Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Morgan.
Elizabeth, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’m an actor, musician, singer-songwriter, and storyteller originally from rural Northwestern Ohio. After getting my BFA in Acting from Miami University (Ohio), I was itchin’ to leave the country behind so I moved to Chicago in 2004 to pursue theatre and acting. After many years working in the Chicago theatre scene, in an effort to get back to my roots, I produced a cabaret-style show I called “She’s Folks!” that featured stories about my rural upbringing and my awkward transition to big city life. Soon, I began adding original songs to the show as well as unique arrangements of old folk tunes and early country music. Joined by my band, She’s Folks has become an original live show, an album, and a YouTube channel that features our web series, “Old Timey Tuesdays” – weekly videos of our take on traditional folk, country, hymns, and early American tunes; as well as “She’s Cookin’” – a monthly cooking show exploring troubling Midwestern recipes. It’s a love letter to the country from a kid who couldn’t wait to leave.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
When I’m working under the umbrella of She’s Folks, the main theme we explore is the idea of home. Where is home once you leave? What becomes home when you walk away? Can you go home again? While we tell stories and sing songs through the lens of formerly rural kids who now live in a city, we think this question is universal. What is home? Where is it? Who is there? How does it feel? Is it possible to be both critical of the place you’re from and still have affection for it? Our message is usually bittersweet. We’re reluctant to come to any hard and fast conclusions but we suspect home isn’t the place, it’s the folks.
As a lifelong Midwesterner, I feel drawn to images of tractors, trains, and highways. My Dad works in the automotive industry, and my grandfather worked on the railroad. I spent part of my childhood on a farm. I love driving or highway songs, old hymns, and haunting folk music. These genres have been historically male-dominated, so I like to take these themes and sing songs about the railroad or the highway from my perspective. I’ve only written two love songs and one was about a truck stop.
Because I’m an actor, I like to blend theatricality into our work. I want to bridge genres and styles. We use videos, songs, stories, and even recipes to dig into where we’re from and where we live now. Our sound is built around powerful harmonies, folk and country-inspired instrumentation, evocative imagery, and story as well as parody. I like to look at subject matter through a comedic lens as well as an emotional one. We may not always achieve it, but our goal is to provide connection whether that’s through an old hymn, an original song, or a laugh. We want you to sing with us.
Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
It’s certainly never been easier to make stuff and put it out into the world. Of course, that means it’s crowded out there but I honestly love that. More art is better for all of us.
Of course, there are frustrations. One of our biggest challenges is keeping up with algorithms and other technical challenges. Some of the best advice I ever received was “learn to love the problems.”
The best way to support artists is to engage with them both online and off. Share your favorite artists with your friends, buy tickets, and let those artists know you enjoy their work. It can be scary to share your work with the world. To hear from someone who likes what you can do can make such a difference. Show up.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can find everything at our website: http://www.shesfolks.com where you can subscribe to our mailing list.
Our album is on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Google, Amazon, and most major platforms. (Elizabeth Morgan – She’s Folks)
One of the easiest ways to support us is to subscribe to our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/shesfolks
And follow us on Instagram @shesfolks
We post new videos every Tuesday from Labor Day to Memorial Day.
- Website: http://www.shesfolks.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/shesfolks
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shesfolks
- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/shesfolks
Jeremy Lawson Photography
JM Fager Photography