Autumn
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Autumn

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States
Band Folk Americana

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"CD REVIEW: AUTUMN - Velvet Sky"

Oklahoma native and current Austin, TX resident Autumn Boukadakis has a rare combination of personality, drive and talent. She is a consummate songwriter and performer, displaying the same sort of quiet grace displayed by folks such as Shawn Colvin and Sarah McLachlan. Autumn writes mostly in the Americana/country vein, but she is the sort of talent who could cross genres with great ease. The former sidekick from the JB And Sandy Morning Show on 94.7 KAMX in Austin, TX has built quite a following within the Lonestar State and is ready to spread her wings on the national scene. Autumn’s second album, Velvet Sky, was released on October 7, 2008 and it is a thing of wonder.

Opening with Rain Down, Autumn sounds like a cross between Bonnie Raitt and Natalie Merchant. Her clear, homey alto is comforting to hear, like listening to an old friend. Autumn portrays a sense of urgent movement throughout Velvet Sky without coming across as forced or volatile. The closest comparison I can offer is watching a horse racing in all of its discipline and grace but sensing the wild beating heart that drives the animal. Autumn has that not-quite-wild but not-yet-tame quality that shines through. She is at the forefront of a new generation of Americana artists who grew up with Americana and are pushing the boundaries of that genre.

Trees is a soulful ballad, reminiscent of Raitt. This is a commercial tune, but really only an appetizer for We Made The Spirits Move, which may be destined to be a classic song. I would expect that We Made The Spirits Move could be licensed for multiple projects in the coming years. It's a retrospective of love and how it came to be, and has significant growth potential both in the country and pop realms. (Let's just say if Shania Twain or Faith Hill or someone of that ilk ever covered this song we'd be talking about the number of months it spent in the top ten, not weeks).

Trains I Never Missed is about the chances we miss and the doors those missed chances open. It's soulful and intelligently written and full of a shaded vibrancy you have to hear to believe. Other highlights include Higher, Velvet Sky, Sunny and Lessons Never Learned.

Autumn is a name to remember. It's her season in more ways than one. Velvet Sky is the second album of her career, and I predict that's of many more to come. Autumn is the sort of artist who may never attain the status of superstar, but I suspect she'll build the sort of core following with time that will keep her exploring her muse for the rest of her life. Velvet Sky is a masterful album that explores the still waters of Autumn's musical vision. And oh those waters run deep.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Autumn at http://www.autumnonline.com/ or www.myspace.com/autumnonline. You can purchase a copy of Velvet Sky at www.cdbaby.com/cd/autumnsongs2. - Wildy's World


"Velvet Sky Review"

LOTOS NILE
AUTUMN/Velvet Sky: Take some confessional 70s singer/songwriter vibe, filter it through 90s angst and leaven it with some contemporary Texas songwriting sisters and you get a voice for contemporary college girls that are more into reality than reality shows. With a folk/Americana wash bringing the sound into today, Autumn sneaks up on you, makes her case and wanders away with your attention and desire for some more. A nice solid set from a songwriter on the rise and coming up from the margins.
(Bull Creek) - Midwest Record


"Music Review"

When you turn your dial to the left of the mainstream country radio stations you’ll find yourself in the middle of some of the most honest, well-written, songs that focus more on delivering them with heart and passion than on sheer marketability. For Autumn, she found a comfort zone on her debut effort with Walt Wilkins and Tim Lorsch manning the production boards so when it came time to record her sophomore album she enlisted them again to help her build further upon her sound. Her songwriting style on this album is more advanced then most of the artists that I have heard come out of the singer/songwriter genre as of late in that she has been able to find the perfect combination of storytelling while finding a sound that is easily appealing for fans across genres. Her sound ranges from modern acoustic country on the upbeat tracks like “Higher,” to Americana as best displayed on tracks like “Cowgirl Confessions,” to even a bluesy jazz feel on tracks like “Trees.” Her cover of Patty Griffin’s “Nobody’s Cryin’” brings the amazing song to life yet again, and as much as it imitates Griffin’s version, Autumn has the know how to make a cover her own while paying homage to it’s originator. Without the overproduction that so many albums have on them these days, “Velvet Sky” offers a different look at the way a song can be crafted and brought to life. Autumn’s vocal walks the perfect border of what is rough and full of grit but also remains charming while making the lyric the focal point of the song. This is a solid effort and if you like lyrics that are put together in the perfect, relatable ways then you will love this album. - Today's Country Mag


