Saturn 5 Records announces the release of the single “Pray For Rain” by Nashville singer-songwriter Kristen Englenz performed with the Blind Boys of Alabama. The single drops on all platforms November 15, 2019. Grammy nominee and producer Ken Coomer, former drummer of Wilco, recorded the single and Englenz’s upcoming full-length debut album, ingénue. The album is slated for release February 28, 2020.
Recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, “Pray
For Rain” features Englenz’s soulful melody accompanied by the moving vocals of
five-time Grammy winning Blind Boys of Alabama, combining the hopes of youth with
the wisdom of experience. Coomer relates that “if I had a crystal ball and you
said that in 10 years, 15 years, three years, you’ll be at FAME in Muscle
Shoals recording with the Blind Boys of Alabama, I would have said ‘That isn’t
my crystal ball!’ ”
For Englenz, recording with the Blind Boys was a dream
come true. “One of my executive producers on the album, Willie “Chuck” Shivers,
is a great friend. I’ve hung out with Ricky McKinnie and have listened to
everything the Blind Boys have done. For this to all come together and have
them sing on my first album is just unbelievable.” Englenz adds, “Recording at
FAME with its history and iconic music legends felt like an unworldly
experience. It felt like magic when the Blind Boys walked in. And then the end
of the track is so special. Ken knew exactly what to do. It’s like a prayer!”
Coomer feels that “Pray For Rain” is a song that needs to
be heard. He said, “like Michael Stipe letting everyone figure out what your
songs are about, the song is for individual interpretation as to meaning. It’s
genius.” For Coomer, the lyrics encourage one to not be stuck, to find the
light at the end of the darkness. “With what’s going on in the world with
climate change and the Amazon being in a crucial critical state, this song
speaks to me to keep moving, keep trying to make things better.”
Besides Englenz on acoustic guitar and vocals, Coomer
plays percussion on the track. Ted Pecchio plays electric bass, Jason “Slim”
Gambill and Joe Garcia play electric guitar, and Robbie Crowell rounds out some
of Nashville’s finest session musicians with his keyboard work.
Roots music journal No
Depression called Englenz’s music “stream of consciousness Beat poetry
imbued with good-down-home Southern sensibility.” And Stomp and Stammer said, “There is a stirring intimacy to these
performances that holds you in their grasp.”
A fast-rising fixture of the East Nashville music scene,
Englenz sings stories of loss and heartache with a soulful sensibility both
intimately aching and defiant with hope. A classically trained pianist and
acoustic guitarist, Englenz also plays French horn on several tracks on the
album. With a voice both virtuosic and vulnerable, her music is fragrant with
Americana notes and a modern indie vibe.
“Pray for Rain” follows the first single from the
Coomer-produced album, “Got Me With Goodbye,” which included a video track that
has been garnering attention.
Englenz attributes her melodies as partly inspired by the
natural world, which she combines with her interest in environmental activism
in her popular web series “Caterwauling with Kristen” where she mimics
birdcalls and teaches about avian species.
Englenz frequently performs at multiple Nashville venues
including The 5 Spot, The Basement, and The Bowery Vault as well as at the
famed Eddie’s Attic in her hometown of Decatur, Georgia. Her songs have
appeared on compilation albums for Amplify My Community, a nonprofit
organization using music to defeat homelessness, along with those of R.E.M.,
Drive By Truckers, Widespread Panic and many more.
Englenz was recently signed by Atlanta, Georgia-based
indie label, Saturn 5 Records.