MEET THE BAND: Kate Tucker (vocals, guitar)
BACKGROUND: Born in Akron, Tucker started singing and songwriting with a hard-rock band while in high school. That group recorded while she was in college and played in the area. "At the time, there was a lot of hardcore and metal happening in the Cleveland area," she says. "We'd end on the bill, and I'd be the only girl. I remember being 13 or 14 and going to [the now-defunct] Speak In Tongues and getting punched in the gut while moshing. It was complete chaos, and I thought it was the best thing ever."
NASHVILLE VIA SEATTLE VIA PARIS: After marrying, Tucker moved first to Paris and then to Seattle and released a solo EP and then a full-length that she recorded there at Bear Creek Studio, the place where acts such as Brandi Carlile, Rubblebucket, Vance Joy and the Lumineers have recorded. She worked on the albums with producer Ryan Hadlock. "I got lucky because I was way in over my head," Tucker admits. "He's worked with the Lumineers and all these people. I went for it and it was the beginning of me developing this hi-fi deluxe sound with the layering thing." She has lived in Nashville since 2011.
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR HER: Tucker dedicated her most recent album, Practical Sadness, to her mother who passed away in Akron two years ago. The 10-song disc opens with the mid-tempo rocker "Anybody's Business," a track that has the cadence of a Sheryl Crow tune but embraces an indie rock vibe (think Kristin Hersh or Juliana Hatfield). "It's really raw, and I did it completely differently than I've ever done anything," she says when asked about her approach on the disc. "There wasn't a producer. I fell into the record. My mom passed away a couple of years ago in a car accident in Akron. I was getting ready to make a record, but it wasn't Practical Sadness. One of my favorite songwriting partners came to Nashville and wanted to write a song. Over time, we wrote a song and then another song. We wrote about 40 songs." She went to his Bloomington hometown and recorded an album with a band he put together. Tucker's full band show coming up this weekend at Musica will mark the first hometown gig that she's played with a band in over three years. "It'll be bittersweet because my mom won't be there, but I'm so looking forward to it," she says. "It's always good to come home, and Akron has become a great place."
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR HER: katetucker.net.
WHERE YOU CAN SEE HER: Kate Tucker performs with Sway, Cherry, Sway at 9 p.m. on Friday, July 13, at Musica in Akron.