Finally Friday Features Gina Sicilia and David Quinn
Fridays cycle back around like cosmic clockwork, and this week’s episode of your favorite Friday lunch-hour performance showcase will stream from “home” to you with release-day blues and soul from Pennsylvania-raised, Nashville based Gina Sicilia and very new Black Dirt Country album (his term) from Illinois rustic roots man David Quinn.
Prolific is a word that comes up quickly when you look into the career of Gina Sicilia, because she’s written and released nine albums since breaking through with a 2008 nomination as Best New Artist at the Blues Music Awards. “I have a lot of ideas and like to put albums out fairly quickly,” she says in the bio for Unchange, which arrives on Friday, marking album number ten. Blues is at the heart of this celebrated singer’s music, but a scan through her catalog suggests a similarly pan-roots outlook as her colleague Shemekia Copeland. On her latest, Sicilia’s low, lustrous voice is captured beautifully by her producer, the blues and roots maestro Colin Linden. Her prior producer Cody Dickinson, the drummer from the North Mississippi Allstars, calls Sicilia “an incredible singer, a phenomenal songwriter” and “a force of nature.” She dropped a little preview of her session, captured with Linden here.
David Quinn embraces his roots and his easy-going take on life in “Boy From Illinois,” one of a dozen tracks on his newest, thirdest album whose title could be an effective two-word review: Country Fresh. “I was born a midwest man, Lord I’m doing the best I can, and I don’t care what you have to say,” he sings with a casual confidence; he makes you want to be in his boots. Open, friendly and plainspoken is Quinn, who like his hero John Prine spent many formative years in Chicago. Now he’s relocated to rural Illinois, where he wrote the bulk of Country Fresh, though he recorded it here in Nashville at the historic Sound Emporium with some of our favorite sidefolk, including Brett Resnick on pedal steel, Fats Kaplin on fiddle and Sturgill Simpson musical maestro Miles Miller on drums. Quinn’s calm voice and grooving, twangy band takes on the joys of vittles on “Cornbread and Chili” and the trying to outrun yourself on “Low Down.” I also enjoyed the the black rooster painting on the cover. He doesn’t look like he gives much of a cluck either.
You can catch the sets on the airwaves or by video stream at WMOT.org. It all stars, per usual, at noon.
The story has been corrected to reflect that Colin Linden, not Cody Dickinson, produced Gina Sicilia's new album Unchange.