"October Issue"

"If the songs contained on Velvet Sky are any indication, Autumn has beaten the sophomore slump... ...If you haven't discovered Autumn yet, there's still hope... A+" - Insite Magazine


"Autumn at the One World"

Back when I was writing about music for a living there were times when I used to sit in clubs and stadiums and concert halls and wonder why in the world I was there. There just seemed to be so much atrocious stuff flying around. I imagine there still is, but I don't really care anymore. I just ignore it. And when I do run across it I just shake it off. Life's to short to get bent out of shape about a bad song.

What I've found as a replacement is music that comes to me in an entirely different fashion. Rather than being pushed by AR men, it comes via family and friends and just word of mouth. This gives the music a context that is largely missing in the public scramble to be the next big thing. Seeing music played by people you know and like has a lot to recommend it.

Last night (Wednesday Oct 1) I had the pleasure of sitting in the audience at One World Theatre with Tressie Seegers and Shayne Morrison and my partner Larry of LosSenderosStudio to see Autumn perform to support her new CD, Velvet Sky.


It was a great evening all the way around. We were greeted at the door by Autumn's mother and aunt and her younger sister did the introduction to start the show. Walt Wilkins did his first turn working as a backup singer along with his wife, Tina who has done it a time or two on her own.


The music was terrific, I had a good time and I suggest that people ought to listen to Autumn. The show felt like a house concert which is a great thing, because you felt connected to the artist in a way you miss at bigger venues.

During this show she did an excellent version of Walt Wilkin's Up and On My Way as well as Autumn's own Lessons. On her MySpace player Sam Baker joins her. Walt did the honors last night since Sam is off galavanting around Europe. It is a terrific song.

Autumn has an excellent voice and plays a nice piano which is not a complement of the piano but her playing of same. She ended the show with Sugarcane, which is a great song as well.

It will be interesting to watch Autumn's career to see how she does over the long haul. I suspect she'll do well. At least I hope she'll do well. She has a really nice smile to complement her music and takes the time to talk to all of her fans. Big pluses all the way around. - Your Texas Music


"Autumn - Rain Down"

Introspective production and vocals. “I keep a notebook for some unknown reason. Maybe someday someone will read. It’s written in silence, but I’m sick of silence. It’s not quiet like it used to be.” The narrator sings of longing for a mother and a sister who have both become ‘angels,’ and seem to remind her of a merciful spirit she cannot touch at this point in her life. Wonderful song to spend a Sunday evening with, thinking. Shoutout for Sunny (“She says love is boring. It’s the same old story, when there’s no morning anymore. It runs straight to night, lying with the liars.”) - Eartaste


"Today's Feature"

Here’s a story you don’t hear every day – think about your favorite morning radio show – I don’t care if it’s a quirky, shock jock show, a news program or a talk show. Now picture one of the hosts releasing an album… that’s good! Well, the former sidekick for the #1 rated “JB and Sandy Morning Show” on Mix 94.7 KAMX Austin (of course, it would happen in Austin), Autumn, not only released the record “Sugarcane,” but has now released a sophomore collection, the finely tuned “Velvet Sky.” And if it could possibly get any better… Autumn definitely has a face built more for movies than radio.

