Nina Yates: Live Stream presented by Sou’wester Arts
Nina Yates is a Portland, Oregon based singer songwriter who pulls you into her stories with thoughtful and distinctive songs. A slow, tender and delicate drag, yet fierce with lived emotion, the wisdom of a mother, the comfort of a sister and the heartbreak of a daughter.
It didn’t occur to Yates to start writing songs until the day she first met her mother, when she was twenty-three years old. Since then she has been using songwriting to redeem hard times by turning them into beautiful artifacts.
Mama’s Heart, Yates debut LP, features ten beautifully crafted folk songs, of which eight were written for a weekly open mic song prompt hosted by Taylor Kingman (of TK & The Holy Know-Nothings) at the Laurelthirst Public House in Portland.
As someone who has always been drawn to the sound of something older, folky and rural, Nina feels that songwriting is about connection and community.
The two remaining songs on ‘Mama’s Heart’ were collaborations with legendary Portland based producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Mike Coykendall. Last year Coykendall generously offered his old songwriting notebooks and tapes to members of his songwriting community to salvage and recycle aspects and parts of songs to build new, finished songs. A project called Coykendall called ‘Seeds and Stems’.
For lovers of songcraft, Nina Yates delivers a dose of much needed medicine on her debut record. Heartfelt and true, Nina’s voice and songs are genuine and unique, yet evocative of important songwriting heroes like Joni Mitchell and Gillian Welch.