A lifetime’s dedication to her art has made Annie Gallup an icon among people who take songwriting seriously. Unabashedly imaginative and sensual, her elaborate song-length works of fiction crackle with wordplay and pulse with insistent rhythm. Borrowing forms from ancient folk tales to modern poetry, Annie sings over her bluesy guitar figures as if sharing secrets. Not many songwriters take the kinds of risks that Annie does, and barely any can pull them off with such deft, startling mastery.
Annie grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, daughter of a printmaker and a woodworker. She studied dance as a child — dancing and performing came to her naturally — but music, country blues in particular, was her secret obsession. As she taught herself to play guitar (hiding in her room after school, copping licks from old Mississippi John Hurt, Doc Watson and Dave Van Ronk albums that she found at the public library) it never occurred to her NOT to write songs for herself to play. So by the time she began performing publicly in the early 90s (after attending the University of Michigan School of Art and then moving west to chase her incurable wanderlust) she had internalized a songwriting style that was very distinctively her own, and that had evolved from her fascination with country blues, her love of words (Alice Munro, Grace Paley, Margaret Atwood, Stephen Dobyns), a dancer’s sense of rhythm, and the sort of playful inventiveness that comes from doing something purely for its own reward.
Ghost (Gallway Bay Music, 2015), Annie's tenth solo recording, pairs Annie's award winning songwriting with a phenomenal string band, featuring A-listers Gabe Witcher (Paul Simon, Eric Clapton) on fiddle, and David West (Cache Valley Drifters, Kate Wolf) on dobro and mandolin. It follows the hauntingly beautiful Little Five Points (Waterbug Records, 2012) which Annie calls "conversations in a quiet room" and Weather (Waterbug Records, 2010), a stunning and unexpected singer-songwriter project that features just Annie's voice and a string quartet, 12 new songs arranged by award winning composer, Asia Mei.
Annie’s seventh CD, Half of My Crime, (Waterbug Records, 2006) is a collection of duets with bass players, featuring Sean Kelly (Boulder Philharmonic), on upright bass; Michael Visceglia (Phil Collins, Phoebe Snow, Al Green, Suzanne Vega), on fretless, electric and processed bass; and Don Porterfield (Pierce Pettis, Kate Campbell), on fretless bass.
Pearl Street, Annie’s sixth CD, (Fifty Fifty Music, 2005) is a song cycle of linked narratives that was written as a one-person performance piece. The superbly crafted, interwoven stories of Pearl Street unfold over a backdrop of acoustic and electric guitars and electronic rhythm loops. Annie’s fifth album, Swerve (2001), was recorded at Theater 99 in New York City on vintage analog equipment with a phenomenal band featuring Michael Visceglia (Suzanne Vega) on bass, Denny McDermott (Steely Dan) on drums and Billy Masters (Dar Williams) on electric guitar. Her critically acclaimed fourth album, Steady Steady Yes (1999), which was recorded live and unaccompanied, captured the riveting performances for which Annie has become known in her live shows - focused, dramatic and totally exposed. It followed her groundbreaking 1998 release, Courage My Love, which was thought by critics to be a breakthrough artistic triumph. Fusing elements of spoken word with engaging melodies and a trademark delivery, Annie has created her own musical sub-genre.
Annie is the winner of many songwriting awards, including Kerrville New Folk, and she was honored with a Michigan Arts Council grant in 2001 to write and perform her first one-person performance piece, Stay Me With Flagons. She has been on the road, performing at concert venues and festivals throughout North America since 1994, driving enough miles to make it to the moon and almost back. Annie was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered in an interview with Noah Adams. She tours solo, and as the duo Hat Check Girl with Peter Gallway.
Mariposa Folk Festival, Orilia, ON
Winnipeg Folk Festival, Winnipeg MB
Summerfolk Festival, Owen Sound ON
Vancouver Island Musicfest, Comox BC
Boston Folk Festival, Boston MA
Stan Rogers Folk Festival, Canso, NS
Ottawa Folk Festival, Ottawa ON
Ann Arbor Folk Festival, Ann Arbor MI
Frostbite Music Festival, Whitehorse YT
Great River Folk Festival, LaCrosse WI
Forksville Folk Festival, Forksville PA
South Country Fair, Fort Macleod AB
Harbourfront Centre, Toronto ON
Kerrville Wine and Music Festival, Kerrville TX
Fox Valley Folk Festival, Genesee IL
Nickelodeon Folk Club, Calgary AB
Full Moon Folk Club, Edmonton AB
Rogue Folk Club, Vancouver BC
Lethbridge Folk Club, Lethbridge AB
The Ark, Ann Arbor MI
WFMT Folkstage, Chicago IL
Trinity Backstage, Santa Barbara CA
Uncle Calvin’s, Dallas TX
Passim, Boston MA
Swannanoa Gathering, Asheville NC
Sand Hills Writer’s Workshop, Augusta GA
Lamb’s Retreat, Harbor Springs MI
Box Factory for the Arts, St Joseph MI
Tomorrows River Concerts, Amherst WI
The Bottom Line, New York NY
Swallow Hill, Denver CO
Evening Star, Sautee GA
St John’s Pub, Portland OR
Cedarburg Cultural Center, Cedarburg WI
Grey Eagle, Asheville NC
Anderson Fair, Houston TX
Rasputin’s, Ottawa ON
Seattle Folklore Society, Seattle WA
The Folkway, Peterborough NH
Eddie’s Attic, Decatur GA
Johnny D’s, Somerville MA
Main Street Cafe, Homestead FL
Traditions, Olympia WA
Sing Out!"...Fitting what seems like a complete
novel in a several minute song, Gallup leaves you knowing the people
she has created, what they look like, and their innermost passions.
Her folk-rap delivery presents the story lines in a mix of poetry
and prose. If she were on the library shelf she'd be amid the best
sellers, and I don't think that the folk world fully appreciates
her lyrical strengths. She presents usual scenes unusually, playing with words and rhythm..." more reviews