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Entertainment News

Sunday, 8 February, 2009 12:06 PM

CMA New Artist Spotlight: Becky Schlegel

Photo by Michael Witcher

Lilly Ray/IGO recording artist Becky Schlegel

By Bob Doerschuk
© 2008 CMA Close Up News Service

Aside from a whisper of electric guitar on the title track and a bit of steel guitar now and then, the instrumentation is acoustic throughout Becky Schlegel's debut album, For All the World to See. Even on the faster bluegrass tracks, her songs are filled nearly as much with light as with sound.

That quality flows through the first single, "Bound for Tennessee," evokes Celtic folk and Appalachian harmonies in "Jenny," hangs like an evening mist on the cello-caressed "Why Maybe" and ambles to the rhythm of some very gentle drumming on "I Need Your Love." The spaciousness on these 11 tracks, each written by Schlegel, may have something to do with her upbringing in Kimball, a tiny town on the South Dakota prairie. Piano lessons began there at age 5 and pointed Schlegel toward her first gigs with her mother's band, The Country Benders.

After high school, she found summer work as singer and keyboardist on "The Mountain Music Show," staged seven nights a week at Custer in the Black Hills. This revue piqued her interest in more traditional Country; after moving to Minnesota she switched to guitar and founded True Blue, honored by the Minnesota Music Academy in 2000 as Bluegrass/Old-Time Group of the Year. Then, after winning the MMA's Artist of the Year award in 2001, Schlegel began her journey as a solo artist.

Produced by Schlegel and Brian Fesler and released on Lilly Ray / IGO Records, For All the World to See introduces an artist who's ready for all the world to hear.

IN HER OWN WORDS

SONG YOU'D SECRETLY LOVE TO COVER
"'Nobody Wins,' by Kris Kristofferson."

DREAM DUET PARTNER
"Don Williams."

SONG YOU SING IN THE SHOWER
"'Slow Learner,' by the Nashville Bluegrass Band. I sing it every time I step into an elevator too. It's been in my head for about seven years."

ITEMS IN YOUR TIME CAPSULE
"Pen, paper and a Mountain Dew."

FAVORITE FOOD ON THE ROAD
"Gas station food - all of it!"

MUSICAL HERO
"My mom and Merle Haggard."

INFLUENCES
"Donna Fargo, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Highway 101, Alison Krauss, The McCarters, Charly McClain, Dolly Parton, Reno & Smiley, Ricky Skaggs, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, The Whites, Don Williams and Dwight Yoakam."

BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND
"The Berenstain Bears."

SONG YOU WISH YOU WROTE
"'Tennessee 1949.'"

MOMENT YOU'D RELIVE IF YOU COULD
"The night I met my husband, Heath Loy."

IF YOU WEREN'T AN ARTIST, WHAT YOU WOULD BE
"A vintage Fisher Price toy collector."

YOUR GREATEST PERFORMANCE TO DATE AND WHY
"Opening for Junior Brown in Fairmont, Minn. I closed my eyes and couldn't believe how great we sounded."

On the Web: www.beckyschlegel.com

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