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Heidi Spencer

Heidi Spencer & the Rare Birdswere mainstays in the Milwaukee membership scene for a couple of years, cutting two previous self-released albums before being signed to former Cocteau Twin Simon Raymonde’s U.K. indie Bella Union imprint and launching Under Streetlight Glow. Blessed in 1974, Spencer may be the little girl of Milwaukee underground newspaper co-founder and musician Jim Spencer (he’s most widely known for the single offering Second Appear, regarded in a few circles as an early-’70s countercultural masterpiece). Following the premature loss of life of her dad, she discovered his electric guitar in the cellar and trained herself to try out. She spent a lot of her youngsters after college living an itinerant life style in over twelve states before time for Milwaukee to create films (a few of which were featured in celebrations) and compose songs. Spencer started playing at 15, and composing music at 18, motivated in identical parts by Dolly Parton, Edie Brickell, Emmylou Harris, Stevie Nicks, and Tom Petty — though her sparse, ethereal audio doesn’t reflect some of them save probably for Parton’s first, even more folk-inpired recordings. She created the Rare Parrots, featuring drummer/maker Expenses Curtis, guitarist Matt Hendricks, Jess Hrobar on piano, dual bassist Dave Gelting, and tranquility vocalist Renee Pratt. The band’s 1st offering, Fits and Valentines, was self-released in 2003, and accompanied by Luck We Manufactured in 2005. While Spencer’s audio contains many track components of traditional English and folk music and recognizable Americana qualities, her incantatory music, evidenced greatest on 2011’s Under Streetlight Shine, is unique, using its sparse atmospherics, hallucinatory lyrics, and melodies well balanced against an overall economy of pressure that displays a bounty of yearning.

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