Take Me to the Desert
This folk/americana record is captivating with its haunting melodies and honesty. It explores themes of life, sorrow, loneliness, wanderlust, and unrefined faith.
Ellen O'Meara is an emerging singer/songwriter from Austin, Texas. In 2011, she picked up a guitar for the first time and started to write. "I felt compelled to create," she says. "I knew there was something meaningful brewing in my head and I needed to write it down. I felt an overwhelming inspiration to tell stories in my own way...I started by taking what I love about raw folk music, simple narratives with structure and purpose, and combining that with what inspires me about poetry, metaphor, and symbolism," she continues. At year's end, Ellen had written a handful of notable songs and dove head first into the recording process. Take Me to the Desert (May 2013 release) includes several of her earliest songs.
The album was produced, recorded and mixed by Darwin Smith. The recording features Ellen's elegant songwriting framed by a selection of Austin's finest musicians. Her music is simple but emotionally articulate and is complemented nicely by the album’s lush arrangements. Her music has evoked comparisons to such greats as Gillian Welch, Townes Van Zandt, and Leonard Cohen, whose “Sisters of Mercy” she covers on the record.
"Several years ago, my brother introduced me to Townes and I fell in love with his songs. His music led me to Guy Clark, Emmylou Harris, Woody Guthrie and many other pioneers who have inspired me," reflects O'Meara. "I'm fascinated with the paradox that a person's life can be full of pain and sorrow, and all the while full of hope and light. I've seen this in myself and I write about it all the time."
Musicians featured on Take Me to the Desert include: Ellen O' Meara (guitar, keys, lead & background vocals, banjo, organ, wurlitzer electric piano, banjo, percussion), Darwin Smith (moog snyth, wurlizter electric piano, background vocals, guitar, baritone guitar, dobro, organ, clave), Kullen Fuchs (melodica, vibraphone, trumpet, horns), Roy Coon (clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone, flute), Dony Wynn (drums, percussion) Tony Rogers (cello), Nick Arbuckle (upright bass), Kim Deschamps (pedal steel) and Katy Gurley (background vocals).