Heather Anne Lomax
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Heather Anne Lomax

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2019

Los Angeles, California, United States
Established on Jan, 2019
Band Americana Country

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Music

Press


"Music Row Magazine Discovery Award"

"MICHAEL-ANN/Heavy Load
Writers: Michael-Ann; Producer: Randy Ray Mitchell; Publisher: November Phoenix, ASCAP; MA (track)
-This L.A. singer-songwriter emotes beautifully on the title tune of her CD. Her moaning alto breaks in all the right places while dobro, fiddle and her own acoustic guitar drawl along in a bluesy river of sound. The rest of the album proves this track isn’t a fluke: These are all first-rate songs. Extremely promising." - Robert Oermann


"American Songwriter"

Michael-Ann
Heavy Load

First there’s the voice. It’s a voice of great and soulful authority, one-part Joan Baez, one-part Loretta Lynn. There’s a southern twang and a bluesy edge, and a delivery sharp as a knife, sending the words forward with power. To greatly spirited tracks fleshed out with great textures of banjo (by Randy Ray Mitchell), fiddle (Dennis Caplinger) and beautiful harmony vocals. Even Calico The Band, also reviewed herein, bring their vocal magic to the title song. Phil Parlapiano, who used to play with John Prine, is on expressive accordion. She’s a wonderful songwriter, conjuring up brand new country classics such as “Mama’s Sleepin’,” which resounds like a lost Merle Haggard gem, and the title song, “Heavy Load,” an ode to the burdens all humans carry. These are often heavy songs, but affirmative, such as the great “Troubles To The Wind,” a treatise on getting by. “Bumble Bee” is a brisk shuffle she flies over with bumble bee busy fiddle and slide guitar guiding her way. It all ends with “What Don’t Kill Ya,” in which she employs great rockabilly Elvis phrasing and an exhilarating chord pattern to take us home with good advice. It’s all about paying dues, and no songwriter gets to this realm without them, and without the burden of being an artist in an industry, an equation always tough to complete. She does it with great soulful confidence, as impressive as the amazing guitar solo by Randy Ray on this last track – all pyrotechnics and flash – exhilarating – yet down to earth. This is a great album by an artist who has found the perfect path to walk. That she’s the chosen opening act for other great female artists, such as Joan Baez and Judy Collins, makes sense, as she is all spirit, all power and focus and grace. - Paul Zollo


"Turnstyle Junkpiled Top 10 of 2014"

Michael-Ann – Heavy Load
Michael-Ann is a Kansas City L.A. transplant with family roots in the Ozarks. Her debut, Heavy Load stands in the stream of the great tradition of honky-tonk torch music and vintage country rock with a natural inheritance from Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris. But, there is an authority on Heavy Load that engages us with her originality and passion for the song as a messenger for both heartbreak and the joy of living. There’s not a misfire or wrong note on this album produced with the Bakersfield-L.A. country congregation in mind. Her vocal performance and song artistry puts her at the front of singer-songwriters in Los Angeles with a clear pathway to Nashville and Austin. - Terry Roland


"Country Standard Time"

You would think Michael-Ann's back story would be more substantial. Although the L.A. resident has shared the stage with several A-list artists - Ricky Skaggs, Blake Shelton and Kenny Rogers included - she has little to show in terms of any previous endeavor except an EP. That makes "Heavy Load" such a surprise. It offers all indication that she's arrived intact, possessing a singular savvy and astute ability to transpose her influences and emit an effortless attitude all her own.

While echoes of Emmylou, Lucinda Williams and Patti Griffin offer a sure sense of familiarity, Michael-Ann's sturdy, freewheeling sensibility makes it apparent she's completely at ease on her own. That in itself offers evidence she's engaged. All it takes to further convince is a listen to any -- if not all - the songs on this impressive debut. It begins with the effortless, up-tempo jaunt of "Any Day," segues into the resolute, well-worn trappings of "Heavy Load" and eventually culminates in the rousing revelry of "What Don't Kill Ya." Stirring ballads like "Bring It On Home" and "I Would," interspersed with back porch rambles "Hard To Breathe," "Trail Of My Tears" and "Troubles To The Wind" further add to that air of authenticity. It's an unshakeable feeling that Michael-Ann has already arrived.

