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Published 6:01 am Monday, March 16, 2015
Coming off her annual holiday concert series, Alison Scott is again hitting the touring road, bringing a trio of concerts to southeastern Minnesota including a return to the Paramount Theatre.
Scott will be in Austin on Friday for a 7:30 p.m. show and then will be performing just about an hour up the road at Faribault’s Paradise Center for the Arts. After a show in Minneapolis on April 18, Scott will be in Rochester for an April 25 concert.
Scott was last in Austin and the Paramount Theatre in October of 2012. The theater definitely left an impression on the soul singer.
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“It’s a beautiful theater,” Scott said during a phone interview. “Anytime we walk into a venue for the first time, we get a vibe of how the show is going to go. We knew it was going to be a fun show.”
Scott will bring a five-piece band with her including multi-platinum guitarist/producer and collaborator Kevin Bowe.
Back on the road
Scott again had a successful tour with her holiday series that saw her playing in some new and bigger venues from years prior and working with several talented musicians including the Minnesota Boys Choir.
She also teamed up with a coral group from Wayzata High School, which she graduated from.
“It was surreal to work with directors that worked with me in high school,” she said.
As much as Scott would like to say there was a break between those shows and the next set coming up, the truth, as self-admitted by singer is almost predictable for anybody that knows her.
“As much as we would like to call it a break, we’ve been in the studio, working on a new record,” she said. “Even though we haven’t had much time off, we’re super enthusiastic the way the record is coming together.”
The album, her sixth release, third album containing all originals, is titled, “Stone Cold Love,” and will be out later this year.
“I definitely rather be busy than bored,” Scott said. “I don’t do well with too little to do.”
And she’s definitely not bored. Unlike artists working with a label, Scott does a lot of the day to day work — administration and booking of shows — on her own.
The artist that classifies herself as being indier than indie takes on so much of the business end in fact, it gives her an added appreciation to recording and playing.
“When you get to take a break from that and work in the studio, it’s refreshing,” she explained. “It reminds me why I do administration.”
Making her way
Unlike places like Nashville and Los Angeles where the music scene tends to be more singular than variety, Minneapolis and St. Paul can boast a vibrant stage of variety with acts that range from rock to indie and everything in between.
That positive, however, is kind of a double-edged sword because Scott herself doesn’t really fit anywhere in particular.
And it’s not something Scott is trying to do.
“The music business is ever-changing,” Scott said. “The feedback we’ve gotten from the labels is they have a hard time labeling us because we like to dabble in a lot of things.”
“For us to have conceded or picked one genre or the other — we wouldn’t have the fun we have,” she added.
That aside, however, Scott admits the rich music scene in the Twin Cities area.
“I think it’s a great town in a lot of ways for music,” she said. “So much better for me than Nashville or LA. It’s not such a great big pond. I feel like the odds are better.”
Not that Scott needs to rely on odds much. Her style and music has taken hold in the metro area and is starting to see more draw in the outlying areas as well.
A hard work ethic has propelled Scott forward in just creating the best music she can.
“If they think you’re good, it doesn’t matter the genre you’re playing in,” she said. “They will listen.”
New album on the horizon
Scott’s “Stone Cold Love,” will drop later this year as the band works to add more and wrap things up in the near future.
The third album to have all original material, Scott is once again releasing an album that is more than the standard fare.
“I feel like every time I put out an original album, it’s got a wide variety,” she said.
However, it’s maintaining a balance on her roots that speaks the loudest.
“Everything is rooted in soul music,” she said. “That’s where I’m my most authentic self.”
The rub this time around is that Scott and the band are delving a little more into the pop sound, which she admits is something she didn’t really see coming.
“We are dabbling with a few genres right now,” she said. “We’re doing some pop stuff, which, if you know me, is something I would not have said before.”
The idea of dancing in different genres has become a nice draw for Scott. It keeps the music from becoming stale.
“We don’t want to get bored,” she said. “It’s been almost 10 years now and if we do the same thing over and over again, the audience will think we’re going stale.”
One special treat coming up on the new album is a cover of the song “Halleljuah,” a popular song that’s been sung by several artists including Jeff Buckley, Bon Jovi and Rufus Wainwright. In fact it’s for that very reason Scott held off doing the song even though it’s been heavily requested by fans.
“So many people have done it, I just didn’t want to tackle that beast,” she said. “But somebody hired us to play at their wedding and asked us to play it. It went over so well. It was just me and my piano.”
Fans coming to Scott’s concerts this spring will get a preview of the new album with her set.
For both the Austin and Faribault shows, Scott can say that most everything they will hear will be new simply because it’s been so long since she’s played in both places.
“We’re hoping to make this a fun show,” Scott said.