By Andy Mesecher
Date Signed: May 31, 2012
Label: Community Music
Type of Music: Folk
Management: Bryan Ling, New Community Management
Booking: Tom Windish, The Windish Agency
Legal: Jeff Leven, Davis Shapiro Lewit & Hayes, LLP
Publicity: Amanda Pitts, Cobra Camanda Publicity
A&R: Bryan Ling
If your resume were comprised of writing alongside Elliott Smith and Willie Nelson and performing as part of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, would you be content? Well, songwriter and hired-gun Aaron Embry is not.
“I was blessed to be a part of that,” explains Embry. “but now I’m learning all kinds of new wonderful things by sharing my own songs.”
While on 2011’s Railroad Revival tour, serving as Ed Sharpe’s piano player, Embry spent his free time recording music on his phone. When 2012 rolled around, the seasoned veteran had finished touring and began tracking what would become Tiny Prayers, a 10-track solo-work that he recorded primarily at home. “We [recorded one song] at Box Studios with Woody Jackson—one of the oldest, unaltered studio buildings in Los Angeles—he’s kept it like it was since the ‘30s.” The remaining nine songs were recorded by Embry at his home in Ojai, CA.
Embry’s decision to sign with Community Music—run by Bryan Ling and Ed Sharp frontman Alex Ebert—showed this artist's commitment to keeping the new venture within his industry family. Embry was, however, initially worried by the label’s limitations. “I wondered, ‘who is going to carry my record in the UK,’” questioned the singer-songwriter. “But Bryan lined me up with Ben Lovett at Communion … That got me [opening for] Mumford. It’s started this really great organic road. It’s like some serious Miracle Grow.”
Community Music’s grassroots approach to promotion allows fans to take part in the label, similar to street teams of the late ‘90s. Their motto: “Community Music is about collaboration, celebration, transparency and trust. We don’t look for bands to sign, but for friends to support.”
In this smartphone era—taking photos/video during concerts, texting in theaters—Embry is ecstatic to be involved with an underground genre of music and music lovers. “I realized when there were probably 10,000 people standing right in front of [me as] I started to play… an hour and a half before Mumford [goes on]: … no one was holding up their phone. … People are witnessing [my music] for the first time. It’s a raw experience. I want to be a part of as many raw experiences as possible.”
The singer-songwriter advises fellow musicians: “There’s something really cool about the Internet, the instant gratification of sharing one’s creativity, but on a lot of levels creativity is what you leave out of things. Holding onto things you’ve created for a while so it can become part of your inner evolution is something that I hope we can all do together, and share what we really feel is our best.”
Tiny Prayers is set for a fall 2012 release.