Breaking & Entering: A look at acts breaking at radio and retail and entering Billboard charts. This week: Martha Wainwright.
Profiling acts breaking at radio and/or retail and entering Billboard's charts.
With vulnerable vengeance, Martha Wainwright sets herself apart from her famous musical family with her self-titled debut for Rounder's Zoe Records imprint. At times childlike and at others doggedly determined, the 13-track set is all naked emotion, including the searing homage to father Loudon, "B.F.M.A" (Bloody Mother F***ing A**hole).
Before the decision to stand on her own as a solo artist, the Canadian singer appeared on recordings by her father, brother Rufus and the duo of her mother and aunt, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, as well as unrelated artists Linda Thompson and Geoff Muldaur.
Wainwright produced the set with PM Dawn and Freedy Johnston producer Brad Albetta over 18 months at Manhattan's Monkey Boy Studios. She pairs longtime accompanists like pianist Tom Mennier with new members like guitarist Cameron Greider and Bill Dobrow. Albetta is featured on bass.
The record also features guest appearances by the Band's Garth Hudson on organ, keyboards and soprano sax and, in the family tradition, her mother contributes banjo and piano stylings, while Rufus provides backing vocals. It was also her mother who suggested the album's eclectic cover of the 19th century ballad, "Whither Must I Wander," by Robert Louis Stevenson and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Though already accustomed to the road as a back-up singer for her father, Wainwright is in the midst of a U.K. solo jaunt with Reprise newcomer Johnathan Rice. She will make a previously taped April 29 appearance in the U.S. the same night on NBC's "Last Call With Carson Daly." A slate of North American dates kick off May 19 in South Burlington, Vt.
Wainwright, who studied drama at Montreal's Concordia University before focusing on music, also appeared in this year's Academy Award-winning "The Aviator" as a nightclub singer. Prior to her full-length, Wainwright also released the self-titled, "Factory" and "B.F.M.A." EPs.
Artist site: www.marthawainwright.com
Label site: www.rounder.com