The “sidekick” has more or less taken center stage down there in Austin, describing the new album as “Folk/Americana, with lots of room.” You can’t help but notice the maturity on “Velvet Sky,” showcasing a much more seasoned variety of song lyrics complete with a sense of Americana that is full of style and substance. Autumn herself says of the record, “I was as truthful as I could possibly be. A lot of reflection, a lot of sincerity, and plenty of musicality. I hope you can hear that it is so not about the money, or the business, or playing the game.”

As you might expect, Autumn has tons of experience performing for a crowd – after all, when she isn’t playing music, she’s on the radio. She wants her live performance to “move people to dance, sing, write, love, laugh, cry…move people to just ‘let go’ for a moment,” as well as drink some beer. I agree with her – beer is important to just about any event. So get to a performance and enjoy yourself… and jump into the XXQ’s for a whole lot more.

XXQs: Autumn

PensEyeView.com (PEV): Tell us, how did you first jump into the music industry? Was music always an instant passion for you? Any hesitations

Autumn: Definitely an instant passion. I begged my parents for a piano when I was very young. I have always wanted to play music and be involved in the entertainment industry. However, it wasn’t until I moved to Austin and attended the music program at UT that I dug into songwriting. Music is different in Austin. I had never really heard folk/Americana before, and I was intrigued.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a career for you?

Autumn: When I had to decide on a major for college, my dad told me, ‘it doesn’t matter what you major in, as long as you get a college degree.’ I chose music, and never looked back.

PEV: The female sidekick for the #1 rated “JB and Sandy Morning Show” on Mix 94.7 KAMX Austin, has that helped shape your stage presence and persona on stage?

Autumn: Absolutely. Working on that show taught me the importance of engaging an audience, speaking with conviction, and getting comfortable talking into a mic.

PEV: An Oklahoma native, what kind of music were you listening to growing up?

Autumn: As a child of the 80s, I listened to some pretty bad stuff. Honestly, I was not inspired by anyone other than Billy Joel and the ‘Dirty Dancing’ soundtrack. However, when my dad played 70s music, I LOVED it: Ricky Lee Jones, Bob Dylan, The Eagles. It wasn’t until I was much older that I really knew what their music was all about. Things really started to feel right when my brother introduced me to the Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac, and CCR in high school.

PEV: What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you step on stage?

Autumn: Breathe.

PEV: Tell us about your creative process… What kind of environment do you have to be in to write music? Is there a certain “method” or “science” to your writing?

Autumn: I have to be alone, I have to be in my pajamas, and it has to be at night, completely quiet. Sometimes I get the melody first, other times it is just the lyrics and I add music later. I write what I can in a sitting, then I go back in and edit and edit and edit. I never ever have been one of those writers that sits down and writes a song in 5 minutes. Every single letter of every single word is analyzed and put in its proper place. It takes awhile.

Sometimes I’ll just sit for hours and hour, possibly days or weeks, (even months or years) until I work through a phrase and get it just how I want it. It can be brutal, but the words eventually come if I am patient with myself.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Autumn performance?

Autumn: They should expect art. That is what is expected from any musician. We have an obligation as artists to move people. Move people to dance, sing, write, love, laugh, cry…move people to just ‘let go’ for a moment. If you aren’t feeling ’something’, then I’m not doing my job right.

With each performance, there is passion, vulnerability, and truthfulness. Plus, an overall sense of gratitude to just be playing music with fantastic musicians. Oh, and there is beer. Always beer.

PEV: Tell us about your first live performance. How have you changed since that first show to where you are now?

Autumn: My first live performance was at a tiny cafe called, ‘Common Grounds’ in Round Rock, Texas. I was so nervous. It was terrifying. That hasn’t changed. I still get nervous and terrified, but who wouldn’t? Getting in front of people and putting it all out there is not always fun, it is hard and scary. Every show, I learn something new. I’d like to think the shows have grown and I have improved since that first gig. God, I hope so.

PEV: What can fans expect from your sophomore album, “Velvet Sky”?

Autumn: I was as truthful as I could possibly be. A lot of reflection, a lot of sincerity, and plenty of musicality. I hope you can hear that it is so not about the money, or the business, or playing the game.

