Rebekah Todd & the Odyssey
Gig Seeker Pro

Rebekah Todd & the Odyssey

Raleigh, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Raleigh, North Carolina, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Folk Soul

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

Music

Press


We're able to give you a taster with the album's title track; a guitar ballad accompanied by the many wonderful musicians Rebekah gathered on this journey. If the rest of the record is this souful and well grounded, it's going to be one of 2014's finest outings. - Drunken Werewolf


BY COLIN CAMPBELL, STAFF WRITER
Benson native Rebekah Todd spent much of her summer sleeping on couches and in campgrounds across the country.
For an unsigned artist trying to spread her songs from coast to coast, life on the road offers no tour buses, managers or posh hotels. Todd spent months emailing every venue she could find, hoping for a gig. And to cut costs, she left behind her backup band, splitting travel expenses instead with an electronica musician, whose beats were a far cry from Todd's low-key folk and blues harmonies.

Back now in North Carolina, Todd said the long hours paid off - she has a fan base all over the United States. "I met a lot of people and sold CDs in every city," she said.

The tour was timed with the release of Todd's new album, "Forget Me Not." The CD is dedicated to her father, Bob Todd of Benson, who died last December. "It's a folk album with a lot of blues undertones," she said.

Her songs, with titles like "Wandering Soul" and "Gallows," have a depth uncommon for a 23-year-old songwriter.

"Little by little this heart is growing strong ... little by little these lonely times are gone," Todd's soulful voice sings out over her acoustic guitar.

Todd says her musical influences include Feist, Jenny Lewis, Susan Tedeschi and Regina Spektor. Like those artists, Todd's music has a stripped-down, acoustic sound. "Some musicians are going completely simple folk; other people are taking it to the opposite extreme," she said.

"Forget Me Not" is available for download at rebekahtodd.bandcamp.com. Todd's taking an innovative approach to selling it - the six-song album is priced at just $1. It's a concession many musicians, including the rock band Radiohead, have made to the rise of illegal downloading.

"As a musician today, if people want to steal your music, they're going to," Todd said. "There's no point in fighting that."

But not everyone's getting the album for that price. Some fans opt to pay the traditional $10 or $15 for a copy. "There are a lot of people who respect that you're giving it away for almost nothing," she said. "People's generosity is really surprising."

Todd credits her family for getting her started in music. "Music is definitely a lifelong thing," she said, adding that she got her first guitar at age 11. "I've been singing since I was 3, or whenever I could make noise."

These days, she performs mostly in the Greenville area, where she's a senior studying painting at East Carolina University. She also plays at venues in Raleigh and occasionally at Benson's Saturday Stroll event.

And after the grueling six-week tour, Todd plans on sticking to regional shows for a while. "This is a brand-new album," she said, "so I'm just going to play this one around awhile. - The Smithfield Herald


Thus far, the height of my musical “career” was winning first place at my elementary school talent show for singing I’ve Been Working on the Railroad. I was five. I was a complete ham, and wanted to be a star. My older brother told me the only reason I won was because I was cute–fair enough. Fast-forward almost 30 years, and I’ve realized that my feverish desire for stardom is much better served in the confines of my car and home, rather than on the main stage. Instead, the main stage should be reserved for those people who possess that innate gift of musical creativity and mastery that inspires and makes us feel alive. It was a pleasant surprise when I recently stumbled upon one of those people right here in eastern NC.

I was introduced to Rebekah Todd when she opened up for Paleface at The Tipsy Teapot in Greenville, NC a few months ago–a lone young lady on stage with just her acoustic Alvarez guitar and a mic. She did a quick mic check, and politely introduced herself to the audience. I watched and waited, thinking how brave she was to get up there and sing by herself. I was envious and impressed before even hearing her voice. And then she sang. A boisterous yet angelic, soulful, bluesy voice filled the room, and I was floored. Who had been hiding this homegrown gem, and why hadn’t I heard of her before? She quickly captivated the crowd with original songs like Jordan, Citizen, Gallows, Little by Little, and Walked Right Through Me. That evening, as her powerful voice echoed off of Tipsy’s glossy, cherry red walls, I was happy to tag along on her musical journey.

