Artist Name: Audrey Auld
CD Title: Hey Warden
Originally from Tasmania, singer-songwriter Audrey Auld has released an exciting new album, Hey Warden. This eight-song collection of songs features five songs co-written with inmates of San Quentin Prison. Audrey has been hosting songwriting workshops at the San Quentin Prison since 2006 with the help of Bread and Roses and the William James Association.
In early 2014 Audrey Auld received a diagnosis that shone a light on the priorities in her life. One was to return to the healthy and supportive community of Stinson Beach in Northern California. Another priority was to record, before leaving Nashville, the songs she had co-written with inmates from San Quentin Prison. ‘Hey Warden’ is a collection of songs that shed light on life on the inside. Eight years ago Audrey played a show in San Quentin Prison in California. This initial meeting led to her hosting songwriting workshops which continued in spite of her relocation to Nashville in 2007. Participants would include those who had never written creatively or shared their writing with anyone, to experienced musicians who wrote and played in a band within the prison’s walls. Audrey would initiate the writing session with a song swap, and then propose an idea or a title to explore in writing. After each session Audrey would gather the papers from those who offered them. Later, at home, she would edit the inmate’s words, stories and feelings into a singable song. Audrey would bring the melody, staying as true as possible to the words on their pages. As one inmate said, “Our words, your voice”.
As the inmates sharing of stories developed, it became more and more imperative that Audrey should share these stories. The next step would be to write the songs. After that it was time to select the artist’s. Audrey selected an all-star cast of players to help bring this project to life.
With the possible exception of “Oh Love” every track on this album is a potential Grammy contender. Never have I heard an album containing such solid writing and musicianship spanning several genres. From the Country Swing “Hey Warden” that would make the Texas Playboys wish they had thought of it first to “Naked and Nameless” which unapologetically gives a carefree nod to Reggae, this is a very enjoyable collection of original music which begs to be heard by music lovers from 8 to 80.
Audrey Auld, has a voice that is pleasant on the ears and amazingly adaptable. While possibly best suited for Country, she proves (without leaving room for argument) that she could hold her own in almost any genre she wanted to tackle. Rarely have I heard an album outside the Jazz or Rock genres that I would recommend to anyone, but this one is a brilliant exception:
Buy this album!
by Jef Peace