Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

The WDVX Blue Plate Special – 7/11 – Alice Wallace / Maygen & The Birdwatcher

July 11 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Event Navigation

Here I Am, Nashvillian songstress Alice Wallace declares on her new album, set for a spring 2024 release via Mule Kick Records. It’s a title that hints at her deeply personal, confessional songwriting style, one that invites the listener to gaze at her beating heart as each intimate secret pours out, propelled by a powerful, expressive delivery that marks her as one of the true vocal talents of her generation.

Alice does not hide behind the microphone, but uses it to amplify everything inside her champing to get out. She’s survived the highs and lows of life, love, and the music industry and finally produced the album she feels she was destined to make. Here I Am, she says, the real Alice Wallace.

This album marks a return to themes of self-examination after several collections that featured predominantly story songs. “I needed to make a record that was really true to myself, both for me and for my fans who have encouraged me in ways I am so grateful for,” Alice explains. “Songs are how I process. And writing this album helped me process so much of what has happened in the last few years.”

Alice moved to Nashville four years ago after more than a decade in southern California, and Here I Am is the first of her albums to be recorded in true Music City style, backed by a lineup of world-class musicians and recorded in two whirlwind days with no rehearsal, just the way the best session players like to do it. Produced by Nick Buda (Taylor Swift, Martina McBride, Dolly Parton) the album features some of the most talented musicians Nashville has to offer. In addition to Buda on drums, the record features Grammy-winning guitarist Kenny Greenberg (Willie Nelson, Wynnona Judd, Hayes Carll), bassist Ted Pecchio (Doyle Bramhall II, Susan Tedeschi) and keyboardist Jimmy Wallace (The Wallflowers). And although Alice had never played with any of the musicians before, the combined talents in the room made for an electric experience that brought her songs to life in vibrant and unexpected ways.

The album opens with a lone, droning organ note behind Alice’s voice as she tells of a secret she’s scared might someday be discovered.. But as the song “Imposter” builds to its celebratory peak, the listener learns it’s only Alice’s own self-doubt she’s afraid will come to light – that insidious inner voice that still tries to tell her she isn’t qualified to do what she does so well. It was actually the impending recording session with such musical powerhouses that triggered her to write about this lifelong feeling that has resonated with fans at every live show. Instead of succumbing to the fear, the song embraces it with confidence – “it’s time someone found me out.”

Other highlight tracks include “Bonfire,” written with Melody Walker. Alice was experiencing a bout of romantic heartbreak, but sought something more than the tired cliche of a woman bearing a torch waiting for her man. So she went bigger, with the metaphor of a beachside bonfire acting as a makeshift lighthouse harkening her lover back from sea, her clarion voice calling out over syncopated percussion and musical waves.

“Looking,” written with Eliot Bronson, also focuses on the search for love, but using a more modern metaphorical device, the device that’s ever-present in Alice’s hand. “Maybe the reason I haven’t found that elusive love of my life is because I walk around looking at my phone all day and am not paying enough attention to what’s around me,” Alice explains. Within the strong beat and poppy, radio-ready delivery, she vows to make an effort to see what’s right in front of her eyes, hoping the love she may have missed the first time will come around again.

The album’s remaining tracks touch on Alice’s move to Nashville with an ode to “Fireflies,” lean into pain while finding joy with “Dancin’ to the Beat of My Heartbreak,” lament not trusting her intuition on “I Was Wrong,” and celebrate the connectedness of the natural world with the title track “Here I Am.”

Wallace was named 2017 Female Vocalist of the Year by the California Country Awards and her voice has been called “a powerful natural occurrence… an awe-striking wonder” by Saving Country Music. She previously released four solo albums, the latest of which, 2019’s Into the Blue, earned recognition from Rolling Stone Country with the title track being named one of the Best Americana Songs to Hear Now. This was followed by Lucky Break via Side Pony, a duo project with friend Caitlin Cannon that took the pair across the United States and Europe.

Cuttingly self-exploring, delivered with emotionality, and with just the right pop Americana sensibilities, Here I Am is Alice Wallace’s most expansive album yet. For fans of songwriters who turn personal heartbreak into musical gold and for anyone who loves a powerful, full-ranged, expressive voice, Here I Am is not to be missed.

The past few years have been quite a stir for the Minnesota progressive folk-rock-country sextet Maygen & The Birdwatcher. In late 2021 they released their debut full-length album, Moonshine, (which Americana UK wrote is “stunning”), earning them Midwest Country Music Awards for Album of the Year and Americana Artist of the Year) and landed opportunities to join festival stages with bands like Old Crow Medicine Show, Paul Cauthen, Grace Potter, and even support a childhood favorite, Travis Tritt.

They continued the momentum in late 2022, releasing Moonshine’s companion EP, with the “lively and charming” (Adventures in Americana) Bootleggin’ At The Flower Shoppe. With Maygen & The Birdwatcher taking home wins for the 2023 Album of the Year and Americana Artist of the Year at the Midwest Country Music Organization’s annual awards for Bootleggin’ At The Flower Shoppe.

The Americana folk band adventurously blurs the sounds of country, bluegrass, folk, and blues. Lead singers Maygen Lacey, and Noah Neumann intentionally work to draw on their vastly different musical influences and vocal styles to bring a fresh and unexpected mix of songs to light. From beauty to grit, sadness to silliness, the common thread is that this crew loves music, and playing it together, and it shows.

In October 2023, Maygen & The Birdwatcher hosted and curated the inaugural Amerigrass Fest at The Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge in Minneapolis. Maygen Lacey cherishes the special community of musical artists in the Midwest, and looks forward to celebrating what each genre, and fusion of genres can bring about at the new event Amerigrass Fest — “We are big fans of collaboration and love to play with the bands we share the stage with. Music is our love language and we’re very excited to play Amerigrass with the talented array of artists.”

That same year, Maygen & The Birdwatcher teamed up with the South Dakota Grasslands Coalition, a non-profit organization to help save North America’s most threatened ecosystem: its native grasslands. Together, they released an original song and music video, titled “Where Good Things Grow,” that they hope will raise public awareness regarding the importance of grassland ecosystems and generate support for programs and activities to encourage farmers, ranchers and state officials to develop programs and policies that preserve and restore the health of North America’s grasslands. The original song and music video for “Where Good Things Grow,” have earned them the 2023 Video of the Year award from the Midwest Country Music Organization as well as 2023 Entertainer of the Year.

Maygen & The Birdwatcher’s music is Americana that isn’t afraid to embrace eclecticism, but it’s also firmly rooted in folk and country. To achieve their rich, full sound, the band fills out the sonic details, with multi-instrumentalist Nik Pellinen adding banjo, lap steel and electric guitar. Along with bassist Chase Rabideau, who rounds out the bottom, mandolin player Jesse Moravec, who also contributes vocals, fiddle player Evin Haukos, and drummer-percussionist Peter Anderson create a new take on bluegrass-folk-country. It’s a hyphenated hybrid that can come only from a seasoned—and tightly knit—band.

It leaves music fans wanting to hear more as Maygen & The Birdwatcher leap forward this year, and take their original music to the next level.

Maygen & The Birdwatcher have released two single tracks— “Full Moons (Leap Year Session)” and “Jericho” from their forthcoming Leap Year EP available August 2, 2024. Leap Year was recorded by Minnesota native, acclaimed artist and guitarist-extraordinaire, Erik Koskinen.


July 11
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Categories:


301 S. Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website


View Organizer Website