Interview: Natalie Douglas Teases Her “BACK TO THE GARDEN” CD RELEASE CELEBRATION at Birdland

The acclaimed singer is performing selections from the album on February 26th

By: Feb. 21, 2024
Interview: Natalie Douglas Teases Her “BACK TO THE GARDEN” CD RELEASE CELEBRATION at Birdland
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We all have a treat to look forward to this month – acclaimed singer Natalie Douglas is releasing a new album on February 23rd with Club44 Records. 

BACK TO THE GARDEN contains "golden age standards, pop gems of the Woodstock generation, and special surprises." I spoke to Douglas about the process of recording the album, and what music lovers can expect at her release party, on Monday February 26th at Birdland Jazz Club.

What was your favorite part of putting this album together?

It sounds like a cliche, but I’ve enjoyed every bit of it! From the first discussion I had about recording an album with mega-producer Wayne Haun years ago, to this delicious anticipation right before the release, it’s been a blast! I’ve especially loved the moments working in Nashville. I had been there, of course, before last year, but 2023 is my first time working there, and it was a really wonderful experience. I love the Club44 team! The studio days last August putting the finishing touches on the vocals were both a lot of fun and really fulfilling; working with Wayne, recording engineer Leah Schlattschneider and production manager Haley Schlattschneider was an absolute joy. 

How do you feel about your upcoming release party at Birdland on the 26th?

I can’t wait! I love these songs and can't wait to sing them for a live audience! We began this project with a list of 63 songs - so there were obviously many steps along the way to get it down to these gorgeous eleven tunes. I’m so happy to get to play them with my longtime music director and BFF, Mark Hartman, and the other brilliant musicians in my band. Plus,  performing is truly my favorite part. I always say what we as singers do is like an electrical current that isn’t complete until the audience is there - they’re a vital part of that electricity.

Back to the Garden Cover

The album features a song written for you by Wayne Haun and Joel Lindsey. What was it like hearing it for the first time?  

It was a complete surprise and a thrill. When Wayne and I met in a rehearsal studio to go over song ideas, I had no idea he and Joel had been working on a song for me. I’ve been a fan of their writing for a long time, so I was delighted - not only are they both award-winning, critically acclaimed songwriters, but they’re also really great at writing something that’s both meaningful and tuneful at the same time. I remember being blown away that this song sounded like me - my thoughts, my feelings, and also thought it sounded like it’d be really fun to sing. And it is!

What was the collaboration process like on that? Who came up with the idea for the song?

The making of the album has been totally collaborative from the song selection to the first day of tracking in the studio and even the photo shoot with Jeremy Ryan. I really liked all these people when I first met them, but after working with them, I’m happy to say they feel like good friends. 

In terms of their original song, “Love Is The Power That Heals Me,” I wasn’t in on the actual writing of it, you’d have to ask Wayne and Joel. However, based solely on the lyrics, I’d guess the great conversations I’ve had with each of them about life, music, politics, teaching, and the time we’ve spent together gave them the kind of insight they put into writing a song that sounds so much like my inner voice.

What’s up next for you?

I have a mix of concerts, teaching and traveling that make up my usual schedule, plus working to promote Back To The Garden. This year, I’m off to Oklahoma, California, London, Nebraska, and Texas with more dates to come - so hopefully I’ll be bringing a live show somewhere near you.

BACK TO THE GARDEN is available for pre-order here. It will be available on CD, digital and streaming formats.

Tickets to the Birdland show on Monday February 26th are available https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2293332&regid=13&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.birdlandjazz.com%2Ftm-event%2Fnatalie-douglas-back-to-the-garden-cd-release-celebration%2F?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1.

You can find dates and details of tour dates for Florida, California, London, and beyond at NatalieDouglas.com.




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