Described as “…one of the brightest stars on the acoustic music scene by PULP online and “a monster singer-songwriter” by SEMIBluegrass, Judy Banker is known for her hook-driven songs with intensively personal, evocative lyrics, and her singular, expressive voice. Judy combines her compelling lyrics with traditional country instruments – acoustic guitar, dobro, pedal steel, banjo – and weaves them with a dirty, gritty buzz and spacey vibe of an electric guitar, lap steel, and keyboards. She brings her sound to solo and Judy Banker Band performances at clubs, festivals, and concert halls like The Ark, Johnny’s Speakeasy, Farmington Civic Theater, Mama's Coffeehouse, Michigan Theatre of Jackson, Trinity House Theatre, Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Nor East’r Music Festival, Harvest Gathering, Detroit Arts, Beats, & Eats, Holler Fest, and the Rosalie Sorrels Music Festival in Boise, Idaho.
A longtime fixture on the Ann Arbor acoustic music scene (performing with Michigan folk legend Jay Stielstra for over a decade), Judy emerged as a solo artist and songwriter in 2014, releasing 3 well-received full-length albums in six years. Judy’s first release, Without You, a raw folk-country acoustic project, is at turns a celebratory and heart-wrenching ode to love and loss with the recent passing of her husband and lifetime musical partner, John Sayler, and her beloved sister, Barbara. She went on to pen a dozen new songs for her acclaimed sophomore pure Americana release, Devils Never Cry (2016), a testament to love and life’s unexpected turns expressed with high lonesome dobro, fiddle, and close harmonies. In 2019 Judy released a single, “Blessed Be The Nation”, a poem written by Pete Seeger and Jim Mussleman in 1964 that had never been set to music. Judy composed music for the poem with the exclusive permission of the Seeger family estate to help spread the “people not profits” message of the poem via free downloads of the song (free download available on this site's "Pete Seeger Project" page.)
Taking a quantum leap with her most recent full-length album, Buffalo Motel (2020), Judy moved into expansive, atmospheric alt country/indie rock territory. Dubbed by Current Magazine (2020) “a big sounding record…a hybrid of Americana, folk-rock and tender balladry…momentous, and ruminative”. She assembled an All Star group of Michigan artists to be part of the project including multi-instrumentalist David Roof (who doubled as recording engineer at his studio, Rooftop Recording) guitarist Tony Pace and drummer Brian Williams (both of Cold Tone Harvest), bassist John Sperendi (Flying Latini Brothers) and pedal steel player Alan Pagliere (Dixons, Cadillac Cowboys) along with her son, Ben Sayler, as producer.
Back in the studio again (Rooftop Recording) Judy is working on a new single, “After It Ends”, with David Roof (engineer/producer and multi-instrumentalist) and John Sperendi (producer and bassist) to be released in spring 2021.
Visit judybanker.com or facebook.com/judybankermusic
Her music is available for streaming on all major platforms.
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