After 3 releases fronting the band Mount Moriah, H.C. McEntire unveiled her first solo effort earlier this year. Her tour kicks off Friday night in Columbus. McEntire also visits WCBE Friday morning for a Live From Studio A session.
In this edition of Music Journeys, she tells Mike Foley about the inspiration for her solo material and how it's started a dialogue with her family.
When You Come For Me plays
There's definitely a place in music for H.C. McEntire, although the singer/songwriter admits to questioning where she fits into an industry that can be fickle and unreliable. McEntire developed a love of music growing near the family farm in western North Carolina.
"And my uncle had a mechanic shop next to it, and he had this little radio that was always on the country dial," McEntire recalled. "So I kind of cut my teeth on that and also hymns from the church I grew up in."
Quartz In The Valley plays
Lionheart, McEntire's first solo release, represents the courage she had to work up to to find her voice.
"When it's just you and it's just your name, you really have to own it," McEntire said. "I don't think I was ready to do that until now. I really connect with the title of the record in that way and wanted to be as transparent as I could and tell these stories that have been sitting on my shelf in between records of Mount Moriah and other stuff. A big part of my self growth came in tending to them and shaping them up."
For McEntire, the opening song - A Lamb, A Dove - captures the spirit of the record, touching on religion, spirituality and her own sexuality.
A Lamb, A Dove plays
"The record really is about trying to find relation between a lot of different worlds," McEntire said. "Really hoping that there does exist some sort of common ground. I have been out for a long time now, but it's not something my family has been very supportive about. As we've gotten older, we've become closer. They can see themselves in me and vice versa. I can see them struggle trying to reckon with the love of their child which is limitless and the devotion to their faith. I think that's where they're out right now. The dialogue is still not as concrete as I'd like it to be, but some steps have been made in the right direction."
The final song McEntire wrote for the new material - One Great Thunder - deals with loss and mourning, specifically the death of her grandmother.
One Great Thunder plays
"Very close to me, and a bit of an ally in the way that she could be," McEntire reflected. "So it's about that kind of loss, seeing her still and lifeless. I don't think anyone can really comprehend death. There's this person that has been so vibrant in their life, and they're just gone. It's hard to reckon with for sure, and I guess that's me trying to do that. You get this feeling, I hope, of maybe not resolve but acceptance."
Dress In The Dark plays
"I haven't really toured on this record yet, and I'm just hungry to go out and present these songs," McEntire said. "I try really hard not to sound recycled, to be able to tell a story and have someone really take in the imagery in a cinematic way."
McEntire opens the tour in Columbus Friday night at the Rumba Cafe but before that she'll visit WCBE for a Live From Studio A session in the morning with Mike Taylor. She also has some new material in the works for another solo release.