Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Sunday Sounds – Diane Birch

To me if Diane Birch had been around in the 70’s she would have been on the Asylum Records label as she brings to this decade that laid back West Coast of America singer songwriter vibe.

Born in Michigan, she spent her childhood in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Sydney, Australia. Her father was a 7th Day Adventist preacher and took his family wherever he worked. When she was ten, her family returned to the United States, and settled in Portland, Oregon.

Birch began studying piano using the Suzuki method at the age of seven. When she was old enough to leave home, she moved to Los Angeles and pursued work as a “pianist for hire”. Eventually she landed gigs at the Beverly Hotel and L’Orangerie.

Prince heard her playing at the Polo Lounge in 2006 and invited her to jam with him and his band at his home. After being discovered on MySpace, Birch moved to London where she signed a publishing deal and wrote a majority of her debut album. In 2007, she moved to New York after signing to Steve Greenberg’s S-Curve Records.

Birch says that she was not exposed to pop music and culture as a child because her religious and conservative parents did not approve of secular music. She had only heard opera, classical music and music she had heard in church (Hymns) before she arrived back in America aged 11. She cites church hymns as a large influence on her song writing both lyrically and musically.

Birch plays piano, Wurlitzer, (Fender) Rhodes (with whom she has an endorsement deal) and guitar.

Birch’s first album, Bible Belt, was released in 2009 on S-Curve Records and enjoyed resounding critical acclaim including reviews from Rolling Stone Paper Magazine and the Huffington Post amongst others. Bible Belt incorporates many styles of music, including blues, soul,gospel, rock and folk. The musicians who played on the record include Lenny Kaye (of The Patti Smith band), Adam Blackstone (The Roots and Jay Z), Cindy Blackman (Lenny Kravitz), George Porter and Tom “Bones” Malone. The album was produced by the Grammy Award-winning team of Steve Greenberg with Betty Wright and Michael Mangini. Birch wrote all the words and music for all the tracks on the album and cited her father and her religious upbringing as influences.

The songs on “Bible Belt” vary in subject matter; “Fools” Birch says is about her time living in Los Angeles, “Magic View” was inspired by her arrival in New York. “Don’t Wait Up” recalls her teenage “goth” stage; Birch would leave home with little or no make up and then once out, apply heavy black eye liner and lip stick and whiten her face. When she returned her home her shocked Father would be waiting up for her reading the Bible. “Valentino” is an ode to her childhood imaginary friend whom she recalls, resembled Amadeus Mozart.

“Ariel” – Diane Birch

Lookin’ round for a different high in the land of the living
Tryin’ to free the bird inside this cage
I got news today that you’re gonna go see the great wall of China
I guess I’ll see all the pictures on your page

No, I can’t tell the reason from the riddle and the rhyme
I can’t see the feelin’s on your mind
You know it feels like we’re only living under the same sky
When the clock strikes eleven fifty nine

Do you hear me callin’ Ariel?
Am I a fool to think I know you well?
Do we see the same stars Ariel?
‘Cause sometimes baby those green eyes just don’t tell

I’ve been cryin’ on the pillow where you lie
For the past, for the future and everything in between
Oh, does it hurt more to lose you or hurt more to love you baby?
Or does it hurt more to look at you on my screen?

Do you hear me callin’ Ariel?
Am I a fool to think I know you well?
Do we see the same stars Ariel?
‘Cause sometimes baby those green eyes just don’t tell

Are you gonna leave me lonely?
Talkin’ to myself again
Lookin’ out on New York City

Do you hear me callin’ Ariel?
Am I a fool to think I know you well?
Do we see the same stars Ariel?
‘Cause sometimes baby those green eyes just don’t tell
Oh, no, no, no

Do you hear me callin’ Ariel?
Am I a fool to think I know you well?
Do we see the same stars Ariel?
‘Cause sometimes baby those green eyes they just don’t tell
No, they just don’t tell, oh

Her television début was on CBSLate Late Show with Craig Ferguson on June 22, 2009. She also appeared on Late Night with David Letterman on July 22, 2009. Other major television appearances include The Carson Daly Show and Jimmy Kimmel, as well as a recent performance of the Daryl Hall webcast called Live from Daryl’s House as well as The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.

Birch’s live band is composed of Jay Foote on bass, Eric Bloom on trumpet and flugelhorn, Josh Dion on drums and Alex Foote on guitars.

The song Rise Up was chosen as the Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week for October 20, 2009.

Birch has recently had a top 10 hit in Japan and has played sold-out shows in Osaka and Tokyo. The Japanese release of “Bible Belt” includes the previously unreleased songs “Cheap Ass Love” and “Every Now and Again”.

To buy the music of Diane Birch click HERE

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March 7, 2010 - Posted by | New Music, Video |

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