The daughter of a Protestant preacher, Willow Scrivner exchanged one life on the road for another as a touring musician.
Seattle-based trio Willow & The Embers is nearing the end of its 16-show, 23-day "Daughter of a Preacher Man" tour through the Midwest. The tour is in conjunction with the trio's new album, "Radio Sky," released earlier this year, and stops off at many of the cities where Scrivner's father pastored.
Who: Willow & The Embers
When: 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19
Where: Liquid Assets Wine Bar, 96 N. Main St., Ashland
"When I was 8 years old and left Oklahoma, I remember thinking, 'I never want to come back to this place,' and now we're doing it on purpose," Scrivner says.
Scrivner on acoustic and baritone, electric guitars and The Embers — bassist Bob Congleton and electric and lap-steel guitarist Kevin Wood, who also is Scrivner's husband — will perform at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, at Liquid Assets Wine Bar, 96 N. Main St., Ashland. The show is free.
Scrivner recalls a childhood spent in the back seat of her family's station wagon. She says her father had seven preaching positions. The new album reflects on Scrivner's childhood in the church, family wanderings and finding comfort in radio and her father's records.
"I think it's important to revisit our past as adults to gain a little perspective and maybe a little bit of healing," Scrivner says.
"Radio Sky" was recorded from Little Pig Little Witch Studios, behind Scrivner's and Wood's home in west Seattle, and is Scrivner's first full-length album in eight years. Willow & The Embers released an EP, "Beautiful World," in 2011 and, before that, a country compilation, "Lonesome Lo-Fi Lullabyes," with Nashville songwriter David Bavis in 2008.
The recent recording combines dark, ambient rock, "folk-noir" and "hush-pop" arrangements with Scrivner's haunting, alto vocals; introspective, poetic lyrics; and low, rich bass lines.
"Lyrically, I'm intrigued and drawn to the darker side of things," Scrivner says. "I really do believe if you welcome your demons (your hurts, haunts and struggles) and become one with them, they no longer have control over you."
Growing up, Scrivner says she was sheltered from most contemporary music but listened to a lot of hymns and old country, such as Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash.
After one year at Multnomah University in Portland, Scrivner dropped out. Her boyfriend at the time bought her a guitar at a pawnshop, and for the weeks following, she holed up in her studio apartment, writing music and teaching herself to play the instrument.
"It's been a means to an end ever since," she says.
Call 541-482-9463 or see www.willowsmusic.com.