On Natalie D-Napoleon’s 2009 EP, Here in California, the Santa Barbara transplant engages with her Australian hometown and her current SoCal digs through a series of poignant, artfully prepared country and folk covers. During the course of six tracks, D-Napoleon reworks songs from some of her Aussie music heroes (AC/DC, The Jayco Brothers) and some of her American favorites (Victoria Williams, Guy Clark), coping with her homesickness through cathartic song. “American music has always influenced me,” she explained recently. “And playing with people like Kenny Edwards and going to those Sings Like Hell shows in town inspired me to explore that American songbook even more. It’s a deep, deep well, and I love discovering new people.”
Most recently, D-Napoleon wrapped up a whirlwind tour of her home country, and is now hard at work on her yet-to-be-released full-length, which she describes as “desert music.” In addition to a whole new lot of original material, the guitar-toting singer/songwriter has enlisted some of music’s elite (including k.d. lang collaborator David Piltch) to help with the arrangements and recordings. “I think for the first time, the band and David helped create something that sounds like me,” she explained. “There’s lots of acoustic guitar, Kenny [Edward]’s electric and mandolin playing, Dan Phillips plays these great piano lines. Greg Leisz has a guest appearance playing pedal steel, Phil Parlapiano plays piano accordion on a few tunes, and Victoria Williams plays some banjo and sings some backing vocals.”
This Tuesday, January 12, at 7:30 p.m., D-Napoleon will make her much-anticipated return to the SOhO stage for a night of music with fellow singer/songwriters Lucy Schwartz and Phoebe Light. “There will be me, my voice, my original songs, and a few covers from the EP,” she enthused. “And I’m hoping to bring a few guests to play with me. : And the $9.95 filet mignon-people should be lining up for that. Three singer/songwriters for $8, and meat wrapped in bacon for $9.95! It’s got to be the best value entertainment in town on a Tuesday night.” For tickets and info, call 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com.