Judy Banker hit the Michigan songwriting scene with the release of her debut CD, "Without You" in 2014.
A collection of original songs, "Without You" digs into the experience of human relationships, love and loss and living on without people we have loved. Judy has written a new collection of songs recorded for her second full-length CD, “Devils Never Cry”, released to positive reviews in June 2016. Now playing on Spotify, iHeart Radio and other regional and international radio stations, Devils Never Cry is available on iTunes, CDBaby and Amazon as well as throught this website. Remaining unvarnished and personal, Judy's songwriting continues to evolve, while staying true to her style, which, at its core, is country/roots with melodies, lyrics, and close harmonies that reach out and pull you in.
Live performances combine Judy's original songs with inspired covers of Gillian Welch tunes and Hazel Dickens' populist anthems as well as vintage Dolly Parton, Gram Parsons, John Prine, and Iris Dement. Judy is frequently joined by Dave Roof on upright bass and harmonies,Tony Pace on dobro and electric guitar, and guest artists including John Sperendi (electric bass) and Alan Pagliere (pedal steel).
Along with her own songwriting and recording, Judy is involved in several other music projects. She continues to perform regularly with treasured Michigan songwriter and playwright, Jay Stielstra (reverbnation.com/jaystielstra), her music partner since 2008. She also performs in a country/americana duo with friend and fellow singer-songwriter Ed Dupas (eddupas.com).
Here’s what people are saying about Judy’s songwriting and sound:
Judy Banker is emerging as 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
If you enjoy heartfelt melodies combined with great song-writing, then you need to listen to Judy Banker. There were times when I was reminded of Tammy Wynette, Sammi Smith, and Dottie West. Chuck Marshall, Life In Michigan Online, Aug. 2016
The lyrics on Judy's album Without You 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 many times…you’ll surely feel more alive. Johnny Williams, owner of Johnny's Speakeasy, Ann Arbor
Judy Banker's sweet Americana Folk album "Without You" nearly makes a listener wish for a breakup or fresh-risen memories of a lost love. Trish Lewis, host of WUCX-FM's Eclectic Chair
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, November 2015