Arts & Culturecalendar picks 1

Betsy Kingston & the Crowns

With the notion that all great art is born from suffering often testing true, Flagpole would like to offer a departure from the presumption that said suffering is solely an artist’s to endure.  We present as evidence Betsy Kingston, local heartbreaker dispensing sorrow, at least in song. This evening with her band, The Crowns, featuring talented multi-instrumentalist Joe Dinnan, Kingston marks the release of her independent debut, Blue Laws.

The Savannah-raised songstress with the Southern velvet voice shares some insight on her new album (produced by Dinnan) and the soirée celebrating its arrival.

“We recorded most of [Blue Laws] at the Magic Closet in Portland, OR,” says Kingston. “It rained 10 out of 10 days there, which is fortunate, because I only write about sad and angry things,†she adds dryly, making it impossible to determine where her tongue is in relation to the cheek. 

After Portland, the band did some mixing in Sacramento, CA.  And then they started working with a studio in Nashville where they recorded, among others, “You Look Like I Need a Drink,†a song whose title alone would likely sell-out the Georgia Theatre on any given evening.  Finally, there was work left to be done in New York…

So, is crisscrossing the country a recording strategy she’d recommend to her peers?  “It’s not the most cost-effective,†she laughs, adding, “I think we’ll do it differently the next time around—although we loved everyone we worked with, and we loved all of the studios involved.â€

This is Kingston & the Crowns’ first appearance at the Georgia Theatre. Kingston says to expect the unexpected at this free show. “Hopefully there’s going to be some juggling—freaks, sex, whatever.  This town is so spoiled, you know—anything to get them in the door… And then there’s the music…” 

As for the music, Kingston is just as comfortable oozing diva attitude (“Use Meâ€) as she is drifting into ethereal waters (“The Ed Oo Songâ€). It’s a CD release party: the perfect opportunity to watch her do both.