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The WDVX Blue Plate Special – 6/24 – Olivia Ellen Lloyd / Debra Griner

June 24 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

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Olivia Ellen Lloyd will try anything once. From flight attendant school in Dallas to producing theater in New York and teaching in Guatemala, Lloyd sought adventure but struggled to find a greater sense of purpose – until she found her way back to music.

Her self-funded and independently released debut album Loose Cannon has been quietly winding its way into the hearts and minds of Country and Americana music lovers all over the world. Currently sitting pretty at over 1 million streams on Apple Music and Spotify, Loose Cannon was featured on numerous best-of lists (Ear to the Ground notably named it their Album of the Year), received praise from Nashville Lifestyles, Rolling Stone Country, Holler Country, and The Bluegrass Situation, and made it onto editorial playlists on Apple Music, Tidal, and Amazon Music. Her 2020 single “Shepherdstown’“ was named one of Tidal’s best songs of 2020 on their Rising Folk playlist.

She was a 2024 Songwriter Serenade finalist (top 6) 2021 NewSong Music finalist (top 3), and was named a 2023 Newfolk Winner at the legendary Kerrville Folk Festival.

Her 2022 release of a duo of Hazel Dickens songs received attention from Bluegrass Today, the Bluegrass Situation, and made Spotify’s GrassRoots and Women of Bluegrass editorial playlists. Her sophomore album is currently in production, produced once again by her dear friend and creative collaborator, Mike Robinson.

Lloyd is a West Virginia native and proud of it. Raised by a musician and a public school educator in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, her sound is a combination of her deeply rooted past and her fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants present. She’s continuing to mine that divide as she tours the country full time in her 2010 Toyota Sienna.

From the opening notes of Debra Griner’s new A Place To Start, it’s clear she is on a journey to look inward and communicate. “I love to express a feeling in a room filled with people so that we can all experience it together. Kind of like saying ‘You know what I mean, right?’ I see my songs as a vehicle for that.I try to present things as I see them. I write from a place of wanting to share something and say things that are important to me.”

Track after track is anchored by that commitment. Folk icon Tom Paxton, recognized Griner, calling her “A new and welcome voice. A careful and thoughtful writer has joined the conversation!” Recorded in Nashville and co-produced with Grammy-winning songwriter, Steve Leslie, A Place to Start features seven original songs that range from pop-country to bluegrass to a Cajun-flavored remembrance of Griner’s Louisiana roots.

Her new release follows Griner’s 2011 album, Bound to Rise, and 2013’s On the Bluegrass Trail.

Like her debut, A Place to Start shows the influence of such 1970s-era singer-songwriters as James Taylor, John Denver, Paul Simon and, most of all, Joni Mitchell.

The collection begins with “What I Wouldn’t Do,” a rolling country-folk-pop song about the first blooms of a potential relationship.

“It’s about feeling attraction, but not rushing in; about savoring the moment and the anticipation of something wonderful.”

“Beautiful Music” was written in 2020 during the darkest months of the coronavirus pandemic. In her clear, crystalline voice, she sings of music’s ability to heal.

“Laughter, Weed and Wine,” co-written with songwriter friend, Bob Sutton, pays tribute to the late singer-songwriter John Prine, the everyman poet whose songs so poignantly expressed the sentiments of the common man and woman.


June 24
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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301 S. Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902 United States
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