Audrey Auld is often referred to as “the greatest star Nashville never heard”. Anyone who *did* hear her – or continues to play her music – would agree. Audrey passed away at the way too early age of 51 from brain cancer in 2015. She left behind a legacy of great songs and wonderful memories for those of us who saw her play live. She was as much of a powerhouse entertainer as she was a dynamite songwriter.
When my wife and I ran a local concert series, we held a fundraiser for Audrey – and yes, Audrey played her own benefit. And of course, it was an amazing show. I was also fortunate to interview her back in 2012 on my “Songs and Stories” podcast. I reposted the interview right after we lost her: “Songs and Stories #150 – Remembering Audrey Auld.
Three new releases capture Audrey’s music. Two are double-CD live recordings. The other is a tribute CD (also a double disc album) from songwriter/producer Nancy Apple that features a variety of performers. I highly recommend all three.
The Live CDs
“Audrey Auld – Live at San Quentin” and “Audrey Auld – Live at the Kate Wolf Festival” totally capture the best of Audrey. Great songs and witty and charming as hell in concert. There are intros to all the tunes, so you get a real feel of what made her such a special performer. Audrey did a lot of work with Bread and Roses and regularly taught songwriting classes to the inmates at San Quentin, which makes the “San Quentin” CD so special. (Her last studio release was “Hey Warden,” featuring songs she co-wrote with the inmates during her workshop.)
The record features Pam Delgado and Jeri Jones of Blame Sally backing her up. The “Kate Wolf Festival” CD features another trio configuration: Audrey is again backed by Pam Delgado and joined by Velvy Appleton of bay area favorite Spark and Whisper.
How to Order the Live CDs
Proceeds from these two records go to handling her remaining medical costs and towards funding a memorial park in Audrey’s name. To order, you get to go old school: Send a donation directly to Mez, Audrey’s husband, by snail mail to Reckless Records, P.O. Box 444 Portsmouth, RI 02871. (The records are not available on Audrey’s web site.)
“Just Love: A Tribute to Audrey Auld Mezera”
In an interview with The Daily Country, Nancy Apple said the loss of Audrey “hit a lot of us real hard, so we made this record to show our love. Audrey knew a lot about love. She lived it. She shared it.” The players on the record are a cast of ringers who both knew and admired Audrey. It’s also an interesting mix hearing a fair number of male singers cover her songs – it breaths news life into what were already great tunes. “Just Love” is available online in the usual places (iTunes, Amazon.)