folk

Anne E. Dechant brings her stories back to Ohio

By Tim Walker

Photo: Ann E. Dechant shares her stories on stage across her native state this weekend photo: Rachel Smook

“You’re always going to hear good songs and good stories,” says Anne E. Dechant, talking about her upcoming tour. “Story-laden songs, yes, but upbeat. Fun music, along with a few ballads, but always a story of something.”

Ohio-born Anne E. Dechant, now a resident of Nashville, Tennessee, is getting ready to hit the road again in support of her latest studio album, The Sun Coming In. The popular singer-songwriter’s 2017 solo tour stops at a number of cities in her native Buckeye State over the next several weeks, including stops in Kent, Cleveland, and Akron.

This time around, she’s back with more instruments, so audiences will hear more variety. But fans will still be hearing what she calls “the whole gamut of things” in her performance.

“I hope to get the audience singing at one point, I hope to get them crying at another point, I hope to get them interested in a unique story at yet another point,” she says. “They’re going to hear good music, good playing, but the most important thing to me is always that they get their money’s worth for their night out, and their time’s worth. That’s my job.”

Dechant began her music career with the promising Ohio rock Americana/folk band Odd Girl Out, finding some radio airplay and local success in the Cleveland area with that band, before recording and releasing her first solo album in 1996. Since that much-praised debut, she has released a series of successful albums filled with her sometimes political, sometimes personal, but always heartfelt folk-rock songs. Her most recent album was produced by Mike Severs in Nashville and financed entirely by a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, which was fully funded two weeks before its deadline. Ultimately, her fans contributed over $20,000 toward the recording and promotion of the new album.

While residing in Ohio, The Cleveland Free Times recognized Dechant as one of its All Star Musicians, artists who won in a category three or more times—she has won each of the seven times nominated for Best Singer/Songwriter. Scene Magazine has also recognized Dechant as one of Cleveland’s Best Singer/Songwriters.

As a solo artist, she has shared the stage with iconic performers such as Stevie Nicks, Norah Jones, Joan Armatrading, Sheryl Crow, and Indigo Girls, and has played venues ranging from the Clinton White House to popular listening rooms like Nashville’s Bluebird Café, Moonlight on the Mountain in Birmingham, the Evening Muse in Charlotte, and the Music Box Supper Club in Cleveland.

“I grew up in a really little place called Avon Lake, west of Cleveland,” the musician tells Dayton City Paper from her Nashville home. “It’s a real small town on Lake Erie. So it still is sort of quaint there. But I like living in Nashville.

“I kind of split my time between Canada and Nashville… So many people [in Nashville] are so good, and it ups your game. It’s a great city, it’s really navigable, but it’s gotten huge. I’ve been there eight years, and it’s really just grown so much—it’s not that little place that it used to be in the ’70s and ’80s. There’s a wider spectrum of music in Nashville now, but I’m not sure if it was always quite so slick.”

When asked her feelings about the record industry, Dechant is honest about its difficulties: “The music business is a business, and it always has been, but there are 144,000 songwriters there now. It used to be where a writer could go and play their song directly to the artist, now you’ve got six people in front of you trying to get to that same artist, so it’s not as accessible as it once was, but I think that’s because so many people can do it now. Anyone can make a recording in their home and put together a demo and call yourself a songwriter.”

While the singer has been very busy preparing for her upcoming tour, her focus remains on providing her fans and listeners the best performance their money can buy.

“I’ve been busy rehearsing my solo show for this year,” she says, laughing. “I’m starting to play ukulele now, in addition to a few other instruments. I wanted to make my time on the road more interesting. So consequently, I’m going nuts.”

Although we don’t want Dechant to lose her mind, if being a little nuts keeps her stories coming, we hope they keep coming.

 

Anne E. Dechant will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, March 10 at Venice Café, 163 W. Erie St. in Kent; at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 11 at Bar 107, 107 Front St. in Berea; and at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, March 12 at Mustard Seed Market and Café, 867 W. Market St. in Akron. For more information, please visit AnneEDechant.com.

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Tim Walker
Tim Walker is 51 and a writer, DJ, and local musician. He lives with his wife and their two children in Dayton, where he enjoys pizza, jazz, and black T-shirts. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Walker at TimWalker@DaytonCityPaper.com

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