PEV: How is this album different from your first album “Sugarcane”?

Autumn: ‘Sugarcane’ was the first album. A great first album. Thankfully, I had a great team around me to make it a solid debut. The new album is more mature, classic, and a giant leap into a more focused folk/Americana category. I was still experimenting with ‘Sugarcane’, trying to find my sound and my groove. I love both albums because they are both so fitting and appropriate to the person I am/was, something I am thankful to my producers for capturing.

PEV: How would you describe your sound? In a thick and talented industry, how do you expect to stand out?

Autumn: Folk / Americana, with lots of room…(that sounds like a Starbucks order!) As far as standing out, yes, that is hard to do. There are so many talented musicians fighting for a spot. I understand how it all works, and it is important to have a bold personality, charisma, and that ‘X-factor’ that Simon Cowell always talks about on American Idol. I am not looking for my 15 minutes of fame. I want a solid career and longevity. I work hard and always try to do the right thing. If I continue doing so, I feel I will carve out the path I was intended to be on. Trust me, doing the right thing is not always fun.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Autumn?

Autumn: I have a fear of umbrellas and hotel shower curtains.

PEV: How is life on the road for you? Best and worst parts? Any favorite spots on the road?

Autumn: One of the greatest parts of being a musician is playing with the band. I think Walt Wilkins said it best when he said, ‘playing with the band is almost as intimate an experience as making love’.

My favorite part of the evening is after a show, when the band is all sitting together in a corner booth, hanging out, laughing and drinking beers. I don’t have kids or a husband, but I know that being away from them would be the worst part about being on the road. I don’t like being away from my chihuahua for too long, does that count?

PEV: In all your travels, which has been your favorite city to play (US or International)?

Autumn: Austin, Texas.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your success? What is it like for you when you get to play a show in your hometown?

Autumn: They love it. Family is most important. Playing a show for family and friends is amazing, they know all the words and they sing along! No pressure. Beautiful.

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

Autumn: 3 things: Yoga, beer, mindless reality TV.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for right now?

Autumn: Hayes Carll has a cool thing going. Sam Baker is the real deal. My favorite musician right now is Ray Lamontagne. I know he is big already, but I just heard his new single and I would like for him to have my babies any time.

PEV: What’s been the craziest reaction from a fan you’ve ever had?

Autumn: During a heartfelt ballad, a fan was inspired to break-dance right in front of the stage. He was quickly escorted out of the venue.

PEV: Ten years down the road, where do you feel your career will be?

Autumn: No promises, but I hope it will be established, respected, and well-deserved.

PEV: So, what is next for Autumn?

Autumn: Play shows, write songs, and practice every day until I die or get married…whatever comes first!

For more information on Autumn, check out www.autumnonline.com
- Pens Eye View


"Autumn Fell with a 'Velvet Sky'"

Singer/songwriter Autumn Boukadakis revealed a grittily earthy and yet somehow remarkably polished sophomore release, “Velvet Sky”, yesterday, October 7, 2008 via her own imprint Ghostlight Productions. She once again teamed with producers Walt Wilkins (a Texas legend in his own right) and Tim Lorsch, who oversaw the recording of her 2006 breakthrough album “Sugarcane”.



Autumn officially unleashed the raw, natural beauty of “Velvet Sky” with an album release party on October 1 at One World Theater in Austin, Texas. Having just returned home from her UK debut and wrapping up a September Austin residency, Autumn was at the top of her game.

The new release finds the Austin-based songwriter hitting her artistic stride. Autumn wrote seven of the songs on the album, while Wilkins contributed four. There's also a galvanizing cover of
Patty Griffin's “Nobody's Crying”. This new song cycle takes an unflinching, eyes-open look at life, love, loss, joy, pain and all the crazy feelings in-between. Emotionally charged and deeply poignant, the quality of the songs is matched only by the stellar musicianship of Autumn's supporting cast.
She's joined on the track by a veritable who's who of Americana and folk musicians including her producers, Sam Baker, Danny Flowers, Fats Kaplin, Dave Jacques, Mike Daly, Mickey Grimm and more.

