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Louise Mosrie returns to roots on 'Home'

staff report • Aug 30, 2011 at 4:12 AM

Nashville artist Louise Mosrie returns to her Southern roots on her latest album, “Home,” which carves new melodies out of old ideas and stories. Unlike the pop sounds of her first two albums, the songs on “Home” combine Americana, bluegrass and folk genres, drawing on the sensual imagery of the Deep South where Mosrie, winner 2009 Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition, grew up. Mosrie will showcase those songs when she performs at 7 p.m., Sept. 2 in downtown Jonesborough as part of the town’s Music on the Square concert series. Also appearing will be Anna Denison, who has sung and played backup for many artists. She is also a music instructor of guitar, banjo, mandolin and ukulele. Admission is free. From the title track that paints sweet moving pictures of home to the painful history of West Virginia coal miners in “Battle of Blair Mountain” to the quiet redemption of “Sweet Relief,” the original songs on “Home” are filled with deep feeling and uncommon descriptions. Produced by Jon Young and Mosrie at Sonic Sculpture Studios in West Nashville, the self-penned songs on “Home” are supported by the musicianship of some of Nashville’s finest players, including Byron House on bass (Sam Bush, Kathy Mattea), Scott Neubert on guitar/dobro/mandolin/lap steel/banjo (Irene Kelley, Hal Ketchum, Donna Ulisse), Matt Combs on fiddle (Ray Price, Marty Stuart, Elizabeth Cook), Steve Cirkvencic on electric guitar (Jeffrey Steele) and Tom Ball on harmonica. Mosrie’s British parents emigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s for work, finally settling on a farm on 50 acres in middle Tennessee. Born in Delaware and moving to the South as a child, she had trouble reconciling the two cultures around her and shunned all things Southern — from the accent to the food to the slow, sleepy ways of doing things in her small rural town. She couldn’t wait to leave the farm behind. Mosrie began writing pop/folk songs in her early 20s while living in Knoxville, producing two independent albums before moving to Nashville in 2004 to work on her song-craft. There, she made friends and contacts in the Americana and bluegrass side of Nashville, playing rounds and writing with artists like Donna Ulisse & Rick Stanley, Diana Jones and producer Ray K e n n e d y. Ironically, the melodies and imagery that emerged most strongly in her writing after 2004 came straight from the Southern culture she once dismissed. Influenced by artists such as Nanci Griffith, Allison Krauss and Lucinda Williams, her songs tell stories of joy, love, struggle and heartbreak through the vivid characters and scenery of Southern life. Mosrie’s work earned her No. 1 Song and Album honors on the Folk DJ charts in January 2010. She was also a Troubadour Finalist at the 2011 Telluride Festival and one of 24 performers chosen to perform at the 2011 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s Emerging Artist Showcase.

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