Lydia Brownfield

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Lydia spent many years honing her craft in Atlanta, opening for artists such as Loudon Wainwright III, Peter Case, Shawn Mullins and Indigo Girls, as well as playing shows with her band in the area’s top clubs. 

Before settling in Columbus, Lydia became a regular performer in the coffee houses of Greenwich Village, and began a recording career that has continued to date. 

Lydia's music varies in style and genre - at once feeling quiet and pensive; and then explosive, powerful and dark. From bluesy rock, to folk, to indie country, and everything in between - even in her experimental endeavors, one can hear an urgency in her tone and a lyrical poignancy in her poetic writing.

Her songs are pulled from experiences of growing up in a low-income burb of Columbus, Ohio, her studies at the local fine arts college, a decade of living and performing in Atlanta, touring the south, and then moving to New York City - not least having gone through two difficult divorces and now being a mom. All of which brings a dramatic and entertaining live show. You're taken on a journey of Brownfield's storied past of love, hope, fear and lots of failed relationships that keep you listening and sometimes laughing.

Brownfield keeps several projects going; the new Quiet Stars, a duo with long-time partner Jeff Dalrymple, has just begun playing locally and will have a new release in the coming months. Her experimental music project, Lower, keeps thing interesting and allows her to explore the more "anti-pop" soundscapes, and her band the Jagged Hearts satisfies the need to rock out with her friends at her favorite clubs.

She plays shows frequently either solo or with one of her ongoing projects.

My music & Influences:

It's not exactly pop. Maybe Alternative or Indie Folk Rock, or Americana. It's a sort of folk-pop, blues, rock, alt country maybe - with a desperate edge. I write about things that happen in my life. The things I fear, the ones I love, the places I've seen and the darkest roads I've been down. In general, my songs all have a common thread. A mix of hope and despair is as close as I can get. It's easier to say what it is not than what it is. It's not happy, but hopeful, it's not sad, but introspective, it's not angry, just misunderstood. 

As a child I was influenced by jazz. The greats like Stan Getz and Miles Davis, Charlie Parker. Also Latin and Afro- Cuban jazz; Tito Puente, Ruben Gonzalez. The '30's and '40's swing vocalists like Ella F., Louis A., Cab C., and Edith Piaf were favorites of my grandmother. I also grew up hearing lots of folk, like Carly Simon, Ricky Lee Jones, Carole King, Buffy Saint Marie (anyone remember her?!). My teen years were bombarded with my brother's influences and led me to experience a lot of Led Zeppelin, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Yes, Rush, to name a few. But everything changed when I began listening to my own choices. 

Among the first albums of my own I had and LOVED were, Siouxsie and the Banshees, X, Sinead O'Connor, P.J. Harvey, Everything But The Girl, The Smiths, The Pogues, Joy Division, David Bowie, Talking Heads, New Order, Violent Femmes, Roxy Music, Devo, Elvis Costello, Adam and the Ants, The Clash, Kate Bush, Tom Waits, Sex Pistols.... this list could go on and on and on. These were the artists that I would play into the ground. Over and over until I had to buy the tape again and again - and then of course I had to buy it on CD. 

I started writing songs in the early nineties and continue to date - with brief episodes of weary discontent with the whole business of writing songs. My early days were the biggest influences for me. Once in the Atlanta music scene and into the '90's I started to listen to some really AMAZING music by artists such as Ani Difranco, Nirvana, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Radiohead, Morphine, Jeff Buckley, Muse, Beck, but mostly I was influenced by my music cohorts that I was sharing stages with, my band mates and other musicians I hung around with. 

Moving into the new millennium, my musical choices became a bit narrower. I found myself getting into artists who have something deep and meaningful to say that reaches the center of my soul or voices that hit a certain string and give me a reason to live. Music legends like Leonard Cohen, Patty Smith, Tom Waits, Billy Holiday and Nina Simone to name a few - and newer artists like Jack White, Annie Clark, Sufjan Stevens, Juana Molina. 

And now with everyone's music everywhere online I stumble onto all kinds of mind blowing music. What an amazing mix of wonderful, beautiful and talented humans in this world! 

So what kind of music do I play? I'm still not exactly sure - but I do hope you find it meaningful.