What may be most astonishing of all is that fact that "Heavy Load" was unaccompanied by any hype or forewarning. Likewise, there's no big name guest stars to elevate it to any elevated plateau. The fact that Micheal-Lee has managed to craft such an accomplished effort on her first time out speaks volumes in terms of her taste and talent. - Lee Zimmerman


"Roots Music Report"

Robust, earthy vocals combine with originals equally true to the roots on Michael-Ann's first full-length release. That said, the Missouri-bred, LA-based singer/songwriter on occasion graces her classic country melodies with fresh, low-key touches, as simple as an unexpected chord change. Ballads are a strong feature, including the torchy “Hard To Breathe”. The title track, a soulful mid-tempo rocker, is a good airplay bet as well. Instrumental backup is solid throughout. - Duane Verh


"Lonesome Highway"

Michael-Ann 'Heavy Load' - Self Release
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 20, 2014 AT 03:43AM
This appears to be the debut album from the LA based singer/songwriter who has been involved with the music scene for quite awhile. There is a mix of acoustic and electric throughout and Michael-Ann has co-produced with Randy Ray Mitchell. They both contribute on guitar with a selection of fine LA based players who include Phil Parlapiano on keyboards, Taras Prodaniuk on bass and Denis Caplinger pedal steel, banjo and resonator guitar among other string things. The drum chair is ably manned by Erik Eldenius.

However, topping all this is the mature and emotive voice of Michael-Ann, who can add the required grit and texture as the song needs. The songs, which are mostly uptempo and rockin’, go from the straight up country of Trail of My Tears, with pedal steel mirroring the flow of emotion, to the more bluegrass orientated I Would, a song that seeks a place of solace and love - it is easy to believe it’s an offer of salvation. And Day which opens the album is a song that speaks to the travails of the mundane aspects of daily survival. The music is brighter and more hopeful than the song’s lyrics might suggest. The title track looks for ways to share the load for those also “traveling down a winding road”. The reality of the blues is at the heart of some of the songs and that is underscored by the likes of Mama’s Sleepin’ a song with some sinister lyrical overtones. Never Mind is a plea for keeping your heart open and to follow it while you can. All of these attest to Michael-Ann’s ability with these songs, both as writer and singer. Bring It on Home, written by Eric Nelson, is the only song not written by Michael-Ann, yet it easily fits with the other songs as it emphasises the need to return to that place called “home” where you can find a little r ’n’r.

Overall this is a solid, accomplished, enjoyable album from a singer and writer who knows how to express her inner feelings in a way that uplifts and endures. It is Americana that is conscious of its roots but seeks to be as vital as possible in a world when much is fabricated just for fame. The production and playing is totally at one with the songs and so as the final song says What Don’t Kill Ya … well you know the rest. This album may well indeed make you that little bit stronger and as such Michael-Ann is helping to lighten a little that heavy load. -


"Country Jukebox"

“…The whole thing is garnished also with a settled somewhere between Patty Loveless, Joni Mitchell and Linda Ronstadt’s voice. Bright lights the singer is a new star in the sky country.” -


"LA MUSIC EXAMINER"

Michael-Ann is a noteworthy L.A.-based singer-songwriter/guitarist who still recollects learning to play the guitar courtesy of her “friend's musical family in the Ozarks of Missouri.” The guitar on which she learned had “strings 1/2" off the fret" which made her musical education “a painful but rewarding experience.”

Michael-Ann: Girls Rock
Michael-Ann: Girls Rock
Mila Reynaud
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10 photos
Michael-Ann
Courtesy of Original Owner
She studied classical voice in high school and college and after years of playing regularly with her “extended family” she soon yearned to ply her future trade in Nashville. While there she would catch the eye of more than one record label but chose instead to broaden her horizons with world travel. Eventually she would return to the US where she worked in numerous theatrical productions such as New York's "Woody Guthrie's American Song" (a touring show about the life of Woody Guthrie). She would also have her own original music used in the play "Sweet Bye and Bye".

