally overpower their songs with too many guitars, too many drums, too many harmonies. The resulting albums manage to overpower the songwriting and somehow pale in comparison to a solo acoustic performance. I am thrilled to say that Speck is not one of those albums. Populated almost entirely by Woodward’s simple and compelling banjo and uniquely vibrating alto/soprano singing, the uncluttered arrangements complement the songs without burying the compelling elements of the live solo show. Opener “Speck” gets to about the two-minute mark with just voice and banjo, and then a single harmony, acoustic guitar, and singing saw unfold into the track out of nowhere. It’s a neat trick – before the other instruments come in, the listener is almost fooled into thinking he or she is listening to somebody’s paltry demo. Later, on “Jimmy,” Woodward’s banjo is accompanied by some super-tasteful mandolin and low-in-the-mix (like, Mazzy Star low-in-the-mix) string bass.

...I’d like to hear a little more about what life’s like in the city from a new transplant, and I don’t feel like she quite gets there. The glaring exception to this rule is on “Plants,” in which Woodward describes what it’s like to live in a house with twenty five roommates. The description of all the different roommates’ various activities, keeping things moving in the house much like things keep moving out in the city, is a near-perfect convergence of the country-raised girl with the city-based performer. The tune climaxes with a joyous sing-along chorus that sounds like all roommates present just bashed into the room and started harmonizing while the recording was going on. And this is where Alexa Woodward, and Speck, ultimately succeed. By making an album that sounds like an impromtu show in your living room, Woodward has united the relaxed feeling of sitting on the porch with the econo-necessities of making an album in the city.

by Brook Pridemore

http://www.jezebelmusic.com/2732/alexa-woodward-speck/ - Jezebelmusic.com


Woodward is a New York (and sometimes Austin and soon to be itinerant) songwriter and banjo-player who scrapped law career to play music. She's been compared with Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart, but isn't quite as loopy as either, to her music's credit. The new one is called `Speck.'


http://www.austin360.com/event/events2/etc/userEventDisplay.jspd?eventStatus=Approved&eventid=236819 - austin360.com


Someone We Think You Should Know:
We are very proud to share the music of Alexa Woodward with you.
Woodward, 27, has a gorgeous voice. With her banjo and voice alone, she is making some of the most elegant, soft and beautiful Americana/Urban Folk music we have heard in a good while. A New York native, she vows to release her new album Speck here in Boston. (Just another great reason to check her out!

A Song from Speck to be released in Boston on APR 26
[listen] Alexa Woodward - Spoon
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
ANOTHER GILLIAN WELCH:
Woodward is a banjo-playing folk maven! She received acclaim as a
semifinalist in Jezebel Music's Williamsburg Live Songwriter
Competition, NY's largest songwriting contest. She is also notably
known for her beautiful live performances in the most unconventional
places (most notably the Austin, TX sewer in January of this year. (300
brace underground attendees were politely "evacuated" through manholes
by the local police.) That's giving it your all for your art!

SPECK: The
new album was recorded and produced in Austin Texas by Bruce Chandler
of 18 Oh three recording, and was mastered by Jonathan Byrd. The Speck Tour begins
with a series of CD release parties in Boston, New York and Austin. The
Boston release party will be at The Burren in Davis Square (Somerville)
on Sunday, April 26th. It's a free show. We hope you can attend! Doors are at 8pm. Woodward will appear with Lindsay Clark and Greg Mullen.


ttp://ryanssmashinglife.blogspot.com/2009/04/alexa-woodward-speck.html - Ryan's Smashing Life


