Rings Around Saturn Features 11 New Songs That Halliday Describes As “Bluegrass And Bourbon-Infused, Women-Powered, Original Americana Music”
Singer-songwriter Marion Halliday is a lesson in contrasts. A Philadelphia transplant via Kentucky, she has built her success as a musician on her innate ability to blend her laid-back Appalachian roots with the more urgent, gritty landscape of the “City Of Brotherly Love.” Now, after three years focused on writing for her band Trickster Sister, the bluegrass troubadour is, once again, pushing the boundaries of her music as she releases her first solo full-length album Rings Around Saturn.
Featuring 11 brand new songs, Halliday’s debut effort will be released Monday, July 1 in conjunction with a full radio campaign and a series of East Coast shows, including her CD release party, with her band and a number of other highly regarded musicians in Philly on July 13. The Philly show will be at the legendary Philadelphia Folksong Society (located at 6156 Ridge Avenue), the organization behind the renowned Philly Folk Festival, and of which Halliday is a Co-Op Member.
In addition to her CD release party, Halliday will also perform songs from her new album at this year’s 58th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, the country’s longest-running folk festival featuring dozens of premier acts including David Crosby, Margo Price, The Mavericks, Joan Osborne, and many more. The artist will appear on Friday, August 16 on the Lobby Stage and Sunday, August 18 on the Culture Stage.
“The release of my first full-length solo album marks a pivotal time in my career – one that I’ve been working toward for over two years,” said Halliday. “While I love being part of a band and the energy and creativity that comes from that experience, I’m excited to share a more intimate, personal side of my art through these songs.”
Rings Around Saturn was produced by Halliday and Jim Salamone and engineered by Salamone and Todd MeCaughey. It was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Salamone at Cambridge Sound Studios. Musicians featured on the album include: Jane Halliday (violin, banjo uke, backing vocals various tracks), Donna Bostock (upright bass, various drums and percussion, backing vocals various tracks), Brad Hinton (guitar, lap steel various tracks), Peter Farrell (keys various tracks), Jim Salamone (electric guitar, bass, ambient effects, drums and various percussion throughout), Todd MeCaughey (electric guitar, various percussion throughout), Dave Mowry (slide guitar Track 6), Desiree Haney (Cello Track 4), Irene Lambrou (backing vocals Tracks 1 and 11), Meghan Cary (backing vocals Tracks 1, 2, and 11), Lisa Jeanette (backing vocals Tracks 1, 2, and 11), Mike Parisi (bass on Track 4) and Giada Tripepi (cajon, tambourine on Track 11).
In Review: in our review of Rings Around Saturn, Marion Halliday shows her talents in a traditional way, taking cues from her predecessors like Peter, Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger, Odetta, Joan Baez and others that sought to use their musical talents to convey and communicate a new way of thinking, to bring a message of hope to those that felt hopeless. As in her song “Thoughts and Prayers” she tackles the highly emotionally charged issue of the unnecessary loss of life happening in our world, but not by pointing a finger of blame, but by extending her hand in love and understanding, her songs are miraculous, her voice is a new beacon of peace in this troublesome time.
Rings Around Saturn, which Halliday describes as “Bluegrass and bourbon-infused, women-powered, original Americana music,” is an eloquently produced, thought provoking album that straddles the line between “reflective and beautiful” and “playful and hard-driving,” she says. Modern-day topics and issues are beautifully woven throughout the record with tracks like “Good Things Will Come” and “We Are the Change” aiming to “inspire hope through change” and the tragedy of the Native American experience in “If Statues Could Speak”.
The latter song is also representative of the influence of Philadelphia and its history on Halliday’s music. Halliday was moved to write that song after happening upon the Statue of Tedyuscung, a chief of the Lenape (the first true settlers in this area) when hiking in Wissahickon Park. Other tracks are also influenced by the area and its history, like “Still Burning,” about the tragic Centralia PA Coal Mine Fire and “The Boy On Lemon Hill”, titled after the street of the same name in historic Fairmount Park.
“The one thing I always want my fans to take away from music is the stories,” said Halliday. “I want them to share these stories with others and be ones that they want to hear time and time again.”
Every track on this groundbreaking album is more than a “song” but a story, and Marion Halliday is the next level of storyteller, and will undoubtedly tell us a story of a new and wonderful life to come.
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