April Cope and the Willows
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April Cope and the Willows

Asheville, North Carolina, United States | INDIE

Asheville, North Carolina, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"January Releases: Petals Fall"

"April Cope's Petals Fall (is) a garden of delight..." - Pop Culture Madness

"Weaves Her Magic"

"This album has been out, but has not had proper distribution until now. With guest turns from Chuck Prophet, Pete Sears and Jim Campilongo she weaves her magic on some truly engaging songs. Fans of 'Wrecking Ball' era Emmylou will connect with this recording immediately". - Village Music (Jan 2008) - Village Music

"You'll Love Petals Fall"

Bay Area singer-songwriter April Cope draws comparisons to Emmylou Harris, but in a key way she’s like Macy Gray: Either you love her voice or it gives you the willies. So don’t buy Petals Fall on my say-so; go to www.aprilcope.com, listen for a few seconds and decide what you think of her nasal soprano. If you like it, then I’m pretty certain you’ll love her latest release. Petals Fall has nine songs—an odd number, in several senses, yet probably why they’re so even in quality. They sound … well, alt-country is as good a description as any. Cope’s music is kind of folky, kind of indie, a tad jazzy (particularly in the rich, lively instrumental passages that highlight the best tracks). The opener and closer—“This Garden” and “Move Any Mountains”—stuck with me after the first listen. “Falling,” “Secret Shepherd” and “Camera Obscura” took hold the next time, even though the latter sounds a bit forced. “Angel Under Barbed Wire,” “Black Wing”—good stuff, too. If Petals Fall does not turn April Cope into a household name it is less a tragedy for her than than the masses who would miss out. - Chico News Review 3/08

"Remininiscent of Dolly"

"She is certainly techinically gifted....country music, reminiscent of Dolly Parton..." - Valley Advocate

"April Cope Sings"

I’ve been trying to find box to put April Cope’s music in, but I just can’t seem to find one the right size. Or shape. Or depth. Just when I think I’ve got it figured out it makes a sharp right turn, or plunges headlong into a breathtaking freefall, or climbs up and over a hedge and escapes.

The best I can do is try to slap a label it. Call it, ‘Mysterious Country,’ and be done with it. But I’m afraid even that ambiguous label is destined to fall off, unable to adhere to the elusive and ephemeral nature of the music.

“This Garden,” the opening track of Ms. Cope's third cd, Petals Fall, slips in the back door before you realize a visitor has come to call. Gentle ebow bass and mandocello play hopscotch with an understated piano to embellish Ms. Cope’s delicate, pensive vocals. The tune itself is a parable of sorts; a metaphor for the male/female relationship that requires constant attention to keep weeds from strangling it. She gets a bit more melancholy on “Falling,” a ode to addictions and betrayal. Yet “Angel Under the Barbed Wire” takes on a sweetness belied by its title.

“Camera Obscura” returns to the murkier side of the human existence, relying on subtle rock underpinnings to generate the requisite tension. “Move Any Mountains,” a tender and heartfelt love song closes the project on a sweet, uplifting note.

April Cope writes with an enigmatic confidence, penning imagery that is at once obscure yet vaguely familiar, like a not quite remembered dream that floats just beyond your grasp. When you least expect it a random sound or scent conjures up all the emotions of that dream again. Petals Fall will have you listening again and again trying to put your finger on it.

-Mike Parker - Buddy Hollywood Magazine (3/27/08)

"Developed and Intriguing Talent"

I was in my mid-twenties before I discovered that it was possible to listen to a song with pedal-steel guitar, fiddles, and drawn out vocals without suffering a severe bout of aural indigestion. The truth is that there's so much bad country music out there, that the masters of the form, the people who can present a song that is both within and yet deeper than the traditional boundaries, are hard to find.

For me, the pivotal moment, was hearing some tracks from Emmylou Harris. Young Asheville, North Carolina songwriter April Cope may well provide a similar pivotal moment for someone afflicted with the same prejudices, given that her second album, Petal Falls is crammed full of quality. Hardly surprising, given the presence of some veteran session musicians like Chuck Prophet, Pete Sears, and Jim Campilongo.

At the forefront of things, though, is April's voice - distinctive, full of character, and yet with echoes of the past. Everything, at the end of the day, hinges on her voice - a brave choice that sets her apart from the crowd.

When everything gels, as on Black Wing, this is beautiful music that transcends its genre, like a smile-inducing surprise. There are gentle touches taking the song into a timeless space that take the breath away.

At other times, though, there's perhaps too close an attention paid to the format, for example this garden, suggesting a keen commercial mind, that will ensure that Petal Falls gets radio-play, but also keeps it too rooted in the predictable.

On the whole, though, the album shows a developed and intriguing talent. - Three Monkeys Magazine

"Emmylou Harris-like voice/ heartfelt lyrics"

With subtle musical play on her Appalachian roots and an Emmylou Harris-like voice, April Cope sings heartfelt lyrics on Petals Fall. The compositions use open chords and Cope has a good band, but while some songs work, she needs more time to mature.

Mandocello, country piano licks, tenor banjo, mandolin and judicious accordion create a country-folk feel, and all the players know their stuff. Eric McFadden takes a crisp mandocello solo on “This Garden” and Dave Parnell’s electric guitar sounds great on “Move Mountains.”

The best songs are the ones closest to Cope’s North Carolina roots. In “Swinging Bridge,” a song about leaving her home behind, she’s standing on the swaying country bridge near a field of Black Eyed Susans, “dropping Susan’s yellow tears / Watching them sail into the glass.” Cope uses piano and accordion against her acoustic guitar, anchoring the tune with bass and frame drum. “Black Wing,” a bird whose “babies live in a dark nest,” is a metaphor for sorrow. With a cameo by singer Chuck Prophet, it has the foot-stomping lilt of good old country ballads.

