Saturday, July 23, 2016

Ep 31 - Song 8: "Betsy" (live and acoustic) by Ladysoal

"Ladysoal’s roots spring from the unlikely town of Ames, Iowa. Proving success comes to those who chase after it with all abandon, the band has enjoyed acclaim from fans and critics alike, from Iowa to Denmark and everywhere in between. Aside from a live show schedule that never quits, Ladysoal independently released their first EP, “I am Here,” along with music videos for the singles 'Sunshine' and 'That Girl.'

"Ladysoal delivers an eclectic sound, riddled with traces of each member’s sonic past. Whether on stage or in the studio, they never fail to bring all they’ve got. To witness Ladysoal live is to join them on a musical journey, indulging the senses with only one command: dance! Their energy is infectious - transferring from stage to crowd and back again, keeping fans moving like the pistons of a well-oiled engine.

"More than mere entertainment, Ladysoal uses their chosen medium to deliver positive messages, notably of tolerance and understanding towards and within the LGBT community. This advocacy is not for show, but rather reflects the true character of each member of the band. By choosing to do more with their fame than simply attain wealth, Ladysoal stands as ambassadors of hope for those whose voices cannot be heard."
- from their ReverbNation page

"The story of Ladysoal is complex with a simple idea. From a very young age Sharika knew she wanted to be a performer -- she played any and every instrument her parents would put in front of her. She eventually realized her passion was playing the guitar and singing, so she moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue her dreams. After 3 years she was performing as a background singer in California for Chione (a london based group), Angie Stone, and other artists on MIG records, a Los Angeles based record label. From there, Sharika decided she was tired of standing in the background and was ready to start her own project and moved back to Iowa where she eventually met Mike Meier.

"Mike Meier went to school at Colo-Nesco High School in Iowa. Before going into hish school Mike got his first guitar as a birthday gift from his parents. From there it sat around for about 5 months before Mike really tried to learn how to play. Once Mike was in high school he began doing such things as playing with his youth group worship band. He then started his first band with some friend from church. This was very short lived due to the other members of the band moving out of town. Mike then started playing the guitar with his high school chorus class. After high school Mike began looking for people who really wanted to play music. Mike spent most of his time jamming with any body who would play with him. After a year of living away from his parents, he started a band called The Never End.

"The Never End played some small shows periodically. This was around the same time that Mike first met Sharika. Their first encounter was by chance, where Mike was playing music at his apartment with a friend and Sharika stopped in. It was this meeting that sparked a new found interest in Mike and Sharika playing together. After only a few jam sessions, Sharika asked Mike to fill in for her guitar player that was unable to make it to one of her shows. Mike did so, and has been a part of Ladysoal since then.

"Ladysoal's permanent members consist of just these two, but they consistently bring in new members in order to create a fresh, new sound with every song they write. This makes their sound hard to pin down to any one genre. But with Sharika's soulful voice and Mike's pop-rock guitar riffs, this group continues awing listeners every day. With the current self-released "Ladysoal EP" they are currently label shopping with the idea of releasing a full length album, in the near future."
- from their OurStage profile

"No one in Ames sings quite like Sharika. She brings a raw, no-holds barred, full-throated vocal power that is uncompromising. She also has the soul singer’s instinct for finding blue notes and playing with the melodies, as on “Low” and “Insecure”. Sharika’s presence during live shows emphasizes the fierceness of her voice and her persona.

'And then there’s the band. The drummer James Doxon (who is also my close friend and musical collaborator) and the bassist Mallory Crain lay down a tight groove that really propels the songs. There’s a reason Sharika dances so hard during Ladysoal shows: her band makes an irresistible beat.

"The ensemble is filled out by Mike Meier, whose guitar licks brilliantly echo the heartache in the vocals and whose solid blues riffs provide the band with a crunchy rock sound. Mike’s playing really reverberates with Sharika’s style; she calls him 'the twinkle.'"
- from a Nate Logsdon review in Ames Progressive

Sharika Sawer - vocals
Mike Meier - guitar
Mallory Crain - bass
James Doxon - drums



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