Page 46

up and walk down to the neighborhood pub and grab a beer at night,” she says sheepishly. It was during this period that Odessa focused on writing her own songs and mastering the guitar. Even though she didn’t have one of her own, she practiced on any guitar she could find. When she returned to Nashville that fall, she started developing the songs of For Granted on a guitar with only three strings. My jaw drops. Three strings? “I was never classically trained, so I just played around with different tunings,” the songwriter says nonchalantly. Throughout 2009 and 2010, Odessa continued to perform on multiple crosscountry tours, starting with Bearfoot, an Alaska-based bluegrass band; later with The Felice Brothers, a folk and rock band; and her friend Gill Landry, one of the singers and guitarists of Old Crow Medicine Show. Only a week after finishing the tour with Gill, she set out, yet again, with singer-songwriter Rayland Baxter. Driving around in a mint-green 1968 Plymouth Valiant on the verge of breaking down, the duo spent three weeks playing shows and braving Mother Nature. They even survived a treacherous snowstorm in Utah and a trip down to the Marfa lights in southwest Texas. It was during this tour that Odessa got her first taste of performing her own music live. “People would listen, and it felt like the most satisfying thing I had ever done. It opened my eyes. You can really do anything. Anything. There are no boundaries; people set them for themselves,” her blue eyes growing wider. “If you have a passion, desire, vision, or even just an urge to get up and do it—you can.” Her energy is contagious, inspiring even. Odessa has this unassuming confidence that puts you immediately at ease and invites you in. She possesses a raw, youthful freedom that attracts people. Among them was acclaimed music producer Jacquire King, who offered to produce her first album in the fall of 2011. He has worked with a laundry list of talented artists, from Kings of Leon to Norah Jones. Guided by Jacquire, Odessa and a phenomenal handful of musicians—Ian Fitchuk, John Radford, Michael Rinne, and Richard Bennett—all gathered at the House of Blues to begin recording, but something felt off. Odessa remembers taking a walk around the block with Jacquire 44 / / / / / / / /

mid-recording session, and they came to the conclusion that there was no creative energy in the air. “I had really never been in a space like that before, with a big clock on the wall ticking away the hours and dollars,” she explains. Up until that moment, her only experience recording was by herself on her dad’s old Yamaha recorder, moving to different spots in her room to play with the acoustics. While they couldn’t record the album in her apartment, she and Jacquire did the next best thing—they shifted the process to sound engineer Brad Biven’s house. She and the other musicians were recorded solo or in trios in different places throughout the house. Multiple tracks were then layered on top of one another to make different configurations. “Sometimes Brad and I would run around the house banging on things when we were looking for a certain sound,” she laughs. Then last spring, just a week before finishing the album, Odessa was in a life-threatening accident. She was biking up 21st Avenue when a car catapulted her off her bike. An ambulance rushed her to the hospital where the doctors told her that if she hadn’t been wearing a helmet, she would have most likely died. Though most have faded,

Profile for Native

Native | February 2013 | Nashville, TN  

Featuring Nashville's Justin Townes Earle, Karoake Cab, Kangaroo Press, Poetry Sucks, Odessa Rose, The Stone Fox, No. 308, Chucklet and Hone...

Native | February 2013 | Nashville, TN  

Featuring Nashville's Justin Townes Earle, Karoake Cab, Kangaroo Press, Poetry Sucks, Odessa Rose, The Stone Fox, No. 308, Chucklet and Hone...