“Angel Under Barbed Wire” is about a girl who helps failures and won’t let herself succeed. Opening with guitar harmonics, it adds an accordion that sounds like a junior B3 and pretty mandolin-electric guitar fills. Cope’s gentle voice makes for a good ironic counterpoint to the song’s straight-punch theme.

One thing’s for sure, April Cope is telling great stories of love, her man and the loss of innocence. Now she needs to listen to stories written by other people and keep on writing, so she can push her own work to the next level. (Self-released)


-Roanna Forman
- Performer Magazine

"Lush Arrangements, Smooth Singing"

"Pop fans have found a lot to like with the luscious Cope and with her (third) disc, it's more of the same from the veteran performer; Lush arrangements, smooth singing, and a surprising rock edge on a few selections. Many of the tunes are winners including the opener This Garden, Falling and Black Wing." - Good Times Magazine - Good Times Magazine

"Lush Arrangements, Smooth Singing"

"Pop fans have found a lot to like with the luscious Cope and with her (third) disc, it's more of the same from the veteran performer; Lush arrangements, smooth singing, and a surprising rock edge on a few selections. Many of the tunes are winners including the opener This Garden, Falling and Black Wing." - Good Times Magazine - Good Times Magazine


April Cope's 3 CDS Two Moons, Distorted Mirrors and Petals Fall (samples on this site!)

Some of the samples are live versions at shows with a trio or quartet, some are studio versions.

See cdbaby/aprilcope for demos of all her original songs and recordings.



April Cope and the Willows (original/ singer/songwriter/americana) features April's original songs from her 3 critically acclaimed CDs including songs from her newest release Petals Fall as well as covers by Graham Parsons, Gillian Welch, Dave Carter, etc. ( The songs marked as April Cope included in this EPK, are some of her many originals. See all or her recordings on the CD Baby link, or Google her name and hear clips of all recordings.) April also sings regularly with The Sireens, her vintage jazz group and is recording with San Francisco original rock band Tasmanian Angel.

Her leatest release Petals Fall is a musical epiphany featuring a saga of bewitching songs, shimmering in their quirky complexity and imagery, evoking a misty San Francisco stage of aching and inspiration. The swirling compositions range from the edgy rock balad Camera Obscura to the madolin-kissed Angel Under Barbed Wire, woven with virtuosic instrumentals by Joe Craven, Michael Manring, Pete Sears, Jim Campilongo, Eric McFadden and a vocal cameo by the grittily seductive Chuck Prophet on Black Wing. "This recording is a breakthrough of honesty and sublime musical authenticity for April and her magnificent collaborators."- Burnside Distribution Corporation BDC also distributes her previous CD Distorted Mirrors. Petals Fall was recorded at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco where her band played regularly until she recently moved to her native Asheville, NC and has joined the exciting music scene in the "Paris of the South."

Her previous CD Distorted Mirrors, produced by Gordon Brislawn, explores different territory than her 1997 debut CD Two Moons, produced by Darol Anger. The new Petals Fall reaches beyond the already impressive scope of her previous work and is both boldly unique and widely accessable. Following the release of Two Moons, April was featured on Anger's Heritage album tour, performing Mary Chapin Carpenter's parts, singing duets with Tim O'Brien and playing alongside David Grisman. April opened for Emmylou Harris and Buddy and Julie Miller at the Strawberry Music Festival where she played with John Cowan Darol Anger and Nina Gerber. April has showcased at the NEA Conference, the Folk Alliance, EAT'M (Emerging Artists and Talent in Music) and the AFIM Conference (Association for Independent Music), with musicians including Michael Manring, Scott Nygaard and Joe Craven. Tracks from Two Moons have been featured on a CD Now compilation and have received national radio airplay. April has performed at many festivals including the Strawberry Music Festival the High Sierra Festival and the Merl Watson Festival as well as local venues including the Great American Music Hall, the Freight and Salvage, Slims, Bottom of the Hill, the Sweetwater, the Justice League and the Last Day Saloon. April was featured on Ron Kavana's 1999 release Alien Alert and Bay Area tour, Chad Clouse's In the Midst, Michael Ward's Late for the Train, Steve Owen's Atheist in Nashville, Ted Ekman's Hearts Fail, Paige Jackson's Double Wide, Patrick Conway's The Rocking Stone and Firecracker's So Long Someday. April and her band have been featured on the AT&T cable TV music series "Roadkill" alongside Tony Furtado as well as the Bruce Lattimer Show with Eric McFadden. Recently, April performed duets on Emory Joseph's tribute to Jerry Garcia singing the famed song Must Have Been the Roses.

After growing up in Western North Carolina, April moved to the Bay Area to study music and creative writing at Mills College. She joined forces early on with hammered dulcimer virtuoso Tony Elman, singing and playing mandolin in their folk duo. April's music has since evolved into her own distinctive sound. Her music has been described as "magic country realism" and "Industrial Appalachian". As a singer, April has been compared to Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow and Fiona Apple.
"With guest turns from Eric McFadden,Chuck Prophet,Darol Anger, Pete Sears and Jim Campilongo, she weaves her magic on some truly engaging songs. Fans of "Wrecking Ball' era Emmylou will connect with her music immediately."- Village Music

"I love the mystery in April's music. It's like standing between two mirrors and getting lost in there. Don't tell me what it's about, just let me listen again." -Tim O'Brien

"April's songs speak in innocence and road-worthy wisdom. It's as if I'm on a slow boat to China and she's the captain." -Joe Craven

"Her glorious voice and deep passion make April a joy to hear...mountain dew and urban angst all at once." -Faith Winthrop

"April's Talent is so immense, it's scary to think where she will be in five years." -Darol Anger

*See "press" on her sonicbids site for press reviews.