Sacramento, California country group Attwater signed with the independent production company and label, Twenty Ten Music in December of 2010. Grammy Award-winning producer Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars, Switchfoot), Sr. VP of A&R for Twenty Ten Music, discovered Attwater in a decidedly 21st century way – via Twitter.
Erika Attwater and Jonathan Richards, the songwriting team and principal band members behind the group Attwater, began following Peacock on Twitter after seeing his producer credit on the hit folk/country act, The Civil Wars. Attwater had recorded a live album for free download, were faithfully playing gigs and doing what 21st century artists do – making the most of the social networks.
“I noticed Sacramento, California was the city on their Twitter follow,” says Peacock. “I got my start there... the least I could do was check Attwater out. Then I heard Erika’s amazing voice singing these great songs, and I thought: I’m the luckiest man in the world – I just found a diamond in my old backyard! I’m a big fan of Twitter right about now.”
In early January 2011, Peacock and Attwater began work on the band’s debut project. The recordings are a unique combination of modern country, classic rock ala Fleetwood Mac, bluegrass flavors, and the influence of singer-songwriter greats like Patty Griffin. The songwriting of Erika Attwater and Jonathan Richards carries the record, with co-writing help from Nashville tunesmiths Luke Laird (Carrie Underwood), Sam Ashworth (Sixpence None The Richer), and Ross Copperman (Thompson Square).
Attwater has filmed two music videos. “Never Gonna Happen” with director Jeremy Cowart (Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift) and “Daydreaming” with producer Charlie Peacock (Brooke Waggoner, Ten Out Of Tenn). The band’s first single, mixed by country hit-maker Justin Niebank (Taylor Swift, Keith Urban) is “Never Gonna Happen.” Online radio portal Dixie Streams remarked of the single, “There's definitely a country vibe coming out of "Never Gonna Happen" like Faith Hill did a record with The Charlie Daniels Band in the 70s.” Emerging artist blogger Alison Rizk called the single “sultry, seductive, and sassy,” adding “this song makes me want to put on a cowboy hat and find a dude to be pissed at.”
Not all of Attwater’s songs will stir such a “woman scorned” reaction. In fact, most are about simple living, loving and coming of age in Northern California. Attwater’s music draws on the rich musical heritage of Northern California from the California Hayride to the Doobie Brothers, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison and legend Merle Haggard. Erika Attwater grew up with the sound of country music on the radio and in the homes of her extended family. When she was ten years old she wrote a letter to local Sacramento DJs Pat and Tom care of country radio station KNCI. She told them how much she loved their show and they invited her down to the station for a visit. Escorted by her mother and cousin, Erika took them up on the invitation to get an upclose look at country music. As Erika puts it, “Country music is in my blood. I think I spent a few years a little unsure if that was the direction I’d go as a musician and songwriter, but there came a point where nothing else made sense and I was home.” For Attwater songwriter/guitarist Jonathan Richards, country music is a language he understands and that understands him and his music, "I feel like country music is an ongoing conversation between like-minded people, between friends. A conversation about life, love, heart break, having a good time, and yes, even the weather. I keep feeling that, in some way we've been invited to join in that conversation, and that is an unspeakable honor.”
Before being fast-tracked by record producer Peacock, Attwater was performing as a duo gaining club experience opening for artists Randy Montana, The JaneDear Girls, Sarah Lee Guthrie, and Elizabeth Cook. Today they are working as a band and eager to move from “baby band” status to opening act on a major tour and beyond to headlining. For Erika, “It’s all just a matter of time. Making great music that means something to people in their everyday lives is the first order of business. If we get that right, everything else will fall into place.”
Attwater - "Daydreaming":
Country Music Rocks!™