The music industry can be tricky. Independent artists are often left to connect the dots on their own, including booking their own gigs.
Jill Cohen, an Americana folk singer from Seattle, is no stranger to playing the booking manager. Of course, it helps when establishments extend an invitation to play indefinitely.
“This will be my third time at Mr. Happy’s,” Cohen said. “There is just something magical about the Four Corners. I like to book myself in places I want to be.”
Cohen and her guitarist Dave Sampson will perform at Mr. Happy’s on Saturday, May 17 at 8 p.m. Paying homage to artists such as Joni Mitchell and Sarah McLachlan, this duo’s musical collection ranges from contemplative to personal. Cohen and Sampson often record and tour together. They are currently on a 72-city tour promoting two albums, Beautiful I Love You and Yellow Rose, the second being a happy accident.
Generally Cohen sticks to a one-album-a-year agenda, but when the opportunity came to record with Grammy Award-winning producer Malcolm Burn, she couldn’t refuse.
“Recording with Malcolm (Burn) has always been on my wish list, but I never had the confidence to pursue him,” Cohen said.
After she wrote the song Yellow Rose, it was obvious she had found her pitch. Reaching out to the producer wasn’t easy for Cohen, but his response was priceless.
“He wanted me to send him more material, and I really didn’t have much,” she said.
She sent over a few more tunes, but he wanted more. Better yet, he wanted to record with her. She continued to write up until her plane ride to New York. After a few traveling mishaps, she found herself in Burns’ studio.
“The entire session was complete surrender,” Cohen said. “I am usually more meticulous about recording, but in his hands I was just an artist. It was great to be guided by a person who I have so much admiration and respect for.”
Cohen will be singing Yellow Rose and several songs from her ninth album, Beautiful I Love You, and the album Cinema which contains 16 well-known remixed, retrospective songs. The newest albums are guitar-driven and harbor sounds of tenderness. Her vocals are beautifully uplifting and mellow. Her lyricism is reflective of bittersweet journeys; wrought with tales of love, hope and faith.
Cohen will have various albums for sale after her performance on Saturday. There is no cover charge. Samples of her music are available online at www.jillcohen.com.