When local folk singer Eliza Blue started performing in public, she was plagued by stage fright.
She secretly hoped members of the audience would just talk to one another and not pay her any attention. Those days are behind her now.
Her work recording her second full-length album, “The Road Home,” helped her overcome a lot of those anxieties she once battled, and it also helped her get more rooted in the Twin Cities music community.
“It’s been this really amazing experience to sort of find myself through music, and find this more courageous and confident person I didn’t even know I was,” she said in a recent interview.
Blue lives in Northeast and has come to consider Minnesota home (hence the title of her album). The idea for the album came to Blue when she was living in Maine. She was working in a café near the ocean and started missing Minnesota.
At the beginning of the recording process she was wrestling with feelings of loneliness, but later befriended musicians in town who contributed to the album.
In a release about “The Road Home,” other insights on her process are revealed: “Blue recorded the vast majority of her tracks alone in her attic between February and August 2009 and as a result, unavoidable house noises, baby sparrows from the nest outside the window, and crickets from the deepest part of the night make appearances along with some human friends and fellow musicians. The result is an extraordinarily intimate journey marked by loss, longing and redemption.”
A few vocalists she met at Jim Walsh’s hootenannies — a regular gathering of up-and-coming and established musicians in town — make an appearance on the last song of the album.
“The space he’s created for performers and audience members is just amazing,” she said.
Blue said she’s proud of the album.
“It feels like planting a garden when you know you’re putting in seeds so you kind of have an idea of what you’re going to get,” she said. “When it actually happens you’re like, ‘wow.’”
When: Eliza Blue with Aby Wolf and special guests, March 26 at 8 p.m.
Where: Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S.
Women With Vision 2010
The Walker Art Center hosts the International Women with Vision festival through March 27 — the 17th installment of the film series.
One of the highlights of the festival is the premier of “Pride of Lions” — a documentary about life in Sierra Leone directed by local filmmaker Louise Woehrle and her brother John Woehrle.
The 52-minute film examines the country’s contemporary history and looks at the impact of the horrific civil war that ended in 2002.
“Louise specializes in telling stories that need to be told — from going into the complicated lives of teens, into the homes of hospice patients living until they die, to remote mountain villages in Haiti where children walk three hours to school to eat their only meal of the day, and into three remote Cree Communities where diabetes is considered an epidemic,” according to a statement about the film. “Her films reflect her heart and win awards.”
When: “Pride of Lions” premier, March 20, 3 p.m.
Where: Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave. S.