Michael Ann has performed with a plethora of performers including: Ricky Skaggs, The Rainmakers and the Ravens. She has also opened for the likes of Mark Chesnutt, Don McLean, Joan Osborne, Kenny Rogers and Blake Shelton. She has appeared at such venerable venues as The Canyon Club, The Coach House, Genghis Cohen, The Hotel Cafe, Ranch Party, Room 5, The Saban Theater, Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center, Three of Clubs and The Viper Room.

She has been featured on several compilation albums and more importantly her new disc, Heavy Load, is receiving airplay on different radio stations across the globe. Heavy Load is twelve tracks of Michael-Ann’s personal blend of the lady’s “ABC”s: Americana, Bluegrass and Country.

Something worth noting from the start is that unlike some gals with guitars, Michael-Ann doesn’t put down her acoustic guitar in the recording studio. She straps it on and tunefully takes charge with her guitars and other instruments.

She is ably assisted by an assortment of other artists including: co-producer and guitarist Randy Ray Mitchell (Donna Summer, Billy Bob Thronton), drummer Erik Eldenius (Billy Idol, Lee Ann Rhimes), multi-instrumentalist Dennis Caplinger (Nickel Creek, Vince Gill) and banjo and guitar player Mark Christian (Cher, Robert Palmer). She is also backed by Phil Palapiano (Carlene Carter, John Prine) on accordion and keys, Taras Prodanuik (Merle Haggard, Richard Thompson) on bass, Dave Pearlman (Michelle Shocked, The Long Ryders) on pedal steel, Vic Koler (Neil Diamond, The Doors’ John Desmore) on upright bass and backing vocals by Amilia K. Spicer and guest artist Susan Sheller.

The new disc opens on “Any Day”. It’s always important that the lead-in serve as an apropos introduction to an artist’s signature sound. This fits the bill well and sets the tone in a tuneful tale of typical travails. She’s not really bemoaning her fate though so much as surviving through song.

The second serving is the titular track “Heavy Load.” The theme continues in this hillbilly hit reminiscent of early Linda Ronstadt who is an admitted inspiration. It’s highlighted by backing vocals from guest artists the CALICO the band.

The next number is “Mama’s Sleepin’” which yours truly was turned on to quite some time ago thanks to Michael-Ann. It not only has a familiar feel to it because your rockin’ reviewer was privy to a preview but also because it runs true to certain tenants of the genre.

“Hard to Breathe’ follows. It’s a sad song with a mellow feel as she sings: “I will get over you.” (That’s what she said—sadly.) This is one of those expected songs about a failed relationship as seen through the eyes of a woman who is trying to be strong. Still, Michael-Ann owns it, makes it hers and doesn’t disappoint.

“Nevermind” might bring to mind a classic disc by Nirvana but in reality it’s another original Michael-Ann cut on which she takes a melodic moment to offer a lyrical lesson perhaps from one gal to another or in truth to anyone who has had a less than perfect track record in life.

“Bumble Bee” is one of her best because Michael-Ann makes it even more entertaining when she performs it live. It’s fun and refreshing despite the story. Still, the studio spit and polish does give this analogical bluegrass bit about a one-sided relationship a slightly different, fuller sound. It features Aubrey Richmond on fiddle.

The seventh selection is “Trail of My Tears” which simply by title alone begs more comparisons to the likes of classic crooners like Ronstadt. As one listens her particularly noteworthy vocal work here invites additional favorable comparisons. It’s simply a really nice number.

Everything really works well together on “I Would” which is a pretty piece composed for her kids. “Heaven” comes next here. Not to be confused with the 1983 number by Bryan Adams, this is yet another of her originals and features Gabriel Witcher (Punch Brothers) on fiddle.

“Troubles to the Wind” is an early favorite of both fans and critics. It certainly seems to end just a tad too soon when one listens to it.

“Bring It On Home” is the only song here not written by Michael-Ann. It’s a beautiful song that she truly owns when she plays it live although it’s actually written by Eric Nelson. She originally performed it with the Ozark Mountain Thrush. It still really works well so she keeps it in her repertoire.

