Angel Snow invites listeners to take part in her Soul House journey
By Steve Wildsmith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Next Wednesday night, some local residents will sit in a church, praying and worshipping and fellowshipping and feeling close to God.
Others will make the trek down Old Knoxville Highway to Sweet P’s BBQ and Soul House, located on the Knox/Blount county line, and listen to a woman take them on a journey of love and pain and growth and wonder as the sun turns the waters of Willow Point Marina into liquid fire, and they will feel that closeness just the same.
She will not preach, but singer-songwriter Angel Snow will certainly open her heart and all of its fragile nooks and crannies for the audience to see. She will accompany them on a tour therein, and she will reassure them that their own journey through this life is not so different.
“What motivates me to keep moving forward is not (doing it) for me necessarily; I’m doing it for the songs,” Snow told The Daily Times this week. “I want to move people. I want to take them to another place for a moment, to let them know that somebody might have experienced the same things they did, to let them experience a whole new world for a moment.”
Growing up in Chicamauga, Ga., Snow discovered her calling when a third-grade homework assignment required her to write poetry. It wasn’t a big leap to transition to songwriting, and soon she was articulating the swirling mass of emotion the rolled across the plains of her soul like thick, soupy storm clouds. At the same time, she was discovering music, much of it introduced to her by her brothers, and when she first started playing guitar at 15 and turning her songs into actual living, breathing documents, her path was set.
“When I was a little girl, they introduced me to The Cure, and I was so taken with them when I was younger – just the feeling and emotion behind how (singer Robert Smith) would sing the songs and the lyrics,” she said. “Around 15 or 16, I realized that maybe I could do that, too. And when I started getting feedback, when people would tell me I’d written a really beautiful song and they wanted to hear me play more, it just lit a fire that’s never gone out, really. It’s just consumed me.”
She gravitated toward other female singer-songwriters, women like Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos, and tragic figures like Elliott Smith. By the time she was ready to leave home, she was determined to devote her life to her craft, and after five years on the road, she finally made it to Music City.
“I was a teenager when I realized that this is what I want to do, how I want to live my life; that this is what’s meant for me,” she said. “There is no plan B. This is it, and moving to Nashville, I just knew it was in me to move here and just do this thing. It was the place I needed to be to pursue music, and now I’ve been here for five years.”
And she’s turned a few heads. A friendship with Viktor Krauss, the brother of bluegrass phenom Alison Krauss, led to a co-writing venture that produced three songs for Krauss’s most recent album, “Paper Airplane.” And Krauss recently asked Snow to open both of her Nashville shows in August at the Ryman Auditorium.
“It’s funny, because the week before I was looking for tickets online, thinking I was going to have to go see her because she’d recorded a couple of my songs, but it was already sold out,” Snow said. “Then her people called me and asked if I’d like to open for her, and I had to sit down. It was like a dream. I just had such a feeling of gratitude that they wanted me to come play. It’s a wonderful feeling, and I still can’t believe it.”
In the meantime, she continues to tour, performing around the country and slowly piecing together plans for her musical future. It’s been four years since she released her debut album, “Fortune Tellers,” and these days she’s figuring out how to pay for her next album. She recently returned from a two-week tour that took her from Chicago to Ohio to New York, and her hectic schedule isn’t likely to let up anytime soon.
But that’s OK, she said.
“I don’t like to say it’s been super-stressful, because it’s something I absolutely love to do,” she said. “It’s all good. It’s supposed to be this way. It’s not going to be easy, and there’s no handbook. But I just want to make a difference.”