5Q :: Andy Elwell comes home for a good causeSinger/songwriter Andy Elwell, a former Duluthian, will be one of the featured performers at Sacred Heart’s ovarian cancer fundraiser Feb. 5.
Ladies and gentlemen, Northland native Andy Elwell is coming home. The former Greyhound, who relocated to the Cities and just released the follow-up to the critically acclaimed “New Ground,” will be one of the featured performers at Sacred Heart’s ovarian cancer fundraiser Friday, Feb. 5.
To celebrate his return, the Budgeteer lobbed a few questions at the up-and-coming singer/songwriter:
Budgeteer: What did you learn during the recording and promotion of “New Ground” that you applied to this new record?
Elwell: On “No One You Will Ever Know,” I really went into the studio with a clear idea of what I wanted the record to be. I had 98 percent of the parts written beforehand, everyone who played on the record was well rehearsed — and the other 2 percent were amazing surprises.
As far as promotion goes, it is a tough racket getting your music out to people. In the age of the Internet and instant gratification, the world is seemingly at your fingertips.
But, that same world is diluted by everything else that is pushed out on the Internet, making it difficult to get noticed amidst a sea of information. So, basically, I have learned that you have just gotta work every angle you can.
Even before “New Ground” had much time to settle in with listeners, songs of yours were already being licensed for shows like “The Hills” — how did you manage such a feat?
The songs that were licensed had actually been licensed since 2007-ish.
A Minneapolis company called Tinderbox is helping me out in those areas. We are pretty confident that “No One You Will Ever Know” will also get picked up for some stuff in the near future.
We also are kicking off a 200-station college radio campaign on March 2, so be on the lookout!
During my review of “New Ground,” I mentioned how sad the songs felt. Did you hear that from anyone else?
On “New Ground,” the songs were extremely personal and very naked in a way, and I did get that from people. People at shows would ask me if everything was OK — which was a nice gesture, but pretty funny as well.
That’s not to say that “No One You Will Ever Know” isn’t personal; I just tried to use more color and blur the features instead of handing the listener a photograph. On “New Ground,” it was the type of situation where my friends could tell me exactly who or what a song was about. On “No One You Will Ever Know,” it is a little more difficult to point out.
Your performance at Sacred Heart is part of a fundraiser. What can you tell us about the cause?
The show is a fundraiser for an ovarian cancer charity called Charlene’s Light. The gig has been dubbed “Tunes for Teal.” Cancer awareness is an important cause to get behind. There have been bouts of cancer in my family, so, when faced with the opportunity to lend my services and come home and play at Sacred Heart, I couldn’t say no.
Finally, on a lighter note, how’s life? How’s the big city treating you?
Minneapolis is a delight, although I am little irritated with the on-street parking situation. But what can you do? I also am ecstatic about the opening of Target Field and the upcoming baseball season. I have been spending my time promoting my shows and booking a tour of the Southeast, East Coast and New England for May and June.
NEWS TO USE
Andy Elwell will perform with the Capitol Sons at 8 p.m. Friday, March 5, at Sacred Heart. The show is a benefit for Charlene’s Light to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. Cost is $10; price includes free food, wine and beer. Details can be found online at www.andyelwell.com.
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