StereoSubversion:
Alexa Woodward- Spoon

Comparisons abound. She’s been likened to singers such as Neko Case, Joanna Newsom, and Gillian Welch, placing Alexa Woodward in very good company. However, despite the temptation to draft countless other musical similes to describe Alexa Woodward’s playing, suffice it to say this one time lawyer is penning beautiful songs sublimely set to comfortable banjo playing and graceful vocals. “Spoon” immediately demands attention with Woodward’s strong vocals tracing out an enticing melody, which is only lent strength by her simple banjo accompaniment. As “Spoon” unfolds, the listener is greeted by Woodward’s understated individuality, whether its her quirky lyrics drawing parallels between “the moon [. . .and] a spoon you can burn from the bottom”, or her deft instrumentation which prominently focuses upon a singing saw in the middle section of the track. Look for unique live shows from this one-time New York resident, and keep an eye peeled for Speck, out now on Constant Clip records.
http://www.stereosubversion.com/downloadable/alexa-woodward-spoon-05-27-2009/ - Stereo Subversion


I have been intrigued of late with Alexa Woodward’s new album Speck, so I ventured out to see her perform at her recent Los Angeles appearance at the intimate Genghis Cohen – and it was a very rewarding experience. The banjo-picking Woodward’s songs are like mountain music with an MFA. References to Tolstoy and Harper Lee slip into her dark-hued, old-timey tunes; however, she’s doesn’t sound liked an affected musical anthropologist appropriating native backwoods sounds. Although based out of New York City, Woodward grew up in Virginia and South Carolina so there is an easy naturalness to her rural porch music. An easy reference would be the stripped down Americana styling of Gillian Welch. Hearing her live, I came to appreciate the way Woodward’s honeyed singing voice dips and soars. Her phrasing and harmonizing (she was frequently accompanied on vocals by her washboard-playing sidekick Linky Dickson) also brought to mind to Roches, as did her endearing stage presence. She shared some funny tales of touring misadventures, like trying to sleep in a WalMart parking lot that was blaring Whitney Houston.
But what really grabbed me is how her singing and lyrics blend together to make for spare, haunting music. There’s an earthy ethereal quality to tunes like “Window” “Spoon” and “Speck.” After several songs that held murder ballad imagery like “her blood was melancholy” and “a speck of blood for the birds and the bees,” she lightened the tone with the “Plants” (she apparently likes one word titles). This rather upbeat tune, which celebrates her time living in a community house with some 20 other folks, offers that urban gardener rallying cry “plants growing in the city!” With its quiet folksy sound, Speck might be easy to overlook, but Alexa Woodward impresses both in concert and on disc, making her someone for Americana connoisseurs to keep an eye on.


http://community.nodepression.com/profiles/blogs/review-alexa-woodward-at - Michael Berick for No Depression


"Alexa Woodward is becoming more of a common name on the folk scene with the release of her sophomore record Speck. She sings flawlessly, as she strums her banjo to songs about loss and hope... Woodard is able to showcase her songwriting skills here as she not only displays how Americana should sound but backs it up with sheer substance!"
-The Fire Note

http://thefirenote.blogspot.com/2009/06/alexa-woodward-speck.html - Fire Note


"Alexa Woodward has given up a career in law for the banjo! Her debut album Speck is out soon and Spoon is the first single. To us it conjures images of rural families crowding round a crackly old radio to tap their feet and hum along. We think we could be hearing a lot more from this young lady."
-Mad Mackerel, Saturday, 23 May 2009 - Mad Mackerel


Discography

"It's a Good Life, Honey, If You Don't Grow Weary"
Constant Clip Records
2011

"Bootlegs"
Constant Clip Records
2010 Live album of recordings from radio appearances and live concerts.

"Speck"
Constant Clip Records
2009 A fusion of classic Americana with Woodward's own variety of eerie folk.
(all tracks available on Pandora)

An Early Dream
Self-released 2008
simple, unmastered album of original songs.

Photos

Bio

Alexa Woodward’s haunting banjo and ukulele songs blend her southern roots with the urban folk sounds of Boston and New York. With a distinctive banjo playing style and refined lyrics, this young lawyer turned songwriter has been well received by audiences across the US and in Europe. Just after its release, Woodward’s sophomore album "Speck" made it into the top 200 college radio charts in the United States and Canada.

Likened to such legends as Judy Garland and Patsy Cline, she has appeared on NPR programs and has enjoyed song placements on national television in the U.S (Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance”) and Australia (nationally televised drama series “The Wall”). Her song "Secrets" is in the Twilight Series, and the title track of her most recent album, "Speck" is featured in the feature film, "The Fat Boy Chronicles," to be released in November 2010.

