we are putting the finishing touches on my new album, Buffalo Motel, due out in January 2020. We'll be celebrating with a release show at the Ark-Ann Arbor, th Jan 9, 8pm tkts on sale now at theark.org!
BIO & PRESS
Thank you for stopping by! The music on this site features cuts from my 2014 debut CD, Without You and songs from my 2016 release, Devils Never Cry. Watch for new cuts and video from my forthcoming album, Buffalo Motel, due out in January, 2020! I'm working on this project with Dave Roof, audio engineer at Rooftop Recording Studios; producer Ben Sayler; and a killer band that includes Dave Roof (multi-instrumentalist), Tony Pace (electric guitar/dobro), Brian Williams (percussion), John Sperendi (bass) and Alan Pagliere (pedal steel). We spent the first part of 2019 steeped in our fireplace bourbon sessions (thank you Buffalo Trace!) workshopping the songs, pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone, experimenting and re-working until we hit what worked for each song. The result is a new sound that moves into more of an electric rock vibe, with more layers and a larger sonic landscape. These guys really killed it and I'm so excited to roll out this record! We'll be celebrating the release with a cover to cover show at one of the finest music clubs anywhere, The Ark in Ann Arbor on January 9, 2020, 8pm w/ Joanna & the Jaywalkers opening. Tickets are on sale now at theark.org.
Judy Banker's songwriting echoes a life immersed in ‘60s folk, vintage country, pop, rock, Blues, Jazz and long rides in the country as a child with her grandparents listening to polka music. At the same time her songs explore contemporary melodic and lyrical territory, equally inspired by contemporary artist like Sharon Van Etten, PJ Harvey, The National, and Courtney Barnett, as well as country-rock and folk artists like Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch, Iris Dement, John Prine, Hazel Dickens, Rosalie Sorrels, and Utah Phillips. A constant in Judy's songwriting is that it is deeply personal, seeking words and notes that somehow capture and evoke life's uncertainties, loves and losses, ironies and truth. Her performances, whether solo or full band, are high energy, filled with musical and emotional connection and release. Her first two albums, Without You (2014) and Devils Never Cry (2016) were early nominees for the Detroit Music Awards (folk/americana), with Devils Never Cry receiving WHFR-FM radio's Philby Award for Best Folk Album as well as best song nominations. Judy's third full length album, Buffalo Motel (Jan. 2020 release), takes a sharp pivot into experimental country/electric rock, with songs like "Haggerty", "Woodsmoke & Wine", "Sweetest Rain", and others with arrangements that feature strong percussive, electric guitar, and bass lines. Judy and her full band will celebrate the release of Buffalo Motel with a cover to cover concert at The Ark-Ann Arbor, Jan. 9, 2020 8pm. The album will be available after that on iTunes, Spotify, CDBaby, Apple Music and through judybanker.com.
"Judy Banker is...a premier songwriter with universal appeal. A singular unique talent and stage presence...that is organic and soul-driven, Banker writes songs with a more creatively complex vision. Her new CD, Devils Never Cry, is a complete compendium of the twists and turns anyone might face, turned into a delightful and at times heart-weary mix of cautionary tales and tonics for the troops. Several of the songs on this could be considered classics." Michael G. Nastos, Pulp Magazine Online, 88.3 WCBN-FM Ann Arbor, Founding member & Recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award, Southeast Michigan Jazz Association
"Ann Arbor singer/songwriter, Judy Banker, writes songs rooted in vintage country style. Torch songs rife with intrepid melodic lines that twist and turn in delightful, unexpected ways, yet stay true to the genre. Her voice, tangy and bright as fall cider, brings to life articulate, arresting songs of lost love and the perfidy of human nature. Reminiscent of Loretta Lynn and Rose Maddox, Judy Banker's music remains contemporary, rich in everything the modern listener appreciates about old-time country music." Maggie Ferguson, host of WXOU's The Old Front Porch Radio Show and Live! From the Living Room Acoustic Showcase
“The lyrics of Judy’s songs sound effortless and conversational and then you realize as you’re listening that your eyes are hot and something warm is running down your face. You’ll want to listen to this album (Without You) many times…you’ll surely feel more alive.“ Johnny Williams, owner of Johnny’s Speakeasy, Ann Arbor, MI
“Judy Banker...a monster singer/songwriter talent… Classic folk-style guitar…remarkably rich and nuanced. With a flexible voice that moves from a sultry tenor to a crystal clear soprano depending on the mood of the song, melodies flow seemingly effortlessly from her as she sings. It’s also great to see how much fun Banker has on stage. Find an opportunity to go see her, you will love every minute of it.” John Bayerl, SeMiBluegrass.com
First and foremost, I love playing with my band! I've had the good fortune to live in Ann Arbor, a town filled with some of the most talented musicians around. Luckily, I landed a few of them as my musical compatriots---Tony Pace (Cold Tone Harvest) on dobro and electric guitar, Brian Williams (Cold Tone Harvest) on drums, the ubiquitous, talented multi-instrumentalist Dave Roof, the sublime pedal steel player, Alan Pagliere, and one of the hottest bass players in these parts, John Sperendi. Dave also served as engineer and producer both my previous CDs and new CD at his studio Rooftop Recording,Grand Blanc, MI. Ben Sayler has been the producer on our new album, Buffalo Motel. I can't say enough about Ben. He held tight to a vision for this project that none of us could see right away. He consistently drew all of us outside our comfort zones, working to find the true sound for each song. He succeeded and I can't wait to share this work with all of you! I should mention that the for me, the icing on the cake, is that Ben is my son. I would never have dared to dream of having the opportunity to work with Ben on a music project---it has been an extraordinary experience and the music is better for it.
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