An assured step forward, “Velvet Sky” is sure to shine the spotlight more brightly on a career that continues to gain momentum. In addition to music training that began with piano at the age of 7, she also graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Classical Piano in 2004. But it may be her time as the female sidekick on the No.1 rated “JB and Sandy Morning Show” on 94.7 KAMX Austin, that best prepared her for the demands of a recording and touring artist. She spent six years with the show. Having been on the other side of the microphone, she understands the importance of personality, energy and a sense of humor. Fortunately she was blessed with an abundance of them all.

Talent runs in the family and her brother, Joey, is a budding screenwriter and filmmaker who himself is celebrating a career milestone. He just signed with MGM to write the remake of
Back To School. He also created Autumn's first music video.
Autumn is an artist that showcases the skills that have the music world abuzz - drive, determination, passion, and an instinctive gift for capturing the most interesting details of life and transforming them into great songs.
- Nashville FM


Discography

SUGARCANE (2006) with emphasis tracks “Don’t Make Me Do It,” “Sugarcane,” “Get a Little High”

VELVET SKY (2008) with emphasis tracks "Rain Down," "Higher," "We Made the Spirits Move"

Photos

Bio

Born and raised in America's heartland, Autumn's passion for music flows from the inspired soul of the Midwest.

Devoted to the piano by age six, Autumn's expansive repertoire includes voice, drums, flute, and guitar. With scholarship offers from across the country, Autumn chose the prestigious music program at the University of Texas in Austin, graduating in 2004 with a degree in Classical Piano. During these formative college years, she discovered and honed a talent and desire for songwriting.

In her junior year at UT, Autumn discovered a second calling, accepting an internship with KAMX's "JB and Sandy Morning Show" - the #1-rated radio program in Austin. Renown radio hosts, JB Hager and Sandy Rivers quickly recognized Autumn's aptitude and drive, selecting her for the coveted position as their on-air sidekick. Currently the female voice of the celebrated show, listeners have avidly followed Autumn on her exciting journey as a songwriter and radio personality.

In 2006, Autumn signed a record deal with Highway 29 Records. Collaborating with acclaimed musicians and producers Walt Wilkins and Tim Lorsch, Autumn recorded her debut album, "Sugarcane" - released June 2006. Enlisting the support of an impeccable songwriting pool including Walt Wilkins, Bruce Robinson, Patty Griffin, newcomer Heather Morgan, and British icon, Robbie Williams - "Sugarcane" is a rich mosaic, highlighting Autumn's expansive vocal style and range.

Autumn's sophomore album, "Velvet Sky" is a love letter to the moments in life that enliven our spirits, stir our dreams, and touch our souls. Marking a significant artistic stride, Autumn's eloquent performance and seasoned songwriting resonates wildly throughout, shining deep into the heart of life. Influenced by a mosaic of sounds, "Velvet Sky" is a medley of gospel-inspired balladry and Folk/Americana, masterfully fused together with Autumn's unique style and sensibility.

Teaming up once again with producers Walt Wilkins and Tim Lorsch (Sugarcane, 2006), "Velvet Sky" combines uncluttered instrumentation with potent, expressive vocals, creating a sparse yet resounding musical experience. Along with seven new originals including "Rain Down", "Trees", and "Higher", Autumn enlists Walt Wilkin's songwriting dexterity, performing his tracks "Velvet Sky", "Lessons Never Learned", "Trains I Missed" and the Wilkin's and Liz Rose collaboration, "We Made the Spirits Move". A galvanizing version of Patty Griffin's "Nobody's Crying" compliments the vulnerable cadence of four other Autumn originals, "Sunny", "Cowgirl Confessions", "Eagles", and "Paint".