Touring full time, Woodward has built strong audiences across the United States and in Europe. With a sound that has been likened to Neko Case, Gillian Welch, and Jolie Holland, this banjo playing songwriter is catching the attention of Americana connoisseurs across the U.S.

Film/TV:
*"Secrets" on promo trailer for Cartoon Network show "Mongo Wrestling Alliance"
*"Secrets" on National Geographic
*"Speck" included on "The Fat Boy Chronicles" soundtrack (Tin Roof Films, Atlanta)
*"Secrets" placed in closing credits of the Twilight Series
*"Eleanor" featured on season six of Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance"
*"Secrets" featured in Australian drama series
* A cover of Elizabeth Cotton's "Freight Train" is featured in "Freight Travels" by Meghan Hessenthaler
* "Mr. Flink" is featured in a documentary about the Kerrville Folk Festival directed by Will Deloney, "Learning Kerv"

Festival Experience:
*CMJ
*Old Songs Festival New Artist Program
*Oregon Country Fair Solar Stage
*Music in the Woods Festival

Competitions:
*Semifinalist in New York's largest songwriting competition, the 2008 Williamsburg Live Songwriter Competition.

Radio:
*"Speck" in rotation at over 200 college and AAA radio stations
*"Speck" debuts at #186 on CMJ's national top 200.
*Woodard's song "Scrape the Sky" was featured on Lufthansa's cross Atlantic Americana Radio program on cross Atlantic flights

"Many of Alexa Woodward's banjo-driven folk songs slowly slink like fog down from the Appalachian mountains and hills of Virgina and wrap your soul in melancholy. Woodward's 2009 release, Speck, is full of subtle textures and well-matched harmonies that support interesting and well-written narratives." -MOKB

"Woodward’s songs are like mountain music with an MFA. References to Tolstoy and Harper Lee slip into her dark-hued, old-timey tunes; however, she’s doesn’t sound liked an affected musical anthropologist appropriating native backwoods sounds. Although based out of New York City, Woodward grew up in Virginia and South Carolina so there is an easy naturalness to her rural porch music... Alexa Woodward impresses both in concert and on disc, making her someone for Americana connoisseurs to keep an eye on." -- Michael Berick, NO DEPRESSION

"There’s something totally disarming about the way Woodward sings, with a roundness to her voice that plainly bears the mark of a Southern upbringing. But unlike delicate chanteuse Gillian Welch’s sepia-toned obsession with a bygone era, you don’t get the sense that Woodward needs a vintage dress to create authenticity. She surrounds her voice with plucky banjo, singing saw and wistful mandolin, which give her songs a gothic quality, as on “Spoon,” a song with lyrics as cryptic as those of Joanna Newsom. But to Woodward’s credit, her music is nowhere near as indulgent. For all the spare arrangements and spacious melodies, it’s her voice that takes the stage." --EUGENE WEEKLY

"Comparisons abound. She’s been likened to singers such as Neko Case, Joanna Newsom, and Gillian Welch, placing Alexa Woodward in very good company. However, despite the temptation to draft countless other musical similes to describe Alexa Woodward’s playing, suffice it to say this one time lawyer is penning beautiful songs sublimely set to comfortable banjo playing and graceful vocals." --STEREO SUBVERSION

"With banjo in hand and melodious pipes, Alexa transcends the framework of her songs and takes the listener into a world where only an experience storyteller can travel... a sophisticated songwriter who doesn’t sell her audience short. She gives listeners the opportunity to think while listening; to identify with her pain, loss, joy, suffering, and strength. You feel intimately aware of Alexa when the album is complete. A folk singer cannot ask for any more – an audience that is now one kindred spirit with the artist." --CHICKS WITH GUNS

"Each of Alexa’s songs is structured and unfolds as if spirited by an old soul... Hers are the kind of cliché-less, sensible and immediately relatable words that sound as good advice or a