Anne Hills
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Anne Hills

Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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"At the Ark in AnnArbor"

“Hills has carved a distinct niche by performing contemporary folk songs in a stunning voice ... Experimenting with country, blues and jazz techniques, she brings a fresh vision to many of the finest folk songs being written today.”


- Michigan Daily


"Scarlet Confessions"

As for Hills, a veteran Chicago folkie now based in Pennsylvania, she endows the show (Scarlet Confessions, July 2002 Victory Gardens Theater” with her exceptional vocal and acting skills (she is a wonderfully acerbic comedian), as well as with her fluid ease on banjo and harmonica.
- Hedy West - Chicago Tribune


"the New Cybrary"

We were fortunate to have singer-songwriter Anne Hills perform at our library yesterday. The Allmusic Guide says of Anne: A stunning soprano tone has made Anne Hills one of contemporary folk music's premier vocalists. But her affinity for choosing unforgettable material and her knack for writing heartfelt original songs have brought her to the upper echelon of her craft.Anne gave a terrific performance for an appreciative crowd -- and took the time to express her admiration of librarians' support for intellectual freedom. Her beautifully expressive voice brought tears to many eyes with her best-known song, "Follow That Road."
But the centerpiece of her concert was songs from her two latest CDs, both of them adaptations from Victorian literature. The earlier, Beauty Attends: The Heartsongs of Opal Whiteley (2006), excerpts the childhood diaries of gifted naturalist and educator Opal Whitely, first published in 1920. The University of Oregon describes this as "a world as a child of 6 and 7 sees it, alive with creatures, fairies, talking trees, and singing creeks." Anne's songs, with music by Michael Smith, bring this 19th century child's view of nature to life.
Her most recent effort is Ef You Don‘t Watch Out!: Anne Hills Sings the Poems of James Whitcomb Riley (2007), reviving the work of the beloved Hoosier poet. I admit to a great personal fondness for Riley's work. My grandfather, who had a university education and whose own father taught high school, spent his life as a family farmer. Riley's writings combine another Victorian perspective on nature and the importance of the family farm with his well-known humorous and cautionary poems for children, and Anne's songs bring both these worlds beautifully into the 21st century.

Anne was a joy to work with. This was her second visit to our library, following a 1981 appearance in the Voices of Winter trio -- but I hope not her last.

Monday, September 22, 2008 - Terry Dawson’s Blog at: http://newcybrary.blogspot.com/2008/09/literary-music.html


""Points of View" Review"

Hills sings over gentle folk-pop arrangements in her warm, round-toned, unruffled soprano, usually suggesting Judy Collins and sometimes (e.g. "Two Year Winter") sounding almost exactly like her. But she also has a slight nasality in her upper register that is reminiscent of (but not as piercing, and thus not as irritating, as Peggy Seeger), particularly on songs in which she is accompanied only by her own banjo or guitar, such as "I'm Nobody" and "Leaf." She actually sounds more confident when covering the songs of others, turning in a Jennifer Warnes-like treatment on Leonard Cohen's "Alexandra Leaving." Hills has spent much of her career performing the songs of others, often in the company of fellow singers, some of whom (Priscilla Herdman, Cindy Mangsen) also turn up here in subsidiary roles. It is characteristic of her that, even when she takes the focus for herself, not only as a singer, but also as a songwriter, she is still intent on presenting "points of view," not just, or even especially, her own. ~ William Ruhlmann,

- All Music Guide


"Points of View Review"

"Just out this past week is the newest from Anne Hills, Points of View, It is quintessentially Anne, and it's a winner." Gary Tuber - Chicago Folk Music Examiner


"Review/All Music Guide"

“A stunning soprano tone has made Anne Hills one of contemporary
music’s premiere vocalists. . . Her knack for writing heartfelt songs
[has] brought her to the upper echelon of her craft.” - All Music Guide


Discography

2009 ... Points of View
2007 ... Ef You Don't Watch Out!
2006 ... Beauty Attends: The Heartsongs of Opal Whiteley
2004 ... Best of Friends (w/ Tom Paxton & Bob Gibson)
2003 ... Fourtold (w/ Gillette, Mangsen and Smith)
2001 ... Under American Skies (w/ Tom Paxton)
2000 ... At the Turning of the Year (w/ Herdman & Mangsen)
1999 ... Paradise Lost and Found (w/ Michael Smith)
1998 ... Bittersweet Street
1998 ... Never Grow Up (w/ Cindy Mangsen)
1997 ... Dreamcatcher (The Book) illustrated by Liz Paxson
1997 ... Voices of Winter (w/ Herdman & Mangsen)
1997 ... Part of the Village (Various Artists)
1996 ... A Lost World (Jay Ansill, featured singer on 6 cuts)
1995 ... Angle of the Light
1994 ... Never Grow Old (w/ Cindy Mangsen)
1994 ... Follow That Road (Various Artists)
1993 ... That Kind of Grace (Various Artists)
1993 ... October Child
1990 ... Voices (w/ Herdman & Mangsen)
1987 ... Woman of a Calm Heart
1985 ... On This Day The Earth Shall Ring (Various Artists)
1982/84 ... Don't Panic (reissue of first two LPs)

Photos

Bio

Anne Hills has become one of the better known voices of the contemporary folk music scene, receiving awards and recognition for her live performances (2009 Bound for Glory live radio show favorite- Ithaca, NY), her unique solo and collaborative recording projects (2001 WAMMIE for duet CD with Tom Paxton Under American Skies), and her overall artistry and benefit work (2002 Kate Wolf Award, Carole Robertson Award & Kerrville Female Vocalist of the Year 1997). Her song "Follow That Road" was the title cut of the Martha's Vineyard Songwriter Retreat and has enchanted audiences for over a decade. Whether she is singing her own song, the words of 6 year old Opal Whiteley, or the Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley; accompanied with her guitar, banjo, or simply a Tibetan bell, she puts her whole heart and soul into the moment. So, even if you haven't become familiar with her voice (featured often on XM/Sirius Folk Radio, The Midnight Special & many other folk shows) you won't want to miss a chance to hear her songs and stories in person. She's just returned to touring more extensively, winning over new audiences and recharging fans with her warm, lively and humorous performances. The AllMusic Guide says, " A stunning soprano tone has made Anne Hills one of contemporary music’s premiere vocalists. . . Her knack for writing heartfelt songs [has] brought her to the upper echelon of her craft.” and Tom Paxton says,"Anne Hills is such an exquisite singer that it’s understandable that people might be swept up in the pure beauty of her voice and thereby overlook her writing. That would be a mistake. For me, Anne’s writing, in songs like ‘Follow That Road’ and many others, is as direct, melodic and deep as any work being done today. She is quite simply one of my absolute favorite songwriters.” Hear more from Anne at : http://www.annehills.com or http://www.myspace.com/annehills