“Sometimes I’ll make a decision and I won’t know why at the time, but then a song comes out of it. I tried imagining what life would be like not to be a songwriter but that’s just who I am,” says Layla Frankel, whose debut EP showcases her vocals and lyrics in the Americana/soul style. She’s a strong young woman with decades of experience. From the age of three she was performing onstage and recording with her father, Chicago-based children’s music entertainer Joel Frankel. As a pre-teen, Layla joined the renowned Chicago Children’s Choir where she gained a strong musical foundation. She later moved on to front big bands and jazz combos singing from the Great American Songbook, while getting formal training at University Of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.
Each song comes not only from craft but life. In the fall of 2015, Layla took a backpack and her Little Martin guitar and went sightseeing/volunteering in Europe for four months with the goal of meeting interesting people, experiencing other cultures and landscapes, and taking a hiatus from musical pursuits. Of course, she didn’t stay away long; in the Spring of 2016, a two-month-long hike along the Israel National Trail became the catalyst for finally assembling a handful of her best songs into the compact disc collection, Tame The Fox, a title inspired by the book The Little Prince, which she carried with her on the trail.
She currently lives in Nashville, TN and performs both locally and nationally. As always, she continues to find inspiration in her surroundings and has been hard at work writing a new collection of songs in her new city.
After a successful full-length release in the Summer of 2017, including landing on the Americana Radio charts, opening up for Avett Brother's father Jim Avett, and packing out Listening Rooms in the North and South, Will Payne Harrison is following up East Nashville Blues with a 6-song companion EP of covers with the likes of John Prine, Hank Williams and Steve Earle as well as an original track. Blue is the common thread of the new EP with each song containing the word in the track.
Katie Bates is a powerhouse freelance vocalist/recording artist/songwriter, specializing in genres of soul, R&B & rock. Katie performs at various venues across Chicago proper & suburbs (The House of Blues, Schuba's Tavern, Buddy Guy's Legends, The Dawson, Skeleton Key Brewery), Indiana (Running Vines Winery, Aftermath Cidery) and Michigan (Acorn Theater), in addition to private events.