Born in Virginia and raised in Georgia, Rebecca Loebe now returns to her southern roots with Vittles & Valentines, a surprise acoustic collection released exclusively on Noisetrade on her birthday, August 17.
Fans of the award-winning songwriter are familiar with her creative reinterpretations of popular songs. Her moody cover of Nirvana's "Come As You Are" landed her a spot on Season 1 of NBC's "The Voice," and a Top 10 iTunes single in the US, Canada, Europe and South America.
This spring Rebecca celebrated her tenth year on the road. Before launching her career as an alt/country singer-songwriter, Loebe studied audio engineering at Berklee College of Music and worked as a recording studio engineer. She used her access to the studio where she worked to record her first album and soon began playing regional shows around the northeast and before long she had put most of her belongings in storage and hit the road full-time.
For the past decade she has performed an average of 150 shows each year in nearly every state of the USA. She has also had successful tours in Canada, the UK, Europe and Japan. In September and October 2016 she will return to the UK and the Netherlands for performances supporting Vittles & Valentines.
Rebecca initially learned Southern Man, the lead-off single from her new EP, for a Neil Young tribute show. She says, “The song has always spoken to me, and when given the chance to perform a few songs from his catalog I immediately jumped on that one.”
She started working up an arrangement of it about a week before the concert. A few days later, 25-year Freddie Gray died while in police custody. By the time she got to the East Coast for the show, there were riots in Baltimore. “The first time I sang this song onstage, I was crying by the end." Since then, she has performed Southern Man as an encore at almost every concert and it has quickly become a fan favorite.
Of the recording, she says: "We recorded most of the album in the studio, you know, indoors." Loebe laughs and continued, "but for Southern Man the producer Daniel suggested we set up all the mics on the porch and record out there. So that’s what we did.”
There was almost a disaster when, right after the mics were set up and tested, a nearby neighbors fired up some very loud power tools. "We thought about walking over and offering him 20 bucks in exchange for ten minutes of silence but, miraculously, he stopped. We recorded two takes and used the first one.”
The sparse, acoustic recording kicks off the six song collection that features two brand-new tunes, two cover songs and two re-interpretations of songs from previous albums. It will be released digitally on Noisetrade on August 17. A limited-edition physical pressing will be available at Rebecca's concerts throughout the rest of they year.