“What Don’t Kill Ya” has got some energy to it and an effective, underlying message. It is perfectly, parenthetically placed on the CD as an exceptional album end-note. From the opening cut to the final note, this is obviously a work that holds special significance to her. Michael-Ann happily offered some personal insight: "If people can have some sort of transcendence in heart or soul--a joy or catharsis through my music, then I think I've done my job."

It’s been said before but bears repeating--when Michael-Ann gets onstage her “down home” sound sets a tone. Suddenly you feel like you’re just hangin’ out with a pretty gal with a guitar who’s pickin’ and singin’ while you’re drinkin’ and grinnin’. Ya just gotta love that.

Pick up Michael-Ann’s Heavy Load and “Bring It On Home” . . . “I Would.” - Will Phoenix


Discography

"All This Time"-2019

"Mourning Dew" (single) 2021

Photos

Bio

Heather Anne Lomax has spent the greater part of the past decade putting her own spin on the Americana and Country-Rock/Blues genre. She has won awards and radio play across 76 stations both locally and internationally. Originally hailing from Kansas City, the now LA-based artist has opened for Wynonna and The Big Noise, Lee Ann Womack, Blake Shelton, Kenny Rogers, Jeff Bridges, John Hiatt, Richie Furay, Don McLean, Judy Collins, Marshall Tucker Band, Joan Osborne, Melanie and Blood Sweat & Tears.

Stylistically, Heather draws from the underbelly of human emotion, conjuring raw and oblique shades into her music that allows her to step into a deeply personal form of catharsis. It is through her music that she is able to draw out whatever love, pain or joy might be trapped within, materializing it into the real world in order to emancipate herself and those who hear her music. Above all, she hopes that her music can further inspire others to express themselves, “a vehicle of catharsis,'' as she calls it.

As the song goes, Heather Anne Lomax was “born in the wagon of a travellin’ show”. She has always known she was adopted, and after years of searching, she found her birth family. Heather discovered that she had been born into a lineage of both artistic and musical family members. She is related to Stan of WOR NY, cousin to the well-known ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax; her mother was an artist and a musician, and her grandmother was on Broadway. And so, like the prodigal daughter, she returned to her original birth name, Heather Anne Lomax.

Heather’s journey began in Kansas City, where she cut her teeth playing guitar under the wing of a family friend in the Ozarks of Missouri. Alongside her partner-in-crime and good friend Cynthia, she would workshop her guitar playing and songwriting skills, all while learning the art of old gospel and country music that had been handed down the generations. She cites Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Elvis, Hozier and Maria McKee as pivotal figures who have helped shape her sound.

Heather’s last record, ‘Heavy Load’ (2014) under her previous name Michael-Ann was voted one of the Top 10 Americana Records from LA, and won Robert Oermann’s ‘DisCovery of the Week Award’ by Music Row Magazine in Nashville. She was also nominated in the Top 10 Americana Artists from Turnstyle Junkpiled, and has received numerous features across music publications including American Songwriter, LA Music Examiner, Music News Nashville, and Lonesome Highway.

Her recent single “Heart Don’t Lie” was featured on “The Bluegrass Situation, and her single “Better Luck” premiered on Ditty TV.  Both of these singles are taken from her full-length LP. Notably, the record was mixed and mastered with the sonics of Elvis Presley’s ‘Sun Sessions’ and the American Sound Studios ‘From Elvis In Memphis’ in mind. With Jason Hiller on production and mixing duties, Heather, alongside an electrifying team of renowned musicians, began to chip away at realizing her vision. The record features Zachary Ross, Ty Bailie, Ben Peeler-Weissenborn, Aubrey Richmond, David Goodstein, Chris Joyner, Rob Humphreys, Rosa Pullman-Wurlitzer, Maesa Pullman, Ronee Martin,  John “JT’Thomas, and Danielle Fife, all of whom have had illustrious careers as professional musicians. The record was mastered at Lurssen Mastering by Reuben Cohen and Gavin Lurssen. Loretta Lynn.” – American Songwriter

Better Luck "Top Ten Weekly Songs"-Alternate Root.

Band Members