|Artist: Diane Birch|
|Singer-songwriter Diane Birch took half her lifetime, and traveled across the globe, to get to America, where she literally found her voice and made her remarkable debut, Bible Belt. Though only in her mid-twenties, Birch likes to think of herself as an "old soul," and indeed there is a startling maturity in her singing and a veteran's self-assurance in her writing. Hook-driven songs like "Fools" and "Valentino" offer more than just instant gratification: they're like your new best friends ? you'll want to get together with them as frequently as possible. Birch mixes piano-playing virtuosity with easy-going soul, and she can strike an uplifting groove on even the most melancholy tune. Her work bears hints of Laura Nyro (when she was hanging out with LaBelle) and early 70's Karen Carpenter (when she was ruling the charts), while effortlessly incorporating New Orleans second-line rhythms, gospel fervor, doo-wop harmonies, country-blues guitar and classic AM radio-style melodies. Bible Belt was recorded in New York City and New Orleans with a formidable team of Grammy-winning producers: S-Curve Records founder Steve Greenberg, soul legend Betty Wright and Mike Mangini. Among the players accompanying Birch are guitarist Lenny Kaye of The Patti Smith Group, bassists Adam Blackstone from The Roots, and George Porter of The Meters, acclaimed drummers Stanton Moore of Galactic and Cindy Blackman of Lenny Kravitz fame, saxophonist-about-town Lenny Pickett, and trombonist Tom "Bones" Malone, along with veteran singer Eugene Pitt, lead vocalist of fabled Brooklyn vocal group, the Jive Five.|
Album Notes and Credits
Notes & Personnel Info
|Personnel: Diane Birch (vocals, guitar, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, organ, Farfisa, Wurlitzer organ, keyboards, hand claps, bells); Sumyia Dabney, Jose Moro, Cole Williams, Bobby Jay and the Hawks, Eugene Pitt, Joel Katz, Betty Wright (vocals, hand claps); Michael Longoria (vocals); John McCurry (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Angelo Morris (electric guitar, acoustic bass); Fionn O Lochlainn, Lenny Kaye (electric guitar); Eva Burmeister, Kuan Cheng Lu, Liza Lim, Jenny Strenger, Tomas K. Carney, Annaliesa Place, Sarah OBoyle, Jung Sun Yoo, Karen Marx, Arnaud Sussmann, Minyoung Chang, Sandra Park, Lisa Kim, Suzanne Ornstein, Shan Jiang (violin); Michael Roth , Dawn Hannay, Daniel Panner, David Creswell, Desiree Elsevier, Vivek Kamath (viola); Eileen Moon, Sumire Kudo, Wei Hong Yu, Eugene Briskin, Jeanne LeBlanc, Sophie Shao, Mary Wooten (cello); Lenny Pickett , Lou Marini (saxophone); Jim Hines, Frank London (trumpet); Tom "Bones" Malone (flugelhorn, trombone); Erik Ralske, Phil Myers (horns); Stanton Moore (drums, percussion); Cindy Blackman (drums); Shannon Powell (tambourine); Steve Greenberg (hand claps).|
|Audio Mixers: Howie Beno; Mike Mangini ; Steve Greenwell.|
|Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY; Chung King Studios, New York, NY; Clinton Recording Studios, New York, NY; Mojo Studios, New York, NY; Piety Street Studios, New Orleans, LA; Sear Sound Studios, New York, NY; Stevestudio, New York, NY.|
|Photographers: Melodie McDaniel; Tim Ives.|
|It's hard to imagine a more desirable item on a singer/songwriter's resume than growing up as the child of a traveling preacher, which is indeed Diane Birch's oft-repeated backstory. The most significant thing about Birch, though, is her love of late-'60s/early-'70s folk, pop, and soul, which comes through loud and clear on her debut album, BIBLE BELT. The singer/pianist's bell-clear voice tugs gently at your ear as her tunes echo the likes of Carole King, Elton John, and Carly Simon. The production team behind Joss Stone is at work here as well, and they know just how to make a roots-worshipping young woman sound totally contemporary.|
Producer: Mike Mangini; Steve Greenberg; Betty Wright
Engineer: Sheldon Steiger; Howie Beno; Steve Greenwell
|Valentine's Day (Original Soundtrack)|
Associated Artists and Works
|The Phenomenal Handclap Band|
|Release Date : 06/02/2009|
|Original Release Date : 2009|
|Catalog ID : 511012|
|Label : S-Curve (USA)|
|Number of Discs : 1|
|Studio/Live : Studio|
|Mono/Stereo : Stereo|
|SPAR Code : n/a|
|UPC : 00807315110123|
- 4 stars out of 5-- "Birch has a got a great voice and the depth of feeling she injects into her performances imbues her songs with a genuine soulfulness."
Since she was seven, Birch had been studying piano via the learn-by-ear Suzuki Method and had cultivated the ability to replicate a melody upon hearing it. As she explains, "Ever since I was a kid, I have been incredibly fortunate in that I could hear something and then just play it."
When she was old enough to live on her own, Birch moved to L.A., with the notion of becoming a film composer: To make ends meet, she quickly learned a standards repertoire and pursued work as pianist-for-hire, eventually landing regular gigs at the Beverly Hills Hotel and L'Orangerie. Prince once saw her play and invited her out to jam with him and his band at his home ? an invitation she duly accepted. Up until this point, Birch had always seen herself as a pianist and hadn't tried to sing until a friend cajoled her into taking a class. In order to have something to perform there, Birch wrote an original song, which her new classmates immediately loved. So she wrote another for the next class, then another after that; thus she became a genuine singer-songwriter.
Thanks to material she began to post on her MySpace page, Birch heard from a manager based in London and before long was able to relocate there, where she soon had both regular gigs and a major publishing deal.