by C.D. O'Leary
The Pittsburgh Scene visited with Judith Avers, an
extraordinary talent, transplanted here in Pittsburgh area for the release of
her latest CD, God Bless The Brooders.
The September 16th concert was performed at St.
Andrews Lutheran Church, appropriate for the spiritual sounds of this soulful
folk artist. The CD was recorded in the midst of emotional turmoil: Judith lost
her sister, her father, and her mother prior to the album's release.
Judith referred to this Americana Folk album as,
“Accidentally Hopeful,” sitting the recording process as “very healing”. You
can feel the gentle tug on your heart strings listening to songs such as
BlueBird's Song, “a song that always
reminds me of my mother. ”
Ms. Avers came from a little town called Liberal, Kansas, where
her mother raised her on Patsy Kline,
Willie Nelson, and dozens of other Country greats. Judith sang at momma's bedside as far back as
she could remember.
Her musical career began when she decided to learn to play
guitar to put her poetry to music, “I'm not a very good guitar player,” the
modest artist confesses, but what she lacks in technical training she far makes
up for in raw lyrical talent. The
gentle melody flows like water in a brook, while her whisper-soft voice echoes
with haunt familiarity.
The CD has songs that inspire, songs that confess, songs that
show the human condition, with our multitude of coping tactics. Avers' talent has not gone unrecognized, as she
has won numerous national awards based on her skillful songwriting abilities
When Judith's circumstances brought her to Pittsburgh, she
was welcomed onto the local scene at an open mic hosted by AcoustiCafe, where
she met artists that inspired another project entitled, The Early Mays, an
Appalachian band where Judith is joined by Emily Pinkerton on fiddle and Ellen
Gozion on banjo. The trio is currently recording an Appalachian Christmas Album
to be released on December 1st in time for the holidays.
The “God Bless the Brooders show included a couple of numbers
by this trio, where their tasty blend of southern-fried harmonies melted like butter
on hot toast. Pittsburgh's Brad Yoder,
and Ben Shannon each lent their earthy original music to open the evenings
The CD was produced by long time friend and fellow musician
Aland Nayak, the only other artist featured on this album. This, like most of Judith's recordings, was
done LIVE, and often in one take, resulting in a simple, honest and uncluttered
Ms. Avers next Pittsburgh appearance will be November 15th
on WYEP's 3rd Thursday Show.
Until then she will be performing a few shows in the W Va. area, where
she teaches song writing workshops.
A second CD Release show will be held in Lewisburg, West
Virginia at the Lewis Theater, on
September 30th, after which Avers will embark on a tour through Kansas and
Treat yourself to a sample of this down-home slice of
Americana, right here on ThePittsburghScene. And be sure to pick up your copy
of God Bless The Brooders,
available at judithavers.com.