Growing up, show business was in Audra Mae’s blood. Her great grandmother, Virginia, was a
member of the Gumm Sisters, whose youngest member, Francis Ethel Gumm, grew up to be Judy
Garland. Her paternal grandmother turned her on to country and folk artists like Patsy Cline, Dolly
Parton and Woody Guthrie, while her maternal grandfather introduced her to jazz. Since arriving
in California seven years ago with the proverbial $20 in her pocket, Audra Mae has done alright for
herself. She landed a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell, a TV placement singing Bob Dylan’s
“Forever Young” on the hit F/X series, Sons of Anarchy, and in 2009, wrote the lyrics to “Who I Was
Born to Be,” the only original track on Susan Boyle’s chart-topping, 9 million-selling I Dreamed a
Since her acclaimed SideOneDummy Records debut, The Happiest Lamb, in May 2010, Oklahomaborn
singer/songwriter Audra Mae has undergone quite a transformation. Her band, The Almighty
Sound, including stand-up bassist Joe Ginsberg, guitarist Jarrad Kritzstein, pianist Frank Pedano
and drummer Kiel Feher, who have played live with her in a series of residencies around the L.A.
area, came together in early 2011 as a close group of friends with no official name. Not even a year
later, they‘ve completed a new record with a new name, a new look and an Almighty Sound. The
album’s genesis took place in the acoustic live shows Audra Mae did with bassist Joe Ginsberg, who
tour managed and played upright bass for Audra before moving to L.A. from Denver and helping her
form the new band.
Deana Carter, a country star in her own right, came aboard to co-produce after seeing Audra Mae
and the band perform a gig in Santa Monica. “Deana was our fearless captain,“ says Audra.
While The Happiest Lamb showcased Audra Mae’s darker, more dramatic and melancholy side, Audra
Mae & The Almighty Sound is a celebration of her own blossoming as a performer, the perfect storm
of all her influences, spiked with the energy of a group who honed their chops in a live situation.
The album highlights include the belting blues of “The Real Thing,” written with Bravo‘s Platinum Hit
contestant Jackie Tohn; “My Friend the Devil,” an urgent country ballad penned with Dan Wilson; the
rockabilly/hip-hop nursery rhyme chant of “Little Red Wagon,” with its reference to Audra Mae’s own
gold Dodge Dart classic and written with Joe Ginsberg; and the rumbling “Smokin’ the Boys,” a rollicking,
cheeky ode to female self-empowerment co-written with Carter. The delta plaint of “Ne’er Do
Wells” is described by Audra as a “union song,” co-written with guitarist Kritzstein, a tribute to the
builders of our railroads and homes, dedicated to her father. The final “Two Melodies,” a collaboration
with R&B singer/songwriter Allen Stone, is a prayerful benediction, tying up the album with a bow of
humility, an anti-materialistic ode to being grateful for whatever you have.