After writing together first in the spring of 2009, the pair now has more than 80 songs – almost all of which tell stories from history. The band is hard at work in Nashville and Los Angeles on its debut record. The recordings will be released as a series of singles beginning in January 2012, culminating in a full-length album in the spring. Alternating between studios in the two cities, the girls are working with producer Ted Russell Kamp on 11 songs including “Comanche” (about the horse who survived the Battle of Little Big Horn), “Hazel Creek” (about a town flooded when the TVA built Fontana Dam), “Blood and Gold” (the story of the mustang), “The Groundskeeper” (about a Civil War ghost seen at Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee), “Flying Mercury” (about the 19th-century Pepin & Breschard Circus), "Carolina Amen" (about a solider lost in the Civil War battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse), “Copenhill” (about Sherman’s burning of Atlanta) and “Ghost of Traveller” (and ode to Confederate general Robert E. Lee’s horse) – as well as live favorites “Never On A Sunday”, “Tacoma Coal Line” and “Don’t Come to Tennessee”.
The album features appearances by members of Wilco, The Mavericks, Shooter Jennings’, John Fogerty’s and Patty Loveless’ bands, as well as performances by Granville touring drummer Derek Murphy and fiddle player Bethany Dick-Olds. Legendary harmonica player Mickey Raphael (U2, Willie Nelson) and Gram Parsons’ pedal steel player Al Perkins also joined in. But Granville Automatic’s first release will be a live EP. The band recently taped an episode of PBS’ Sun Studio Sessions, an eight-song set recorded at Memphis’ historic Sun Studio. The digital-only EP, Live from Sun Studio, will be available on iTunes this fall – their episode will air on PBS soon thereafter.
Since April 2010, Granville Automatic has played more than 200 tour dates, including shows at Hotel Café in Los Angeles, the Tin Angel and World Café Live in Philadelphia, The Bitter End and The Living Room in New York City, Momo’s in Austin, Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta and the Bluebird Café in Nashville (where their debut round sold out!). They have also played BMI’s Acoustic Lounge in Los Angeles and appeared on Nashville’s 103 WKDF radio, Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s Thacker Mountain Radio and NBC Atlanta’s Morning Show. In 2011, the group performed at SXSW, the CMA Music Festival, the 30A Songwriters Festival and the Key West Songwriters Festival. Acoustic demos from the band led to a third prize win in Spin Magazine’s Next Great American Road Song contest, a top 10 finalist placement in the Maurice Small Town Sounds competition, a finalist nod in USAA’s GarageBand Playoff and a Top 50 finish in the Wildflower Performing Songwriter Competition. Both girls have a history in the music business: Vocalist/songwriter Olivarez wrote and recorded a Top 10 single in Canada, has three cuts on Sugarland records, including a song on their multi-platinum Enjoy the Ride album, and received a Dora nomination for her work in the Toronto production of Hairspray.
She was also a finalist on the second season of American Idol. Guitarist/songwriter Elkins is a Grand Prize winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest who has showcased at the Billboard/BMI Acoustic Brunch at SXSW, at BMI showcases in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Nashville, and at CMJ. Elkins’ songs have appeared on television programs from “Smallville” to “Rescue Me”, “Jersey Shore” to CNN and in the film “Mean Girls 2”. Read more on Last.fm.
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