Interview: Applewood Road

Serendipity is the accident of finding something good without even looking for it. Such is the story of harmony-rich Americana trio Applewood Road, composed of Emily Barker, Amber Rubarth, and Amy Speace—all three individually accomplished solo artists. However, a chance meeting resulted in something they might never have imagined.

“Amy and Emily had the same tour manager and they’d been introduced through email. Emily was headed to Nashville to play AmericanaFest two years ago, and she was scheduled to write with Amy. For some reason, they decided to go get coffee instead,” recalls Rubarth. “I had just moved here, and Amy had been a total sweetheart to me when I first moved, and she invited me to get coffee with her and Emily. We all met, and decided to write something the next day.” That very night Rubarth had a dream; “I’m weird, and half my songs come from dreams,” she laughs. “I had a dream that had this three-part harmony in it. We got together and wrote our first song, ‘Applewood Road.’ It was pretty random, but it was really nice.”

Sensing that they had something special, the three began to share their songs with each other, and before long, an album was born. “We’d only really spent about a week together, in the same room,” Rubarth recalls. “When we went on tour together last year, we were actually just getting to know each other. Musically though, it felt like we were old friends.”

The trio headed to the studio and recorded their songs old-school style at Nashville’s Welcome To 1979. “It has a live feel; each song is done in one take, and you either get it or you don’t,” Rubarth explains. “It was a fun process.” The band also stacked the studio with some of the Music City’s finest players, including Aaron Lee Tasjan, Josh Day,  Fats Kaplin, Jabe Beyer, and Telisha Williams. “We got so lucky! The most important thing was keeping it simple, focus on the harmonies, and add a few things to it. It really highlighted the musicians who played as well, because there weren’t so many things jumbled together,” she adds. “You can hear everyone individually, it was really intentional.”

Applewood Road released their album last year in the United Kingdom, but are readying for a Stateside release on July 14th via Gearbox Records/Redeye Distribution. “Emily’s based England, and Amy and I are based here in Nashville,” she continues. “We’re really excited to get the record out here now.”

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Susan Hubbard

2 Comments

  1. I think the spell checker did a number on Amber’s name, Rebirth instead of Rubarth. Any good review of some of my favorite performers.

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