Handmade Moments, the duo featuring multi-instrumentalists Anna Moss and Joel Ludford, release a riveting collection of covers on a new full-length studio album, Number Ones, set for national release on Friday, November 1, 2019. Number Ones follows Handmade Moments viral video success for their indie-folk take on Erykah Badu's song "Phone Down," which to date has garnered 4.5 million views on Facebook. With a lineup of rotating instruments such as sousaphone, alto sax, bass clarinet, acoustic bass, beat-boxing, guitar, and majestic vocals, Handmade Moments capture singular renditions of classics and modern songs on Number Ones. French jazz singer Cyrille Aimée guest appears on Number Ones' breakout single "Tide Is High," the 1980 hit written by Blondie.
Over the last five years since the duo's inception, Handmade Moments has lived a whirlwind life on the road from their hometown of Fayetteville (Arkansas) to laying down roots in Argentina, then off to Oakland (California) and ultimately settling down in New Orleans (Louisiana). The duo has released three beautiful studio albums -- Handmade Moments (2014), Eye in the Sky (2015), and Paw Paw Tree (2018) -- which led to tours and live concerts with Yonder Mountain String Band, Ayla Nereo, Steve Poltz, John Craigie, and many others. The duo's ingenuity behind the camera has catapulted Handmade Moments into the mainstream consciousness of music lovers across the world helping them amass a rabid fanbase.
A near fatal head-on car collision in May 2016 almost put an end to Handmade Moments' momentous rise when two vehicles struck their beloved bio-diesel bus on a two-lane highway outside of Nevada City. After Joel Ludford left the hospital's trauma center to heal from his femur breaking through his pelvis, he was wheel chair bound for three months and in recovery for an additional four months. All the band's music equipment was destroyed in the crash, and Handmade Moments was back at square one. Paw Paw Tree resulted after hard-felt writing sessions, as did their viral video of "Phone Down."
Following their current summer 2019 tour of 25 cities across Europe, Handmade Moments return to the U.S. for the national release of Number Ones featuring hook-laden, indie-Americana versions of songs by a range of artists, including Aaliyah, DRAM, Bill Withers, Erykah Badu, Rufus & Chaka Khan, Blondie, James Brown, Louis Armstrong, and The Grateful Dead. Video now being a prolific medium for artists to garner a fanatic Internet following, Handmade Moments breathes new life into this diverse set of covers while producing captivating music videos for several of the songs to be rolled out over fall/winter 2019/2020. All true hits to Handmade Moments, Number Ones showcases the duo in their natural milieu of interchanging instrumentation for impeccable arrangements of their favorite covers.
Handmade Moments -- Number Ones -- Featured Compositions
Number Ones opens with a sousaphone and beat-box backdrop with Moss' vocals soaring atop on the Bill Withers tender classic, "Grandma's Hands." Inspired by frequent stops in the Delta to visit Moss' grandma for her irresistible pecan pie, "Grandma's Hands" is a deep cut in Withers' famed catalogue, though it hits home for nostalgic musicians out on tour hungry for family connections.
The live debut of Handmade Moments covering Blondie's "The Tide Is High" was amid a workers' protest at Rainforest Café on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. As the picket line brought heightened awareness for sexual assault charges to be brought against an employer, Handmade Moments performed the song with a collective of workers singing in solidarity. For the recording, Moss and Ludford collaborated with acclaimed vocalist, Cyrille Aimée, who The New York Times touted as a "rising star in the galaxy of jazz singers."
The idea to cover Erykah Badu's "Phone Down" spawned while Handmade Moments were featured performers at Camp Grounded, a digital detox for adults where cell phones are traded in exchange for an off-the-grid weekend in the redwoods near Mendocino, California. Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody" was recorded to pay tribute to the lauded R&B star and celebrate her life at a time when the take down of R. Kelly unfolds. Juxtaposition is at the heart of covering "Cash Machine" by D.R.A.M.. Folk musicians aren't typically known for raking in lots of cash. Handmade Moments take the irony of it to new heights with a rhythmic and harmonic version of the trap song.
The first song the duo ever covered was "Tell Me Something Good," by Rufus & Chaka Khan. A dance banger during their live sets, Handmade Moments give a shout-out to one of the most famous women led bands. "Lucky Old Sun" by Louis Armstrong appears on Number Ones as it beckons back to Anna's godparents buying her Armstrong's album Satchmo In Style. The rendition also serves as an homage to their new home of New Orleans. "Ripple" is on the duo's favorite Grateful Dead album, American Beauty. After leaving Arkansas for Northern California, Anna and Joel delved into the Dead's catalogue and started performing several songs in their live repertoire.
Number Ones closes on a poignant yet celebratory note with a cover of James Brown's "I Feel Good," which Handmade Moments debuted at the first show they played in their hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas after the devastating car accident. With their bus demolished to the point of looking like no one could have survived such a crash, fans were elated when the duo hopped on stage. With the performance of "I Feel Good," the sentiment couldn't have been truer for Anna and Joel.
Handmade Moments celebrate the national release of Number Ones with a CD release concert at New Orleans' mainstay venue Tipitina's Uptown on November 1, 2019 opening for Keller Williams. Handmade Moments will also appear at Lost Sierra Hoedown (Blairsden, CA: Sept. 19) and Hillbery Music Festival (Eureka Springs, AR: Oct. 10).
For more information regarding Handmade Moments, please visit: handmademomentsmusic.net
(Release Date: November 1, 2019)
1. Grandma's Hands (Bill Withers)
2. Tide Is High (Blondie)
3. Phone Down (Erykah Badu)
4. Are You That Somebody (Aaliyah)
5. Cash Machine (D.R.A.M.)
6. Tell Me Something Good (Rufus & Chaka Khan)
7. Lucky Old Sun (Louis Armstrong)
8. Ripple (The Grateful Dead)
9. I Feel Good (James Brown)