A few weeks after the show I sat down with Todd to talk about her music and big plans for the future.

Todd grew up in the small town of Benson, NC and was surrounded by music as early as she could remember. At eight years old, she started formal piano lessons, but soon figured out that the structure of reading music didn’t quite fit her style of learning.

“I play by ear 100%, so I don’t read music unless you have a sheet with chords. If it’s the notes on the staff I can’t do it at all. When I was eight, I figured that out. I remember my teacher was teaching me the Titanic theme song. I was reading it on the paper and I got a note wrong, so I stopped looking at the paper and listened and figured it out. She yelled at me and told me I had to read the paper, and she was really mean so I dropped it and never went back,” she recalled.

Soon thereafter, Todd’s father suggested she learn how to play the guitar. She fondly remembered those early memories of her dad and his love for music.

“[My dad] was classic rock all the way. It’s pretty cool because it really influenced me. I am happy that I know all of these artists now because I meet people my age who say, ‘Who are the Beatles, or who is Bob Dylan?’. He was musical and played guitar and he was the one who taught me. He bought me this crappy Washburn guitar that was black, and when I was eight I thought it was awesome,” she said with a chuckle.


Rebekah Todd @ Tipsy Teapot
She continued to laugh as she told me that the first song he taught her to play on the guitar was Wild Thing. Todd and her father continued to play together at home until she started playing in different high school bands with her friends. Over the years of playing with her dad and others, Todd pulled inspiration from a wide range of musical genres, which has shaped the music she writes and performs today.

“I went through the classic rock phase, and then I really got into people who had a soulful voice, like Lauryn Hill, who is one of my favorites. I literally wore her CD out [The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill]. Now I am into the more bluesy sound with singers like Susan Tedeschi and the Derek Trucks Band. I really admire artists like that,” said Todd.

Though she can cover songs ranging from Led Zeppelin to Katy Perry, Todd’s bread and butter is in songwriting. To date she has recorded about 16 original songs, but admits that there are many more waiting the wings that need to evolve a bit before she will bring them into the studio.

“Sometimes I will be sitting and playing and [a song] will come then, and other times I will get a tune in my head and I will literally pull my cell phone out, hit video, hold it out, and sing into the video. I used to carry around a tape recorder before cell phones. I think that started because when I was really young my parents bought me a karaoke machine that I could put a tape in and record my singing and listen to it. It’s funny how the steps that your parents take totally mold what you become,” Todd shared.

Songwriting for Todd is a very natural, organic, and “in-the-moment” process. Her songs are passionate and moving because they are honest. Like most artists, Todd finds inspiration in her life experiences and channels those emotions into her songs as well as her art.


Rebekah Todd
“One time I played with this band called Cool Hand Luke out of Tennessee and Mark came up to me and said, ‘I really like your music because you are honest with what you are going through and what you are feeling’. Ever since he said that I took it and tried to apply it to everything I was doing. I’ve come to find that people can relate to your stuff if you are brutally honest with your feelings because then they can say, ‘Oh yeah I feel the same way’. With my situation now, with having a loss in the family, everyone can relate. Sometimes it’s hard because you really have to go into your emotions and that can be painful. It’s the same with art. You pull it out and you put it on a canvas or put it into a song and hope that people can relate to it,” she revealed.

Having just graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from East Carolina University, Todd is ready to hit the road and share her music with the world. She’s completely devoted to throwing herself into writing and touring as much as she can, while maintaining a realistic outlook. She knows that with a hopeful heart must also come a level head, and she’s willing to put in the time and work to pursue her dream.

“It’s tough as an acoustic girl to say, ‘I promise that I can bring it’. It’s something you have to slowly prove and know the right people. I am working on it. It’s a weird road. A lot of people say I should think about getting a band. That could be cool, but I just don’t feel right with it right now. I feel like I want to prove to myself that I can do it without the band. I just graduated and I have all of the time in the world,” she said with a hopeful grin.

