Carried by her powerful, radiant voice, Grammy winner Paula Cole has a musical catalog defined by honest lyrics that covers Blues, Jazz, Folk, Pop, Gospel and Americana. Multi-instrumentalist Sophie B. Hawkins, described as a “somber Folk singer, saucy Pop gal, note-bending Jazz chanteuse,” (Rolling Stone), has been tugging at heartstrings for decades with her captivating storytelling. Both singer-songwriters are known for their indelible 90s hits—Cole’s “I Don’t Want to Wait” and Hawkins’ “As I Lay Me Down.”
Singer-songwriter Paula Cole has never been afraid of speaking complex truths. With a musical catalog defined by honest and deeply personal lyrics carried by her powerful, radiant voice, Cole has always had a gift for discerning the underlying humanity in stories from her own life as well as those around her, and channeling those emotional elements into captivating music. On her latest record, Cole has applied this natural insight to American history and musical roots traditions by interpreting a selection of classic songs – each of which provide an entry point for rediscovering the overlooked stories and figures that populate America’s interwoven cultural lineage.
“I wanted this album to reflect a patchwork of music from the cities and the mountains, the fields and the rivers – from movies, to melodies that traversed oceans, centuries, cultures, and continents – sewn together with our collective heartstrings,” says Cole of the luminous American Quilt. Not just a geographical tapestry, the breathtaking collection is a cavalcade of Blues, Jazz, Folk, Pop and Gospel – with Cole’s remarkable voice the roadmap to Americana, Jazz, and standards.
Cole garnered seven Grammy nominations for her second album and major-label debut, This Fire, with its timeless hits, “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” and “I Don’t Want to Wait” (later the theme song for hit TV series Dawson’s Creek). Along with winning Best New Artist in 1997, Cole was the first sole woman (without collaborators) nominated as Producer of the Year.
Cole consistently has used her voice “for women,” she reflects. “Being a feminist has always informed my music. I do this for my great-grandmother, I do this for my mother, I do this for me, and I do this for my daughter, who I want to be a strong woman in the world.” Cole grew up in an artistic family, with her mother a visual artist and her father a multi-instrumentalist. Both held down jobs as teachers. When Cole’s daughter was born, she took nearly eight years off from touring to focus on parenting. “I love that I was able to have it all,” says Cole, “to be a mother and come back to my career. I love music and I don’t stray from that. I’m dedicated to my path.”
Sophie B. Hawkins
“A singer who has honed and gathered her various vocal styles — somber Folk singer, saucy Pop gal, note-bending Jazz chanteuse — into a sleek, multifaceted whole. (Rolling Stone)
“Sophie B. Hawkins [has] a sound and aura evocative of Laura Nyro and Nina Simone.” (Philadelphia Daily News)
Sophie B. Hawkins burst onto the international music scene with her 1992 platinum-selling debut album, Tongues and Tails, which included the indelible hit song “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover,” and earned her a Best New Artist Grammy nomination.
The last three decades have brought multiple awards, sold out concerts, appearances on film and television, performances with some of the best known names in the business, a documentary feature, a critically-lauded tour-de-force performance as Janis Joplin in the nationally-touring play Room 105, songs appearing in hit films and TV shows, and five more albums, including Whaler, which featured the record-breaking longest-running single in Billboard Adult Contemporary chart history, the Number One hit, “As I Lay Me Down.”
Much more than just a singer, Sophie writes all of her own songs, is a multi-instrumentalist, and has been fully involved in every aspect of the production of her records herself, from background vocals and playing her own instruments, to engineering and production of her albums. She has proved an enduring artist with a fierce commitment to artistic integrity while both constantly evolving, and remaining steadfastly true to her own authentic history and experience which connects her to her fans at the very deepest levels.
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