Issue September 12, 2006

Music Preview: Have you met My Friend Heidi?

My Friend Heidi
My Friend Heidi

Hello, world. I’d like to introduce you to My Friend Heidi.
This Saturday, Heidi Davis and her friend Joe Smallwood will release their debut EP, Red Sun Queen, which is intended to be the first of four releases this year.

I talked to Davis and asked why, if My Friend Heidi has material enough for four releases, did they start out with a four-song EP. She explained: “Since this is our first one, we just wanted to kind of get an idea of the whole recording process, and actually, I’m really glad that I did that, because it’s a little different in the recording studio, and I think I’ve learned a lot just from that one session.”

If Red Sun Queen is intended as little more than a learning experience, then it bodes well for future releases. Of the four songs, the even-numbered tracks are the strongest, but even the odd tracks are pretty good. The title track is probably the most solid on the record and is certain to inspire its share of Lisa Loeb comparisons. Davis has her pensive, vulnerable vocal style in common with Loeb, and her whimsical lyrics don’t hurt either.
Davis and Smallwood are learning to work together more and more each day. Even since the recording of Red Sun Queen, Davis has started to play guitar during performances, which she did not do during the recording. As the duo continues to develop their sound, their releases are sure to reflect their improvements.

Red Sun Queen is a strong start with a great deal of potential for future developments. Getting on board with My Friend Heidi now will allow listeners the rare opportunity to watch a new group as it rises from obscurity to widespread attention and high quality releases. Look for Red Sun Queen this Saturday and be on the lookout for future releases by the pair in the coming months.


Also this Saturday, our old friends Nappy Roots will celebrate Nappy Roots Day. Originally declared a Kentucky holiday back in 2002 by former Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton, this year’s Nappy Roots Day takes the form of a free concert at the Belvedere, which doubles as the kickoff event for the Nappy Roots Literacy Series, a tutoring program the band launched in Jefferson County Public Schools last year and continues with this school year.
The event begins with a showcase of both signed and unsigned local artists, eventually culminating in performances by Nappy Roots and many of the other performers featured on their recent Kentucky Kolonels CD, which compiles many of Kentucky’s most popular hip-hop artists on one disc.

Seeing that this is the kickoff of the Nappy Roots Literacy Series, the groups and event planners are making special efforts to make sure the event is family friendly. Ronald McDonald will stop by to show that he keeps up on what’s hip with kids these days, Lil’ Nick will be there demonstrating the Hip Hop Education program, which teaches multiplication through music.

Though Nappy Roots are intensely loyal to their Old Kentucky Home, they are wary of performing too frequently in the area, so when they do bring their show to town, they always pull out all the stops and create a big, community event with a positive impact. It appears this time will be no exception. So if you want to see some hometown heroes in action, this Saturday could be your last chance for a while.


The Louisville Leukemia and Lymphoma Society also has an event planned for Saturday. Light the Night presents the first of what may become an annual fundraising blues jam at River Bend Winery. The show features performances by Louisville blues acts such as Da Mudcats, Mojo Bey, Blue’s Town and Joe DeBow, among others. In addition to the live music, which is planned late into the night, there’s a silent auction and raffle, plus food, wine and T-shirts for sale. Proceeds benefit Light the Night, a nationwide fundraising walk that supports The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s ongoing mission to find a cure for Hodgkin’s disease, Leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Contact the writer at
leobeat@leoweekly.com