So far she’s got a great start with several club shows and festivals booked across the state, and hopes to add a small northeast tour towards the end of August. In between shows Todd will continue to write songs and dabble in her second love, painting. Though Todd admits to being very comfortable in the “opener” slot, I suspect she’s going to be pushed out of her comfort zone fairly soon. She wont be able to hide in the shadows of bigger acts for too long. The main stage awaits her. - Evolution of a Fan


There is a certain brand of music that people keep to themselves, that they hide away like a secret. Not because those songs are somehow not worth sharing, but because the listening experience demands a little solitude.

While this describes a large part of the reason why Rebekah Todd has been selected as one of our top 25 Indie Acoustic artists, there is another element to her music that betrays this interpretation. The singer/songwriter from Greenville, NC absolutely belts it out on her latest EP, Forget Me Not, striving for a full and passionate sound. The volume of her voice is astounding. She’s not doing it alone either, as her band is four members strong and backs her fiery vocals with a whole plethora of instruments, from Casio to Glockenspiel.
(Author’s note: Is it strange that her album cover features a three-string guitar?)

The album quickly establishes itself as a fun one, as opener “Little by Little” will dance its way into your thoughts with a tasteful touch of country and a warm bit of blues. “Gallows” shares in this smoky barroom feel, and features the welcomed addition of banjo to the sound.

Three songs – “Oh Jordan,” “Walked Right Through Me” and “Wanderin Soul” – take the middle of the EP into sombre territory. Todd employs a narrative lyrical style, inviting the audience to become an active participant in the listening experience, to pay attention to her words and how they interact with the music. While these are all strong tracks, one may wonder what this young woman could accomplish if she were to entrust her voice to a hush or a whisper. Talent like hers begs for versatility, and the addition of a quiet number – or even a few – could really bring this one home.

That said, the title track, “Forget Me Not,” is the real gem of this six song release. It features Todd by her lonesome, and the distant quality of the recording lends it a natural tone and human touch. The volume dips and swells with the emotion, and it is here that one can truly begin to appreciate the depth and sincerity of Rebekah Todd’s songwriting.

The album is Forget Me Not and the artist is one of IMR’s top 25 Indie Acoustic acts, Rebekah Todd. She is well deserving of the selection, and this album will sing to you the reasons why.
(Note: Rebekah dedicates the album to her father, who passed away in December of 2010.)

Rating: 4/5 stars!

Album Name: Forget Me Not
Date Released: June, 2011
Genre(s): Acoustic, Folk, Blues
Location: Greenville, North Carolina
Band Members: Rebekah Todd
Website: www.rebekahtodd.com
Bandcamp: www.rebekahtodd.bandcamp.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rebekah-Todd/25471231960
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Rebekah_Todd
Reverb Nation: www.reverbnation.com/rebekahtodd - Indie Music Reviewer


Still, the remnants of the past linger in her older original songs. Beautiful yet heart wrenching, she sings as if she's reading from a journal kept from a time she'd rather not talk about.

During our discussion, she confirms.

“It's like therapy with a kick because you have to be bold enough to do it. The first time singing it out is the hardest time. But once you put it up on a web site, you're like, ‘well everyone's going to hear it anyway.'”

But it's the “emotional heights” of life that give her inspiration to write — which is why her lyrics contain her rawest feeling.

In late 2010, after her father died from cancer, Todd said she discovered even more inspiration to “get serious” about her music.

“I have a new spurt of passion for music recently,” she said. “My dad passed away about a month ago and he's definitely my inspiration. He wrote letters to all of us and mine said, ‘I'm really glad you're involved with music. I always loved music but I never found the time.' And when I read that I was like, ‘I have to find the time.' So that's my motivation now. - The Daily Reflector


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Rebekah Todd has been singing songs since before she can remember. When she eventually started to write her own music, she found her calling in life: to sing to others to help them through their more taxing times.

Rebekah's songs pull stylistically from a broad range of artists from Rilo Kiley to Joni Mitchell. While she is an all acoustic act, her ability to captivate an audience with smooth melodies and soulful sounds is unmatched.

Band Members